The Farm

Marie's Urban Farm    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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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 have 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 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 would have no 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.

COOKING CLASSES

This summer we are hosting an on-site bimonthly cooking class.  Classes are from 6pm-8pm.  Only 8 cooking stations are available per class.  Participants will be cooking alongside Chef Connor in pairs.  Class reservations are now closed.

Classes are FREE thanks in part to the Illinois Farmers Market Association and Kane County.    

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Chef Connor McKenna has enthusiastically accepted our offer to host this season's Summer Cooking Series!  He found a passion for cooking at West Aurora High School and completed his culinary degree at the College of DuPage.  He currently works as a Sous Chef at a fine dining restaurant in Naperville.  He has a special interest in cooking foods people don't see every day.  He has personally chosen the selections for this season's 6 class series.

July 13
Pasta salad with chicken
July 27
Maple, beet & kale salad with shrimp
August 9
Scallops with lemongrass and dill beurre blanc 
August 30

Cajun chicken pasta
September 14
Ratatouille
September 28
Butternut ravioli

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Fall Fest
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May 7  Veterans Gardening Event 11am-1pm
Celebrating our local Veterans
May 19 Team Depot event 10am-1pm
Home Depot volunteers building raised beds
May 30 Memorial day BBQ 4pm-7pm
Join us for a potluck-style dinner at the farm.
June 1 U of I Extension lecture series
What is healthy food.  How can you afford it?
June 3 U of I Extension lecture series-Spanish
What is healthy food.  How can you afford it?
June 8 U of I Extension lecture series
Container gardening
June 10 U of I Extension lecture series-Spanish
Container gardening
June 18 Candlelit night at the Farm 8pm-10pm
BYOW and learn to make your own candle.  Cheese and sausage will be provided.
June 22 U of I Extension lecture series
Healthy snacks you can afford
June 24 U of I Extension lecture series-Spanish
Healthy snacks you can afford
June 25 Phillips Park Pollinator Festival 1-6pm
Inaugural festival celebrating pollinator insects
June 29 U of I Extension lecture series
Choosing food needs and wants
July 1 U of I Extension lecture series-Spanish
Choosing food needs and wants
July 2 Healthy U. 10am-12pm
Healthy cooking class taught by local chefs featuring various smoothies.
July 6 U of I Extension lecture series
Community food assistance program
July 8 U of I Extension lecture series-Spanish
Community food assistance program
July 13 U of I Extension lecture series
Food budgeting made easy
July 13 Summer Cooking Series 6pm-8pm
**reservation required**
July 15 U of I Extension lecture series-Spanish
Food budgeting made easy
July 16 Healthy U. 10am-12pm
Healthy cooking class taught by West High students.
July 19 Kiwanis luncheon 11am-2pm
Weekly members meeting
July 20 U of I Extension lecture series
Food shopping strategies to save money

July 22 U of I Extension lecture series-Spanish
Food shopping strategies to save money
July 27 U of I Extension lecture series
Meal planning to make life simpler
July 27 Summer Cooking Series 6pm-8pm
**reservation required**
July 28 Boss Babes Private Event 4pm-7:30pm
July 29 U of I Extension lecture series-Spanish
Meal planning to make life simpler
Aug 2 Tuesday Garden Club tour 1pm
Aug 5 First Fridays 5pm-8pm

Visit the CB popup shop downtown Aurora.
Aug 6  Healthy U. 10am-12pm
Healthy cooking class taught by local chefs
'Chopped' themed competition.
August 9 Summer Cooking Series 6pm-8pm
**reservation required**
Aug 10 Aurora Hispanic Chamber of Commerce meeting 5pm-8pm
Aug 13  Garden Harvest Dinner 6-8pm 
Our annual fundraiser dinner featuring our own vegetables prepared by Upper Crust Catering
Aug 17 Healthy Cents 10:30am
Aug 17 Book Club meeting 1pm
**private event**
Aug 17  Women of Aurora 4:30pm-7:30pm
Aug 18 Lions Club lunch
Aug 20  Healthy U. 10am-12pm
Healthy cooking class taught by local chefs.  
Made with our own farm ingredients!
Aug 24 Healthy Cents 10:30am
Aug 27 Private event 12:30pm-2:30pm
August 30 Summer Cooking Series 6pm-8pm
**reservation required**
Aug 31
 Healthy Cents 10:30am
Sept 2 First Fridays 5pm-8pm

Visit the CB popup shop downtown Aurora.
Sept 3  Healthy U. 10am-12pm
Healthy cooking class taught by local chefs
++featuring Small Axe Hot Sauce++
Sept 3 Private event 4pm-9pm
Sept 7 Healthy Cents 10:30am
Sept 10
 Book Club Private event 11:30am-2pm
Sept 14 Healthy Cents 10:30am
Sept 14 Summer Cooking Series 6pm-8pm  
**reservation required**

Sept 17  Healthy U. 10am-12pm
Healthy cooking class taught by local chefs
Sept 21 Healthy Cents 10:30am


Sept 28 Summer Cooking Series 6pm-8pm **reservation required**
Sept 28 Healthy Cents 10:30am

Oct 1 Book Club Private event 11:30am-2pm
Oct 8 Aurora University 8:30-11:30

Oct 9 Women's Brunch 11am-1pm
**Private event**
Oct 22  Fall Fest
Our annual celebration of the end of the season and free pumpkin give-away.
Oct 29
 Book Club Private event 11:30am-2pm
Nov 12 Book Club Private event 11:30am-2pm
Nov 26 Book Club Private event 11:30am-2pm

Cooking Classes