Deep Roots

Appears in the July 2022 issue.

Every time Karen Stojan pulls up to the Naperville Farmer’s Market to sell her goods, a wave of nostalgia washes over her. Her parents were here on day one, at the inception of the market in the late 1980s. And before them, her grandparents supplied veggies to the nearby Campbell’s Soup Co. in the early 1900s. So when she tills the soil at the current iteration of the Stojan Family Farm in Maple Park, she feels a deep responsibility to carry on her family name. You can taste that dedication in Stojan Vegetable’s offerings at local farmers’ markets: tiny super-sweet strawberries, artisanal tomatoes so flavorful you can eat them as table snacks., and curios like dragon tongue beans and eight varieties of sweet peppers. “People want to know how their produce was raised,” Stojan says, “but I can also tell them why I’m raising it, too.”

Photo courtesy of Stojan’s Vegetables