Our uncommon farm in northwest Champaign produces common vegetables and fruits, but also incorporates native tallgrass prairie and spring woodland wildflower patches from which we harvest leaves, flowers, and roots. The property holds an orchard of traditional fruit and nut trees like cherry, peach, apple, and walnuts, and a "Midwest Hedgerow" featuring wild species of bushes and small bloom- and fruit-producing trees like redbud, lilac, chokecherry, elderberry, wild plum, and paw paw. The unique seasonal flavor combinations of our products come from these signature ingredients.
If we have extra harvest, we bring it for sale at the Farmers' Markets.
Established in 2017, Berries and Flour is a Cottage Food Operation. We are a regular feature on Tuesday afternoons at the Champaign Farmer's Market, and find ourselves at other local markets occasionally. You can also order products on this website for delivery (C-U area) or pickup at our farm.
All of our products are made by hand with as many local, freshly-harvested ingredients as possible. We try to use mostly sustainably-produced crops from farmers we can talk to. Our own produce is produced organically, though our farm is not certfied.
We also think about the nutrition of our cakes. We use fresh produce that is minimally processed to stay high in fiber and natural sugars, local, King Arthur, and Bob's flours, and natural extracts and colorings. We also bake with lower sugar, and leave cakes naked with only a flourish of frosting or glaze to let the unique flavors shine through.
Owner & Head Pastry Chef
I grew up the daughter of parents with wanderlust who believed that culinary experiences were among the best ways to know a place. We harvested and foraged wherever we lived; mangos in Florida, morels and mustang grapes from the back acre in Missouri, wild strawberries and holly grapes in the Colorado mountains, and chokecherries in North Dakota. We traveled the world, dined in people’s homes and ate from hedgerows & tidepools & local markets. As we moved through a delicious world, my mother taught me to preserve seasonal bounty, and be adventurous with flavor pairings from the myriad of places I have lived and visited.
My husband and I purchased a home on seven acres of rich Illinois loam soil, and we promptly planted native prairie and trees, wildflowers, a “Midwest Hedgerow”, an orchard, berries, and asparagus. The Midwest is a treasure trove of foodstuffs, both domesticated and wild, and I believe we should celebrate this by exploring with our palates and growing and eating what we can find locally. I now prepare seasonal dishes based on what grows in the backyard and on local farms. As a professor of environmental science, ecology, and botany at Parkland College, and sometimes the University of Illinois, I have continued to learn more about native plants, ethnobotany and agriculture. All of these experiences have helped me to become an advocate of food security based on a local food supply.
I decided to start Berries and Flour as the synergy of all of these passions for me: culinary skills, ecology of native landscapes, growing of plants, foraging for wild foods, and teaching people about the plentiful Midwest land. Starting this bakery ties these many skills together into a delicious box that others can easily share.
Signature ingredients come from our farm, but when in need, we also support the following local establishments through our goods:
Crooked Row Farm (Champaign, IL)
Hamilton & Co. (Seymour, IL)