The Romeoville, Ill. golf course is one of 12 recipients worldwide to receive the grant. The Farm grows biodynamically, meaning all organic inputs and no chemicals, and implements IPM methods, crop rotation and companion planting. “Growing healthy food biodynamically in an unused plot on the course provides a living classroom for all who venture near it or enjoy the fruits of its labor,” says Angelica Carmen, Mistwood’s Sustainability Specialist.
Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, Ill. has been awarded a $9,000 grant from The FairWays Foundation for their work towards The Farm—a new food production on property to grow biodynamically, meaning all organic inputs and no chemicals, IPM methods, crop rotation and companion planting. The Farm is Mistwood’s next chapter in sustainability and commitment to environmental social responsibility in golf course maintenance, food growth and food service.
The FairWays Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding the environment, supporting conservation-based projects; big and small, as well as educational events for professionals, newcomers to the field and for future minds. The foundation seeks to directly fund local and global projects that demonstrate an aspiration to protect our natural resources.
Angelica Carmen, Mistwood’s Sustainability Specialist, worked hard to get the application prepared for submission.
“It’s an honor to be one of 12 recipients in the world to receive this grant,” she said. “Going forward, The Farm will also benefit Mistwood in cultural, ecological, and socioeconomic ways that only domino into Romeoville and surrounding areas. Growing healthy food biodynamically in an unused plot on the course provides a living classroom for all who venture near it or enjoy the fruits of its labor.”
Mistwood constructed a solar-powered greenhouse to start seedlings to transition to The Farm. The 8,000 sq. ft. farm is situated in a previously unused area of the golf course, where in the first year, more than 100 varieties of plants including edible flowers, herbs, and vegetables, were cultivated.
“The point of starting a farm, and growing our sustainability here on property, is to share the experience with our community, and to educate our guests on the process, and how we are able to accomplish everything,” Carmen said. “What we’re serving is much more than the physical product that is grown on The Farm. It’s serving as a model for awareness to our environment and how they can implement or use practices in their own life.”
In addition, the beehive project is a wonderful collaboration with Bee All About It, headquartered in Villa Park, bringing 10 beehives to Mistwood. The hives are located in what was a previously unused area, which now has the potential to produce more than 500 pounds of honey a year. Bee All About It fully manages all aspects of the beehives on the property, including honey collection. This partnership is beneficial to beekeepers looking for property to host their hives, facilities looking to add green programs and local honey production to their vision, and the ecological landscape by contributing to healthy biodiversity.
Carmen has also been recognized with several local and national awards. She was the dual winner for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s 2021 Sustainability Summit Awards in the categories of Biosolids Beneficial Reuse Award & Sustainable Landscaping Award for her major green infrastructure projects and for creating a washpad bioswale and establishing culinary farm using MWRD’s products. She was also Second Runner Up in the Innovative Conservation Award category offered through GCSAA’s [Golf Course Superintendents Association of America] Environmental Leaders in Golf awards.
Environmental stewardship is not an initiative. It is a long-term investment into our future and the future of our industry.