New Farmers Looking for Land

Our FarmLink website is being used by ever more farmers looking for land who all have unique farm dreams and search criteria. We wanted to introduce you to a few farmers who have recently created profiles on our site. You can view their profiles on the Northeast Illinois FarmLink site or email Jim at jim@libertyprairie.org to get connected with a particular farmer.

 

Adam & Clarissa
Adam and Clarissa selling their certified organic produce at the Ravinia Farmers Market. Many of their offerings are unique, heirloom varieties. Their farming methods combine the beauty and function of nature as they keep meticulously weed-free beds using silage tarps and integrate cover crops and no-till practices to improve soil health.

Adam's Acre

Adam and Clarissa are in the middle of big year on and off the farm. They are beginning their fourth year as full-time vegetable farmers, have begun searching for a long-term farm property, and were just married this past April! Adam began Adam’s Acres through the Farm Business Development Center (FBDC) at the Liberty Prairie Foundation’s Prairie Crossing Farm in Grayslake. Now in their fourth year at the FBDC, they grow their certified organic vegetables and flowers on two acres, sell at two area farmer’s markets and to local restaurants, and just launched an eleven-member CSA.  

Adam and Clarissa want to continue to scale up their production and CSA and have a strong desire to raise a family on a farm. They’d ideally like to find farmland near their current Lake County markets with a landowner who would consider a five-year lease or even longer. They are also strongly considering the purchase of a property with a home on 10 or less acres in Lake, McHenry, or Kane County.

 

Jennifer Barrone
Jennifer and her youngest son joined by a chicken in their backyard farm in Grayslake.

Jennifer Barrone

Jennifer is a committed person.  She’s committed to her family which features four growing boys, spanning ages 2 to 14. She’s also committed to local food. She currently provides fresh eggs, honey, and produce to her community in Grayslake from her suburban backyard farm. And she’s committed to her dream to someday own a you-pick fruit farm. She’s so committed to this dream that she currently commutes 3-4 times a week between Grayslake and Woodstock to work at a berry and vegetable farm to gain valuable experience in farming and business. 

Her goal is to find land to lease near her home in Grayslake where she can scale up her egg layer enterprise, beekeeping, and vegetable/fruit production to meet the growing demand she sees in her area. She is also open to purchasing and would be interested in buying in McHenry County if the property included a home on a few acres that could work for their family long-term.

 

Alex & Russell
Alex and Russell selling their flour from local heirloom organic grains at a farmers market.

Alex and Russell

New to the regenerative agriculture scene, this entrepreneurial couple sees tremendous need for stone ground organic flour, which they began selling at two area farmers markets this past year. Their stone burr mill investment has kept them busy processing the heirloom organic grains they source from Brian Severson Farms in Grundy County. Additionally, they are in the process of opening a coffee shop in Chicago where they plan to integrate farm fresh menu items and products. 

Alex and Russell are open to leasing land but have also saved to purchase a farm property with a home, barn, and at least five acres. Their farm will consist of growing vegetables, fruits and their own grains. They have begun researching ancient grain varieties and growing methods. Long-term, they hope to be able to incorporate beekeeping and animals into their farm as well. Their location preferences are Lake and McHenry Counties with close proximity to a highway for easy commuting to the coffee shop being a key criteria.

 

Tania and Adam
Tania and Adam grow over 100 varieties of annual flowers and 75 varieties of dahlias for Chicagoland florists and farmers markets.

Skyfall Flowers

Tania has been farming organically for 16 years in cut flowers, specializing in dahlias. Tania’s farming journey began in Lake County and then took her to Maine where she met Adam. Adam has been working with small scale farmers for over 12 years to help them develop better systems and methods. He has joined in the cut flower farming alongside Tania and become the head grower of sweet peas! 

Adam and Tania have recently transitioned back to Lake County and currently farm on the Liberty Prairie Foundation’s land. They are seeking a good long-term lease option, but would consider purchasing farmland if the right opportunity came up. Their goal is to find roughly five or more acres of land in Lake County where they can further expand their cut flower production while also having the space to share their knowledge and teach other growers about growing both annual and perennial cut flowers.