Winter Farm Dinner Series – November Wine Dinner

Farm Dinners at Heritage Prairie Farm have been a Chicago tradition since 2007.  Our Farm Kitchen delights in tailoring menus to highlight the best of the season’s fresh flavors.  Our most recent dinner, the November Wine Dinner, only strengthened this standard.  Chef Nick took great care to craft a menu that not only showed off the bounty of autumn, but also paired excellently with a number of great varietal wines our team selected.

The evening started with over fifty farm friends gathering together on a cool November night in our heated greenhouse.  Transformed for events and our farmers’ market during the winter months, the greenhouse offers the area’s most unique atmosphere.

Chef Nick and the Farm Kitchen offered guests multiple options to start off the night with including -

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup Shooter ~ Walnut Crème
Pumpkin Butter Crostinis ~ Drunken Cranberries
Roasted Chestnuts ~ Brown Butter, Cinnamon

As we moved to dinner, guests were greeted by one of our famous Bron’s Bee Company Honey Favors -

We love it when groups of friends or family come together and celebrate at our Farm Dinners.

Chef Nick wanted to showcase the “over-flowing” bounty of the fall harvest!

Dinners are always welcoming to farm friends who choose a plant strong diet,

with vegetarian options such as this Grilled Radicchio

My personal favorite of the night -

Walnut Oil Roasted Brussel Sprouts with
Roasted Parsnip Puree, Salted Walnuts

Always a treat to see guests becoming fast friends when breaking bread together -

But we can’t forget the -

Brown Ale Braised Short Ribs resting on
Stone Ground Grits, Caramelized Cipollini Onions, Potato Thyme Aioli

Throughout the meal, Chef Nick was kind enough to share with everyone some of his choices and a little history of each course.  We were also able to drag him out at the end to offer up a much deserved round of applause!

Finishing the night with an -

Apple Mousse dressed with a
Cinnamon Cranberry Biscotti

Glad to see everyone enjoying themselves!

Heritage Prairie Farm also hosts a wide range of private and corporate events and would be happy to help you plan your holiday party on the farm! Contact us today!

Wedding Photos

Every year Heritage Prairie Farm is blessed to share in the joy of a multitude of wedding celebrations – each couple becoming a life long member of our farm family.  Here we are able to highlight just a few of them, but they have all become part of the story of the farm…

Robin & Kevin – http://www.esenamphotography.com/

Michelle & Joe – http://iklikphoto.com

Brooke & Tony – http://www.kinawicks.com

Kira & Johnhttp://www.willowlanephotography.com/

Mel & Dom – http://www.coupleofdudes.com

Shelly & Donny – http://www.ellagraphstudios.com/

Stephanie & Luke – http://blog.melissahayes.net/search/label/weddings

Jillian & Chris – http://thebeautifulvoyage.com/

 

 

 

 

 

What a nice day to visit the farm, eh?

This past Wednesday we had the pleasure of hosting a tour group of over 50 farmers from Canada.  The group traveled throughout the Mid-west learning from fellow farmers.  It was a great to be able to meet so many other small farmers who work directly with the communities in their area, providing fresh, delicious, and local food.

Nate welcoming fellow farmers visiting from Canada

 

Nate shared some of the history of the farm

 

They were very interested in our weddings and private events.

Nate was happy to share about 4-Season Farming

Canadians love our honey too!

The group thanked Nate with a Canadian Cookbook!

And in true Canada style - one of their new favorite brews!

 

These are just a few of the farmers that visited the farm:

www.ontariofarmfresh.com

Valleyview Little Animal Farm

Forsythe Family Farm

Janssens Farm Market

Peach Country Farm Market

www.BlueBerryRanch.ca

www.SpringRidgeFarm.com

www.MartinsApples.com

www.MurphysFarmstead.com

www.AppleLandStation.com

Brantwood Farm

www.HomeSteadOrchards.com

Le Ferme Quinn

www.SaundersFarm.com

Berry Hill Fruit Farm

White Feather Farms

www.SmithsApples.com

www.StanleysFarm.com

www.Strom.ca

Willis Family Fruit Farm

Thank you all!

Tips for cooking with honey.

There are no hard and fast rules to substituting honey and sugar in recipes, but these guidelines should help you quickly decide how much honey to use in a particular recipe instead of table or cane sugar.

In general, substituting honey for sugar seems to be a matter of taste. Some people use it cup for cup,  while others prefer 1/2 cup – 2/3 cup of honey per cup of white sugar. Reduce the amount of other liquids by 1/4 cup for every cup of honey used. Lower the oven temp about 25 degrees F to prevent over-browning and add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of honey to your batter. Honey is naturally acidic and the baking soda tempers it.

Diabetics should keep in mind that honey does not reduce the calorie or carbohydrate content of the sugar recipe, and thus is not an acceptable sugar replacement for people on diabetic diets.

Substituting honey for other sweeteners

  • Molasses: To substitute molasses for honey, use exactly the same amount. The resulting flavor and color will be a bit darker and heavier. The reverse is true if you swap honey for molasses.
  • Corn Syrup: To substitute honey for corn syrup, use exactly the same amount, but reduce any other sweet ingredients, since honey has more sweetening power than corn syrup.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: Follow the equation for plain table sugar under General Recommendations, but also substitute a little molasses for a portion of the honey to retain the expected flavor. Brown sugar is just white sugar where the molasses have not been completely removed by refining. Brown sugar, on the other hand, attracts moisture, so it will keep baked goods from drying out so quickly. Also, brown sugar has some molasses in it, which adds moisture, and certainly changes the taste.

http://www.michiganbeekeepers.com

Here is a great recipe for a seasonal Pumpkin Honey Bread.

New Winter Farmers’ Market Vendors!

Our indoor Winter Farmers’ Market season is upon us and we are happy to announce a number of great new local vendors.  The Winter Market is held every Saturday from 9-1 and features many local vendors and artisans, and also includes Bron’s Bees Raw Honey, Heritage Prairie Farm produce and our Farm Kitchen’s amazing fresh made fare.  Join us!

Every Saturday:
The Whimsical Stitch – Handmade aprons, hats, hobo bags, & tee pee’s
Juice Plus- Whole food based nutrition www.marthasjuiceplus.com
Schulte Family Chiropractic & Wellness Cetner – Nutrition counseling  http://www.schultechiropractic.com/
Fresh Ground Roast – Fair Trade whole bean coffee www.freshgroundroast.com

Select Saturdays:
Steve E’s Fudge Shoppe – Liquor Infused Gourmet Fudge (Nov. 10th & 24th, Dec. 1st &15th)
K’Tizo Tea – Premium loose leaf tea & teaware  www.ktizotea.com (Nov. 17th & Dec. 1st)

Many of our outdoor market vendors are also participating this winter -

Paragon Flowers www.paragonflowers.com
Burgin Farm Assorted meats and eggs
Curds & Whey Artisan Cheese Artisan and local cheeses www.curdsandwheycheesecompany.com

Vassi Goods – European style organic & natural and “gluten free” foods
Organo Gold
Organic coffee and tea products, plus more! ogkewlbeans.organogold.com
Bema and Pa’s Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, & Sea Salts www.bemaandpas.com
NYR Organics us.nyrorganic.com/shop/jcoop
Vital Chiropractics www.vitalchiropractic.com

Life Force International www.mylifeforce.net/mikeadams

Reflections of a farm chef

The night sky and cool October air greet me as I walk from the barn back to my kitchen. It is shortly after dinner service for the second to last wedding of the season; I’m knocking off for the night but by the sounds of merriment coming from the tent I can tell the reception is in full swing. I come across the bride chatting with some friends, and congratulate her. We hug and I wish her and her new husband all the best; they’re ecstatic and I am honored to have been a part of their union.

 I pack up my things and head to my car; reflecting not only on the day’s work as I do after every event, but also on the season as a whole. Wedding season is almost done, and I remember all the wonderful couples and farm dinner guests, I have met this year. Witnessing their creativity, passion, and love has made all of our hard work worth it.  It amazes me to see just how many people share my passion for good food, good company, and good times.

We have had all of those in abundance this past season, and no matter what your reason for visiting us it has been my pleasure to share in them with you. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you; I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be a part of so many wonderful experiences. We have plenty more to come, and I’m looking forward to seeing you all out on the farm!

Sincerely,
Chef Nick

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact : Daryn Pobanz
630.443.5989
daryn@heritageprairiefarm.com

10/22/2012

Area’s largest winter farmers’ market starts indoors November 3rd

Saturday market provides community with year round access to local food

Elburn, IL. – Starting November 3rd and continuing all winter long, Heritage Prairie Farm brings the farmers’ market to the farm from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM every Saturday.  This winter the market, located just west of Geneva and St. Charles, is expanding to include two indoor heated spaces to make room for over a dozen local vendors.  A fun, festive environment with fresh baked goods make the farmers’ market a weekly destination for many local residents.

The market features a wide range of products including vegetables grown on the farm, local eggs and dairy, artisan cheeses and meats, along with many hand made items sold by those who produce them.

“What many people don’t realize is that not only can we grow and harvest vegetables throughout winter, the winter harvest includes the highest quality vegetables available in our region,” said Nate Sumner Farm Manager. “Fall and winter produce has more nutrients and better flavor than the same crop grown in the summer.”

Heritage Prairie Farm is a leader in the local food community and has served the Chicagoland area for over 5 years.  Their vegetables, grown using organic principles, are supplied to many of the area’s top restaurants as well as their own farm-to-table events and weddings.  www.heritageprairiefarm.com

Vendors intereseted in participating in the market can contact Katie, the farm store manager, at 630.443.8253 or katie@heritageprairiefarm.com.

A Story of Two Farms & Whole Foods Market

Guest Blog Submission~Heritage Prairie Farm

by Bonnie T. Summers, Concierge

Whole Foods Market Naperville

May 2012

 

I keep a large wooden tray in view in my workspace at Whole Foods Market Naperville. The tray is rough and sturdy, darkened with years of use on a farm where it held grapes becoming raisins in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Arm-length, weighty, lush bunches were spread across rows of trays like this between vines in the dry, 100 degree heat of late summer. The same process is still used, grapes now spread on lengths of paper instead of trays.

David Mas Masumoto writes about growing organic peaches and raisins in that valley. Through him I revisit the places where I grew up just miles from Masumoto Family Farm. And I renew my appreciation for the treasure Bron, Bob and the staff have shaped at Heritage Prairie Farm. Here on the edge of urban sprawl, I can stand on another variety of plowed earth, taste comb honey, see the sweat and satisfaction on the faces of their crew, and ask questions.

These very different farms–both local vendors for Whole Foods Market–are similar in artistry, inventiveness and mission. To succeed, farmers must work in enough harmony with a fluctuating network of seeds, weeds, creatures, weather, laborers, policies, tools and tractors, history, markets, soil and their own intuition. This choreography continues daily on farms around the U.S. and the world daily. Fortunately for us, farmers like Bron and Masumoto are as articulate about their work—and as creative in drawing people, organizations and ideas together—as they are with their farming. Whether Bron is speaking as a Good Food Festival panelist, crediting the chefs who arrange food on platters at farm dinners, or explaining microgreens to kids, her heart for Heritage Prairie Farm and for sustainable food and community is evident, and echoed by each of the staff.

When I began to work with potential local producers, one of the first I met was Bron.She introduced Heritage Prairie Farm to us through exquisite raw and infused honey. Bron and Joel, then Naperville’s Store Team Leader, immediately synced into a creative buzz about labels, recipes, and steps to becoming an effective Whole Foods Market vendor. Our current Store Team Leader Steve continues that support for Heritage Prairie Farm and local producers. Bron and Deb, our Marketing Specialist, have expanded the reach of both our store and the farm through amazing partnerships.

Heritage Prairie Farm’s first Red, White and Bluegrass Festival on June 9th benefits the Farmer Veteran Coalition—another mutual, innovative partner. We’re proud to be a cosponsor of this event. Soon after, they’ll host a retreat with our Health Starts Here partner, Engine 2. Imagine what will sprout up next!

Many dreams and hands are joined behind signs that say “heirloom,” “seasonal,” “organic,” or “Buy Local”. Thanks, Heritage Prairie Farm—and all farmers, especially small artisan farmers—for helping us remember our common ground.

The raisin drying tray that sits in Bonnie's office.

2012 Garfield Farm Museum Awards

“Garfield Farm Museum’s three themes of history, farming and the environment are annually celebrated by recognizing groups or individuals that share such common interests by their actions and deeds. For 24 years, these awards are to pay tribute and draw attention to the awardees and their impact on the community, region or nation.

Heritage Prairie Farm, within sight of Garfield Farm Museum on Brundige Road and Route 38, founded by Bronwyn Weaver and Robert Archibald, has demonstrated a successful model of bringing the consumer in touch with the source of their food. At the same time they have provided a market for other local food producers to get their bounty to a public that seeks more knowledge about their food. Garfield Farm Museum is pleased to give the Heritage Prairie Farm an agricultural preservation award for its work.”

Garfield Farm Press Release

Daily Herald Article

 

 

 

Honey Bear went down to Georgia

Honey Bear went down to Georgia,

he was looking for some bees.

In a need for speed,

cos’ he had a queen to feed.

___________________________________________________________

A queen bee in her royal apartment.

10,000+ bees ready for the new hive

 

500,000 bees direct from Georgia

Farm friends enjoying the view

 

Farmer Nate ready to keep some bees

____________________________________________________________________

Farmer Nate opened up a hive and he said: “I’ll start this show.”
And smoke flew from his fingertips as he fasten up his suit.
And as he sprayed the sugar across his bees they made a joyous buzz.
Then a band of ladies joined in and it sounded something like this.

Buzz buzz

When Farmer Nate finished, Tony said: “Well you’re pretty good ol’ son.
“But sit down in that chair, right there, and let me show you how its done.”

____________________________________________________________________

Getting ready to introduce the bees to the new hive

The bees move in quickly

Already started unpacking

Another beautiful day on the farm...

___________________________________________________________

Bees in the hive, run boys, run.

Honey  in the house of the risin’ sun.

Chicken in the bread pan, pickin’ out dough.

“Granny, does your bee sting?”

“No, child, no.”

 

The Charlie Daniels Band – Devil Went Down to Georgia