The
Liberty Prairie Foundation supports educational programming at the Prairie Crossing Farm to educate and inspire people to value healthy food, land and community.
 
We provide leadership and financial support for local food system development, social entrepreneurship, land conservation, environmental education, and civic engagement.
 
Join us for educational events at the Prairie Crossing Farm.
Organic Plant Sale & Farm Open House
10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sat. May 14      

Mark your calendars for our Organic Plant Sale & Farm Open House on Sat. May 14 at the Prairie Crossing Farm!
 
Connect with Prairie Crossing farmers from Duck Tail FarmGretta's GoatsMarigold Hill OrganicsRadical Root FarmSandbox OrganicsSandhill Family FarmsYaw-Ye Farms, and participants from the Prairie Farm Corps youth development program at this pop-up seasonal farm market. 

In addition to plants and seasonal farm products for sale, FREE hayride tours will be offered at 11:15 and 12:15, along with a FREE seeding activity for kids, and live music! Don't miss it!
 
Our popular farm events balance our public education and outreach with the Prairie Crossing Farmers' needs to safely conduct farm operations on a working organic farm. Click here for more information about the Organic Plant Sale & Farm Open House including information about additional event participants. Join us on May 14 for a fun and educational day on the farm!
Support the Prairie Farm Corps
 
The 2016 Prairie Farm Corps has begun! Eighteen high school crew members from Grayslake Central, Grayslake North, Round Lake, and Warren Township High Schools have joined the Prairie Farm Corps along with three former crew members who are returning as crew leaders.    

The Prairie Farm Corps is a youth development program at the Prairie Crossing Farm for diverse teens from central Lake County. It integrates personal and professional development with farm work, and provides hands-on experience cooking fresh vegetables and practicing healthy eating habits.

The first after-school work session included an educational debrief of the interview process, vegetable identification game, pre-program inventory of farm and job skills, farm tour, and hands-on work weeding the garlic beds. It concluded with a "snack hack" where participants learned how to make hummus and did a cost and ingredient comparison with purchased hummus.  
 
The Prairie Farm Corps is growing certified organic seedlings to sell as a fundraiser at the Organic Plant Sale & Farm Open House. They also cultivate vegetables for the Libertyville Farmers Market, the Women, Infant & Children (WIC) Farmers Market Nutrition Program in Round Lake and Waukegan, and a vegetable distribution program at Beacon Place in Waukegan. 
 
YOU can support the Prairie Farm Corps by purchasing their seedlings at the May 14 Organic Plant Sale & Farm Open House and certified organic vegetables at the Libertyville Farmers Market on Thursdays from 7 a.m. - 1 p.m. beginning June 23 (through Oct. 20). Thank you for your support!
Community Connections                                                 
Through the Liberty Prairie Foundation's community food systems work, we continue to build and strengthen connections between the Prairie Crossing Farm and the larger community. We'll highlight different programmatic components of this work in this newsletter, beginning with our connection to the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program

Since 2013 the Prairie Farm Corps has cultivated organic vegetables for distribution to recipients of WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers in Round Lake. In 2015, a Waukegan site was added which tripled the amount of produce distributed to vulnerable families through this partnership with the Lake County Health Department.
 
Katie Parry, Lake County Health Department Nutrition Services Coordinator, welcomes the Prairie Farm Corps' involvement and reports that Lake County's 2015 redemption rate was a record-setting 47%, up from 34% in 2014.

"The students realize in the most tangible of ways that their hard work can help literally feed people from their own neighborhood," she said. 
 
In addition to vegetables, nutrition and preparation tips are shared to make sure the recipients are prepared to utilize the vegetables. Seedlings are also provided to those who would like to grow some of their own food. This provides a more lasting impact and demonstrates that growing some of your own food can be an affordable, convenient and healthy option. 

Get Ready for Gleaning 
                           
                     
Looking for a meaningful volunteer activity that makes a difference in your local community? Come glean with the Liberty Prairie Foundation this season! 

Gleaning begins on Sun., Jun. 19 from 1 - 5 p.m. and continues on Sundays (except Jul. 3) throughout the summer, depending on crop availability. Click here for information and email gleaning@libertyprairie.org to join the gleaning program email list.

Thanks to the generosity of Sandhill Family Farms, more than 5,000 pounds of vegetables were gleaned in 2015. The fresh vegetables were delivered to local food pantries including the Northern Illinois Food Bank, Avon Township Food Pantry, COOL Food Pantry, and Roberti Community House for distribution.
 
Gleaning is a meaningful volunteer experience that makes a difference in the community and provides a "behind the scenes" view of organic agriculture.  Click here for more information and join us on the farm this season!
Food to Market Challenge                           
                      
The Food to Market Challenge will award $500,000 to recognize the multidisciplinary team that designs the most innovative solution to re-conceive supply chain practices that currently limit the scale of the local food market.

The Challenge is a project of Food:Land:Opportunity, a multi-year initiative to create a resilient local food economy. Food:Land:Opportunity aims to protect and conserve land, while promoting market innovation and building wealth and assets in the Chicago region. Funded through the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust, Food:Land:Opportunity is a collaboration between the Kinship Foundation and The Chicago Community Trust.

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