The Liberty Prairie Foundation supports educational programming at the Prairie Crossing Farm to educate and inspire people to value healthy food, land and community through experiences on our farm.
We provide leadership and financial support for local food system development, social entrepreneurship, land conservation, environmental education, and civic engagement.
Experience the changing seasons with a series of fun and educational events at the Prairie Crossing Farm.
Prairie Crossing Farm on CBS       
The CBS Sunday Morning Show mentioned  Prairie Crossing and the Prairie Crossing Farm in a recent segment on Agrihoods.
Click here to watch "Home grown: Moving next to the farm" on the CBS Sunday Morning Show
It's gratifying to see widespread interest in conservation communities like Prairie Crossing and the Prairie Crossing Farm that provides local food, environmental education, and more to residents and the broader Chicago region.
Thankful for Gleaning                                     
Volunteers in the Liberty Prairie Foundation's gleaning program harvest produce from Sandhill Family Farms' fields to be donated to local food pantries.

Led by Liberty Prairie Foundation interns, this summer over 50 volunteers harvested carrots, broccoli, green beans, and more that were then delivered to food pantries and community groups serving vulnerable clients. Thank you to Sandhill Family Farms and our dedicated volunteers who gleaned 5,100 pounds of fresh produce this season!
Gleaning is a meaningful volunteer experience that makes a difference in the community and provides a "behind the scenes" view of organic agriculture.
"It was surprising how a small amount of labor from a group of people could yield so many pounds of fresh food that then gets delivered in the programs for distribution. It seems such a simple solution to a complex problem. Also, the generosity of farmers to allow gleaning in their fields is amazing! It is good knowing fresh produce is getting brought to food pantries, where less healthful food is often the main choice for people," one volunteer noted.
Gleaning will begin again in June. If you are interested in gleaning next season, email to be added to our contact list.

As the season of giving approaches, support this important and impactful program! Your donation will help the Liberty Prairie Foundation hire interns to lead the program and support transportation costs to deliver the vegetables to local food pantries.

Need a gift for the person who has everything? Make a donation in their name and we will provide you with a certificate to present that shares the impact of your gift. 
Your support is truly appreciated and will help provide fresh, healthy vegetables to our hungry friends and neighbors. Please contact with questions or to receive a certificate. 

Transitioning to Organic Grains         
Help meet the demand for organic and non-GMO grains! Join The Land Connection for their Transitioning to Organic Grains workshop from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Wed., Jan. 13 at Dorr Township Hall in Woodstock.   
Farmers who have already successfully and profitably transitioned to organic grains will give practical presentations on key topics including selecting alternative grain crops, planning for soil fertility and weed management, navigating the organic certification process, and finding buyers.
Click here for information and registration for the Transitioning to Organic Grains workshop. The registration fee is $40 for individuals and $20 for additional family or crew member, and lunch will be provided.    
We have been helping organize the event and encourage you to share news of this unique learning opportunity with farmers and others who would benefit. Our hope is that over time farmers in the greater Chicago area will sustainably grow more and more of the grains we eat every day. 

Beacon Place Partnership               

By Kate Abram, Outreach Intern
"I can play with kids without needing to spend money"
"I can speak some English without feeling embarrassed"
"I can learn to eat in a more healthy way"
"I can value myself as a woman and mother"
These are the "I can" statements of the Beacon Place MOMS program. Serving southeast Waukegan, Beacon Place is a community center that provides food, education, and enrichment to children and families with the ultimate goals of empowerment and transformation. The MOMS program serves nearly 80 women whose children benefit from programming while the women are empowered to learn new skills that enrich their lives and their families.
For the second summer, the Liberty Prairie Foundation partnered with Beacon Place on their healthy eating focus. Outreach interns staffed a weekly market with vegetables grown by the Prairie Farm Corps and led educational sessions with recipe samples to demonstrate that healthy food can be inexpensive and delicious. The market was highly subsidized with a bag of 4-6 varieties of produce selling for $1, consistent with Beacon Place's philosophy of providing a "hand up, not a handout."
To make this program more effective and to make sure it is providing a lasting impact, a survey collected feedback from the mothers on the vegetables, programming, and effect their participation had on the eating habits of themselves and their families. The responses were overwhelmingly positive, especially in noting that the program encouraged them to incorporate more and new produce into their diets.
As one participant said, "I like trying things for the first time. If I try new things, my grandkids will try new things. The program was very affordable so everyone could enjoy. Thank you so much."
With approximately 750 pounds of produce distributed at an estimated market value of over $1,500, our partnership was successful in providing valuable, impactful services to the Waukegan community. Click here to learn more about our partnership with Beacon Place.

Prairie Farm Corps Reflection               
by Michelle and Marcelo Chiodi, parents of a Prairie Farm Corps crew member

I wanted to congratulate you on a wonderful season for the Prairie Farm Corps. The young people in the program obviously thrived in very impactful ways.

Our daughter was fortunate to be in the program this summer. We were impressed on how she learned to respect a process, work hard, be patient and seeing the fruits of her labor for it. As Aldo Leopold said, "There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery store, and the other that heat comes from the furnace."  
This summer, our daughter really experienced where her breakfast comes from.
She learned that weeding which seems tedious, is important and part of most experiences. There will always be weeds that pop up, but she saw that it was most important to expect them, tend to them and be consistent with it.

She gained constructive feedback with the weekly check ins with her manager. This was an excellent opportunity for her to learn as she becomes a young professional to seek out reactions, find out how she is contributing, understand if she is working well with others, leading, and listening. This is a part of what we try to instill in our kids every day and this program did it organically. She learned these things and applied it while she was on the job.

She developed valuable friendships, with kids she may not have known or had the opportunity to meet, and they were united by the work and the opportunity to get to know each other through learning.

"It's fun to get together and have something good to eat, at least once a day, that's what human life is all about", said Julia Child. Our daughter learned about good food, making smart choices, taking risks with cooking and trying new things. The program offered her the creativity and freedom to make different meals that she wasn't used to. She tried different foods and gained an overall appreciation to the fact that she helped plant, harvest and prepare the food. It made it more valuable, and when she ate it, and shared it with others, she thought about that cycle and learned to not take nourishment for granted.

Our daughter brought this knowledge to our home, our family, and her friends. She spoke about it often and found that getting up early every morning and working into the afternoon outside in all kinds of temperatures weathered her in a very special way and helped develop her spirit, her drive and her commitment to getting a job done even when it's hard.

Our daughter also helped bring this knowledge to the outside community. Each week the kids worked with the WIC program in providing produce to underprivileged women and children who did not know some of the basics about vegetables and the value of nutrition. This really bothered our daughter, she didn't like that there were kids and young mothers who did not understand basic nutrition. Giving back to the communities was one of the most rewarding experiences our daughter got out of this job and that was very powerful. When young people are inspired by something, or see a cause that they believe in, that can do good, it is amazing what can grow from what was planted. 
The program also had the kids selling at local farmers markets, learning how to interact with customers. She also learned the value of getting paycheck which in opening up her first bank account she started to experience the process of managing her money.

The staff was committed to training, leadership and inspiring these kids. They were very knowledgeable and made the experience fun for our daughter. We are very fortunate to have had this opportunity for our daughter. We would like to see this opportunity for more kids in the community and in the country. A national program like this would tie awareness and appreciation of the land to the youth through farming, cooking, hard work, giving back and working together and ultimately help more aspiring professionals be prepared for any kind of business pursuit.

Thank you again for all you have done to make this program available and such a success.
Radical Root Hiring for 2016 Season      

Radical Root Farm, located at Casey Farm in Libertyville, is hiring for the 2016 season! Click here for position descriptions and more information.

Radical Root is an alumni of the Liberty Prairie Foundation's Farm Business Development Center. They "graduated" in 2013 from this program at the Prairie Crossing Farm that supports the development of successful family farm businesses. Radical Root's transition to Casey Farm was made possible through an innovative partnership between Conserve Lake County, the Lake County Forest Preserve District, and the Liberty Prairie Foundation.

Radical Root offers a seasonal farm stand from May through December on Fridays from 3 - 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at 31330 N. Milwaukee in Libertyville. Click here to learn more about Radical Root Farm.  
About the Prairie Crossing Farm      

The Prairie Crossing Farm is a working organic farm nestled inside the Prairie Crossing community in Grayslake, Illinois. The Prairie Crossing Farm is owned by the Liberty Prairie Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


The Foundation operates a variety of programs at the Prairie Crossing Farm to advance our mission. The Farm Business Development Center, an incubator program, prepares beginning farmers to meet the demand for locally-grown organic food in the Chicago region. The independently-owned Prairie Crossing Farm businesses serve customers throughout the Chicago region.


The Foundation supports educational programming at the Prairie Crossing Farm to educate and inspire people to value healthy food, land and community through experiences on our farm. Educational programming includes the Prairie Farm Corps youth development program, seasonal events, and more.
32400 North Harris Road
Grayslake, IL 60030