plants and students on the farm

Grayslake Community High School District 127 (D127) and Liberty Prairie Farm have teamed up for another Annual Plant Sale and Farm Festival on May 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and May 5 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The plant sale is the culminating experience for D127 students, who gain practical learning opportunities while benefiting the local community and environment through an ongoing partnership with Liberty Prairie Farm. 

Located in the scenic Prairie Crossing Conservation Community, Liberty Prairie Farm stewards 94 acres of organic land and serves as a center for both learning and sustainable living. Working strategically with Grayslake D127, the farm opens its gates to approximately 2,500 students each year, offering them enriching educational experiences across various subjects. 

The annual Spring Plant Sale and Farm Festival is central to the partnership, where students play pivotal roles in every event stage, from seed to sale. Working closely with teachers and administrators, students from Grayslake D127's "Engineering for a Sustainable Future" program are deeply involved in planning and running the sale, from growing the plants to preparing orders, gaining valuable hands-on experience while contributing to the community. 

Student Jordyn Helvie shares, "The most rewarding aspect was witnessing the work of so many diverse students from both schools and numerous classes dedicated to having a successful plant sale and seeing how our efforts paid off."

Through growing and selling plants, students gain practical skills and a deeper understanding of local food systems, nurturing a sense of environmental responsibility. “The plant sale showed me how easy and affordable it is to grow your own food right at home,” explains senior student Marlee Jaramillo, who said the experience inspired her to start her own garden at home.

During last year’s event, students clocked over 5,000 minutes of hands-on learning, donated over 500 pounds of food, and contributed more than 150 plants to the community. The 2023 sale raised over $10,000, setting the stage for another successful event this year. 

This year’s event promises an array of activities for attendees. Guests can peruse a wide assortment of vegetables, herbs, and flowers meticulously cultivated by D127 students and staff. Additionally, native plants sourced from Possibility Place will be available, and visitors can explore organic compost and local leaf mulches that contribute to sustainable gardening practices.

The fun-filled Farm Festival offers activities curated by various D127 student groups and clubs aimed at engaging visitors of all ages, fostering a sense of community and appreciation for the farm's contributions to education and sustainability.

After several years of being exclusively online, the event's return to the farm will allow locals in the Grayslake community to get a front-row seat to the partnership between the district and the farm, as well as its impact on students and sustainable development.