Three-year-old Vern already delivering a pumpkin!
About Stade's Farm & MarketStade's Farm & Market, located in northern Illinois, was established in 1977 with 50 cows and a goal of producing milk. From the humble beginnings of a 24-year-old Vern Stade just out of college and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, Stade's Farm & Market grew to 250 cows in 2001. The farm was not only a producer of milk but also corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. In 1989 a friend came to Vern and asked to rent a couple of acres to grow vegetables that he wanted to sell at a roadside stand. It sounded interesting to Vern and the farm market business began.
After the first year, Vern's friend decided that the produce business was not for him, so he handed the reins over to Vern. The farm market business grew by leaps and bounds each year and the rest is history. The idea of providing wholesome fresh produce and services to the local community became very satisfying and rewarding to Vern. Today, of Stade's 2,200 acres, 120 are dedicated to growing fresh fruits and vegetables to supply its farm markets.
As the farm markets continued to grow, Stade's Farm & Market branched out into the Agri-Tourism industry with Shades of Autumn. Shades of Autumn is the fall festival held at the farm located on Miller Road. The festival began in 1995 with hayrides, pumpkin picking, and a small vegetable stand that sold seasonal vegetables and decorations. Shades of Autumn has expanded rapidly each year and has now become a wonderfully unique destination where families come to enjoy autumn and harvest in all their glory. Stade's Farm & Market also offers outdoor concerts including Christian, Country, and Oldies Rock-n-Roll in a very family-friendly environment.
As agriculture in this area is being forced out due to development, Stade's Farm & Market feels the need to open the farm to the public so families can experience a real working farm. Upon this foundation is built the mission of Stade's Farm & Market to provide healthy home grown farm products, agricultural education, and fine family entertainment at reasonable prices to our local and surrounding community.