Visit 12 farms on McHenry County Farm Stroll Sept. 29
Come out for a day in the country on Sunday, Sept. 29, at the fifth annual McHenry County Farm Stroll. Twelve farms will be part of this educational family-friendly tour, which includes fruit and vegetable growers, dairy and beef cattle farms, perennial gardens, and farms with pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, horses and honey bees.
Because this is a free, self-guided tour, there is no beginning or end of the tour -- just choose the farms of interest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The Farm Stroll is organized by McHenry County Farm Bureau and the University of Illinois Extension McHenry County Master Gardeners. Extension Master Gardeners and 4-H volunteers will be on-site to assist farm families in accommodating guests and conducting demonstrations and tours.
Although there is no charge for the Farm Stroll, most farms will be selling food, produce or other farm-related products. Bring cash to purchase items directly from the farmers.
Because these are working farms, guests are asked to dress appropriately and children must be supervised at all times. No pets are allowed.
Visit McHenry County Farm Bureau for more information at mchenrycfb.org or www.facebook.com/McHenryCountyFarmBureau, or call (815) 338-1520. Information is also available from the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners at web.extension.illinois.edu/lm or www.facebook.com/McHenryCoMasterGardener. Visit www.facebook.com/northernilfarmstroll for other counties' farm stroll events.
McHenry County Farm Stroll participants include:
• Highfield Farm Creamery, new in 2019, Terry and Denise Woods, W4848 State Line Road, Walworth, Wisconsin. The creamery hand makes special cheese from the milk of small, grass-fed Jersey herd -- farmstead, artisan, truly local. www.facebook.com/HighfieldFarmCreamery/
• Terra Vitae Farms, new in 2019, Kevin Kelley, 2719 Greenwood Road, Woodstock. Kevin and Katie Kelley have partnered with Mike and Colleen Biver to develop a regenerative farm focused on producing the healthiest meat conceivably possible. Their approach focuses on biodiversity at every level: microbiome, flora and fauna. Come experience their ever-evolving ecosystem and the diverse heritage breeds. Terravitaefarms.com; (815) 345-4047.
• Hidden Marsh Farm, new in 2019, Joanne Wiedemann-Wolf, 10200 Button Road, Hebron. The sustainable farm raises pastured, organic, heritage Hereford hogs. The farm also has horses, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and peacocks; livestock guard dogs protect everyone. Wiedemann-Wolf sells finished hogs and chicken eggs. In addition to the horses, pigs and poultry, they will have these addition representatives at their location: Windfree Solar talking about their solar project and installation and The Land Conservancy of McHenry County talking about their 20-acre conservation easement. Visit www.facebook.com/HiddenMarshFarm/ or (847) 209-3046.
• Hillbunker Farms, new in 2019, Damon and Michele Hill, 4915 Dean St., Woodstock. It is a small family-owned/operated farm committed to natural food and healthy products. Check out the upcycled farmstand for unique, handmade items from the farm and local Woodstock artisans. www.facebook.com/HillBunkerFarms/
• Midwest Organics Recycling LLC, Andy Klink, 29353 N. Darrell Road, McHenry. The composting operation was established to explore the environmental benefits of manure composting while looking for a solution to sustain the viability of one of the last dairy operations in an urban area. Bags of compost will be sold. Compostmatters.com; (312) 550-2464.
• Cody's Farm and Orchard, Cody and Valerie Purdom, 19502 River Road, Marengo. They provide high-quality, fresh homegrown fruit. www.codysfarm.com.
• Knotty Pine Farm, Stacey Splendoria, 6011 Miller Road, Wonder Lake. Stacey Splendoria and family own and operate Knotty Pine, an equine center offering a variety of animal-related activities. They offer English- and Western-riding lessons, horse camps, pony rides, Scout outings and a party facility. Cash only, please. Knottypinefarm.webs.com; (815) 648-1459.
• Main Stay Therapeutic Farm, Loriann Dowell, 6919 Keystone Road, Richmond. It provides therapeutic riding, equine and animal-assisted therapeutic activities for individuals with physical, developmental, emotional and social disabilities. Activities at the farm enrich lives in a caring, safe and challenging environment that enables individuals to reach their full potential. Mainstayfarm.org; (815) 653-9374. Toilets available.
• Dykstra's Farm, Laura and Jeff Dykstra, 2917 Greenwood Road, Woodstock. Laura and Jeff Dykstra's farm is on two acres, and every inch is used. Since 2010, they have raised heritage breeds of pigs, sheep, chickens, and English shepherds. They also have a vegetable garden and 100-plus-year-old buildings. The Dykstras will be taking orders for breeding stock and freezer meat. Visit their Facebook page Dykstra's Farm; call or text (224) 848-0270.
• Patyk's Farm Market and Greenhouse, John and Myra Patyk, 8519 Route 173, Richmond. The farm grows vegetables and fruits they sell at their farm stand, two farmers markets and to CSA customers. The Patyks raise goats, cows, turkeys, pigs and hundreds of chickens. They sell homegrown produce, locally grown fruits, handmade soap, meat, eggs, farm animals and annual and perennial flowers. Patykfarms.com; (815) 648-4065.
• Von Bergen's Country Market, Mel and Bobette Von Bergen, 9805 Route 173, Hebron. The farm encompasses 1,200 acres; 150 acres are devoted to the fresh vegetables sold at the market. The Von Bergens grow sweet corn, tomatoes, muskmelon, peppers and more; in autumn they feature squash and you-pick/we-pick pumpkins. They also sell locally grown fruit, pies, breads, jams, jellies and pickles. Vonbergens.com; (815) 648-2332. Toilets available.
• Hephzibah Farms Inc., Larry and Anita Miller, 13202 Hebron Road, Hebron.