Green Earth

We grow healthy.

The Conservation Foundation’s Green Earth Harvest program is devoted to healthy soil, healthy vegetables, healthy people, and healthy communities.  Our Green Earth Harvest farm crew works tirelessly to sustainably farm the agricultural land at our McDonald Farm headquarters in Naperville and produce healthy organic vegetables for the community. Read more about our farm and our farmshare program below and find out about our weekly farmstands by clicking here!

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About green earth harvest

Green Earth Harvest uses the shareholder approach as the main method of selling the produce we grow here at McDonald Farm. Through this model, members of the community purchase a “share” of the anticipated harvest in advance of the season which funds the planning, seeding, planting, cultivating and harvesting of the bountiful vegetables grown on our 50-acre certified organic farm. Ultimately, this creates a valuable partnership between the farmers and the community through the production, distribution and consumption of locally grown food. We do also grow for our weekly summer farmstand  and occasionally sell to restaurants to support the Green Earth Harvest program, but our shareholders are our main focus and lifeblood!

Shareholders

Through our farmshare model, members of the community purchase a “share” of the farm’s anticipated harvest in advance of the season and become “shareholders”. In exchange, we plant, cultivate, harvest and distribute a bountiful selection of organic vegetables and herbs.  2022 is our 20th year of growing for our farmshare program!

Farm Experience

We offer shareholders a unique opportunity to experience a real working farm right here in Naperville! Throughout the summer, there are many opportunities to connect with the farm such as u-pick days (peas, green beans and cherry tomatoes) along with Pizza Nights on the Farm, farm tours and summer camps.  We also enjoy goodies from our local farm partners including  fruit, meat, eggs, milk, flowers, organic grains and herbs! 

community partners

In addition to being a program of The Conservation Foundation, we partner with other nonprofits and local farms to bring our communities together. During our growing season, we typically donate ~5000 pounds of produce to Loaves and Fishes- a local food pantry supporting those in need.  Please let us know if you’re interested in partnering with us, we’d love to hear from you!

ORGANIC & SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

We are proud to say that our crops are USDA certified organic. Our farming practices meet the strict standards of the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP). Annually, our farm undergoes a rigorous certification renewal process which involves detailed documentation of our field plans, pest mitigation, sources for seeds (and other inputs) and produce handling processes. We also practice crop rotation, plant cover crops,  utilize natural inputs to nurture the soil and don’t use any non-approved chemical fertilizers to help ensure the highest quality of soil fertility possible, giving you incredibly nutritious veggies!

Farmshares

The Conservation Foundation’s Green Earth Harvest program is a certified organic farming operation which provides local, nutritious vegetables to the community through the sale of “shares”. When you become a Green Earth Harvest shareholder, you are essentially purchasing a portion of the anticipated farmshare harvest. 

 

You’ll have a few options to make your farmshare experience just the right one for you/your family. First, you’ll select the size share that’s right for your home — our Standard Size Share is between 8-9 veggie units per pickup and our Personal Size Share is between 5-6 units per pickup. Then you’ll determine the best pickup location and frequency–you’ll either come to McDonald Farm in Naperville or one of our off-farm pickup sites every week or every other week to pick up your freshly-harvested produce. We’re also offering home delivery for select zip codes in Naperville! 

 

At every pickup, you’ll select exactly which vegetables you’d like to take home from our harvest, allowing you to make your veggie farmshare experience exactly right for you!

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are essential to our work. Organic farming is labor-intensive and from March through November there are lots of opportunities to help with planting, transplanting, cultivating, harvesting, and post-harvest washing. Helping at the farm can be a way to learn about farming and gardening as well as meet others who share a concern about nutrition, health, and sustainability. No experience necessary!

our Recipe collection

Wondering how to use your fresh produce? We’ve got some ideas! You’ll find background information, storage and preparation tips, along with a whole catalog of recipes we’ve collected over the years! Each week of the farmshare season, you’ll receive an email with additional recipe inspirations for the harvest, a “Veggie of the Week” spotlight to help you learn more about what’s being grown, and other resources to make your farmshare experience one you’ll look forward to year after year!

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