Wiltse’s Farm Produce is a family owned and operated farm. Our family farm is four generations strong selling farm fresh produce in the DeKalb-Kane county area. We have been located and selling off our farm in Maple Park, Illinois since 1965. Family members have been attending the Aurora’s Farmer’s Market since 1912.
We grow an array of farm produce, literally from A to Z! We start in the spring with greenhouses blooming with color, with hardy annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetable plants that were attentively started and cared for by Kate. We then start cutting asparagus and looking over the strawberry patch. At the same time, Joe is also looking over the condition of the garden. By this time Joe already has the potatoes, onions and some early sweet corn planted.
As a family team, Kate, Joe and Patty start the process of preparing for the rest of the busy planting, nurturing and harvest season ahead. We use crop rotation practices. This helps us to keep the crop pests ‘confused’, lessening the need to use pest control. We keep detailed record on ground nutrients applied. This allows us to control and only apply what we actually need to specific crops. By using integrated pest management, if the need should arise, we only use products that are safe to people and the environment.
Our mission is to grow and sell the highest quality of farm products and provide the services that follow these farm products to our customers, just as we would to our own family.
The Early Days of Wiltse Farm
The Wiltse family has been growing and selling quality vegetables for four generations.
Marie moved to Maple Park when she married her late husband Jerome (“Red”) in 1961. They moved to the current farm in the spring of 1965. Marie’s mother, Mayme Theis began with the vegetables in 1944 and soon after widowed.
She continued with her vegetables, farming and raising Marie and her six siblings until the development of Fermilab in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Marie’s grandparents sold produce at the Aurora Farmer’s Market. Marie also got her in-laws, J. Carroll and Margaret Wiltse, to start taking farm products, such as dressed chickens and eggs, to the farmer’s market.
The farm stand that we sell to our customers was built by Grandpa (J. Carroll) Wiltse and Dad (Jerome). We used that until 2005. Needing more room, we made the moved across the ‘farm yard’ to a larger barn. This allowed us more room and to keep our vegetables and customers out of the elements of Mother Nature.
As the years have passed the business has evolved. Mom would say that it was just her ‘hobby’ and we would say it’s more than a hobby. But one thing is certain, as mom started it out; it is still a family affair! The ‘stand’ consists of greenhouse products – such as all sorts of annuals, vegetables and perennials – hanging baskets and planters and such, mulch, landscaping materials and services plus, seasonal vegetables and our fall U-pick pumpkin patch.
- Illinois Vegetable Growers Assoc.
- Illinois Specialty Growers Assoc.
- Kane County Farm Bureau
- DeKalb County Farm Bureau