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.
Jen Miller joins Liberty Prairie Foundation team

Jen and Jeff Miller
The Liberty Prairie Foundation is excited to welcome Jen Miller to our staff as Director, Farm Entrepreneurship. Jen is responsible for the strategic planning and direction of the Foundation's Farm Business Development Center program, while providing mentoring to beginning farmers. Additionally, Jen will direct the marketing program of the Foundation.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Jen had a 15-year career in marketing, advertising and consulting. During this time, she and her husband, Jeff, also dreamed of someday starting their own farm business. In 2005, that dream became a reality as the Miller family started Dea Dia Organics, which was a part of the Foundation's Farm Business Development Center. In 2012, both Jen and Jeff and the Sheaffer family joined forces on Sandhill Family Farms, an innovative partnership of two farming families, farming in both Brodhead, Wis., and at the Prairie Crossing Farm in Grayslake. In late 2016, in an effort to simplify and to better meet their quality-of-life goals, the families made changes to the business structure. Starting in the spring of 2017, the Miller family will operate Prairie Wind Family Farm on the Prairie Crossing Farm in Grayslake, and the Sheaffers will operate Sandhill Family Farms in Brodhead. The two families will continue to collaborate on special projects.
Jen also plays an active role in the development of sustainable food systems, serving as a member of the Executive Leadership team of the Band of Farmers, a Chicagoland CSA coalition educating the region about local farmers and CSA programs. When she's not farming, Jen enjoys camping and hiking with her children, Owen (11) and Gavin (8), and long distance trail running.
Jen's wealth of expertise in farming, entrepreneurship and marketing is an invaluable addition to the Liberty Prairie Foundation and we are thrilled to have her join the team! 

WIC program impacts food insecure communities
Prairie Farm Corps students talk about their experience growing, harvesting and cooking vegetables at the Waukegan Health Department office.
Since 2013, the Liberty Prairie Foundation has been partnering with the Lake County Health Department to increase access to fresh food in underserved communities. Each year, fresh vegetables grown by the Prairie Farm Corps are distributed to recipients of Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers. The program initially started at the Round Lake Health Department site and expanded to Waukegan in the summer of 2015. The program has impacted hundreds of families over the past few years, providing thousands of pounds of organic vegetables, nutrition education, and samples of healthy recipes that families can easily replicate at home.
This summer, the program was led by the Foundation's Community Food System Interns and rotating Prairie Farm Corps participants, which together served as the Foundation's weekly outreach team. For eight weeks, the team presented during regularly scheduled nutrition sessions held by the Lake County Health Department at both the Round Lake and Waukegan sites when clients receive the FMNP vouchers. After the nutrition session, the women receiving the vouchers had the option to exchange them immediately for the organic vegetables grown by the Farm Corps, or find a local farmers market to redeem the vouchers. Providing the option to immediately exchange the vouchers for vegetables makes the redemption process easier, as families then do not have to find and travel to a farmers market that accepts the vouchers, which can be challenging.
Each week, interns provided women with valuable information about the importance of incorporating fresh vegetables into their family's diet, and demonstrated simple container gardening methods to show them how to grow their own food at home. The team provided women with seedlings from the Foundation's Seedling Donation Program to help them get their container gardens started. Women also had a chance to hear straight from the farmers themselves as Farm Corps students introduced each vegetable and talked about their experience growing, harvesting and cooking the produce.
This collaboration between the Prairie Farm Corps and the Lake County Health Department benefits the larger under-served community in Lake County by improving access to fresh, healthy vegetables as well as nutrition education. This program also allows Farm Corps students to connect with and positively contribute to their local community.
More than 2 tons of food donated through Gleaning Program

With fall well underway, the Foundation has officially wrapped up gleaning this season and is thrilled with the significant impact that the program has had on food insecure communities in our region. Through this program, approximately 5,580 pounds of fresh, organic vegetables were distributed to local food pantries and community organizations serving vulnerable clients in Waukegan, Park City, Avon Township, and other communities.
This summer, over 100 volunteers harvested carrots, broccoli, green beans, beets, and more that were then delivered to our partner organizations. The Foundation would like to thank our dedicated volunteers and Sandhill Family Farms for allowing us to glean their fields weekly this season. This program would not be possible without their generosity and support.
Gleaning is a meaningful volunteer experience that makes a difference in the community and provides a behind the scenes view of organic agriculture. The program will begin again in June of 2017. If you are interested in gleaning next season, please email to be added to our contact list.

Dates set for Early Music Series at the Byron Colby Barn

Second City Musick
The Early Music Series at the Byron Colby Barn celebrates its 15th year of bringing professional musicians performing music from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods to Prairie Crossing. Admission is $20 for adults (cash or check only) at the door. To inspire early appreciation for the arts, children under 16 are admitted free. Audience members are welcome to bring a bottle of wine or other libation to share with friends.
The 2016 - 2017 Early Music Series includes the following performances:
  • Second City Musick - 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20
  • Echoing Air - 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18
  • Schola Antiqua - 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8
  • Weissduo- 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29
  • Vox 3 Collective - 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19
  • Chicago Recorder Quartet- 4 p.m. Sunday, March 19
Season tickets to all 6 performances are available for $90 per person. Purchasing a season ticket saves $30 off the regular admission - the equivalent of one and a half free performances. Season tickets will also be available at the door at the Nov. 20 performance. Click here for more information about the concert series or to purchase season tickets. We hope to see you at the concerts this winter!

Farm Corps wraps up farmers market season on Oct. 20

The Prairie Farm Corps team is finishing up the 2016 season at the Libertyville Farmers Market, held at Cook Park in downtown Libertyville between W. Church Street and Cook Avenue. The market is open every Thursday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Oct. 20 and the Prairie Farm Corps attends each week with an offering of fresh, organic produce. The farmers market is an integral part of the Prairie Farm Corps program in terms of fundraising and training opportunities.  
Throughout the summer, the Prairie Farm Corps high school participants each work one day at the farmers market, greeting customers, giving advice that they have learned in the kitchen and in the fields, and completing sales transactions. These experiences help the students hone their customer service skills, preparing them for a future in which high touch customer service will only become more valuable.  
The farmers market also brings in approximately 20% of the overall revenue needed to fund the Prairie Farm Corps programming. The Farm Corps is a youth development program at the Prairie Crossing Farm for diverse 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.
Radish, lettuce, leeks, and Hakurei turnips are just some of the delicious fall treats available as the season winds down. Be sure to stop by, purchase some local, organic vegetables, and help support the Prairie Farm Corps as we prepare for another great season of changing lives and our food system, one high school student at a time.

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