5215 Walkup Road
Crystal Lake, IL 60012
Walkup Heritage Farm & Gardens in Crystal Lake, Illinois is steeped in history. Except for a brief period of time, the farm has been in the Walkup family since 1835. Michael Walkup has renewed farming on five acres of the land and to celebrate the long history of the farm, grows only heirloom and native plants that could have been found prior to 1900.
Michael grows and sells over 50 varieties of produce including heirloom tomatoes, corn, herbs, pumpkins and gourds. He also sells native and heirloom flowering plants to encourage the recreation of the natural landscape that once covered the Walkup Farm for generations. The heirloom produce and landscaping plants can be purchased at the farms roadside stand and the produce is available with a CSA subscription. Directions to the farm and information about the CSA can be found at www.walkupheritagefarm.com.
Why have you chosen to grow organic?
I have chemical sensitivities and want to eat organic at much as possible. I feel like people should avoid chemicals and GM (genetically modified) foods that may have adverse health consequences. I enjoy being an organic farmer because of the contact I have with people. My least favorite part, of course, is the weeding.
What makes your farm special?
The farm has been owned by my family since 1835, except for a brief period. We were the first white settlers in the area. We sell only heirloom and native products such as could have been found prior to 1900.
Where do you want your business to be in the coming years?
We would like to have a fully-subscribed CSA of 200 shares; restaurant and roadside sales sufficient to sell all of the produce that can be raised on the land. We want to sell native and heirloom plants to encourage natural landscaping as an alternative to existing forms and provide an example of sustainable living as well as encourage a sense of history and historic preservation.