ELSAH - Three Rivers Community Farm will host its ninth annual plant sale this weekend.

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From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28, 2024, community members can visit the farm in Elsah to purchase vegetable plants, perennials, bedding flowers, herbs and more. Amy Cloud, the farm’s owner, said their plants are “super healthy” and ready to be a great new addition to your garden.

“We’re growing more plants, everybody’s in the gardening mood with the warm weather, and I think it’s going to be great,” Cloud said. “I’m so grateful for this community that supports our farm in that way and appreciates some quality and something different.”

The eight-acre Three Rivers Community Farm is located at 22935 Chautauqua Road in Elsah. They have a wide variety of plants that are available, as well as compost and potting soil mix.

Cloud said they have been growing the plants in their greenhouse since February and it’s now “crunch time” to make sure the plants are ready for the sale. She explained that she has an intricate spreadsheet and scheduling system, and all the plants are cared for by experienced farmers.

She noted that there are a lot of benefits to supporting a local family-owned farm like Three Rivers Community Farm. Unlike the chain stores, Three Rivers Community Farm can provide guidance and advice about what plants will grow best in our climate.

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“I am all ears, happy to help as much as I can,” Cloud added. “We have a lot of experience.”

Cloud also pointed out that the plants at big box stores are often underwatered and planted in nutrient-weak soil, and the plants can “look really sad” as a result. Three Rivers Community Farm uses compost and nutrient-rich potting soil mix from Morgan Composting Company in Michigan. These products will be available at the plant sale.

Everything at the plant sale costs under $6. If you bring a five-gallon bucket, you can scoop your own compost for $5. Cloud said that gardens can be “an investment,” but there are a lot of benefits to gardening and growing your own vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers and native plants.

In addition to the farm, Three Rivers Community Farm also has a farm stand that operates throughout the summer. The farm stand, which Cloud compared to a mini farmers market, will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from May to October. They sell vegetables grown at Three Rivers Community Farm as well as other local foods and goods.

“We really have every veggie that you can think of, which is a great opportunity to try something new,” Cloud said. “If you just go to the grocery store and you buy the same three vegetables every time, it can be hard to get inspired in the kitchen. So do something new, try a new vegetable. We’ve got lots of recipes to go along with them. We also sell other local goods like eggs, pasture-raised meat, honey, we’ve got sourdough bread, lots of pantry staples in there.”

For more information about Three Rivers Community Farm, their products and their plant sale, visit their official website at ThreeRiversCommunityFarm.com. The plant sale will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, April 27–28.

To get to the farm, Cloud explained that you must enter through the Village of Elsah, turn left, and drive to the top of the hill. She hopes to see many people at the sale and looks forward to sharing her farm with more community members.

“I just want to express our gratitude to the community,” she said. “We’re so excited to see everybody and thankful for your support, and we just look forward to helping you guys have an awesome gardening season.”

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