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 celebrates end of successful season

On August 2, Prairie Farm Corps participants and staff celebrated the completion of their 8th year at the Annual Prairie Farm Corps Celebration Dinner. The dinner is an opportunity for Prairie Farm Corps students, ages 15-18, to share the fruits of their labors with their families, not only by putting to use their cooking skills, but by sharing speeches and slides detailing in their own words various components of the program and its impact upon them.
David Krivoshik, of Lake Forest, shared about his personal garden, something each student received as a way to put into practice the lessons they learn in the farm fields on a scale replicable in their own yards. David shared a picture of the very first pepper he'd harvested, still quite small. He chuckled as he said, "we learned as much from our mistakes as from our failures...I should have waited until this was larger." As he detailed several of the lessons covered, from cover crops to weed identification he said, "The knowledge that I have gained and skills that I have developed, I know that I will carry with me for life."
Aarushi Shankar, of Lake Villa, described among many things her love of harvesting and sharing produce, recipes, samples and cooking demonstrations to those in need at Lake County Health Department 
Aarushi Shankar talks about her experience with the Farm Corps during the Celebration Dinner
sites. Howev
er, for her the most impactful part of the program was a deepened awareness of all that must go right for a seed to become a crop. "Previously," she explained, "when I would pass a field, I didn't realize the amount of work that goes into this, the need for timely rains, the need of mother nature for pollinations and making the crops grow - now when I see a field I look at it with awe and amazement."  
The evening's menu consisted of simple farm-to-table recipes that the students had been cooking as part of their cooking curriculum, utilizing produce from their fields. It included several kinds of pestos, homemade hummus brightly colored by the inclusion of beets, gazpacho, roasted vegetable quinoa soup, various salads with homemade dressings, and berry tarts featuring mulberries from the neighborhood. Click here for more information about the Prairie Farm Corps.
Connecting farmers and land

Thanks to food choices that you and many others are making, demand for local and organic food is growing. So why aren't more local sustainable farms popping up all around us in Lake County and beyond? Affordable access to the right kind of farmland in the right location is one of the key obstacles.
To address that challenge, the Liberty Prairie Foundation and Openlands have been working together on what we call the Land Access Pilot Project. This three-year initiative to test and develop land access strategies has been generously funded through the Food:Land:Opportunity-Localizing the Chicago Foodshed, a multi-year funding initiative of The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust. 

We're happy to say that in the course of our work so far we have been making progress. Several public landowners are beginning to make it a priority to make some of their thousands of acres of farmland available to local sustainable food farmers. We're testing models of farmland preservation and ways to help farmers and landowners find each other. We've even begun planning long-term programs to address land access challenges in a systematic way that build on what other regions, especially in the New England states, have been doing. And we're sharing what we've learned in classes and in resource-rich publications such as Breaking Ground: A Guide to Growing Land Access for Local Food Farming in Northeast Illinois. This guide, created by Openlands in partnership with the Foundation, provides valuable information and tools to help stakeholders navigate the complex issue of land access in our region.
If you would like to learn more about our work or have land you'd like to offer in some way to a local sustainable food farmer, please contact Nathan Aaberg at

Gleaning volunteer opportunities still available                 

Looking for a meaningful volunteer activity that makes a difference in your community? There's still time to come glean with the Liberty Prairie Foundation this season! 
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 regularly glean their fields. This program would not be possible without their generosity and support.
Throughout the summer, volunteers have helped us to glean more than 1,400 pounds of food, which has been delivered to local food pantries and community groups that serve food insecure clients.
Gleaning events will be held from 1-5 p.m. at the Prairie Crossing Farm on the following Sundays for the remainder of the season: Aug. 21, Aug. 28, Sept. 11, Sept. 25 and Oct. 9. Click here for more information and email to RSVP for a specific date or to join the gleaning program email list. We look forward to seeing you on the Prairie Crossing Farm soon!

Fall Festival at the Prairie Crossing Farm set for Sept. 24

Fall is arriving before we know it, and this means cooler weather, hot cider, and of course, the final on-farm event of the season! The Liberty Prairie Foundation and Prairie Crossing farmers will be hosting the annual Fall Festival from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24. 
The beginning of fall marks the final days of harvest and another fruitful year of local, sustainable produce. Join us in celebrating the abundant farm season and the success of new farm businesses with wood-oven pizza provided by Grateful Bites, live-music, hayrides, and educational booths and workshops.
This year's festival will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to care for your garden, can produce for winter, how to plant garlic before winter strikes, and more. We will provide a series of five, 30-minute educational workshops on these topics throughout the day:
Native plants workshop, 11-11:30 a.m.: Nathan Aaberg, of the Liberty Prairie Foundation, will provide details on how to plan a more sustainable yard and how to heal soil and transform your vegetable garden with native plants.
Natural Beauty Products, 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m.: Allison Parker, of Radical Root Farm, will show participants how to create their own natural beauty products at home.
Preserve and Ferment Sour Kraut, 12-12:30 p.m.: Eric Carlberg, of the Liberty Prairie Foundation, will provide information about the health benefits of sour kraut and preservation techniques.  
Identification and Elimination of Common Garden Pests, 12:30-1 p.m.: Matt DeRose, of the College of Lake County, will provide useful garden tips with details on how to combat common garden pests.
Stay tuned for more details on music, booths, and children activities! Click here for more information about our seasonal events, and we hope to see you at the Fall Festival!
Intern Spotlight        

The Liberty Prairie Foundation hires a number of interns each summer, who we have been highlighting throughout the last few months. Our internships provide a variety of leadership development opportunities related to sustainable agriculture, and we're thrilled with the number of excellent candidates vying for these positions.
This month we introduce the Prairie Farm Corp's Farm-to-Table Kitchen Lead, Veronica Sek. Veronica has a background in youth development and public health with years of experience working with youth and on various food system initiatives in the Chicago metropolitan area. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2013 with a bachelors in Applied Psychology and earned her Masters in Public Health in 2015.
The Farm-To-Table program focuses on teaching Prairie Farm Corps participants how to prepare and use the fresh vegetables produced every day on the farm. As the Kitchen Lead, Veronica mentored a daily cooking crew of 3-5 youth throughout the summer--the Farm Corps program wrapped in early August. She accessed the best produce in the fields and developed a tasty and creative meal plan for the week.
Veronica is passionate about the food system and aims to educate and empower youth and adults to take control of their health and environment by cooking, gardening, supporting local food, and understanding that what they put into their body affects their mind, body, and spirit. When Veronica is not working with the Prairie Farm Corps she spends her time as certified yoga instructor and teaches classes in Libertyville and Grayslake. We were fortunate to have Veronica with us this summer and look forward to the future of the Farm-to-Table Kitchen program.

Prairie Farm Corps at the Libertyville Farmers Market

Don't forget to visit the Prairie Farm Corps at the Libertyville Farmers Market on Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stock up on fresh, certified organic vegetables while also supporting this impactful youth development program. The market is held weekly through Oct. 20 at Cook Park in downtown Libertyville between W. Church Street and Cook Avenue.
The Prairie Farm Corps stand is 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 youth students from central Lake County. This program integrates personal and professional development with farm work, and also provides participants with hands-on experience cooking fresh vegetables and incorporating healthy eating habits into their lives.
This season the Prairie Farm Corps is the only vegetable stand at the Libertyville market providing local, certified organic vegetables. In the coming weeks, the stand will feature beautiful zucchini, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, beets and much more!

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