The History of Stade’s Farm & Market
Vern Stade started his farming career as a dairy farmer in 1977 at the same location where the farm market is now located. He also loved growing corn, soybeans, and alfalfa on his farm. Always interested in growing new crops, Vern began growing vegetables in 1989.
From humble beginnings with a table at the side of the road in Johnsburg, IL the farm market began. As time went on, a second little stand was added just north of McHenry, IL. When Vern’s kids were old enough they also sold produce at the farm where the cows were. In 2001 the roadside stands were requiring so much of Vern’s time and energy that he decided to discontinue the dairy business to focus solely on growing crops.
In 2006 a large expansion was added to the home farm. A new farm market and entertainment area was constructed to accommodate the growing business. Since then the farm has added many new crops, u-pick options, and attractions. As the farm markets continued to grow, Stade’s Farm & Market branched out into the agritourism industry.
Agritourism has become Vern’s passion. He loves opening his farm to the public, allowing families to experience farming and entertainment at its best. Stade’s Shades of Autumn Fall Festival (held Sept-Oct) has become a family tradition over the years, welcoming many second generation guests. Vern, a lover of Disney World and a kid at heart, extensively researches every year new and exciting attractions to add to the farm. His commitment to family-friendly, wholesome entertainment is a driving force behind his passion.
Many families have become accustomed to taking a relaxing, fun-filled day trip to Stade’s Farm and Market to pick produce, enjoy the farm experience and stay for the unique, engaging attractions offered.
Visitors can choose from a wide range of activities that include u-pick vegetables and fruits, a hands-on petting zoo experience, Stade’s Farmtractions park, learning about agriculture and farming in field trip sessions, attending outdoor non-denominational worship services or shopping in the farm market and farm stands for local and regional produce as well as unique country gifts.
Creating family memories has become a treasured tradition that keeps visitors coming back year after year to Stade’s Farm and Market and Vern wouldn’t have it any other way!
It is upon this foundation that Vern has built the mission of Stade’s Farm and Market;
To provide healthy home grown farm products, agricultural education, and fine family entertainment at reasonable prices to our local and surrounding community.