NoonDaily FOOD | Warming Foods for a Frigid December Day

NoonDaily FOOD | Warming Foods for a Frigid December Day

 Need a little something to take the chill off? Local dishes to warm you up on a frigid, December day are the focus of today’s NoonDaily Update. Can you match the photos with their captions below? 1. Heinen’s Grocery | Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite COOKIE? Sally from Table and Dish is shopping at Heinen’s and sharing her family’s favorite holiday cookie recipe today … Read more…

NoonDaily FOOD | Nine Divine Salads

NoonDaily FOOD | Nine Divine Salads

 With Thanksgiving coming up next week, we’re taking a look at the lighter side of local dining with NINE DIVINE SALADS recently featured at Barrington area restaurants. We’re sinking our teeth into these sweet and savory greens for today’s NoonDaily Update. Can you match the photos with their captions below? (click an image to start the gallery, tap or hover for quick captions & find … Read more…

Trick-or-Treating at Deer Park Town Center

Trick-or-Treating at Deer Park Town Center

Deer Park Town Center Trick-or-Treating – Starts at Noon October 29 Deer Park Town Center shops and restaurants will be hosting FREE Trick-or-Treating on Saturday, October 29, starting at noon, while supplies last. Look for pumpkin decals on participating stores doors or windows, and grab a complimentary treat bag at Brilliant Sky Toys & Books. Plus, kids enjoy the following activities from 12-3pm near Brooks … Read more…

Lake Barrington to Host 2nd Annual Pepper Fest Featuring Live Music & Fall Family Fun

Lake Barrington to Host 2nd Annual Pepper Fest Featuring Live Music & Fall Family Fun

 Looking for some fall family fun this weekend? Don’t miss the Lake Barrington Business Development Council’s 2nd annual Pepper Fest! This free event will be held along Pepper Road from Route 14 to Northpointe Parkway, and throughout the Pepper Road Business Park, from 11 am to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October first. Sponsored by the Lake Barrington Business Development Council and supported by nearly 40 … Read more…

212. Heinen’s 4PM Panic: Peach Whiskey Barbecue Chicken

212. Heinen’s 4PM Panic: Peach Whiskey Barbecue Chicken

 This weeks Heinen’s 4PM Panic recipe is one of my all-time favorites…Peach Whiskey Barbecue Chicken.  It’s great for a weekday with family or as a main dish for entertaining.  It’s easy but oh-so impressive.  Most cooks seem to have their four to six go-to recipes with slight variations. With our weekly menu ideas, hopefully you’ll feel inspired to expand your routine.  And, believe me, your family … Read more…

65. lucy activewear “Do Everything” Collection a Huge Hit at Deer Park Town Center

65. lucy activewear “Do Everything” Collection a Huge Hit at Deer Park Town Center

 Now that spring is in full swing, we’re inching to closer summer swimsuit season. If you’re kicking your workout routine into high gear to get your beach body back, you’re going to love what’s new at lucy activewear. Store manager Becky Wipperfurth says lucy is for women who like to move. Of all the activewear collections you’ll find at lucy, Becky says their “Do Everything” … Read more…

20. Menu Monday: Frantonio’s Magnifico Sub Sandwich

20. Menu Monday: Frantonio’s Magnifico Sub Sandwich

 It’s Menu Monday and time for this week’s look at a delicious menu item found at a Barrington area restaurant.  Today, I’m dreaming of an amazing sandwich you can only find at Barrington’s own Frantonio’s Italian Deli, Café & Catering.  The 20+ year-old deli owned by Franco and Patti Bruno is tucked away on the east side of Route 14 between the Barrington Area Library and … Read more…

260. Get Growing: Local Farmers Share the Harvest to Celebrate Community

260. Get Growing: Local Farmers Share the Harvest to Celebrate Community

 One of the most rewarding parts of coming back to Barrington to raise our family and support our business, The Gentleman Farmer, has been seeing community members embrace a movement Dominic and I are not only passionate about, but have decided to make our livelihood: sustainable farming. The enthusiasm for educating the community about local food while helping those in need was abundantly clear at … Read more…

251. Guests Rave About Smart Farm’s First Farm to Table Dinner

251. Guests Rave About Smart Farm’s First Farm to Table Dinner

 Mother nature delivered with gorgeous late-summer weather for Smart Farm of Barrington’s first Farm to Table Dinner Saturday night. About 100 guests attended the sold-out event in the old Quaker Oats barn on the grounds of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital. They gathered to enjoy dishes artfully prepared by area chefs with locally grown ingredients. “Connecting farms, food and community” was the theme of the night.  … Read more…

244. Gentleman Farmer’s Guide to Choosing Healthy Eggs

244. Gentleman Farmer’s Guide to Choosing Healthy Eggs

 It’s Farmers Market day in Barrington!  This week’s featured highlights include a performance by Frank Badot, “the best chocolate and caramel sauces you will ever taste” from Grown-up Kid Stuff plus an amazin’ corn children’s activity at 3:30.  Jessica Green of The Gentleman Farmer says we’re going to love this week’s harvest from their Barrington Hills farm so be sure to pay the Greens a … Read more…

222. Get Growing: Barrington Farmer’s Market Etiquette

222. Get Growing: Barrington Farmer’s Market Etiquette

 The season’s brightest colors are starting to emerge as produce like freshly harvested tomatoes, red spring onions and peppers return to the Barrington Farmer’s Market.  The 2014 market is open from 2 to 7 p.m. every Thursday through October 16th.  Be sure to stop by and say hi to Barrington’s own Dominic & Jessica Green of The Gentleman Farmer when you’re there.  For the latest … Read more…

180. “Get Growing” with Jessica Green: It Takes a Village

180. “Get Growing” with Jessica Green: It Takes a Village

 A few weeks ago, we introduced you to Jessica Green, our latest community contributor here at 365Barrington.com.  Today, we’re giving her new series a name.  Jessica and her husband Dominic run The Gentleman Farmer, a CSA program based on their Barrington Hills family farm.  Be sure to watch for Jessica’s latest posts here at 365Barrington.com about farming, gardening, food and family with our regular new … Read more…

163. A Gentleman Farmer Father’s Day

163. A Gentleman Farmer Father’s Day

 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 … Read more…

144. The Gentleman Farmer Returns to Barrington Roots

144. The Gentleman Farmer Returns to Barrington Roots

After five years of reverse commuting from the city to their Barrington Hills farm, The Gentleman Farmer, organic farmers Dominic and Jessica Green are relocating their family to Barrington–and returning to Jessica’s roots. As they begin their fourth year growing for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members, they’re also expanding their offerings and looking forward to selling their delicious, locally-grown produce at the Barrington Farmer’s Market.

Dominic and Jessica Green at the farm with their boys Henry and Oliver - Photograph courtesy of Christina Noel
Dominic and Jessica Green at the farm with their boys Henry (5) and Oliver (3) – Courtesy of Christina Noël Photography

Dominic and Jessica didn’t always plan on becoming farmers, nor did they envision a move to Barrington. It’s home for Jessica, a Barrington High School graduate, but Dominic hails from the South of England–and both are dyed-in-the-wool world travelers. They each had careers in the arts – Dominic as an actor, and Jessica as a dancer and Pilates instructor – but were looking for a lifestyle change. As new parents to their son Henry, born in 2008, they craved a more direct connection to food and community.

They also had access to Jessica’s family’s land in Barrington Hills–beautiful, fertile land just 35 miles from the city. As Dominic and Jessica sought direction for their next move, farming began to emerge as a strong contender.

It was during that time that the couple fell hard for the lifestyle and ethics of the River Cottagea self-sustaining farming community founded by British chef and journalist Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Jessica began researching the Stateline Farm Beginnings program through Angelic Organics, and the couple decided to apply.

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Dominic says that the program provided them with invaluable training, but nothing compares to the farming experience itself. The Gentleman Farmer was certainly born in the Stateline Beginnings program, but has grown only through seasons of work in the field. “I’m like a toddler learning to walk, gaining stability each year,” he says. In his first year, he farmed a third of an acre, and grew vegetables for fifteen families and friends (Dominic and Jessica affectionately refer to that as year zero).

As their farm grew, so did their CSA membership and their following at the Logan Square Farmer’s Market, where loyal customers sought them out each week. Dominic increased his yields, and Jessica managed CSA subscriptions, maintained the website, and crafted newsletters each week.

Now in his fourth official year, Dominic is farming seven acres, two and a half of which will rest each year, planted with cover crops. The Gentleman Farmer is offering 100 twenty-week CSA shares this year (click here to sign up). “I’m planting 130 varieties of about 45 different vegetables,” Dominic says. This diversity is a key component of sustainable farming practices, and also ensures gorgeously varied boxes for CSA members.

A summer CSA share contains veggies ranging from staples to exotics - Photograph courtesy of Christina Noel Photography
A summer CSA share contains veggies ranging from staples to exotics – Photograph courtesy of Christina Noël Photography

Full Share CSA members receive a box each week; Half Share members receive a box every other week. The boxes – which members can either pick up at the farm or at Norton’s USA – each contain about 7-10 fresh, organic, seasonal vegetables. Members also receive a weekly CSA newsletter including notes from the farmer, recipes, nutritional information, photo and video updates on the crops and weekly harvest, and usually a fun farm anecdote.

Dominic and Jessica are also offering a new membership option this year called Worker Shares. In exchange for one shift of work at the farm each week of the season, Worker Share members will receive 1 full Vegetable CSA Share (worth $595). This is a formal commitment to work on the farm for one morning or one afternoon per week (4 – 5 hours). The work will include everything from seeding, planting, weeding, harvesting, washing and packing etc. It’ll be hard work, but the rewards will be delicious–and made that much sweeter by your labor.

Dominic and employee Scott Speer discuss the next wave of transplanting - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Dominic and Scott Speer discuss the next wave of transplanting – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

Barrington resident Cory Flahaven tried two CSA programs before finding The Gentleman Farmer. “We really think that three times is the charm,” she says. “This is true Barrington local, and the communication Jessica provides is unsurpassed. Her recipes range from simple (which is sometimes perfect) to more sophisticated, and they’re always good.”

Cory and her husband have a four-year-old daughter, Kendall, who adores her weekly trips to the farm…

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20. Barrington EATS: The Forbidden Fruit for Tasty Tuesday

20. Barrington EATS: The Forbidden Fruit for Tasty Tuesday

It’s Tasty Tuesday time again at District 220 schools, and the ingredient of the month for February is grapefruit.  Tasty Tuesday is a new healthy eating initiative in our elementary schools where students are served a sample of a fruit or vegetable on the first Tuesday of each month.  Then, the same food item will be offered intermittently on the school lunch menu for remainder of the month.

Tasty Tuesday at Barrington District 220 Schools
Tasty Tuesday at Barrington District 220 Schools

Since the district also recommends we try to serve our kids the food of the month in our own homes, we have a family-friendly recipe for you try, starring the ingredient of the month.  I couldn’t be more excited to share a few tips about serving grapefruit, which is my favorite fruit and affectionately known as “The Forbidden Fruit” by those, like me, who love it.

Grapefruit is the Tasty Tuesday Ingredient of the Month for February
Grapefruit is the Tasty Tuesday Ingredient of the Month for February

Others may just remember the grapefruit diet fad and perhaps only think of grapefruit as a cleanser for the fruit’s low glycemic index, which helps the body’s metabolism burn fat when digesting. It’s also a great provider of Vitamin C, fiber and lycopene and can help lower cholesterol. These are all good reasons to incorporate grapefruit into your diet. But how about because it tastes great? And I find it truly reliable in texture and flavor in all seasons.

I agree with District 220’s Tasty Tuesday program that we should all try to get our families to eat more grapefruit. Grapefruit has a reputation for being bitter, which happens if you get a bite with too much of the abundant pith, the part that surrounds and separates the segments. Here is a way to cut the fruit that eliminates the majority of the pith, and allows you to easily eat or carve out just the juicy pulp…

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