167. The Gentleman Farmer All Abuzz as Season Begins with Farm Tours and More

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Jessica and Dominic Green at the Farmers Market - Photograph Courtesy of Christina Noel Photography

This week’s rain may be putting a damper on our plans, but it’s a boon for The Gentleman Farmer’s spring and summer crops. The Barrington Hills farm, which sells its produce via Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares, is just entering its fifth growing season–and it promises to be their best one yet.

Spring veggies are ready for harvest, and you can be among the first to taste The Gentleman Farmer’s local, organically grown crop by joining their 2015 CSA membership program, which begins this Friday, June 19 (but you’ll have to be quick to grab one of the last few shares!), by attending one of their farm tour events this weekend (read on for details), or by visiting them at the Barrington Farmers Market starting next Thursday, June 25.

Dominic and Jessica Green started the farm in 2010 by growing for friends and family on a half-acre plot. They’ve steadily expanded each year since, and now farm seven and a half acres to fill 125 CSA boxes weekly for their full-share and half-share members.

Members can select the 16-week summer share summer, a new 6-week fall share, or choose the full 22-week season to savor the range of TGF’s offerings. Whichever option you choose, you can either pick up at the farm in Barrington Hills, or opt to pick up from Norton’s USA in the Village.

The Greens also bring their bounty to two farmer’s markets per week, one in Logan Square and the other right here in Barrington. They’ll offer a brand new program this year for members seeking more flexibility: the Market Select share enables members to establish a credit with TGF at the start of the season, then choose their own veggies at the farmer’s market each week for a discounted price.

Dominic, who handles the farm operations, is thrilled to add bees to the farm this year: Marcin Matelski, head beekeeper at the Garfield Park Conservatory, and Christine DiMiceli are The Gentleman Farmer’s official beekeepers. Bee populations worldwide are dying off due to colony collapse disorder, which is thought to be the result of widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

“Bees are absolutely critical for the world’s food supply, and are showing us how harmful traditional farming practices can be,” Dominic says. “It’s necessary that we do our part to provide a healthy environment for them–and in turn they help ensure a successful crop for us.”

“We have 12 hives, to be exact. Marcin and Christine installed them in April, and have been out again since to check on them,” Dominic says. “They’re text book thriving, according to Marcin. They showed me the frames, which are filled with comb and brood (aka ‘baby bees’), and even pointed out the queen.”

If you’d like to visit the farm, you’ll have two chances THIS WEEKEND! This Friday and Saturday, June 19th and 20th, The Gentleman Farmer will take part in the Barrington Country Garden & Antique Faire as part of the “Next Door” Garden. Attendees will be able to speak with Jessica about the farm, and purchase CSA memberships or a small selection of freshly harvested veggies. You can purchase tickets for the event HERE.

And if you’re looking for a fun way to kick back and celebrate dad, The Gentleman Farmer will also host a Summer Solstice BYOP (that’s bring your own picnic) this Sunday, June 21st, from 11am – 2pm. Bring the whole family (but no pets, please) for walking tours, a hayride and bon fire and s’mores. Dominic and Jessica and their farming partner Bob Vierow of Bob’s Fresh and Local will be there to talk about the farm and answer any questions you may have.

Dominic and Jessica will have lots more to share here over the course of the season, so stay tuned for more news of on-farm events, delectable recipes and more.  And don’t forget to stop by the farmer’s market next Thursday to say hello–Dominic’s looking forward to connecting with customers!

For more information, or to sign up for The Gentleman Farmer’s 2015 CSA membership, please visit their website here, e-mail Nicole Pommer Brown at nicole@gentleman-farmer.com, or call Dominic at 773-450-8898.

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