Frillman Farms is an heirloom-only operation focused on growing the most unique, flavorful, high-quality produce in the Chicago area. Owner Tim Frillman carefully selects his heirloom "old variety" seeds for planting — all of which are, of course, free of GMOs or synthetic materials. He employs all-natural, sustainable farming practices throughout his operations; cares for free-range laying hens; and harvests local honey from six on-site beehives.
The farm's original location is in Prairie View, Illinois, about 25 miles northwest of Chicago. Tim recently expanded to a second site in Berrien Springs, Michigan, which is located about 100 miles from the city.
The Frillman family’s farming roots date back to the 1800s, when ancestors living near the current site worked land located on what is now Weiland Road — then, Frillmann Road — in Buffalo Grove. However, the 8-acre Prairie View plot where the present-day farm flourishes had been leased to neighboring farmers for a few generations when family members were not interested in pursuing the undoubtedly challenging, unpredictable, yet infinitely rewarding life path. That is, until Tim Frillman. The youngest of four children, Tim incorporated Frillman Farms on Oct. 27, 2011 as a nod to his rich family history.
A passionate, relentless worker with an inherent green thumb and knack for problem-solving, he breathed new life into his family’s coveted land. The parcel was a blank agricultural canvas devoid of even the most fundamental farming staples. Tim began his journey by building a small 150-square-foot hen house — still used today for a select flock — to accommodate a group of 24 red star hens that could exit the house and roam in the surrounding area. He has since grown the original farm by adding a walk-in refrigeration unit to allow more flexibility of harvesting; a large barn and free-range area that houses 200 laying hens; a 100-foot-long high tunnel to extend planting; a small greenhouse to get a jump on seed germination and in turn, the growing season; irrigation methods to mitigate some of the land’s drainage issues; six beehives to produce local honey; a farm office; a washhouse, thanks to the Frontera Farmer Foundation; and other infrastructure and equipment components to streamline production and maximize yield.
Frillman Farms embarked on an exciting new chapter at the end of 2018 with the purchase of a second property in Berrien Springs, Michigan, about 100 miles from Chicago’s city center. Formerly known as Leaning Shed Farm, the beautiful land presents seemingly innumerable opportunities for our quaint family farm.