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

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 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 … Read more…

20. Menu Monday: Frantonio’s Magnifico Sub Sandwich

Magnifico Sub at Frantonio's Italian Deli & Cafe

 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 … Read more…

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

Smart Farm Hosts First Farm to Table Dinner - Photographed by Julie Linnekin

 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 … Read more…

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

Smart Farm Hosts First Farm to Table Dinner - Photographed by Julie Linnekin

 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 … Read more…

244. Gentleman Farmer’s Guide to Choosing Healthy Eggs

Get Growing with Jessica Green - All About 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 … Read more…

222. Get Growing: Barrington Farmer’s Market Etiquette

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 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 … Read more…

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

Tony Mensik with The Gentleman Farmer's Work for a Share Program - Courtesy of The Gentleman Farmer

 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 … Read more…

163. A Gentleman Farmer Father’s Day

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 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 … Read more…

144. The Gentleman Farmer Returns to Barrington Roots

Dominic and Jessica Green with their boys Henry and Oliver - Photograph courtesy of Christina Noel

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

Grapefruit is the Tasty Tuesday Ingredient of the Month for February

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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