Prairie Crossing Farmers

Farmer group shot_editedPrairie Crossing Farmers include Prairie Wind Family Farm, Farm Business Development Center (FBDC) farmers listed below, and youth participating in youth development programs.

Radical Root Farm grows food at Casey Farm, public land made possible through an innovative partnership between Conserve Lake County, the Lake County Forest Preserve District, and the Liberty Prairie Foundation.

The number of Farm Business Development Center farmers varies as farm businesses graduate and launch to more permanent locations, and current FBDC farmers gradually scale up their operations. Each farm is independently owned with responsibility for their own farm operations and marketing.  Prairie Wind is located at the Prairie Crossing Farm for the long term, and serves as a mentor to FBDC farmers who “incubate” their businesses at the Prairie Crossing Farm for approximately 5 years before launching to a more permanent farm location.

The FBDC also has many alumni who continue to farm in the region. Click here for more information about FBDC alumni who have successfully launched farm businesses at more permanent locations after their FBDC experience.

Duck Tail Farm

Duck TailDuck Tail Farm joined the Farm Business Development Center in 2015.
Owners Erin and Rick Cummisford produce pastured duck eggs for the Chicago region. Click here to learn more about Duck Tail Farm.

Prairie Farm Corps

PFC_editedThe Prairie Farm Corps (featured on NBC 5 Chicago) is a youth development program that brings sustainable agriculture into the daily work of a diverse group of youth, some from underserved communities, by providing an experiential paid work experience on the Prairie Crossing Farm.

Click here to learn more about the Prairie Farm Corps.

Prairie Wind Family Farm

Prairie Wind Family Farm grows organic vegetables, raises pastured hens (Grayslake) and distributes fresh fruit in cooperation with farmer partners. Their CSA program serves Grayslake, Evanston, Vernon Hills, Deerfield, Lake Forest, Oak Park, and Allstate employees. Prairie Wind also sells at the Oak Park Farmers Market.

Prairie Wind (formerly of Sandhill Family Farms) is at the Prairie Crossing Farm for the long-term and serves as a mentor farmer to the FBDC. In 2013, Sandhill was named “Mentor Farmer of the Year” by the Upper Midwest Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) and Angelic Organics Learning Center.

Learn more about Prairie Wind Family Farm.

Sandbox Organics

Sandbox Organics joined the Farm Business Development Center in 2015. Owner Yoram Shanan grows certified organic vegetables on .5 acres for his Chicago-based CSA and several Chicago restaurants. Click here to learn more about Sandbox Organics.

Yaw-Ye Farms

Matt_editedYaw-Ye Farms (You Are What You Eat) joined the Farm Business Development Center in 2012. Owner Matt Vecchie raises heritage breed pigs for on 1.4 acres for 33 CSA members.

Click here to learn more about Yaw-Ye Farms.