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Meet the farmer: Farm program coordinator Patricia Kennedy combined degrees in history and administration with her animal aptitude to get her dream job. While suburban houses squeeze the 1880s farm, Kennedy and her colleagues maintain this agricultural gem, which is named for a donor.
Animal stories: The farm's residents include chickens, cows, geese, horses, pigs — all with German names in deference to the Boeger family who lived here. The steer, Otto von Bismarck, is "everyone's bud," says Kennedy.
What's growing: Apples in the orchard and vegetables in the kitchen garden are used by volunteers who follow historic recipes that belonged to German immigrants who farmed this area.
Extra, Extra: If you hail from the northwest suburbs, you will see familiar names on the 1880s plat map. Mark your calendar: The Autumn Harvest Festival on Oct. 3 includes hayrides and making apple cider. The Hoghouse to Smokehouse program Nov. 7 demonstrates sausage-making and meat salting.
Heads up: The Schaumburg Road address on the Web site leads you to the Spring Valley Nature Center. Park at 201 S. Plum Grove Road, then follow the walking path to the farm.
201 S. Plum Grove Road, Schaumburg. 847-985-2100; parkfun.com. Summer hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, but interpreters are on hand 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends.
Meet the farmer: While neighbors repel visitors with "PRIVATE/NO OUTLET" signs, Todd Price welcomes people to the 1920s Glenview oasis he oversees. The former history teacher describes the Wagners' truck farm as his "18-acre classroom."
Animal stories: Chickens, cows and pigs live here, but the draft horses are the farm's Pied Pipers, luring admirers as they lumber to and from their barn. Many of the animals here are being raised by members of the Glenview Clovers 4-H Club.
What's growing: Corn, hay and oats feed the livestock. Neighbors rent plots to grow vegetables.
Extra, Extra: If you appreciate antique quilts, check out the Heritage Center and the farmhouse for a small but fine collection.
Mark your calendar: Upcoming events include a barn dance, bonfire and scarecrow build. Summer farmers markets are weekly.
Heads up: Be on time for the 4:30 p.m. milking; the stools fill quickly. Your reward is ice cream from the 1930s soda fountain. Daily "drop-in activities" ($1 each) range from wheat-grinding to crop-harvesting.
1510 Wagner Road, Glenview. 847-657-1506; wagnerfarm.org. Summer hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.