DINING OUT AT THE FARM
By Ann Flood • Photos by Karl Knize
Picture it: Fresh air, country dirt roads, scenic vistas, dining on fresh, seasonal food while listening to a little toe-tapping live music. There is no better place to get to know a family farmer, local chef and your food than experiencing a multicourse dinner prepared and served at a local family farm. Meals are served family style, often cooked by noted area chefs using meat, dairy or produce from the host farms. Many also include kid-friendly farm tours, live music and an opportunity to purchase produce or meat to take home. Here are five Illinois farms that offer dinner or brunch events within a 135-mile radius from Chicago. Book your tickets today, as most dinners sell out.
Locavore Farm Family run five-acre micro farm growing organic produce hosting regular dinners, along with neighboring sustainable farms and local chefs.
Grant Park, IL (40 miles south of Chicago)
August 3, 19; September 7, 9, 16; October 14; November 18.
Purchase tickets: locavorefarm.com
Mint Creek Farir Family owned and operated 220 acre certified organic livestock farm; grass-fed sheep, cows, pigs, goats, turkeys, chickens and ducks.
Steiie, IL (85 miles south of Chicago)
August 12; September 3, 23.
Purchase tickets: mintcreekfarm.com
Heritage Prairie Farm USDA certified organic farm that sells vegetables through its CSA program and farmers market. Also harvests and sells honey. Easy public transportation by Metra.
Elburn, IL (50 miles from Chicago)
August 10; September 7; October 5; November 2.
Purchase tickets: heritageprairiefarm.com
Slagel Family Farm Fifth-generation livestock farm, offering all-natural beef and pork without the use of antibiotics or added hormones. Also processed at their own facility to ensure quality. Kid-friendly farm tours available with dinner.
Fairbury, IL (115 miles from Chicago)
August 19; September 16; October 7.
Purchase tickets: slagelfamilyfarm.com
Prairie Fruits Farn Family owned and operated goat dairy and farmstead creamery, producing award-winning cheeses, gelato and sorbetto. Farm embodies organic and sustainable growing practices. Fruits, herbs and eggs, all organic.
Champaign, IL (135 miles from Chicago)
August 13, 19; September 9, 30; October 14, 28.
Purchase tickets: prairiefruits.com