ParkTalk Podcast S18 Episode 01 - Wagner Farms
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Guest Pam White, former owner of Wagner Farms in Naperville, Illinois, recalls growing up on the farm, favorite memories, and lessons that apply to suburban life today.
This episode is part of Series 18: Remembering our Agricultural Heritage.
For a list of ParkTalk episodes and series visit https://www.napervilleparks.org/PODCASTS.
Quote from the episode: "What I remember most was fresh air. Just the smell of fresh air, the smell of corn when it was starting to tassel. As far as sounds, it was just totally quiet. As far as tastes, we ate a lot of vegetables! I can remember when we grew a lot of strawberries, going to the field and picking a strawberry and eating it, ripened on the vine and warm from the sun." - Pam White
Staking tomato plants at Wagner Farms, 2017, photo from Wagner Farms Facebook page.
The Wagner family owned and farmed 113 acres south of Frontier Sports Complex for three decades beginning in 1961. An integral part of the Naperville community, Wagner Farms sold their fresh, local produce at Wagner's Farmstand and operated a wholesale nursery. When the family decided that it was time to close the farm, they sold their land to Pulte homes in April 2019 for a residential development. The new housing development also is named Wagner Farms.
95th Street Community Plaza
The sale of the farmland to Pulte Homes resulted in a developer donation to the Naperville Park District, per the City of Naperville's land-cash ordinance. This cash-in-lieu donation provided major funding for the 95th Street Community Plaza, a welcoming space for those of all ages and abilities.
Naperville Park District gratefully acknowledges the Wagner family and Pulte homes for their support of the development of the 95th Street Community Plaza. Additionally, Pulte Homes made a voluntary contribution to the Naperville Park District over and above the cash-in-lieu donation in honor of the Wagner family. The new performance pavilion at the plaza is named Wagner Family Pavilion.
Wagner Family Pavilion at 95th Street Community Plaza, opening summer 2020.
Ways to Support Local Agriculture
Consider renting a garden plot at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots. Annual rentals open with spring program registration.
Visit local farm stands, such as Keller's Farmstand and Mayneland Farms, participate in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) at Green Earth Harvest, or contact a grower directly to purchase meat, eggs, honey, etc.