News & Views:  Farm Headlines

Please check the weather before coming. Try the National Weather Service or the Weather Channel hourly forecast.

Regularly updated field reports, picking schedules, and market schedules are posted below throughout the harvest season.

Farmers' Markets Schedule
Farmers' Market continues Saturdays through October.
We will no longer make it as we are closing. Look for Hungry World Farm next year.

Blackberry U-Pick Scheduleupdated 22 August 2017

Closed. Look for Hungry World Farm next year.

Would you like to receive Farm Headlines by e-mail?

PRESS RELEASE: Plow Creek Fellowship Closing at End of 2017 Tiskilwa, Illinois - August 4, 2017 - Plow Creek Fellowship, an intentional Christian community established in 1971, a mile south-east of Tiskilwa, Illinois, is announcing the close of its operations at the end of 2017. At its peak the community had up to a hundred participants in worship and common meals. Plow Creek Fellowship has been widely known for its u-pick strawberries and its sales of garden-fresh produce at area farmers’ markets. Plow Creek Fellowship members shared in a common treasury. It was closely affiliated with Plow Creek Mennonite Church, a member of the Mennonite Church, USA. The Fellowship was guided by a commitment to share life, needs and resources according to the teachings of Jesus and the practice of the early Church as told in Acts 2-4. Peace-making and solidarity with refugees gained the community both respect and criticism. Over the years, many weary city-dwellers took retreats at Plow Creek, appreciating the natural beauty of its woodland trails, starry nights, campfires, and good pot-luck food. Plow Creek Fellowship was the site of several summer camp meetings for Shalom Mission Communities of which Plow Creek Fellowship was a member. One camp meeting in 2008 hosted a music festival with inspiring teachings for more than seven-hundred campers. One of Plow Creek Fellowship’s most well known members was writer and pastor, Rich Foss, who, for a decade, wrote a weekly column in the Bureau Valley Chief until his death in January of 2017. Rich’s passing, plus the deaths of David Gale and Jim Harnish in late 2016, left only a dozen members who concluded that it was time to close up community operations and pass the property on to another non-profit ministry. This turned out to be Hungry World Farm, an offshoot of Willow Springs Mennonite Church. Hungry World Farm is a new organization applying for not-for-profit status. It will receive the Plow Creek Farm and transition it into a new ministry utilizing the facilities and farmland. The idea of Hungry World Farm began through local conversations and a review of other farm-based ministries that teach about growing and consuming healthy food. Dennis Zehr of Coneflower Farm, Tiskilwa, and Calvin Zehr, Pastor of Willow Springs Mennonite Church, Tiskilwa, created a proposal which Plow Creek Fellowship accepted. Hungry World Farm will focus on the following activities: educating people about food production, distribution, and consumption; addressing spiritual hunger in people’s’ lives; training local and international interns in farming techniques; and providing retreats for holistic growth and health. The transition will officially take place at the end of 2017. If you would like to explore ways to partner in this new organization, or for more information, please contact Cal Zehr, 815-646-4819, Contact Information: Mark Stahnke, Plow Creek Fellowship 19201 Plow Creek Rd Tiskilwa, Illinois 61368 815-646-4851 Cal D. Zehr, Willow Springs Mennonite Church 16621 Kentville Rd Tiskilwa, Illinois 61368 815-646-4819

Our last planned market is tomorrow, Saturday, July 29 at Princeton Farmers’ Market. We plan to have blueberries, blackberries, garlic, and elephant garlic. We will have quantity discounts on all these items. Market opens at 8:30.

Saturday morning I’ll be at Princeton Farmers’ Market with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, garlic, elephant garlic, lambsquarter, and rhubarb. Market opens at 8:30. Saturday Market

<a href=Today, Saturday, we will be at Princeton Farmers’ Market. We’ll bring blueberries, blackberries, and red, black, and purple (my favorite) raspberries. We also have rhubarb, lambsquarter, and fresh garlic. Market opens at 8:30.

Blueberries are pretty well picked out by 10 a.m. July 4. More will be ripe later in the week.

Saturday, at Princeton Farmers’ Market, we will have strawberries (maybe the last of the season), blueberries, black raspberries, and garlic scapes. The market opens at 8:30. We will also have plenty of blueberries at the Peoria Riverfront Market with Plow Creek Bakery (opens 8:00).

We will open for blueberry picking on Thursday, June 22, from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. Berries are a good size this year and taste great, but the bunches are mostly small, so we don’t expect fast picking this season. Strawberries and black raspberries can also be picked.

We have a new row of black raspberries that’s now ready to pick. $3.00 / pint, self-serve. It’s the first row on the left, about 300 feet from the Market Barn. Come pick both strawberries and black raspberries all day, any raspberries on the bush

We need to spend time getting the blueberry patch ready for picking, so we will be opening the strawberry patch to self-serve u-pick, 7 to 7, Monday through Saturday. (subject to change - news.htm for the latest schedule). There are still plenty of good berries, but some have soft spots.

We will be at Princeton Farmers’ Market on Saturday with strawberries, blueberries(!), rhubarb, and garlic scapes. Market opens at 8:30. We will also have some blueberries with Plow Creek Bakery at Peoria Riverfront Market (opens at 8:00).

We plan to be open for picking strawberries all day tomorrow, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will be self-serve, with directions. Most years we’ve done self-serve when there are fewer berries; we just don’t have the people to staff it tomorrow. Saturday will be full service again from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Almost ripe strawberry on May 25, 2017Some strawberries are almost ripe. As usual, picking will start slowly. We estimate that picking will start next week, sometime between Wednesday and Saturday. Check back!

« Older entries · 

Would you like to receive Farm Headlines by e-mail?

2017 Prices

(subject to change)
Crop U-Pick Orders* Market** Comment
Strawberries $2.50/ pound Not available $6.25 / quart
$34.00 / flat (6 qt)
U-Pick 10% discount on > 50 pounds
Blueberries $3.00 / pound Not Available $6.25 / pint
Blackberries $2.50 / pint Not Available $5.50 / pint The thorny variety should be abundant this year
Red Raspberries $3.00 /pint
10 or more pints $2.50 / pint
Not available $6.00 / pint
Black Raspberries $3.00 / pint Not available $6.00 / pint
* We expect we won't be able to take orders in 2017
**We don't know how often we will make it to market in 2017
Prices of additional crops are sometimes listed on the Crop Calendar page.

Call 815-646-4862 or check this page for current schedule and field conditions before coming to pick here. Weather and farm conditions are unpredictable and we'd like to spare you a trip if we will not be open.