Don’t miss the fourth annual Kid Fest and…Continue Reading
It was a frosty and fun morning at…Continue Reading
Citizens for Conservation is inviting families to start…Continue Reading
Most of the neo-tropical migrants, long-distance fliers that…Continue Reading
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 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 Cottage, a 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.
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.
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.
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……
Spring has finally arrived in earnest: the flowers…Continue Reading
What’s long and green and wears snowshoes in…Continue Reading
We have a libation theme going this weekend with a number of beverage-centered specials and events taking place in Barrington. With the first day of summer only five days away, merchants downtown are getting a jump start on the season by hosting the first ever Summer Wine Walk, a compliment to the well-attended Winter Wine Walk they hosted in March.
The FREE event will be hosted by participating businesses surrounding Cook and Station Streets from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 16th. Each merchant will have a wine map for you to grab so you can see what’s available for sipping before you move on to your next destination. Participating merchants will be offering a total of 14 wines to sample along with appetizers from Cooper’s Pizza. And to add a little summer sizzle, Park Avenue Restaurant will feature live music with Brian Saltzman from 3 to 6 p.m.
More merchants have joined the downtown wine walk for tomorrow’s event. Here’s a look at who’s participating and what you will enjoy as you power your way through the town……
Flowers, shmowers! Instead of giving your mom that ‘same old’ spring bouquet this Mother’s Day, why not give her a pair of running shoes and a spot in this weekend’s Mother’s Day 5K Run/Walk ;). It’s happening Sunday morning on the streets of Barrington and it’s a fun experience you can share while helping a non-profit raise $8,000 for cancer research.
The Gateway for Cancer Research’s 3rd annual Mother’s Day 5k Run/Walk is expected to be even bigger than last year’s event. Gateway donates 99 cents of every dollar raised towards research for cancer cures, and they’re focusing Barrington’s May 13th event on raising funds specifically for breast cancer research.
The event will begin and end at 200 Spring Street in Barrington……
There’s a new event happening in Barrington tomorrow that’s all about encouraging kids to get outside, explore nature and have a blast while breathing fresh air. Three local organizations are coming together to host the first ever Barrington Kids Fest at Citizens Park and they have a long list of exciting outdoor activities planned for the day.
This is the first year that the Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club, the Barrington Park District and the Leave No Child Inside initiative of the Greater Barrington and Lake Zurich areas are joining forces to create a unique Barrington Area Kids Fest. They’ve decided to combine the 11th annual Community Kite Fly and the 2nd annual Family Nature Fest to form one all-encompassing outdoorsy festival and it’s totally FREE and open to all kids and families in the community.
A ton of local groups, organizations and businesses are supporting the event to provide families with action-packed recreational and educational activities designed to get everyone moving and active. In addition to your kites, be sure to bring your bikes this year. One of the tomorrow’s highlights will be a family bike adventure through Cuba Marsh led by Barrington cyclist, Bob Lee……
There’s a new community dance craze taking over the streets of Barrington. “Flash Mobs” have become the latest rage. If you watch Glee, follow YouTube or are a hip and happening reader of 365Barrington.com, I’m sure you know all about them ;). For those of you who’d like a little background, Flash Mobs are “large groups of people who assemble suddenly in public and perform a dance or unusual act for a brief time, then disperse.” The performance is supposed to be a secret, but a little birdie has let me in on what could be Barrington’s next Flash Mob.
Barrington’s last Cruise Night of the season is happening downtown on Cook Street tomorrow night, starting at 6:30. My source tells me that, if you’re there at around 6:45, you might just get Flash Mobbed, like this one that happened a couple of weeks ago……Continue Reading
Our new baby turned two weeks old yesterday.…Continue Reading
We’ve been waiting since last fall for this!!! The weekly Farmers Market returns to Barrington for its 11th season this Thursday. So get ready for some freshly popped kettle corn, the balloon man, the lemonade guy and the return of some of your favorite farmers. Plus, prepare to meet some brand new vendors this year. To get into the spirit of the season, I found some of my favorite farmers market photos taken by Barrington photographer, Anthony Tortoriello.
I also caught up with Farmers Market co-chair, Margaret Myren, earlier this week to get the scoop on which vendors are coming back and who will be new to the market this year. You’ll be excited to find out what she had to say……
A Chicago neighborhood hot spot is opening for business in Barrington TODAY to offer a new place for us to find fresh local produce while shopping outdoors. The Green Grocer is debuting a seasonal open air market this morning at the Arboretum of South Barrington and their colorful fruits and veggies are just waiting to come home to your table.
The new Produce Market will be a great place to pop in and pick up essential grocery items, lunch to go, the ingredients for a fresh and delicious dinner, fresh flowers or a gift for a friend who loves unique and hard-to-find food items.…
Want to get outside and explore nature with your kids tomorrow? There’s a full schedule of exciting activities planned for all ages during Family Nature Fest from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 21st at Citizens Park in Barrington.
There will be an interactive fitness trail set up for tomorrow’s festival, along with exciting fitness-themed games, activities and classes. Everything is designed to encourage kids and their families to turn off the TV and instead get outside with nature, have fun and get fit.…Continue Reading