Hawaiian music may not be the first thing you associate with organic food, but one thing’s for sure: If you hear it, you can bet Amy Ernst is in the neighborhood.
Amy’s Organics is a little like an ice cream truck for moms, who Ernst hopes will flag her down to buy fresh, artificial pesticide- and fertilizer-free produce, locally produced honey and naturally cured bacon. There may be a few kids, too, hankering for one of her all-natural popsicles and ice cream sandwiches.
Her first day will be Saturday. Items will vary depending on what local farmers have available, but she said she anticipates the debut line-up will be turnips, greens, onions, oregano, cilantro and possibly cucumbers in addition to honey, bacon and ice cream. Items such as tomatoes and sweet corn will come later, she said.
Saturday routes will be determined by where customers ask her to come, based on texts she receives at 815-483-8627. On her first day, she plans to start on the village’s north side.
Starting at noon on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, however, she will have set subdivisions she plans to visit so people know when to expect her (see complete list at the bottom of this story). And she will always be set up from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Plainfield General Rental, located between Nabby’s Restaurant and Naper-Plainfield Road.
“That is just my tentative route (plan),” Ernst said. “Once I have figured out how much time I need in each neighborhood, it will be adjusted.”
The finishing touches on her truck are being completed this week, and she’s passed the Will County Health Department inspection, she said.
“I’m also buying from several Plainfield farmers who sell at the Farmers Market on Saturday morning,” Ernst said. “It will be a great partnership for them because their food needs to be harvested daily, but what they pick on Monday won’t be fresh to sell at market Saturday, so it will come to me and I’ll sell it on my truck.”
According to her Web site, www.amysorganics.org, she’ll also be buying from farmers in Newark and Sandwich. The honey will come from Belfry Bees in Oswego and the bacon from Hometown Sausages, whose hogs are raised and processed in East Troy, Wis.
Ernst has said her impetus to start this business is more personal than financial. She’s a four-year cancer survivor who’s convinced that the amount of processed foods people consume, including produce that comes from fields treated with chemical pesticides and fertilizers, is contributing to the increasing number cancer diagnoses in this country, particularly in people at early ages.
She said her goal is to make it easy for people to have access to organic foods that are healthier.
Interestingly, Ernst said, after announcing plans for her business this spring, a relative told her mother that Ernst's great-great-grandfather sold produce from a truck years ago.
“It must be in my blood,” she said.
White Ash Farms
Crossings at Wolf Creek
River Ridge Estates
Renwick Pointe Estates
Arbor of Plainfield
Villas at Fox Run
River Point Estates
(4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Plainfield General Rental, 14730 S Naperville Road)