Spring has Sprung and for us that means markets on the farm! We are so excited to be bringing back “The Markets on the Farms“! We have added two more markets this year. First market opens in May and ends in October and are scheduled for the 3rd Saturday of the month. Same hours as last year, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Below is a synopsis of each event.

Live Plant Market – May 15, 2021- 10:00AM – 2:00PM

May’s market embraces all things spring. We will have OutdoorPro Landscaping here to answer all your landscaping questions. Live patio plants: geraniums, ferns, petunias, begonias, pansies, succulents, combo planters! Patio pots and planters! Fresh cut spring bouquets from Nettie’s Petals. Local Beef and Pork from Cow Creek Organic Farm and Miller Farms. New syrups and hot sauces. The new bakery will be open and will be offering seasonal selections along with all the bakery’s favorite cookies and fresh-baked bread.

Picnic Market | June 19, 2021 | 10:00am – 2:00pm

Maybe our favorite market of the year! It’s picnic days on the farm. Baskets, blankets, and all things picnic will be highlighted in the boutique. The bakery will include new pantry items perfect for picnics. Bring a blanket, grab a picnic box from the bakery, and enjoy the farm. The kid pad will open for the season and live music will return under the live oaks! Check out the music page to see who is performing.

Sorry no outside food or drinks are allowed on the farm for health reasons.

BBQ Market | July 17, 2021 | 10:00am – 2:00pm

Celebrate barbeque days on the farm. Barbeque spices, sauces, and tools will be highlighted in the market. The bakery will be serving up some maple and smoked treats to help celebrate. Bring a partner and sign up for the Cornhole Tournament. Enjoy the kid’s play pad, water display, and live music under the live oaks! Check out the music page to see who is performing.

Sorry no outside food or drinks are allowed on the farm for health reasons.

Artist Market | August 21, 2021 | 10:00am – 2:00pm

The August market celebrates our local artists and artisans. We will have several booths offering local art and crafts to browse and purchase. We are looking for more artist to join us. If you are, or know, an artist and would like to display their artwork please contact us. The market will include our new gourmet spices being introduced this year. The bakery will offer an array of cupcakes too pretty to eat, but too good not to.

Sorry no outside food or drinks are allowed on the farm for health reasons.

Family Fun Market | September 19, 2021 | 10:00am – 2:00pm

The September market celebrates family fun and fall flavors. This one is truly for the kids. We will offer pumpkin bowling, face painting, scavenger hunt, pumpkin carving contest, scarecrow building, and live music! If the wind is out of the right direction we will be firing up the firepit and offering a s’mores bar.

Sorry no outside food or drinks are allowed on the farm for health reasons.

fried dish beside drink

Oktoberfest Market | October 16, 2021| 10:00am – 2:00pm

Our great grandfather, Dietrich Hinrich, brought his family to America in 1904 from Munich, Germany. Come help us celebrate our German heritage! It is Oktoberfest on the farm and that means brats and beer. Legally we cannot sell you any beer, but we can offer craft beer tasting. Join in the yodeling contest, giant checkers, chicken dance, beer stein race, and of course live music!

Sorry no outside food or drinks are allowed on the farm for health reasons.

silhouette of man holding guitar on plant fields at daytime


Leo Tolstoy once said, and we echo, “A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.”

silhouette of man holding guitar on plant fields at daytime
Photo by Keith Wako on

There truly are no better words to describe “The Market on the Farm”. We love introducing local products to the community. Local promotes growth and brings life back to our small towns. We do this by sharing our farm, through friendship, good food, and most importantly music. We are pleased to bring live music back to the markets starting with the June Market.

Kelli Bonomo Music

Kankakee County native, Kelli Bonomo, takes her musical talent into every aspect she can. At the age of 4, she began playing the piano, singing and performing. Kelli has mastered her craft by rearranging various songs and musical styles, bringing her own arrangements on many different genres. Her ability to perform and entertain her audience shines through her passion for music. 

Scheduled to Play: June 19, 2021 – 10:30AM to 12:30PM

anonymous woman standing on beach


Emily Hope Cancelled on us. Hang tight while we find a replacement. Thanks!

Scheduled to Play: July 17, 2021 – 10:30AM to 12:30PM

The Hood Family Band

A family of music, The Hood Family Band is a local Folk/Americana/Bluegrass band comprised of Jim and Penny Hood and Jennifer Hood-Sturm. They focus on delicate instrumentation and highlight close harmonies in their mix of classic and contemporary covers, as well as their own original songs. Their special brand of music echoes through the soul.

Scheduled to Play: August 21, 2021 – 10:30AM to 12:30PM & at the Texas BBQ Dinner (TBA)

The Chickadee Sermon

Comfort Folk Act with heavy emphasis on vocal harmony. Chickadee Sermon play originals as well as contemporary/traditional folk music. The Chickadee sound emphasizes vocal harmony and delicate instrumentation with acoustic guitars, banjo and accordion. They play original songs about their small town, country upbringings and cover artists like Jerry Garcia, John Harftord, and Emmylou Harris. Their CD “Town to Town” is available in our market and can be purchased directly from the band @thechickadeesermon.

Scheduled to Play: September 21, 2021 – 10:30AM to 12:30PM

Smoked Salmon Pizza

A homemade pizza dough smoldered in a cheesy white sauce with slivers of smoked salmon, spinach, a bite of fresh dill, and smothered in provolone and mozzarella.

The first time I had this pizza was back in my college days and you know all college students are pizza connoisseur. At least, it was a constant staple in my diet. Dinner on Saturday and breakfast all week long. Perfect for a broke college student. So when I say this pizza is delicious you can trust me. A few decades later and it is still one of my favorite pizzas. Definitely in the top five.

Salmon & Dill:

Salmon and dill is the perfect blend of flavors. It may not be as synonymous as peanut butter and jelly, but it should be. Dill adds that perfect delicate kick to salmon giving it a light herby taste that allows the rich and buttery flavor of the salmon to stand out.

Smoked Salmon:

Smoked salmon is considered a delicacy and often carries the price tag as such, but it is worth it. Do not use regular salmon or you will miss the complexity of this pizza. I use sliced smoked salmon because I like the look of it on the pizza, but you can break up a fillet if you cannot find sliced. Smoked salmon is usually in the meat department in most grocery stores.

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Smoked Salmon Pizza

Cedar Oak Farms
smoked salmon, cream sauce, mozzarella + provolone, smoked salmon, spinach + dill
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 Pizzas


Pizza Dough:

  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 cups pizza flour we use Janie’s Mill

Cream Sauce:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove fresh garlic minced


  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup provolone
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill


  • Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet turn upside down in the oven.
  • In a 2-cup measuring cup measure out the water. Add the corn syrup and yeast, mix. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes or until the yeast starts to bubble.
  • Pour the yeast mixture into a food processor bowl. Add the olive oil and salt. Pulse for 30 seconds. Slowly begin to add the flour one cup at time, mixing for 2 minutes between additions. Turn the dough onto a floured board. The dough will be very sticky at this point so sprinkle some extra flour on top.
  • Knead adding additional flour from the board until no longer sticky, about 5 – 6 kneads is all that is needed. Place a warm, moist towel over the dough and let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Roll the dough into a ½-inch thick circle, or two ovals, dusting the pizza dough with flour as needed. Poke holes in the pizza dough with a fork to prevent bubbles.

Cream Sauce:

  • Combine heavy cream, butter, and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat stirring occasionally. Simmer until melted.
  • Stir in parmesan cheese and garlic. Continue cooking on low for 15-20 minutes.
  • Spread over the pizza dough.


  • Add a drizzle or two of olive oil to a skillet and heat. When hot, add the spinach. Piece the garlic with a fork and keeping the garlic on the tines mix the spinach until wilted down, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
  • Position the spinach evenly over the cream sauce dividing evenly. Add the dill, reserving 1 – 2 tablespoons, smoked salmon and cheeses.


  • Slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone or pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Garnish with the reserved dill, if desired.


If you prefer to freeze the pizzas, do not add the cheese yet. Bake the cheese-less pizza for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with plastic or foil to protect from freezer burn and freeze in a plastic container or box. When ready to serve, remove from freezer. Place on a pizza stone or on the oven rack and bake at 375°F for 20- 25 minutes.
Keyword Pizzas & Flatbreads

Smoked Salmon Lasagna

Smoked salmon, spinach, white cheddar layered between sheets of pasta smothered in a rich béchamel sauce. But, it is the fresh dill that brings the dish alive.


The secret to a great béchamel sauce is the roux. Roux is equal parts fat, usually butter, and flour. Béchamel sauce requires a white roux and is mainly used for thickening. You want to melt the butter on a heat high enough to melt th e butter but not so high it burns it, usually a medium heat. Be patience and let the butter melt slowly. Once melted remove it from the heat and whisk in the flour before returning to the heat. You only cook the roux long enough to eliminate the flour’s raw flavor, about 2 to 5 minutes. When done you have a silky paste the consistency of Elmer’s glue.


The amount of roux you need depends on the amount of liquid in the recipe. A good rule of thumb, For every cup of liquid you need a tablespoon of flour. So your roux would be one tablespoon of melted butter and 1 tablespoon of flour in this scenario.


The mystery of an onion. When a recipe calls for an onion it doesn’t mean any ole onion will do. When I first starting cooking I would grab whatever onion I had on hand. Then I become all foodie snooty and learned that the color of your onion plays an important role in your recipes.

agriculture blur close up focus
Photo by Pixabay on

Here’s a basic guide:

Red Onion: Best raw in salads, sandwiches, burgers, pickling, salsas.
Yellow Onion: Best for long cooking or sautéing in soups, stocks, risotto, sauces, stews.
White Onion: Can be used raw or cooked often called for in Mexican food, white sauces, pasta salads, or raw in salads, chili, and potato salads.
Sweet Onion: These are onion ring gold! They are great cooked or raw and work best in Gratins, roasted vegetables, onion rings, or raw in salads and on sandwiches. Tip: If you ever come across Maui Sweet Onion Chips grab two bags!

Smoked Salmon Lasagna

Cedar Oak Farms
Layers of spinach, leeks, salmon, and white cheddar between pasta sheets and covered in a béchamel sauce with undertones of dill.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine International
Servings 6


  • 6 ounces smoked salmon

Bechamel sauce:

  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour


  • 1 leek
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 4 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1 garlic clove


  • 1 bunch fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 cups white cheddar, shredded
  • 16 ounces lasagna pasta sheets


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Add milk, onion, bay leaf, and cloves to a saucepan and warm.
  • Meanwhile make the roux. Melt the butter in a small pan, remove from heat, and whisk in the flour. Remove the onion from the milk and whisk in the roux. Keep whisking until you have a thick white sauce without any lumps. Set aside.
  • Clean and remove the bottom root from the leek. Slice in half lengthwise and then into half-moons. In a clean skillet, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the leeks, it should sizzle and crackle when the leeks hit the pan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Add the spinach to the leeks and season with salt. Place the garlic on the end of a fork and use it to gently toss the spinach and leeks giving it that nice garlic flavor. Once the spinach is wilted transfer to a bowl that has a colander inside and squeeze out the excess liquid.
  • Grease a lasagna pan or casserole dish with butter. Spoon a little béchamel on the bottom of the pan and add the sheets of pasta overlapping and filling in the bottom of the pan. Add some more béchamel over the sheets. Next, spread some of the spinach and leek mixture over the sauce and then add some of the smoked salmon. Now sprinkle some of the fresh dill on top. Spoon some more of the béchamel sauce the dill.
  • Just take a spoon and drizzle the sauce over the layers. You do not have to have the layer covered. It will all merge and come together in the baking process.
  • Season with freshly grind black pepper and cover with a third of the cheese. Spoon some béchamel sauce on top. Repeat the process starting with the pasta sheets and ending with the béchamel sauce. Add another layer of pasta sheets, béchamel and the rest of the cheese.
  • Place the lasagna into the oven and bake 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting. Garnish with fresh chopped dill and serve immediately.
Keyword Fish & Seafood, Pasta

Greenhouses Grow Optimism

There are times when I still miss the city, okay I miss pizza delivery really, but today is not one of them. I am outside stretching my limbs. I am enjoying the warmth of the sun beating down on my face and soaking up the heat with temps currently a balmy 80°F. My garden gloves are packed with potting soil, seed packets lay empty around me, and all that is left is trudging through 10” inches of snow to fill the watering can.

That is the wonder of a greenhouse. Snow can be swirling around the glass panes with artic temperatures that register a whopping 9°F, but inside it’s Maui. This is my happy place. There is just something about working in the greenhouse in February that cries eternal optimism with a side of profound belief that tomorrow is sure to come with April showers and May flowers.

Greenhouse Basics:

For the next few months, the temperature in the greenhouse will need to be carefully monitored. The sun normally warms the greenhouse effectively during the day, when the sun is shining, but drops drastically at night. Seedling heat mats are a must. I use a temperature probe that continuously monitors the soil temps and keeps it at a recommended 70° – 80°F.  I usually split the difference and keep the soil at an even 75°F.

As the days grow longer and the sun stronger, I worry less about night temps and instead start monitoring the temperature inside the greenhouse. It is important to equip the greenhouse with a fan attached to a sensor that will kick on when the temperature starts to tip over 95°F to allow proper venting.


Deciding when to start seedlings in the greenhouse will not only depend on what you are planting, but on the seed itself. Pay attention to the germination on the package and plan accordingly. As soon as I get my first seed book, I make a list of everything I plan to have in the garden. Using the germination and our scheduled market dates I will lay it all out on a planting schedule.

Here is a sneak peak at some of the produce that will be offered at the Illinois “Market on the Farm.” See the Events Calendar for dates and more details:

Unfortunately, gardening is not a direct science. Science can certainly help in the planning, but Mother Nature still plays an important role and she can be a very cruel lady. I have certainly had to learn patience and have been forced to accept the things I cannot control, but there are things that can be monitored and changed along the way to ensure a successful harvest. I look forward to the challenges as I tackle a new growing season. See you at “The Market on the Farm!

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