Harvest Festival a popular event at farm in Lake Villa
By Frank Abderholden firstname.lastname@example.org September 15, 2013 2:10PM
The festival crew poses in front of the new giant corn box for kids at Susanna’s Farm in Lake Villa. From left to right are Elizabeth Heffernan, Paul Heffernan, Diane Heffernan, Laura Heffernan, Stephany Gordon and D.J. Heffernan who was visiting from Seattle. | FRANK ABDERHOLDEN~SUN-TIMES MEDIA
Updated: November 15, 2013 2:33AM
Sunday’s showers put a damper on a number of outdoor events, but at Susanna’s Farms in Lake Villa, it just gave them more time to put the final touches on their gift shop and new corn box for kids in the barn as part of this year’s Harvest Festival.
Rows of orange pumpkins in various sizes were lined up near the barn that houses the pair of Scottish Highland cattle that are popular because of their long shaggy coats and long horns.
It also houses the new gift shop. “We have everything for the garden, home decorating, children’s toys and other handmade crafts,” Diane Heffernan, like Gretta’s Goats’ soap and a “hog” soap guaranteed to clean anything out of just about everything.
“I picked things that were either local or made by family-owned companies across the country,” said Heffern, who has a background in restaurant and retail purchasing.
One item that is sure to be a hit allows you to turn your pumpkin into a rooster, pig, dog or turkey, by sticking the head on one end, tail on another and placing the feet underneath. “This way, the pumpkin lasts longer. Once you carve it, it goes bad pretty fast,” she said.
The farm is open for the Harvest Festival every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and schools and scouting clubs are always welcome. They have a menagerie of animals that delight children and adults and this year in one barn they made two giant “corn boxes,” which are just like a sandbox, only there are kernels of corn. They have toy dump trunks for the kids to utilize.
They also have events scheduled for October, according to Elizabeth Heffernan. “On Oct. 6, there will a car show that includes one of our Model-T’s,” she said. Then, there is the Oct. 14 barn dance with live music, food, beer and wine.
“That should be a lot of fun,” said Elizabeth.
The family has owned the farm since her parents since the 1930s. They regularly hold holiday events there and have plenty of parking. Last Easter, they did a helicopter egg drop because one of the nephews, Paul, had started a new helicopter business called Chicago Helicopter Express.
The Harvest Festival also has hayrides and there are a number of Baggo games set up for kids to test their luck and skill.
Always thinking ahead, Laura Heffernan and Stephany Gordon were out planting River Birch trees in the rain. “I wanted to get them in while it was raining so they would get a good soaking,” said Laura.
The farm is located on Town Line Road, east of Route 59 and south of Grass Lake Road.