Our McHenry County Visitor Bureau sponsored tour stopped at Stade’s Farm and Market in McHenry, McHenry County, Illinois. Vern Stade began his business with a couple of produce stands, expanded to u-pick pumpkins and now runs a popular agra-tourism destination.
The season starts with asparagus and u-pick strawberries and runs through Halloween with various produce and events.
The farm grows all the produce sold in their market except apples and blueberries. Sweet corn, tomatoes and strawberries are the biggest sellers. Mounds of zucchini, beets, cantaloupe and gourds are attractively displayed in the large farmer’s market.
Specialty items also available in the market include salsa, honey, and cookbooks. We browsed the variety of quilted items.
Stade’s bakery makes their own shortcake for strawberry shortcakes. Donuts, pies and zucchini bread are baked daily. Don’t miss these sweet tweets.
The market is just the beginning! Children can spend an entire afternoon with the farm activities. Shoot down the Slide Mountain. Take a spin around the farm on this barrel train pulled by an orange tractor. Walk among the llama, goats, cows and other critters and feed them in the petting zoo. Ride the ponies or the pedal cars around the two tracks.
Our group of full sized adults took on the double decker Bovine Befuddlement and survived. I recommend this attraction for those under four feet tall. School groups have a great time in here.
Watch the video of the adults struggling through the two story corn maze game.
While you navigate the two acre corn maze, take the Stade challenge answering the 15 educational questions in the maze correctly and you can take home a free mini pumpkin. This year Stade’s offers a one price wristband, including admission to all attractions.
Kids can play in 500 bushels of corn in this box. This is Kris Cain showing us the little kid inside her.
I tested out the corn cob shooter and came darn close to the hitting the targets. The biggest and loudest attraction at the farm is the pumpkin cannon. Watch video to see how the homemade artillery shoots out pumpkins at 300 feet per second. We hear the pumpkins can do serious damage to autos targeted for demolition.
Come hungry and try out the food choices at the fall harvest Shades of Autumn. The stage features local music acts you can watch or listen to while browsing the craft show and swap meet.
Stade’s celebrates a different theme each weekend with special events and discounts September through October.
- Annual Tractors for Charity Antique Tractors, Trucks, & Construction Equipment Show
- Pick Your Own Pumpkin Begins
- Grandparents Weekend
- Columbus Day Weekend
- Sweetest Day Weekend
- Family Fun Weekend
- Halloween Weekend
Each Sunday morning 150 people gather at the farm for Christian worship. Several local churches hold outdoors services based on a rotating schedule.
Stade’s provides fresh produce for Northern Illinois families in need through Gleaners for the Lord, a non-profit volunteer organization which picks leftovers from the harvest.
Clickon the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”
Stade’s Farm and Market
3709 W Miller Road
McHenry , Il 60051