ELSAH - Three Rivers Community Farm in Elsah is hosting their eighth annual Plant Sale this weekend and next from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 22, 23, 29, and 30. A wide selection of plants will be available, including vegetable starts, herbs, native perennials, and more.
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Owner Amy Cloud appeared on an episode of Our Daily Show! on Riverbender.com and said the farm, which has been around for 17 seasons, undergoes some transformation for the event.
“We pretty much transform our barn into a greenhouse,” Cloud said. “We kind of take the whole lower level of the barn, pile all our plants in there, and just open it up to the public.”
Cloud said Three Farms offers a better variety of plants at lower prices than big box stores.
“Just seeing the selection of plants at local big box stores, I knew that we could do much better,” she said. “We’re competitive with price, the plants are so much healthier, and then we’re able to grow unique varieties that you can’t find at those big box stores.”
She pointed out that big box stores might sell the same plant in two states with different climates, but Three Farms specifically sells plants that are meant to be grown in this region and climate.
“A lot of the plants that we sell are the same varieties that we grow as farmers on our farms - so we know that they thrive, they’re good producers, they taste awesome, they have some disease and insect resistance,” she said.
This weekend is projected to get pretty cold, but Cloud said the “beauty” of Three Rivers’ plants is that they don’t have to be planted right away - they can “hang out in their containers” for a week or two as long as they’re given sunlight and water.
She added that Three Rivers also sells organic compost for only $5 per five gallons, in addition to organic potting soil mix and more.
“We also sell organic compost, organic potting soil mix, and the same organic fertilizers that we use on our farm to grow our vegetables,” she said, adding that those interested in buying compost or potting soil mix should bring their own 5-gallon bucket, but the fertilizer comes in its own bags.
Three Rivers Community Farm is family owned and operated, and Cloud said she runs the farm with her husband, two children, and three full-time employees.
The farm is located at 22935 Chautauqua Road in Elsah, but Cloud said first-time visitors should make sure to drive through Elsah and not Chautauqua, which is a gated community. Specifically, enter Elsah from the River Road, then take Mississippi/Mill Street all the way up the hill and turn left onto Chautauqua Road, where the barn can be found on the left.
To find out more about Three Rivers, visit their Instagram page @3rivers22935 or their website, where you can also find a “look book” of all the plants available at this year’s Plant Sale. The full interview with Cloud can be watched at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.
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