Von Bergen Country Market Hebron McHenry County Illinois

Our stay-cation in McHenry County, Illinois continues at Von Bergen’s County Market in Hebron, McHenry County, Illinois. A real family affair, first, second and third generation work together to bring you fresh from the farm produce.

Bobette Von Bergen says the farm’s slogan is “We try to feed the world”. They are making progress on their goal one mouth at a time. As with many of the farms we visited, the Von Bergen’s provide food to those in need through food pantries.

This family vegetable farm has been a favorite for school tours for over 25 years. Each year over 2500 students visit and learn that food is grown, not made in a factory. They can even select a piece of fruit to enjoy. Princess Bright Feather shares stories of the Native Americans who farmed this area long ago.

Von Bergen Country Market Hebron McHenry County Illinois

Von Bergen Country Market Hebron McHenry County Illinois

The farm grows all the vegetables they sell though it is not just vegetables at this market. While corn, gourds and tomatoes were plentiful, there were treats for your other senses. Fill your shopping cart with apple cider, cheese, meats, honey, jams, herbs, soaps and flowers. The market is open though October.

Click
on the picture below to see the ducks in action.

Before you leave, walk out to see the animals. The geese, pot belly pigs and other critters are sure to keep the little ones entertained. In this video, Buddy and Sonny are talking to us. The dog is most animated and kept the adults in our party amused.

Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”

VON BERGEN’S COUNTRY MARKET
9805 Rt 173
Hebron, IL 60034
815-648-2332
www.vonbergens.com

Our trip was sponsored by the McHenry County Visitors Bureau and Von Bergen’s County Market.

Royal Oak Farm Orchard Harvard McHenry County Illinois

Our McHenry County trip visits Royal Oak Farm Orchard in Harvard, Illinois where apples rule. We found crisp fresh apples, apple pie, apple slices, caramel apples, apple donuts and apple cider. This third generation Harvard, Illinois farm is family friendly. As you cruise the scenic driveway, notice the namesake oak trees lining the road.

The orchard began with a few trees planted on Grandpa’s retirement homestead. The sprinkling of saplings grew into 13,000 apple trees in 29 varieties. U-pick apples are available July through November each year. Check with the farm for current crops as each variety matures at different times of the season.

Our tractor pulled wagon ride took us through the orchards where Justin Bell explained the history of the farm and how they create new trees through grafting. Each year 1000 new trees are planted. As we continued our ride, we passed u-pick raspberry and blackberry bushes. Choose your own pumpkins and gourds. The farm has their own bee hives and their Apple Blossom honey is sold in the gift store.

Royal Oak Farm Orchard Market produce

A bounty of produce at Royal Oak Farm Orchard Market

Stop by the market to stock up on farm fresh produce, bakery items and gifts.

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Try the blackberry pie at Royal Oak Farm County Restaurant

The Royal Oak Farm Country Restaurant is a popular comfort food lunch stop. Breakfast is available on Saturday mornings. I recommend the blackberry raspberry pie with ice cream.

Click on the picture below to watch a video of our visit.

Kids will keep busy in the entertainment area. Feed and pet the animals in the petting zoo, ride the carousel or the “Royal Oak Express” trackless train.

Connect with Royal Oak Farm Orchard on Twitter and Facebook for updates. Corporate groups, family reunions, birthday parties, weddings, receptions and large groups welcome.

ROYAL OAK FARM ORCHARD
15908 Hebron Road
Harvard, Illinois 60033
815-658-4141
www.royaloakfarmorchard.com

Royal Oak Farm is open for apple picking July through November. Hours and prices vary. Check their website for PumpkinFest and AppleFest special events.

Our trip was sponsored by the McHenry County Visitors Bureau and Royal Oak Farm Orchard.

Royal Oak Farm Country Kitchen Restaurant on Urbanspoon

A-Mazing Meadow View Maze Harvard McHenry County

Our tour of McHenry County continues with a visit to Meadow View Farm maze, pumpkins and more in Harvard, Illinois in McHenry County. This adventure farm is the perfect fall outing for the whole family where you can enjoy a day in the country atmosphere. Brothers John, Joel and their families opened the affordable, family friendly attraction on the family farm. Their grandfather purchased the farm 36 years ago and their parents, aunts, uncles and grandmother still live on the property.

The ten-acre corn maze has 2.66 miles of paths depicting a farm scene with tractors and barns. Start out with your blank punch card and see if you can find all 12 stations where you can make a special punch mark on your card.

Take the wagon ride, pulled by a tractor out through the corn fields to the pumpkin patch to select your perfect pumpkin in the pick your own pumpkin field. Jump back on the wagon to complete your ride.

Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”

Even the littlest ones can select pumpkins and gourds while shopping on their own in the ready picked area. It was fun to watch the little ones pulling their wagons full of colorful gourds. They will also enjoy playing in the corn sensory tables.

Ready for more fun? Kids will burn off energy jumping in the bounce house and climbing the hay mountain. Test your accuracy launching corn or pumpkins at targets.

When you are ready for relaxing, head out the eight fire pit areas or the pavilion you can call ahead to reserve.

Serving locally grown Mirai corn at Meadow View Farm

Serving locally grown Mirai corn at Meadow View Farm

The farm features locally grown Mirai sweet corn. Save room for other tasty treats like kettle corn, burgers, hot dogs, brats, hot pretzels and more while sipping hot apple cider.

Connect with Meadow View Farm on Facebook for updates and savings. Corporate groups, family reunions, birthday parties and large groups welcome.

MEADOW VIEW CORN MAZE
17020 Streit Road
Harvard, Illinois 60033
815-482-0908

Meadow View Farm is open August through October. Hours are Friday 5-11 PM, Saturday 11-11 PM, Sunday 12-10 PM. Special events each weekend.

Our trip was sponsored by the McHenry County Visitors Bureau andMeadow View Farm.

Port Edward on the Fox River Algonquin McHenry County Illinois

We dined at Port Edward in Algonquin, guests of Port Edward and McHenry County Visitors Bureau. The nautical themed restaurant and seafood menu has been a fixture of Algonquin and Fox River valley since 1952. It is a favorite fine dining locale for McHenry county residents and visitors alike.

Flat Iron Steak at Port Edward

Try the Flat Iron Steak at Port Edward

Owner Ed Wolowiec is a gracious host involved in all details of the restaurant. His background includes diving the oceans for treasure, classical musician and teacher. Ed designed and supervised the building of Port Edward Restaurant doing much of the work himself. You may see him driving around town in his classic Stutz Bearcat. Ed is active in the community including the Rotary Club.

Here is Ed holding the 1st production Materra Merlot wine.

Ed Wolowiec at Port Edward Restaurant with 1st production Materra Merlot

Ed Wolowiec at Port Edward Restaurant in McHenry County with 1st production Materra Merlot wine

The Friday night international seafood buffet and Sunday champagne brunch are highlights of the week. The selection of seafood treats is like no other you will find in the area. Limited vegetarian selections are on the menu. While known for seafood delights, Ed and Chef Randy have a little secret to share with you.


Diners can customize their experience with a choice of seating options available in the spacious restaurant. The well lit main dining room offers accessibility for all and is perfect for everyone. For a romantic dinner, request a quite table in the Lobster Cove or Secret Room. The Red Room is often used for cabaret shows or special events.

For those who plan ahead, reserve a table aboard the “Porpoise” up to one year in advance. Your party can enjoy a private meal while floating in the koi pond.

Savor scenes that change with the seasons from the Salem Lounge’s over-sized windows overlooking the Fox River. Enjoy cocktails or dinner as the wood bar radiates a warm glow in the sunshine. Evening crowds range from after work business colleagues to girls night out to couples.

Summer time dining dockside on the patio is a favorite for boaters who tie up and come ashore for lunch or dinner. Even dogs have their day with Tuesday evening outside Doggie Dine Out for owners and their pets.

Chicago’s WTTW Check, Please! filmed a segment at the restaurant last year. We were there for the shoot and took video of their video taping. Our favorite was producer David Manilow pretending to dive into the huge dish of paella.

You can keep up with Port Edward on Twitter and Facebook.

PORT EDWARD RESTAURANT
The Fox River and Algonquin Rd. (Rt. 62) in McHenry County
Algonquin, IL 60102
Phone: 847.658.5441 Fax: 847.658.5690

Our visit was sponsored by Port Edward and McHenry County Visitors Bureau.

Port Edward Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Port Edward Restaurant on Foodio54

Spotlight McHenry County Illinois Business

We will highlight selected McHenry County, Illinois businesses on this blog over the next several weeks. Located in northwest Illinois, McHenry County is a diverse blend of retail, wholesale, manufacturing and agricultural business.

Woodstock is the country seat. Housing options range from in-town condominiums to single family homes on large lots to rural homes and farms.

McHenry County includes these Northern Illinois suburbs, cities or villages and unincorporated areas.
* Algonquin
* Barrington Hills
* Cary
* Crystal Lake
* Fox Lake
* Fox River Grove
* Greenwood
* Harvard
* Hebron
* Huntley
* Island Lake
* Johnsburg
* Lake in the Hills
* Lakemoor
* Lakewood
* Marengo
* McHenry
* Oakwood Hills
* Port Barrington
* Prairie Grove
* Richmond
* Ringwood
* Spring Grove
* Trout Valley
* Wonder Lake
* Woodstock
* Unincorporated McHenry county

Adding these cities based on reader input
* Alden
* Big Foot
* Chemung

Follow our tweets on Twitter and Facebook.

*** Additions to the list: Thanks to David for sharing this information:

The 200 or so residents of Alden, Illinois may feel a bit slighted. Alden is at the intersection of Rte 173 and County Hwy 1, between Hebron and Harvard. Big Foot is another McHenry Co. community, at the intersection of State Line Road and route 14 north of Harvard. It is in Wisconsin and Illinois. Chemung is a small community on route 173 west of Harvard.

My apologies to Alden, Big Foot and Chemung for omitting them from the list above. Before writing this article, I contacted the McHenry County Webmaster to be sure I had all the municipalities. This was the response I received.

RE: Cities in McHenry County

Please refer to:

http://www.co.mchenry.il.us/Pages/Links.aspx

Lists all the websites for all the Villages/Cities in McHenry County…Thanks..

I wonder if McHenry County knows you guys are there in Alden, Big Foot and Chemung……

Electronics Recycling Algonquin

Algonquin, Illinois in McHenry County offered electronics recycling this week at the Public Works building. By 10:30 in the morning, a half mile long line of cars were lined up for the three hour event. We waited in line for over one hour to unload our goods.

There were eight foot tall piles of computers, big screen TVs, computers, printers and miscellaneous electronics in stacks all over the parking lot. Forklifts transferred the once high tech toys to semi truck for disposal.

Electronics Recycling Algonquin, McHenry County Illinois

Electronics Recycling Algonquin, McHenry County Illinois

While we waited our turn in line, we overheard comments from other drivers. They said things like:

“This is not worth the wait. Next time I’ll just throw these items in the garbage”
“It may be green to recycle but what about all the gas these cars are wasting while they idle in line”.

It is a good sign to see a large number of people participating in these events. I would like to see them scheduled more frequently. Still looking for a place in the area that accepts used batteries. Any suggestions?

Travel blogs

Richardson Corn Maze and Richardson Adventure Farm Spring Grove McHenry County Illinois

The Richardson Family invited us to be their guest and tour the Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove, Illinois including the Richardson Farm World’s Largest Corn Maze. If you think the destination is “just” a corn maze, you will be surprised to find there is something for the whole family to enjoy on their visit and each year a new activity is added.

The 28 acre corn maze with 11 miles of trails is the star attraction. Four of the mazes are connected via bridges celebrate the 100th anniversary of scouting. A fifth maze celebrates the 500 anniversary of the first decorated Christmas tree in Latvia is located near the U Pick Christmas trees. Within the  corn maze are checkpoints and games you can play while you navigate the trails.

Richardson Adventure Farm, Spring Grove, McHenry County, Illinois

Photo Credit: Richardson Farm World's Largest Corn Maze in Spring Grove, McHenry County, Illinois

After the trails, you can gather your group around one of the picnic areas for a snack you purchase or bring with you. As the weather cools, up to 60 campfires will keep visitors toasty warm. Don’t forget your marshmallows.

When you are rested and ready for more adventure, take the kids for a ride down the giant tube slide or to climb the Mulch Mountain. Look “eye to eye” with the goats while feeding them handfuls of food. Then take a spin on the tyke track or play with the buckets and shovels in the corn crib. Teens can race each other on the pedal cart track or go for a wagon ride. Don’t miss the view from the top of the five story observation tower where you can overlook the entire corn maze and Richardson Christmas tree farm. Visitors could easily spend two to four hours with all the activities which are included in the entrance fee.

The Richardson family are fifth and sixth generation owners who plan to bring new attractions to the Richardson farm each year. If you are adventurous, check out two of the latest additions to the farm: zipline and zorbing.

New to the United States, zorbing is a sport where one or two participants are strapped inside a 10 foot diameter ball which is then rolled down a hill. The Richardson’s tell us there are just five zorbing locations in the United States. Click to watch our video as April rides the zorbing ball like a human hamster.

I rode the 700 foot zipline ride, new to the farm last year. I climbed to the top of the five story observation tower and stepped off the platform for a thirty second thrill glide over the corn maze, pumpkin patch and Christmas trees. The ride is exhilarating and you can watch as I take my ride in the video below.

The Richardson Farm corn maze is open until Halloween. The farm reopens after Thanksgiving for You-Cut Christmas tree, wreaths, garlands, wagon rides and hot cocoa.

Admission to Richardson farm includes all activities except zorbing, zipline, reserved picnic tables and concessions, also providing wheeled coolers.

You can find “Richardson “World’s Largest” Corn Maze” on Facebook and Twitter. Follow their updated for the latest weather reports from the farm, updates on special events and news. Learn more about the upcoming Midnight Storytelling event.

The Richardson Adventure Farm is located at 9407 Richardson Road near Spring Grove, IL. in northern McHenry County. It is about one hour northwest of Chicago, one hour southwest of Milwaukee or 15 minutes south of Lake Geneva. For more information call 815-675-9729.

Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?” and see me ride the 700′ zipline across the farm.

Our trip was sponsored by the McHenry County Visitors Bureau and Richardson Corn Maze and Richardson Adventure Farm.

Read more about Richardson’s World’s Largest Corn Maze and Adventure Farm

One Room Schoolhouse at Richardson Farm “World’s Largest” Corn Maze

Zorbing Richardson Corn Maze Adventure Farm Spring Grove McHenry County Illinois

Zipline Richardson Farm and Corn Maze Spring Grove

Algonquin Farmers Market McHenry County Illinois

The Algonquin Farmers Market in Northern Illinois returns. Stop by any Thursday evening from 1 PM – 7 PM at the corners of Harrison & Washington Streets in the heart of beautiful historic downtown Algonquin. Plenty of free parking and a wide variety of vendors showcasing the best of McHenry County. The event runs now through September 30th.

Algonquin Farmers Market McHenry County Illinois

Algonquin Farmers Market McHenry County Illinois

As a bonus, beginning July 15, walk a couple of blocks north of the Farmers Market for music along the Fox River at River Front park. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and relax with your neighbors.

Clickon the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”.

Zipline Richardson Farm and Corn Maze Spring Grove

Check out Abe Lincoln on this zipline at Richardson Farm World’s Largest Corn Maze in Spring Grove, McHenry County, Illinois. Looks like he is having fun!

Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”

Read more about Richardson’s World’s Largest Corn Maze and Adventure Farm

One Room Schoolhouse at Richardson Farm “World’s Largest” Corn Maze

Zorbing Richardson Corn Maze Adventure Farm Spring Grove McHenry County Illinois

Richardson Corn Maze and Richardson Adventure Farm Spring Grove McHenry County Illinois

Snowing in Chicago

It is snowing in the Chicago area for this Where Are You Today?” episode. It is almost St. Patrick’s day and spring is just around the corner. Finally! Winter seems to last longer each year. Chicago is getting ready to dye the Chicago River emerald green. They use orange dye to do so. The river scenes and parade bring tourists and locals downtown.

In the Northwest suburbs, we have our own parades.

According to the National Weather Service we can see snow through May. In 1940 2.2 inches on the white stuff came down.

Here is a reminder of what a typical snowy day looks like in McHenry County. Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”

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