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Programs- Buy Local

Pumpkin Field Day - September 4th - Free Program

Register on-line HERE.  Come join us on September 4, 2014 at 10:00 am for the 2014 Pumpkin Field Day at Ewing Demonstration Center!  We have over 50 pumpkin varieties planted in the field in addition to field demonstration plots on disease, insect, and weed management.  Hear from Extension Specialists, Educators, and local growers on a variety of topics relating to pumpkin production.  Make your plans to attend this FREE program today!

Farm Lease Seminar - Registration Open!

Lease program brought to you by The Chicago Farmers.  Help us start our new year strong at our first meeting on September 8, 2014.  We welcome Dr. Gary Schnitkey, a Professor at the U of I, whose research emphasis includes farm profitability, to give us his thoughts on the grain farm outlook and cash rents for 2015.  Join us for a great opportunity to reconnect and to get a perspective on the future of your farm investment.
11:30 AM Registration
12:00 PM Lunch
12:30 PM  Presentation
For on-line registration visit Chicago Farmers ( or call at 312-388-3276 (FARM). Register by September 5th.  
Member Early Bird before 9/1-$25.....Member after 9/1-$35.....Guest Early bird before 9/1-$50.....Guest after 9/1-$60

2013 Paint the Yard Contest Winners Named.

The public has spoken and we have the winners of the on-line voting contest as well as the judges' choice categories of the 2nd annual Paint the Yard contest sponsored by the Commodities and Marketing Team.  Judges’ choice winners were also named.  To find out who the winniers are and view the photos of all the beautiful “yards” please visit our website at  

Registration for The Plant Member Tour now Open

Join us for a private member tour of The Plant, Chicago’s vertical farm and food business incubator, on Thursday, June 20th at 1:00 PM-2:00 PM.

Ticket cost for the 1 hour tour:  $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, college or high school students.   Student discounts are only offered with a valid student ID and will need to be presented.  Free for all Back of the Yards residents, with proof of address.
To reserve your spot and pay please contact Debbie at 708-354-3276 or by June 17th.  Tour is limited to the first 35 paid members.  The Plant is located at 1400 W. 46th St, Chicago and is accessible by CTA, a bike, and there's also plenty of parking.  Go to for directions.

Gardeners Encouraged to Enter the 2013 Paint the Yard Contest

Farm Bureau members are encouraged to enter their yards and container gardens in the 2013 Paint the Yard contest.  After purchasing and planting $100 or more of perennials, annuals, or nursery plants from a participating Cook County garden center, complete the Paint the Yard entry form (available at and submit it to Cook CFB by June 17.  Photos of the garden are due via email to on or before July 22. On-line voting will begin on July 22 at   Entry forms, additional rules, and a list of participating Cook County greenhouses and garden centers are available at Cook County Farm Bureau’s website or by calling (708) 354-3276. First place entries in the popular vote, judges’ choice, and container garden categories will receive a $300 gift certificate to a local garden center. Second place entries in the popular vote, judges’ choice, and container garden categories will receive a $200 gift certificate to a loc ...

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Calling all Cooks...2013 Cookfresh Recipe Collection Submissions Wanted

Calling all COOKS!  Cook CFB looking for your favorite recipes that you proudly prepare using fresh, locally grown and raised ingredients for our 2013 Recipe Collection.  Recipes can be emailed to Debbie at, faxed, or mailed in.  Hurry, all recipes received before the April 30 deadline will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to a county farm stand or grocery retailer near you.

2013 Cookfresh Community Urban Grant Recipients Named

Cook County Farm Bureau® Cookfresh® Community Garden Grant Program…
An assistance program designed for Community Gardens in Cook County to beautify their “places and palates.” The Cookfresh Cook County grant program offered five $300.00 grants to support urban agriculturists seeking assistance with a community garden. The community gardens will receive $300 in the form of Cook County Farm Bureau “Cookfresh Funds”.
Meet the 2013 Cookfresh Community Garden Grant Recipients:
• 65th & Woodlawn Community Garden
• The Sauk
• Roots Community Garden
• Back Yard Salad Bar
• Mercy Housing Lakefront Youth Urban Garden

To learn more about the recipients visit the Buy-Local/Programs page from the website.

Trim the Tree Contest - We have a WINNER!

The 1st Place winner of the 2012 Trim the Tree Contest for $250 is Memories, decorated by Larry and Dorothy Biernacki. Tree purchased from BIG JOHNS FARM STAND & GREENHOUSE in Chicago Heights will also receive $250.  A donation of $250 will go to St Matthias Church Food pantry.   Photo:  Winners Larry & Dorothy Biernacki, and Kevin of Big John's Farm Stand were presented checks by  Commodities/Marketing Team Vice Chair, Dan Biernacki (no relation to the winner, just coincidence) on Saturday December 22nd. The runner up of the 2012 Trim the Tree Contest for $100 is Light Bright decorated by Natalie Mitchell.  Tree purchased from PUCKERVILLE FARMS in Lemont will also receive $100.  A donation of $100 will go to the Lockport Fish Food Pantry, the designated food assistance charity by the Mitchell family.  Photo:  Kayla (daughter) Mitchell, runner up "Master Tree Trimmer" Natalie Mitchell, Rick Homerding, owner of Puckerville Farms, ...

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Enter to win the 2012 Trim the Tree Contest~calling all trimmers!

December is almost here and that means Christmas, and trees, and presents.  As the weather looks to be warmer this weekend why not take advantage and purchase your tree from a member farm stand or greenhouse and enter it into this year's Trim the Tree Contest.  It really is as easy as 1, 2, 3...  1.  Buy it! (Purchase a fresh Christmas tree from a participating CCFB Member farm stand - go to the Farm stand Directory in the Buy Local tab for a list ) 2.  Trim it! (Decorate it – pick a theme, favorite tradition and make it unique) 3.  Photograph & email it!   (Send an electronic photo along with the entry form to; entry forms are found in the Buy Local/Programs tab) Winners of the popular vote will receive:  First Prize: $250  Runner Up:$100; a matching donation will be made to the farm stand and Food Pantry selected. Entries for the Trim the Tree Contest will be posted on for voting by the ...

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Ted' Greenhouse Member Tour...a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

35 Cook County Farm Bureau members had a behind the scenes tour of Ted’s Greenhouse operation last Saturday, November 17th.  Owner, Dan Biernacki and staff lead the tour of the greenhouse operations and demonstrated the many facets of its operation including seeding, propagation cuttings, perennials and so much more! 

Lovers of plants and flowers were able to view the greenhouses filled with beautiful plants, foliage, herbs, cacti, poinsettias and more.  Owner Ted Biernacki was also on hand to meet with members and share his expertise.

The tour wound down with Karen Biernacki and family serving an unexpected treat of hot dogs, popcorn and lemonade to the members before they were on their way.  It was a terrific event that provided insight into the magnitude of agricultural knowledge and expertise that is required in greenhouse operations; thank you Biernacki Family.      Ted’s Greenhouse is located at 16930 S. 84th Ave Tinley Park, IL 60477

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