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MARIE'S URBAN FARM

At the Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry

835 N. Highland Ave  Aurora, IL

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The Kitchen
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The Entertainment Space
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The Aviary
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The Greenhouse
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The Pollinator Gardens
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Fall Fest

Charity Blooms has been proud to manage this amazing property since 2018 through the generosity of the City of Aurora and the Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry.  The Farm has become our Homestead.

This half-acre property was once occupied by 5 houses.  Those houses were torn down in 2014 and turned into green space.  Since 2018, we have worked with hundreds of volunteers to turn it into a community space that now benefits thousands.  Our goal is to grow dozens of varieties of food including fruit, vegetables and herbs.  This produce is then donated to the Marie Wilkinson Food pantry.  As of 2021 we had won 28 awards for our produce at the Sandwich County Fair!

This property is also a social space.  People of all ages and backgrounds gather here to learn, help and play.  The property now includes a 500 square foot greenhouse, solar power, a large outdoor kitchen, entertainment space with seating for 32, an aviary, a monarch butterfly education area, pollinator gardens with bee hotel, self-paced activities and automated composting.  We teach classes for all ages, host private gatherings and public events almost all year long. 

Events on the calendar are all open to the public unless otherwise stated. 

 

If you'd like to visit the farm or volunteer, let us know.  We are always interested in meeting new friends, building new partnerships and sharing the love of what we do.   We are often described as one of the best kept secrets in Aurora.  Stop by and see why!

THE SCAVENGER HUNT

Come alone or bring your team and hunt around The Farm at your own pace while learning fun facts about vegetables.  Start by choosing your path color; EASY, MEDIUM, OR DIFFICULT.  Then go to the barn and scan that colored QR code for your first clue. The QR codes you find will give you part of a phrase, in parenthesis, along with the next task.  At the end of the hunt, tell us the completed phrase for a special prize.  Do not go out of order or you will miss part of the phrase!

PLAYFUL LEARNING EXHIBIT

The amazing folks at Playful Learning, in cooperation with the Chicago Children's Museum, installed this exciting exhibit in the Spring of 2021.  The focus is to teach early elementary math skills in a fun and exciting way.  It is open to the public from sunrise to sunset, 365 days a year.

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POLLINATOR GARDENS

Without pollinator insects, we wouldn't have vegetables.  This was a lesson learned early on at the Farm.  Since 2018 we have strived to include Pollinator habitats into our projects.  Come see the Pollinator Hotel and many other ways we incorporate these essential insects into our gardens.

SUMMER COOKING SERIES

The Summer Cooking Series was such a big hit in 2021 that it has become an annual program.
This year we will have multiple chefs from all backgrounds teaching culinary techniques and recipes.  In the Hands-On series, students are able to pick their own ingredients from the farm, learn to prep and cook them right on the spot.  There will be 12 cooking stations where 24 students will cook in pairs. Thanks to very generous grant from Conagra, classes are FREE and available on a first come first serve basis.  Students MUST reserve a spot on the form on the Summer Cooking Series page to attend. 
Cooking demonstrations listed on the calendar on this page do not require a reservation and are free to all who attend.  More info here..

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Cooking Classes
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Rob and Brad

April 6 Waubonsee Volunteer Day 10-12

+Private Event+

Apr 20 Veritiv Volunteer Day 8-11

*Private Event*

April 28 Sunrun Volunteer Day 10-1

*Private Event*

May 18 Amazon Volunteer Day 9-12

*Private Event* 

May 24 Garlic Breath Farm

Cooking demonstration

May 30 Summer Cooking Series

Chef Drea *reservation required*

May 31 Private Event 3pm-6pm

Tailoured Couture photo shoot

June 2 Best Buy Volunteer Day 10-12

*private event*

June 9 Summer Cooking Series

Chef Eva *reservation required*

June 12 Summer Cooking Series

Chef Drea *reservation required*

June 15 Vendor Fair / Cooking Class 10-1

Open to the public

June 20 Pantry volunteer day

*private event*

June 23 Summer Cooking Series

Chef Drea *reservation required*

June 28 Garlic Breath Farm

Cooking Demonstration

June 29 Vendor Fair / Cooking Class 10-1

Open to the public

July 7 Summer Cooking Series

Chef Drea *reservation required*

July 13 Vendor Fair / Cooking Class 10-1

Open to the public

July 21 Summer Cooking Series

Chef Drea *reservation required*

July 26 Garlic Breath Farm

Cooking Demonstration

July 27 Vendor Fair / Cooking Class 10-1

Open to the public

July 28 Donor Brunch 11am

*private event*

Aug 3 AKA meeting 9-12

*private event*

Aug 7 Summer Cooking Series

Chef Drea *reservation required*

Aug 17 Garden Harvest Evening Event

*ticket required*

Aug 30 Garlic Breath Farm

Cooking Demonstration

Sept 7 Tailored Couture Fashion Show 11am

Sept 15 Summer Cooking Series

Chef Drea *reservation required*

Oct 2 Summer Cooking Series

Chef Drea *reservation required*

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