College of Lake County Farm Market reopens
From rainbow chard to summer squash to zucchini and much more, the College of Lake County's eclectic farm market is back at the Grayslake campus Thursdays from 3-5:30 p.m. Offering organically managed, farm-grown produce, herbs, locally produced honey, teas and a variety of cut flowers, the farm market runs every week on the front lawn of the Horticulture Building, located off Lancer Lane between Brae Loch Road (South) and Washington Road (North).
Matt DeRose, local food coordinator at the College of Lake County, planted the garden in early June in the campus greenhouse and fields, a month late due to the COVID-19 shutdown. The garden is maintained with the additional help of new intern and CLC Horticulture student Amma Maya, along with facilities engineer and "superstar" beekeeper Eddie Popelka.
"The big difference this year is the void left by not having students and volunteers in the garden," said DeRose. "We have a lot of people pass through and do some good, tough work for us over the year. The beginner's mind they bring along grants the garden its vigor. We are missing that. But we are keeping the seat warm for when that person stuck sitting in their house right now can register for a class, come over here and stick a seed in the soil for the first time."
With the cancellation in May of CLC's annual and very popular plant sale (also due to the restrictions of COVID-19), CLC donated thousands of vegetable, herb and flower transplants to local Lake County non-profits, including the Round Lake Area Garden Club, Beacon Place, the Roberti Community House and the Fremont Township Community Garden. These plants were managed during the shutdown by greenhouse staff Deb Figura and Andy Leuder, along with horticultural department chair, Rory Klick.
For safety, masks are required for entry, with social distance being maintained via a two-person limit, six feet part, under the market tent. Proceeds from the market support student internships in the College's horticultural career programs, including sustainable agriculture.
The CLC farm market runs through mid-October. Overflow produce is donated to local food pantries. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted. For more information and to subscribe to the weekly farm market newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their Facebook page (@clchorticulture) or on Instagram (@clccampusfarm). For details on the college's horticultural programs, visit clcillinois.edu/programs/hrt.