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
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.