A Neighborhood Farm: Trogg’s Hollow

You’d never know you were in a residential neighborhood.

Last year, I stumbled upon Trogg’s Hollow, a local farm nestled in my neighborhood. I joined their Community Supported Agriculture program, tempted by the prospect of weekly fresh veggies. I split a share with a neighbor and reveled in the challenge of using veggies I had never tried. Or, in some cases, heard of. (Beets? Check. Kohlrabi? Check. Kale, kale and more kale? Check, check, and a miserably failed attempt at kale chips.)

This year, they offered a half share, which is a much easier option than trying to split a full share into roughly a third. Some things just don’t split well. I think I’ll get more veggies than last year, but since I’m done with school, I actually have more time to cook. (In theory, anyway.)

When I first learned of Trogg’s Hollow and looked up the address, I routed a run past it – and didn’t even notice it. During subsequent runs, I spotted it but never realized  just how much farm land was tucked behind the houses on a rather ordinary residential block.To kick off the season, the fine folks at Trogg’s opened up their yard for a little meet-and-greet, a chance to break bread with fellow shareholders, tour the greenhouses and walk the rows of sprouting goodness.

Farmer Chris in the fields, with a carrot.

When I arrived for the meet-and-greet, I followed a child down the winding path – and marveled at the little farm barely a mile from home. Chris and Marcy beamed as they explained their philosophy and how they decide what to grow. The veggies may be uglier than the genetically modified grocery store variety, but I’d rather have ugly, local and delicious than pretty, imported and tasteless.

Since the season started, I’ve gotten so many types of greens, carrots, radishes, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, zucchini, beets… the list goes on. I’ve been happily

Picking up my first batch of veggies at the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market

devouring salads, sauteeing kale with garlic and onions, baking Swiss chard with shrimp, adding spinach to chicken scalloppine and stir fries, and snacking on purple carrots. I roasted beets and carrots for a salad, and hummed the Fraggle Rock song as I diced radishes and cabbage for Banh Mi Salad.

I can’t wait for the tomatoes to start.

What’s your favorite summer veggie?

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One response to “A Neighborhood Farm: Trogg’s Hollow

  1. Lucky you! Yum! I love it all except squash. I’m the only one that likes ’em. So when our CSA loads us up on squash, I’m the one who OD’s all alone! My recent favorite is arugula. Arugula & peach salad. YUM. and the boys love arugula w/ any type of dipping sauce.

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