Where to buy locally sourced food in Lake County? Relaunched website shows the way
Lake County residents have a new online tool to seek out locally grown produce, farm-to-table businesses and more after the relaunch of the interactive Grow Lake County website.
The website maps 87 environmentally conscious organizations and businesses, from Adam's Acres Organics, a Grayslake-area farm specializing in organic greens and vegetables, to Zin Gastro Pub, a Lake Zurich restaurant that locally sources 80% of its ingredients.
The relaunched map, which can be found at growlakecounty.org, coincides with the beginning of the spring growing season and farmers markets, a time when people are most interested and able to access local foods, according to the Lake County Community Foundation. The foundation funds the Grow Lake County website with two partner organizations.
The map will lead residents to 18 farmers markets, 15 farm stands, 11 community gardens and two Community Supported Agriculture Programs, or CSAs, where residents can subscribe to receive regular produce from local farms.
"Lake County has a unique and robust local food system, including incredible family farms," said Maggie Morales, executive director of the Lake County Community Foundation. "Whether residents are looking to buy local food, grow their own, or get involved with local food groups and organizations, we see Grow Lake County as a one-stop-shop resource."
The foundation started Grow Lake County in 2018 with partners the Liberty Prairie Foundation and the Northern Illinois Food Bank.
The website also provides information on how residents can plan their own garden or get involved in the county's community of local food producers.
Outside the website, the foundation says it has raised more than $23 million since 2003 from philanthropists and donors with the goal of improving the lives of the most vulnerable county residents.
In 2017, the foundation launched a three-year investment to increase access to affordable, nutritious food in Lake County. The initiative resulted in the distribution of nearly 8 million pounds of food.
Emily Weber, the foundation's director of programs and community investment, said the group is looking for more large investment opportunities to address other systemic issues in the county.