Farm Fresh Options

Farm Fresh Guide for Will County and Surrounding Areas

Farmers' Markets  

Farmers' markets promote regional agriculture and ensure a continuing supply of fresh, locally produced food for the community. Such markets support farmers while preserving farmland for the future. Often supplied by regional small family farmers, these markets offer  alternative opportunities to growers to sell their fruits, vegetables and other farm products. Usually only regional farmers and vendors may sell their products at the farmer's market and farmers market 2middlemen or brokers are not allowed.  Regulations govern what may be sold at the farmer's market. Generally, all items must be grown, raised, foraged, caught, or otherwise produced by the seller.

Agents may visit growers to make sure that what they sell at market is grown in their fields and ensure product integrity. A farmers' market committee composed of market growers and consumers may exist to assist in rule enforcement and policy formulation. Markets are held in parks, playgrounds, parking lots, sidewalks, closed streets and other available open spaces. Farmers may pay a fee to sell at the market.

Note: Some "farmers' markets" have vendors that sell produce they bought from wholesalers and then resell to consumers. If the food is generally not grown in your area (see our growing season table for fruit and vegetables in Illinois and know your products), then it is most likely being resold. If this is important to you, it is recommended that you ask questions: Learn where the farm is located, when they plant, what their specialty products are, and ask about visiting the farm.  

Farmers' Markets by Day of the Week 2014

   Name of Market Location Hours Dates
Monday    
Lockport  Lockport Farmers' Market 222 E. 9th St. 3:00pm-7:00pm  
Tuesday    
Lemont  Lemont's Farmers' Market 435 Talcott Ave. 8:00am-1:00pm  
Wednesday    
Aurora  Aurora's Farmers' Market West 1950 West Galena Blvd. 1:00pm-5:00pm 7-9 thru 9-10
       
Thursday    
Aurora Aurora's Farmers' Market East 701 South Eola Road 2:30-6:00 7-10 thru 8-28
Channahon Channahon Farmers' Market Channahon Park District
(along Rt. 6)
8:30am-2:30pm  
Bolingbrook  Bolingbrook Farmers' Market

631 E. Boughton Road

W of 355 on E Boughton Rd., Promenade

4:00pm-8:00pm 6-12 thru 9-18
Joliet Joliet Junior College

SPECIAL INDOOR MARKET-JJC CAFETERIA -April 17

Green House Parking Lot

12:00-3:00 PM

2:00-6:00 pm

 5-29 thru 9-18
Friday    
Joliet  Joliet City Farmers' Market 116 North Chicago St. 8:00am-2:00pm 6-10 thru 10-10, closed 7-4-14
Orland Park  Village of Orland Park Farmers' Market 14700 S. Ravinia Ave. 7:30am-12noon  
Saturday    
Aurora  Aurora's Farmers Market ATC 233 N Broadway

7:30am-12noon

 
Crete  Crete European Market 1321 Main St. 8:00am-1:00pm 5-17 thru 10-11
Naperville  Naperville's Farmers' Market 200 E. 5th Ave. 7:00am-12noon  
New Lenox  New Lenox French Market 1 Veterans Pky. 9:00am-1:00pm  
Park Forest  Park Forest Farmers' Market 271 Lakewood Blvd. 7:00am-12noon  
Plainfield  Historic Downtown Plainfield Farmers' Market Lockport St & Rt 59
(SW corner)
8:00am-1:00pm  
Tinley Park  Tinley Park Farmers' Market 17116 Oak Park Ave. 7:00am-12noon  
Mokena  Mokena French Market Front Street Downtown Mokena 8:00am-1:00pm

 5-3 thru 10-25

Wilmington Wilmington Farmers Market 00 Block North Water Street 8:00am-1:00pm  
 Sunday    
Frankfort  Frankfort Country Market Downtown at Oak & Kansas 10:00am-2:00pm 4-27 thru 10-26
Joliet

 Will County Farmers' Market
Sponsored By Senior Service of Will County

Louis Joliet Mall in front of Macy's 10:00am-3:00pm  
Indicates ACCEPTS LINK CARDS      

  

 

 

 

 

What is Agritourism?


Agritourism is the act of visiting a working farm or any agricultural, horticultural or agri-business operation for the purpose of enjoyment, education or active involvement in the activities of the farm or operation. Agritourism, as it is defined most broadly, involves any agriculturally-based operation or activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch.
Agritourism is a form of niche tourism that is considered a growth industry in many parts of the world, including the United States. Agritourism is widespread in America. Agritourists can choose from a wide range of activities that include picking fruits and vegetables, riding horses, tasting honey, learning about wine and cheesemaking, or shopping in farm gift shops and farm stands for local and regional produce or hand-crafted gifts.
 

 

Farm Stands, Farms and Pick-Ur-Own 

awesome farm stand 2If your schedule doesn't allow you to visit the local farmers' market, consider stopping by a local farm stand. Farm Stands sell fresh seasonal produce (call for hours of operation.)  Several Will County Farms have "Pick-ur-own" which means you go to the farm and pick  fruit or vegetables that are in season. This is a great way to enjoy some time with the family while making healthy food selections. Never thought so much fun could taste so good. 

City Name Address Contact Name Phone Number
Beecher Bultema Farms and Greenhouse 29348 S. Klemme Rd. Diane Bultema, Barry Bultema 708-946-2199
Beecher Jerry's Farm Stand 1950 E. Indiana Ave. Shirley Vos 708-946-2712
Bourbonnais Rietveld's Farm Stand 4067 E. 4000 N. Rd.    
Channahon Dollinger Family Farm 7502 E Hansel Rd. Mrs. Noreen Dollinger 815-467-6766
Crest Hill Siegel's Cottonwood Farms, Inc 17250 S. Weber Rd. Sue Siegel, Paul Siegel 815-741-2693
Elwood Lange's Farm 24819 S. Bush Rd. Harold Lange  
Joliet Glasscock Farms 198 W. Laraway Rd Scott Glasscock 815-723-3792
Herscher Dickman's 6480 S 14000W Rd. JoAnn Dickman 815-426-2154
Homer Glen Garden Patch Farms & Orchard 14154 W. 159th St. Earl Hiller, Merna Hiller 708-301-7720
Homer Glen Sahs Farm 1729 S. Cedar Road Marvin and Kathy Sahs 708-301-0379
Monee Gorman Farm Fresh Produce 6607 West Bruns Road Molly and Keving Gorman 708-534-2375
Momence Lou's Truck Patch 13214 E 2000S Rd. Louise Nash 815-944-8178
Naperville Mayneland Farm 27W265 Bauer Rd. Jeremy Mayne 630-357-1877
Orland Park Fresh Harvest Farm 10030 W. 151st St. Patty McPhillips 708-945-9993
Ottawa Our Holiday Farm 3206 E 19th Road David Nusbaumer 815-434-6388
Plainfield Bronkberry Farms Bronk Road, south of Caton farm Jennifer Bronk, Kevin Veen 815-136-6967
Plainfield Keller's Farmstand 721 S. Rt. 30 Frank Keller 815-439-0420
Wilmington Jim Gorman Vegetables 30643 S. Rt. 53 Jim Gorman 815-476-7514
Wilmington Tammen Treeberry Farm 37131 Essex Rd. Bruce Tammen (815) 458-6264

 

 

 

What does 100% Certified Organic really mean?

Over the last several years we have seen the term "organic" everywhere from the chain grocery stores, local farmers' markets, to even bags of snack foods, and its meaning has become vague,so here is our attempt to provide clarity to the term to help you better navigate the oceans of "organic".

The term "organic" agriculture refers to a species cultivated devoid of any synthetic aid, whether that be in the form of genetic modification or applied synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.It is defined that organic is the use of "farming practices that may be agroecological, sustainable, or ecological; utilizing natural (non-synthetic) nutrient-cycling processes; exclude or rarely use synthetic pesticides; and sustain or regenerate soil quality" (Badgley, 2006).

 Basic Organic FarmingOrganic farming of strawberries
Organic farmers manage their crops using proactive practices to prevent problems. They strive to:
• Replenish and maintain soil fertility.
• Eliminate the use of toxic and persistent chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
• Restore, maintain, and enhance ecological harmony.
• Build and support biologically diverse agriculture.
To be certified as organic, all organic farmers must keep records verifying their practices and products used.
   

Several growers farm according to "organic principals". They follow the tenants of "organic farming" however do not comply fully with the NOSB and therefore cannot be certified "100% organic". 

Principals of Organic Farming
The four principles of organic agriculture are as follows:
• The Principle of Health - Organic agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal and human as one and indivisible.
• The Principle of Ecology - Organic agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.
• The Principle of Fairness - Organic agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.
• The Principle of Care - Organic agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well being of current and future generations and the environment. 

 Again, know your farmer, and if you only want to purchase "100% certified organic" produce and meats ask for proof of certification. Ask why a farmer uses "organic principals" yet does not have a certification. You may find that their products fit your criteria for organic, and you may have another source for your farm fresh food.

 

Organic Farms of Will County

City Name Address Contact Name Phone Number
Aurora Dropseed Farm 1945 Swarthmore Dr. Dave Roesner 630-567-4940
Crest Hill Rock Run Farm Caton Farm Rd.-Products can be purchased at Seigel's Cotton Wood Farms Devon Dempsey 815-325-3479
Lockport Mom's Farms 15725 W Bruce Rd. Moriah Aldarondo 815-726-1331
Manhattan Earth & Skye Farm Rt. 52 and Cedar Rd. Patti McPhillips 708-945-9993
Naperville Green Earth Institute 10S404 Knoch Knolls Rd. Steve Tiwald 630-664-5681
Peotone Taylor Ridge Farm 5415 W. Beecher Rd.   708-258-6539

 

Community Supported Agriculture of Will Countybeautiful basket of fruit

Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a new idea in farming one that has been gaining momentum since its introduction to the United States from Europe in the mid-1980s.

CSA, sometimes known as "subscription farming,"  consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, the community's farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. 

Typically, members or "shareholders" pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer's salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm's bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production.

Most CSAs offer a diversity of vegetables, fruits, and herbs in season; some provide a full array of farm produce, including shares in eggs, meat, milk, baked goods, and even firewood. 

Note to the consumer: Be aware that there are risks involved in CSA participation as are involved in farming.  If there is a circumstance that affects crop production, those circumstances affect your shares. ALSO, research your potential farm. Ask for references from other members, and also see if that farmer participates in any farmers' markets. Better yet plan a visit to the farm and purchase some of the products when you visit, just like the farmers you purcahse from at markets, "know your farmer".

Will County Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

City CSA Address Contact Name Contact Number
Elwood Lange's Farm 24819 S. Bush Road Harold and Janet 815-423-6953
Manhattan Earth & Skye Farm Rt. 52 and Cedar Rd. Patti McPhillips 708-945-9993
Naperville Green Earth Institute 10S404 Knoch Knolls Rd. Steve Tiwald 630-664-5681

 

HOME DELIVERY-Will County Organic farm fresh produce, meats, fish, and specialty items.

City Business Name Contact Name Contact Number  Contact Email
Plainfield Amy's Organics Amy 815-482-8627 amy@amysorganics.org

 

 

 

Will County Food Cooperativesco op logo

A food co-op is a collectively owned grocery store. Most frequently, a food co-op focuses on making natural foods more affordable for co-op members, although other products may be carried as well. There are a number of different styles of food co-op, but all of them share common values of group management and decision making, social responsibility, and equality. Towns of all sizes have food co-ops ranging from very small to quite large, and it is usually easy to find a food co-op near you.

In a private food co-op, only members may shop at the store. In order to become a member, someone pays a small initiation fee and usually invests a set amount of money in the food co-op to purchase a share. Some food co-ops allow members to purchase multiple shares, or require an annual fee, which causes long term members of the food co-op to own more shares. In some cases, members also join work crews, contributing a few hours of work to the running of the co-op. The frequency and duration of work shifts varies from co-op to co-op.
 

 

Food Cooperatives of Will County

City Name Address Phone Number
Crest Hill Olive Living 1612 Root Street 312-339-6337
Park Forest South Suburban Food Co-op 208 Forest Blvd 708-747-2256

 

Joliet Park Dist   West Side 01

 

What is a community garden?

A community garden is a single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people.

A city’s community gardens can be as diverse as its gardeners. Some grow only flowers, others are nurtured communally and their bounty shared. Community gardens improve users’ health through increased fresh vegetable consumption and providing a venue for exercise.

Community gardens are managed and maintained with the active participation of the gardeners themselves, rather than tended only by a professional staff. Community gardens often encourage food production by providing gardeners a place to grow vegetables and other crops. Some gardens are grown collectively, with everyone working together; others are split into clearly divided plots, each managed by a different gardener (or group or family). Many community gardens have both "common areas" with shared upkeep and individual/family plots.

Benefits of Community Gardens:
• Improve the quality of life for people in the garden
• Provide a catalyst for neighborhood and community development
• Stimulate Social Interaction
• Encourage Self-Reliance
• Beautify Neighborhoods
• Produce Nutritious Food
• Reduce Family Food Budgets
• Conserve Resources
• Create opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education
• Reduce Crime
• Preserve Green Space
• Create income opportunities and economic development
• Reduce city heat from streets and parking lots
• Provide opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections
Source:American Community Garden Association

Another benefit of Community Gardens is education:  The Detroit Public School District is establishing 45 DPS community gardens with the intention of educating the students on gardening techniques. This education will not only to teach them how to grow food for their own use, but will perhaps inspire a student to pursue farming as a career choice. 

 

Community Gardens of Will County and surrounding areas

City Name Address Contact Name Contact Number
Aurora Crossroads Community Church Garden Wolf's Crossing & Rte #30  Carolyn Rowe 630-947-5389
Aurora Let's Get Growing Community Gardens Gombert Elementary School/Ridge Park, (Ridge Road) Mary Knightwright 630-701-SUN4
Aurora  Let's Get Growing Community Gardens  Georgetown Elementary School/Georgetown Park (Long Grove Drive) Mary Knightwright 630-701-SUN4
Joliet Joliet Park District Organic Community Garden McDonough Street-across from Inwood Golf Course Kristen Bernier 815-741-7275
Joliet The Garden at Pilcher Park

Pilcher Park behind the green house

No new gardeners saught at this time.

Jeanne Phelan 815-714-8191
Joliet University of St. Franicis-Cool Joliet Plainfield Road near Douglas Street  Gini/Kathy 815-714-8191
Naperville Naperville Park District Garden Plots 811 S. West Street   630.848.5000
Orland Park Village of Orland Park Recreation and Parks Dept Brookhill Drive at Discovery Park in the Brookhills Subdivision   708-403-6219 

 

Growing Season in Illinois
Days Between Last Spring and First Fall Frost (Occurrence of 32°F)
Jim Angel, state climatologist
The average length of the growing season varies from about 190 days in far southern Illinois to 160 days in far northern Illinois. Of course, the actual length can vary from year to year.   

Will County Growing Zone and Season

Whats in season

According to the National Gardening Association's Hardiness Zone Finder, most of Will County is located in growing zone 5A.
http://www.thevegetablegarden.info/resources/planting-schedules/zones-5-6-planting-schedule

Read more: When to Plant Vegetables in Illinois | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_7514289_plant-vegetables-illinois.html#ixzz1tkPskzks
Apples, July through October
Arugula, May through September
Asparagus, April through June
Basil, July through September
Beets, May through October
Blackberrries, July into August
Blueberries, July into August
Broccoli, June through October
Brussel sprouts, August through November
Cabbage, June through November (local harvest available from storage through March)
Cantaloupes, August and September
Carrots, May through November (local harvest available from storage through winter)
Cauliflower, August through November
Celeriac/celery root, August through October
Celery, August through October
Chard, May through September
Cherries, June and July
Cilantro, June through September
Corn, mid-June through mid-August
Cucumbers, July through mid-October
Eggplant, July through mid-October
Fava beans, May
Fennel, Late spring-early summer
Garlic, August through November
Garlic scapes/green garlic, May and June
Grapes, August and September
Green beans, July through September
Green Onions, June through September
Greens (various), May through November
Herbs, various, May through October
Kale, June through November
Leeks, August through October
Lettuce (various), May through October
Melons, July through September
Morels, spring
Mushrooms (cultivated), year-round
Mushrooms (wild), spring through fall, varies tremendously each year
Onions, August through October (local harvest available from storage year-round)
Parsley, May through September
Parsnips, April and May and again in October through November (local harvest available from storage through winter)
Peaches, July and August
Pears, August through October
Peas and pea pods, June through August
Peppers (sweet), June through September
Persimmons, October
Plums & pluots, July and August
Potatoes, July through November (local harvest available from storage year-round)
Pumpkins, September through October
Radishes, May through October
Raspberries, June into August
Rhubarb, April through June
Shelling Beans, September through October (local harvest available dried year-round)
Scallions, June through September
Spinach, May through October
Squash (summer), July through October
Squash (winter), August through November (local harvest available from storage into spring)
Strawberries, June and July
Tomatoes, July through October
Turnips, August through November (local harvest available from storage through February)
Watermelons, August through September
Zucchini, July through October

 

 

Hunger is Exploding   feeding america   logo for northern illinois food bank


No one wants to believe hunger is a problem where they live. Will County’s Population: 679,069
Number of Residents Living in Poverty: 43,879
 

The reality is that hunger is in every area no matter how big or small. Last year, 1 in 8 Illinois residents received emergency food from one of our partner agencies. Emergency food is available through three sources:

Emergency Food Pantries distribute nonprepared foods and other grocery products to needy clients, who then prepare and use these items where they live. Some food pantries also distribute fresh and frozen food and nutritious prepared food.  Food is distributed on a short-term or emergency basis until clients are able to meet their food needs.

Emergency Soup Kitchens provide prepared meals served at the kitchen to needy clients who do not reside on the premises. In some instances, kitchens may also provide lighter meals or snacks, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, yogurt and other dairy products, and prepared food such as sandwiches, for clients to take with them when the kitchen is closed.

Emergency Shelters provide shelter and serve one or more meals a day on a short-term basis to low-income clients in need. Shelter may be the primary or secondary purpose of the service. Examples include homeless shelters, shelters with substance abuse programs, and transitional shelters such as those for battered women.  The main purpose of Emergency food services is to provide food to those in hunger crisis.
 

Food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters receive the majority of their food items for distribution from a food bank. A food bank is a charitable organization that solicits, receives, inventories, stores, and distributes donated food and grocery products to charitable agencies that directly serve needy clients. These agencies include churches and qualifying nonprofit [Internal Revenue Code 501(c) (3)] charitable organizations. The Northern Illinois Food Bank serves Will County.

Northern Illinois Food Bank: 


Vision and Mission


Our vision is to create a hunger-free northern Illinois. 
Our mission is to provide nutritious food to all those in need through our own efforts and those of our non-profit partners.
The Northern Illinois Food Bank is part of Feeding America.

Feeding America (FA), formerly America’s Second Harvest, plays a critical role in helping food banks accomplish their mission. FA, a network comprised of about 80% off all food banks in the United States, supports the emergency food system by obtaining food for the system from national organizations, such as major food companies, and providing technical assistance and other services to the food banks and food rescue organizations. Northern Illinois Food Bank receives food items from Feeding America.

Will County’s emergency  food providers (pantries, soup kitchens and shelters) receive food items from Northern Illinois Food Bank and also from Local Food Sources.  Among the local sources are purchased food programs, national donors, produce programs, food salvage & reclamation, prepared food programs, local food drives, local farmers, local retailers, growers, manufacturers, USDA commodities and residents.


Residential support for local food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters is so vital in their success: Support can come in the form of food donations, monetary donations and volunteerism. Below is a link to the Northern Illinois Food Bank Will County locations for emergency and non emergency locations: Included are contact numbers.
 

solvehungertoday.org/GetHelp/GetFood/Will.aspx 

 

About AmpleHarvest.org

Ample harvest 3

 

The Idea
While more than 50 million Americans live in food insecure homes (including a quarter of all children under the age of six), more than 40 million Americans grow fruit, vegetables herbs and nuts in home gardens - often more than they can use, preserve or give to friends.
It doesn't have to be that way.


The Opportunity
Struggling to feed their families, many Americans, both those chronically economically challenged as well as those now impacted by the economic downturn have come to rely on the more than 33,500 food pantries (also called food shelves, food closets, food cupboards or food banks in some areas) across America to help feed their families.

These food pantries, relying on donated and purchased foods, almost never have fresh produce and instead rely on canned or processed produce shipped from across the country at significant cost, both economic and environmental.

At the same time, millions of home and community gardeners nationwide with an abundant harvest do not know that they can share their harvest, do not know how to share their harvest and do not know where to share their harvest. AmpleHarvest.org solves that for them.

The Vision
AmpleHarvest.org envisions an America where millions of gardeners eliminate malnutrition and hunger in their own community.

The Mission
AmpleHarvest.org diminishes hunger in America by educating, encouraging and enabling gardeners to donate their excess harvest to the needy in their community instead of allowing it to rot in the garden. There are no costs to the food pantries or the gardeners for use of AmpleHarvest.org.

The Message
A number of America's problem could be diminished or even solved if everyone valued our resources, especially fresh food, as the treasure it really is. Our message to America is:

No Food Left Behind


 

What We Do We enable you to use the Internet to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in your own community. AmpleHarvest.org connects 40+ million Americans with excess food in their garden and local food pantries. Garden by garden, home & community gardeners and other growers are fighting hunger and malnutrition in America.

Our core mission: No Food Left Behind

Why We Do It One out of six Americans needs food assistance, but can't get fresh produce from the local food pantry, while, millions of American homeowners grow more food in their backyard gardens than they can possibly use. It Doesn't Have to Be This Way! AmpleHarvest.org envisions an America where millions of gardeners eliminate malnutrition and hunger in their own community using only their backyard gardens.

Ways You Can Help Urge a food pantry to register at AmpleHarvest.org. Find the food pantry in your community, possibly in a nearby house of worship, a YMCA or other civic location. Give them this flyer and urge them to register ASAP. Let them know they don't need extra refrigeration and that AmpleHarvest.org is totally FREE!. Help others learn about AmpleHarvest.org.
Put this article in your blog or newsletter Help local gardeners learn to share their excess harvest.
Print this two sided flyer and post it a local garden shops, nurseries, supermarket bulletin boards, etc. to help gardeners learn about the opportunity to help the hungry. Help publicize the AmpleHarvest.org Campaign
Ask your local media to visit this page and do a story about people in the community wanting fresh produce for their families from the local food pantry. Help promote "No Food Left Behind". Lastly, donate food from your garden.
Find a local food pantry here. Not growing anything right now? Use our iPhone and Android apps to help find a local food pantry when you are shopping.

 

to http://www.AmpleHarvest.org

 

 

 
Will County Land Use Department
Will County - Land Use Department - Resource Recovery & Energy
58 E. Clinton Street, Joliet, IL 60432

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