New Farmland Profile – Papanek's Farm (McHenry County)

One acre in lawn for lease in McHenry County

Papanek’s Farm is the latest farm profile on the Northeast Illinois FarmLink Site. This property is located in McHenry County, five miles from downtown Woodstock.

Marty Papanek, the landowner, is looking for a diversified vegetable farmer to lease an acre of his property. This situation is unique because Marty is not necessarily looking to be compensated financially. Instead he would like to explore the option of exchanging services as a form of compensation. He is eager to learn about growing vegetables and feels bringing a sustainable farmer onto his land would feed his curiosity. Marty first got this vision for his land after driving past Sunfleck Farm, a small, diversified vegetable farm on leased land at Soulful Prairies. He hopes to create a similar setup on his property.

Because the acre is currently in lawn, it would need to be transitioned to cultivated soil. Fortunately, Marty’s neighbor has a tractor and has offered to help with the tilling process. There is a former horse stable (now used for storing equipment) adjacent to the acre with water and electricity access. Marty is open to putting non-permanent infrastructure (wash station, pack shed, etc.) in this stable for the spring, summer, and fall months. 

A former horse stable has water and electricity access

Eleven acres of Marty’s property are conventionally farmed by another tenant, while another seventeen acres hold the Bystricky Prairie, which is the only high quality black soil prairie left in McHenry County and has been preserved from any future development.

While the one acre would be available at first for a one-year lease, Marty is open to discussions about longer leases and the potential for growth and expansion at this property. For example, there are 375 apple trees on this property that were put in during the mid-seventies and early nineties. These trees are now overrun with disease and Marty is working to slowly remove them. In the future, he looks forward to having something new grown on this acreage.

If you are interested in this property, please contact Jeanne Janson at to set up a call or in-person meeting with Marty.