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.
 
Support our farmers and join us for upcoming educational events at the Prairie Crossing Farm.
Prairie Farm Corps at the Libertyville Farmers Market

We are excited to announce that the Foundation's agriculture-based youth development program, the Prairie Farm Corps, is back in action this summer at the Libertyville Farmers Market on Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market is held every week through Oct. 20 at Cook Park in downtown Libertyville between W. Church Street and Cook Avenue.
 
But wait! We've changed locations. The Prairie Farm Corps stand will now be stationed in the green space at the corner of Cook Park just across the street from Lovin' Oven Cakery.
 
The Prairie Farm Corps is a youth development program at the Prairie Crossing Farm for diverse teens from central Lake County. Participants seed, weed, harvest, wash, pack, and cook the certified organic vegetables. This program integrates personal and professional development with farm work, and provides participants with hands-on experience cooking fresh vegetables and incorporating healthy eating habits into their lives. 
 
This season the Prairie Farm Corps will be the only vegetable stand at the Libertyville market providing certified organic vegetables like arugula, basil, broccoli, beans, carrots, chard, kale, lettuce, onions, peppers, spinach, summer squash, tomatoes, and much more. Be sure to stop by their new location at the market in downtown Libertyville! 
Thank you for your support!
Gleaning program in full swing!        

With the arrival of beautiful, fresh summer vegetables also comes a great opportunity to have a fantastic hands-on volunteer experience on the farm! The Liberty Prairie Foundation is looking for participants to assist with our gleaning program. 

Gleaning volunteers harvest produce that otherwise would not be harvested from one of the independent farm businesses located at the Prairie Crossing Farm. The vegetables are then delivered to local food pantries for distribution to their clients. Gleaning is a great way to volunteer and know you're making a difference in your community.
 
This program is made possible through a unique partnership with Sandhill Family Farms. It often makes sense for farmers to till produce back into the soil to increase fertility for future crops, however, Sandhill generously allows us to glean their fields each week. This program would not be possible without their generosity and support.
 
So far this season, volunteers have gleaned and delivered approximately 1,000 pounds of fresh radishes, lettuce, scallions and more to local food pantries and community groups. We are very excited to see what the gleaning program's impact will be in the coming months.
 
Gleanings will be hosted every Sunday (weather and crop dependent) from 1-5 p.m. at the Prairie Crossing Farm, 32400 N. Harris Road, Grayslake, through early fall. Participants are welcome to come for an hour or stay for the whole event. Click here for more information and email gleaning@libertyprairie.org to join the gleaning program email list. We look forward to seeing you on the Prairie Crossing Farm soon!ญญญ
Seedling donation program sprouts community development
GreenTown's community garden at Callahan Park in Waukegan, in partnership with the Waukegan Park District. Produce grown at the site is donated to local food pantries.   
                                       
The Foundation believes that all people should have access to healthy, sustainable food. Thanks to the generosity of the Farm Business Development Center farmers, Sandhill Family Farms, and the Prairie Farm Corps, thousands of seeds and seedlings are donated to area gardening efforts each season to strengthen the local food system for all in our community.
 
Through the years, local organizations have received tens of thousands of seeds from Prairie Crossing farmers. With these seeds, groups have been able to create flourishing, successful gardens and provide food to the vulnerable populations they serve.
 
The Liberty Prairie Foundation has partnered with organizations throughout Lake County to make this program a success. One of our partners, GreenTown Waukeganstrives to provide low-income families with freshly grown vegetables. The organization plants the donated organic seedlings in their raised beds and produce approximately one ton of fresh vegetables annually, which are distributed to local food pantries. GreenTown Waukegan is also an advocate for urban farming and supports community garden initiatives and individual pioneering garden projects with their own organic seedlings.
 
This program is multifaceted in its impact. Organizations like GreenTown receive seeds and seedlings and then go out to introduce others to food production, make healthy food accessible, and instill a sense of empowerment in all who are involved. The farms that contribute to the program also have the opportunity to contribute to the larger sustainable food movement. The number of gardens benefiting from these seedlings continues to grow as does their impact on the communities they serve.
 
If you know of an organization or gardening group that would benefit from this program, please email Emily@libertyprairie.org

Intern Spotlight
Farm Corps crew leaders, from left: Karina Caballero, Natalie Sturm, and Miyana Chiodi 
       
  
The Liberty Prairie Foundation hires a number of interns who will be introduced in the Intern Spotlight over the summer. 
 
This month we introduce our three Prairie Farm Corps crew leaders. All three came back to the Farm Corps this season in a leadership position after participating as crew members in last year's program: 

Natalie Sturm is an incoming freshman at Montana State University, where she will be studying Agroecology. She is passionate about sustainable food and farming, specifically sustainable livestock production, holistic management, and restoration agriculture.
 
Natalie believes the PFC "is such a wonderful experience to connect with people, teach them about the sustainable food movement, and grow food that heals land and people." She is also involved with Lake County 4-H, where she holds leadership positions and manages a neighborhood garden. 
           
Karina Caballero is an incoming sophomore at College of Lake County where she is pursuing a degree in environmental law. She sees her new leadership position as, "a way where I am able to grow as a leader within my community. At the same time I also have the opportunity to inspire high school students with my own interests in sustainable agriculture, environmental issues, and farm-to-table cooking."
 
She is bilingual in Spanish and English and volunteers at the Lake County Health Department Waukegan clinic where she serves an interpreter for patients. She is currently working to become a certified interpreter.
 
Miyana Chiodi is currently a senior at Grayslake Central High School. She wanted to return to PFC to share her experiences with a new student group. She is excited about the Farm Corps' involvement with the WIC and Beacon Place programs because "I believe that giving back to the community and teaching others about healthy living is necessary for solving a lot of the world's problems...I am so grateful to be working with so many wonderful people this year and I am excited to see what this year has in store for us all." Miya also enjoys her job at Chipotle and feels that the company shares her values on sustainability. 
 
The Liberty Prairie Foundation is excited to welcome these three to the team and looks forward to sharing their accomplishments this summer.

Fall Festival at the Prairie Crossing Farm
  

                                                
As summer winds up and the harvest abounds, save the date for the final on-farm event of the season. The Liberty Prairie Foundation and Prairie Crossing farmers invite you to our Fall Festival from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24.
 
Help us celebrate another successful year producing sustainable local food, supporting the social entrepreneurship of the independent farm businesses at the farm, providing environmental education, and more at the Prairie Crossing Farm.
 
This year's festival is focused on education, with free workshops for adults covering everything from garlic growing to native plants, and great interactive educational booths for both kids and adults. The booths will include threshing and winnowing wheat that was grown by our very own Prairie Farm Corps and pressing your own cider, along with interesting and timely topics.
 
This year's festival will also feature live music, free hayrides with a farm tour, sweet treats, and a great line-up of vendors, including Farm Business Development Center participants and alumni. Don't miss this great opportunity to learn at the farm!
 
Stay tuned for a full workshop, booth, and vendor list in upcoming publications. Click here for more information about our seasonal events, and we hope to see YOU at the Fall Festival!
In the News        

The Prairie Crossing Farm and Farm Business Development Center were included in two recent media publications:
 
-Why farmland may become a more popular neighborhood amenity than a golf course - MarketWatch: mentions Prairie Crossing and quotes Erin Cummisford of Duck Tail Farm, a participant of the Farm Business Development Center.
 
-Home grown: Moving next to the farm - CBS: feature on CBS Sunday Morning on agrihoods that mentions the Prairie Crossing conservation community and the Prairie Crossing 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