Spring has finally arrived here on the farm, and we are so grateful! We have been working hard to get the fields back in shape, readying our beds for planting, and moving greenhouses to expose veggies we’ve already planted like kale, kohlrabi, boc choi, and radishes. It’s been such a long, harsh winter that we have our work cut out for our new beekeeper, Mark, getting the beehives back in shape and ready for new bees, but we are very excited to have his expertise on our team, and look forward to our healthy honeybees. The warm weather is coming just in time for our annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19th. Free to the public, we will have the Farm Store open as well as our Farmers’ Market vendors on site from 9am-1pm, so get here early to shop all the great products. We will have an area for children 5 and under, and a separate area for children 6 and up for the egg hunt. There will also be baby chicks on display near our donkey, Christaphine, and goat, Dave in the goat pen behind the store for the kids!We are excited to start our wedding and event season for 2014! We have our first Farm Dinner of the season coming up on Thursday, May 15th – our Mother’s Day Dinner, followed in June by our yearly PIg Roast. We also have our weekly Wood Fired Pizza Nights on Wednesday evenings this year from 5-8pm, so mark your calendars to make it out to the farm for our dinners! We also get the joy of hosting several wedding celebrations on the farm every season, May through October, and this year we have more than ever! When the founders of Heritage Prairie Farm started hosting weddings on the farm in 2008, they wanted it to be a place of warmth and joy for the couple and their guests; to be surrounded and nurtured by mother nature as they start their new life together.
We will also have our extended store hours starting for our Farm Store on May 3rd on. The store will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays 9am-6pm. We’ll be stocked with fresh veggies from the fields, free-range eggs, fruits as they become available, local goods, our raw and infused honey, and other local products. The direct number to the Farm Store is 630.443.8253 if you want to call ahead to see what is in stock! And, as always, the best way to keep up on the goings on around the farm is to check back to the webpage often!
We can’t wait to see you at the farm this season! – HPF team
Last month Mary was out at the farm teaching a bunch of us (non-celiac sufferers) on how-to bake using gluten-free baking mix. We made an AMAZING cinnamon apple cake that included lots of brown sugar, chocolate chips and/or raisins! We each left with a cake, and tons of baking mix to make pancakes or waffles at home, and the basic mix for making biscuits or to build our pancake mix again. Here we all our with our baked cakes, trying to resist the urge to dig in!Mary will be out again twice this March for one baking and one cooking class! The first will be just in time for St. Patty’s day, an Irish Soda Bread baking class, on Monday, March 10th in the farmhouse from 6:30-8:30pm. The second class will focus on cooking with spices of all kinds that will take place on Wednesday, March 26th 6:30-8:30pm. All the information and tickets can be purchased on Mary’s website at maryswholesomeliving.com. Find a quick link to her calendar here.
We love watching this video from Liz & Skyler’s wedding this past summer on the farm, produced by Isle Media (brought in all the way from Hawai’i!). What a magnificent job they did, too. Such a sweet wedding with pinwheel accents throughout the farm and handmade chalkboard signs by the Bride & Groom.
We would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season! It is officially upon us – the shopping frenzy has commenced, the cold weather has blown in, and travel plans are being made – but we hope you can take moments for yourself and enjoy the wondrous spirit that this time of year brings. Bring out that inner child and bring back the wonder of the season, even if we don’t believe in Santa Claus anymore, envelope yourself in that mysterious magic of Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever celebration this
season brings you.
We hope you take time out of your Saturday mornings this month to come see us at the farm for our Farmers’ Market and the Farm Store, both open Saturdays 9am-1pm. The Farm Store will have plenty of one-of-a-kind gifts for friends and family, like our raw or raw infused honey in several sized and flavors, coming right from the super healthy beehives on our farm (great for seasonal allergy suffers, tea drinkers, or honey enthusiasts!). We also have a wide array of books on topics from gardening to beekeeping, coffee beans, and of course, farming, perfect for the book lover. We have seed packets, even a seeds targeting the wine drinker – grow plants and herbs that will enhance recipes to go with certain red and white wines! Even hand thrown pottery and natural lip balms and bee products for stocking stuffer ideas.
Our Farmers’ Market vendors offer the best and freshest local meats, eggs, bakery-fresh breads, organic goods and holistic services in the area. We welcome to the farm each week: Burgin Farms, Monika’s Organic Bakery, NYR Organics, Vital Chiropractic, doTERRA Essential Oils, and Mindful Plus Meditation. Please take some time for yourself during this bustling time of the year, and enjoy some country time with the family and pick up some wholesome goods, products, and a warm honey latté
We look forward to having you on the farm. Happy holiday season from the Heritage Prairie Farm family to your family.
UPDATE on our Farm Store hours:
During the winter months, our Farm Store will only be open on Saturdays during our Indoor Farmers’ Market from 9am-1pm. We will have several vendors in our heated greenhouse and barn offering their homemade and sustainable products. Please make note of the change in hours and mark your calendars to join us on Saturdays!
Heritage Prairie Farm was honored to be a part of the Daily Herald’s Cook of the Week Challenge this year! We had not one, but TWO, ingredients used throughout the challenges, and one of our team members was a guest judge for Round #2, when our Bron’s Bees Raw Honey was an ingredient. Our MicroGreens were used as a secret ingredient in the Challenge Finalé, revealed that night to the final 4 contestants, to be incorporated into their final dish! We had so much fun attending the finalé, spreading the word about Heritage Prairie Farm to new customers, selling our raw & infused Bron’s Bees Honey and sampling our MicroGreens to event attendees. The finalé had the electricity of a live “Top Chef” type event, as the four finalists had one hour to cook and plate their final dish after the rules and ingredients were read off, while professional chefs did cooking demonstrations on the main stage. Guests walked around the perimeter of the room to peruse the sponsors and taste their delicious samplings, as they watched the demos and updates on the finalists from the big screens. The event drew over 500 attendees, which gave the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg a great buzz!
Fall CSA will begin pick up on Saturday November 2nd and continue every Saturday through November as long as mother nature allows! Pick up will take place at the Farm Store on property. Their phone # in 630-443-8253 if you have any questions. A complimentary Heritage Prairie Farm fabric bag will be provided at your first pick up for your veggies – remember to bring it every week to reduce waste! We look forward to seeing you.
It seems fitting that I’m writing the last newsletter of the summer CSA while it is snowing outside my office window. Not only is it snowing, but it has been for the past 3 hours. This is no first snow of the year that lasts for 30 seconds, this snow is legit. It is definitely time to switch gears and get this farm cleaned up before this stuff starts sticking!
Here at Heritage Prairie Farm, we try to conduct all of our business according to our Core Values. You can read all about them on our website at http://www.heritageprairiefarm.com/core_values.htm . Our first and foremost core value is “Have An Attitude of Gratitude”. I’m sure I’ve wrote about this before. Last winter the General Manager and I spent a great deal of time writing and researching what our Core Values should be. I think the “gratitude attitude” would probably be both of our favorites. I’m not going to lie, I’m not perfect at it. I have frustrating days at work just like everyone does. But one thing that always seems to ground me is our CSA. Our CSA is a direct-connect to the surrounding community. It provides our authenticity and integrity. It is the essences of what I believe about food.
A lot has changed since I started the CSA back in 2010. Our business has grown and matured (and I would like to think I have too). Our products are available in stores across the Midwest. Our events are enjoyed by thousands of guests each summer. Our pizza nights are wildly successful and incredibly well reviewed by our community, and I have the pleasure of overseeing all of this. I literally get sit down with my team, plan menus and craft growing plans to create great meals eight months in advance. For a cook turned farmer, it’s got to be one of the best jobs out there. I am very grateful for it. But when I really think about all the great things we do, the one that still resonates with me the most is our humble CSA.
Providing high quality, organic food that is consciously and lovingly grown for families and individuals in my community is one of the greatest privileges I have ever had. I’m so proud of all of you for living your life this way. For eating what you believe in. It’s a true honor to know that we provide you and your families with great nutritious food that I know you care about and respect. I can’t say enough about it. If only the rest of the world had an idea of how great this is. I’m truly grateful for this opportunity.
So I will close this year’s CSA newsletter the same way I did back in my first CSA season of 2010.
I thank you with a heart FULL of gratitude! See you next season!
-Farmer Nate and the Heritage Prairie Farm Family
P.S. We will still have limited availability of produce and a bunch of our very first batch of Pasture Raised Pork – raised here at the farm – for sale at our farm market that will be open each Saturday starting in November! Don’t be a stranger this winter!
Veggie Forecast ( this week may vary a lot due to the cold temps,
this is what we’re shooting for)
Roasted Chicken with Celery Root and Onion
1 whole chicken, patted dry
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges, root end left intact
1 medium celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch wedges
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
4 tsp. lemon zest
4 tsp. lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Season chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Tuck wing tips underneath chicken and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast 20 minutes.