Prairie Crossing Farm

The 100-acre Prairie Crossing Farm is nestled inside the Prairie Crossing community in Grayslake, Illinois and is a working organic farm. The Prairie Crossing Farm is owned by the Liberty Prairie Foundation, which operates a variety of on-site programs. The Liberty Prairie Foundation’s work extends beyond the immediate grounds of the Prairie Crossing Farm. The Prairie Crossing farmers and educational programs reach throughout Lake County, into the broader Chicago region, and beyond.

Programs

PROGRAMS_editedThe Farm Business Development Center at the Prairie Crossing Farm helps launch the next generation of farmers to grow organic food for the Chicago region. The independently-owned Prairie Crossing Farm businesses grow diverse crops of certified organic produce and pastured free-range eggs, and serve customers throughout the Chicago region through community supported agriculture programs and farmers markets.

The Liberty Prairie Foundation also operates a variety of educational programs at the Prairie Crossing Farm. We support educational programming at the Prairie Crossing Farm to educate and inspire people to value healthy food, land and community through experiences on our farm. We envision a world where people of all ages are deeply connected to their food, land and community and therefore make choices toward sustainable systems in nature and society. The Foundation offers a variety of youth development programs, educational tours, and community garden plots.

The Foundation supports these educational programs and a variety of seasonal events to share our local food and conservation work with the broader community, and to support lifelong learning. These programs and events help us balance our public education and outreach with the Prairie Crossing Farmers’ needs to safely conduct farm operations on a working, certified organic farm. The Liberty Prairie Foundation invites you to join us at an upcoming event at the Prairie Crossing Farm.

Farmers

PCF FARMERS_editedThe Prairie Crossing Farm’s reach extends much farther than Grayslake. Multiple farmers located at the Prairie Crossing Farm grow produce for customers throughout the Chicago region. Each farm is an independently owned for-profit business, except for our educational youth farming programs. Sandhill Family Farms is at the Prairie Crossing Farm for the long-term, while other farms “incubate” through the Farm Business Development Center (FBDC).

Click here for a directory of the current farmers at the Prairie Crossing Farm. Most of the farmers growing at the Prairie Crossing Farm sell direct to consumers through community supported agriculture (CSA) subscriptions and farmers markets. The Prairie Crossing Farmers each offer a variety of CSA pickup locations, and also sell at different farmers markets in the Chicago region. Click through to the Prairie Crossing Farmers‘ websites for information about the CSA pickup locations and farmers markets they currently serve.

Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a mutually beneficial relationship between a farmer and consumer. Before the growing season, consumers purchase a CSA “share” from the farm. This provides money for seeds, equipment, repairs, tractor fuel, greenhouse heat, etc. — expenses that are incurred well before the farmer could normally receive farm income. During the growing season, CSA members receive a weekly box of farm-fresh seasonal produce, as well as a deeper relationship with the farmer who grew their food.

In addition to the current Prairie Crossing Farmers, some of the best farmers in the region are alumni of the Liberty Prairie Foundation’s Farm Business Development Center. Click here for a directory of Farm Business Development Center alumni.

Farm Purchases

Each farm business at the Prairie Crossing Farm is an independently owned for-profit business, except for the Prairie Farm Corps youth development program which is an educational youth farming program. The Prairie Crossing Farmers primarily sell direct to consumers through community supported agriculture (CSA) subscriptions and farmers markets. The Prairie Crossing Farmers each offer a variety of CSA pickup locations, and also sell at different farmers markets throughout the Chicago region.

Click through to the Prairie Crossing Farmers‘ websites for information about the CSA pickup locations and farmers markets they currently serve. Each farm business is independently operated and offers different farm products, share sizes, and pricing. Take a look at the variety of CSA memberships featuring locally-grown food from all the Prairie Crossing Farmers, and decide which is the best fit for you!

Sandhill Family Farms sells free-range eggs, as they are available, in the Long Barn at the Prairie Crossing Farm. Eggs are sold on a first-come, first-served basis during daylight hours only. If you are interested in having consistent access to locally-produced free-range eggs, Sandhill also offers an egg CSA share. Click here for more information about Sandhill Family Farms egg CSA share. Other Prairie Crossing Farmers may also egg CSA shares. Click through to the Prairie Crossing Farmers‘ websites for information about the farm products they currently offer, and support the farmers producing local food in Grayslake.

The Prairie Crossing Farm does not sell compost, but some local sources include:

Farm Visits

FARM VISITS_editedThe Prairie Crossing Farm is a real working certified organic farm, with multiple independently-operated farm businesses. Together, these farm businesses are often referred to as the Prairie Crossing Farmers.

The Liberty Prairie Foundation supports educational programs and a variety of seasonal events at the Prairie Crossing Farm to share our local food and conservation work with the broader community, and to support lifelong learning. These programs and events help us balance our public education and outreach with the Prairie Crossing Farmers’ needs to safely conduct farm operations on a working, certified organic farm.

The Liberty Prairie Foundation offers farm-based educational tours to complement classroom curriculum and demonstrate organic principles in action. We welcome pre-arranged tour groups during May – October by appointment only. Click here for information about tours of the Prairie Crossing Farm. Tours for families are occasionally offered during events at the Prairie Crossing Farm. We cannot accommodate group tours during these special events. We also offer a virtual tour of the Prairie Crossing Farm – click here for the virtual tour or go to the “Virtual Tour” tab for more information.

The independently-operated Prairie Crossing Farmers may also host occasional farm events for their CSA (community supported agriculture) members. Click here to learn more about each of the Prairie Crossing Farmers, and connect to their websites for information about purchasing farm products from these local family farm businesses.

Directions

The Prairie Crossing Farm is located at 32400 N. Harris Road in the Prairie Crossing community in Grayslake, Illinois. The Farm is just west of Route 45, south of Route 120 and east of Route 137.

Despite what some internet maps indicate, Harris Road does not connect to the farm from Route 120. From I-94 North, exit Route 120 west, turn south at Route 45, then right at Jones Point Road. Turn right at Prairie Trail and follow the signs to the Farm on Harris Road. Parking is along the side of Harris Road between the first and second farm driveways, or in the small parking lot just past the Yellow Farmhouse.

Taking public transit? The Prairie Crossing Farm is within walking distance of two Libertyville/Prairie Crossing Metra train stations – the Milwaukee District North and North Central lines.

Zipcar, Chicagoland’s largest car sharing organization, is now located at Prairie Crossing’s Station Square. As a unique and sustainable alternative to car ownership, Zipcar is consistent with the “Convenient and Efficient Transportation” Guiding Principle of the Prairie Crossing development. Visit the Prairie Crossing Zipcar website for reduced-price memberships. Enjoy a leisurely train ride to Prairie Crossing, cross Route 137 to pick up your reserved Zipcar at Station Square, and “zip” to the Prairie Crossing Farm – or anywhere else you need to go.

Virtual Tour

Learn more about the Prairie Crossing Farm by joining us on a virtual tour. Click here to access the Prairie Crossing Farm virtual tour, “visit” different areas of the farm, and learn more about sustainable agriculture. This virtual tour includes several “behind the scenes” areas not included in walking farm tours due to the farmers’ need to work in these spaces and/or their physical distance from the walking tour route.

To navigate the virtual tour of the Prairie Crossing Farm, click on the numbered points of interest on the map to see a photo and a brief description. Scroll to read each photo’s description, then click on the down arrow above the text to view the photo. Click here to access the virtual tour of the Prairie Crossing Farm.