We’re excited to introduce a new voice here at 365Barrington.com. Jessica Green of The Gentleman Farmer grew up in Barrington Hills. Just this week, she and her husband Dominic moved their young family from Chicago to a new home in Barrington to focus on growing The Gentleman Farmer, the local farm and Veggie CSA they run as a family. Over the next few months, Jessica will be sharing regular posts here at 365Barrington.com covering topics related to farm fresh food, gardening, kids and cooking with locally grown fruits & veggies! She’s starting things off with a few tips inspired by family, Father’s Day and the Barrington Farmers Market.
A Gentleman Farmer Father’s Day
by Jessica Green – Mother-of-two and Co-Founder of The Gentleman Farmer
While Father’s Day is often synonymous with BBQs and picnics, for our family since we began The Gentleman Farmer, we’ve spent the holiday together selling our produce at the Logan Square Farmer’s Market in Chicago. This year, our boys are confident and familiar with their surroundings. Oliver (age 3.5) spends much of his time with the Michigan blueberry vendor helping himself to the irresistible samples, while Henry, just six, and a true entrepreneurial spirit, can’t wait to tie on his own apron and help Daddy sell our seasonal produce. As Henry’s primary interest is in counting back the change, our loyal customers patiently wait while Dominic coaches him through the process with gentle reminders to look people in the eyes, and say thank you with a smile. It’s a work in progress!
Next week we look forward to kicking off our first season at the Barrington Farmer’s Market. After four years of growing, we’re excited to share our produce as locally as possible – within our very own community!
With the slow start to the season, many are behind in planting their own kitchen gardens. But it’s not too late to get your hands dirty! Here are some ideas to get you started…
Start with Seedlings
Many vendors, including The Gentleman Farmer, are selling seedlings right now. You’ll find heirloom tomato varieties such as Brandywine and Sungolds, to Rosa Bianca eggplants, tomatillos, Sweet Bell peppers and herbs.
Research Your Recipes
Nothing says summer like a green tomatillo salsa, baba ganoush or fresh pomodoro sauce with ingredients from your own backyard! And nothing brings a family together more than a meal where everyone has played a role in making it. (CLICK HERE for a few of our favorite recipes.)
Bring Your Family to the Farmer’s Market
A trip to the market is a perfect family outing: let the kids choose a few varieties and they will want to help in the whole process from planning, to prepping, to picking and preparing! Have particular eaters? Chances are good that if your child is involved in the planting cycle, he/she won’t be able to wait until harvest to give something new a try.
Protect Your Plants
Be sure to keep your plants (and your families) healthy by sourcing your potting soil organically. Organimix by Midwest Organics Recycling in Wauconda is a locally produced potting soil and can be purchased from select Whole Foods including Deerfield and Palatine. Try to avoid the temptation of spraying your edible plants with synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. There are plenty of natural and homemade alternatives from soapy water to Neem oil to keep pests away.
We look forward to seeing you and your families on Thursdays at the markets from 2-7pm on Cook St in Barrington.
For the first time ever, The Gentleman Farmer will have a tent at Barrington’s Farmers Market every week, starting next Thursday (June 19) when the market returns to downtown Barrington for the new season.
Until then, hats off to Fathers, however you celebrate!
(By the way, if you’re still looking for a great gift for dad, we still have a few Gentleman Farmer Veggie CSA memberships available. A full share fills your market bag for 20 weeks with 7 to 10 vegetables harvested weekly. Half shares are also available. For more information, visit Gentleman-Farmer.com.)