About Us

A nonprofit organization formed in 2002, the Green Earth Institute's mission is to promote nutritional health and environmental sustainability. Using our organic farm as a demonstration and learning center, we grow healthful vegetables in an earth-friendly way and educate about nature, nutrition, and caring for the earth.

Each summer at the farm we provide educational programs for pre-school, elementary, and middle school children. Year-round we offer farm tours and speakers for adult, college, and high school groups. During spring, summer, and fall we offer educational programs for school and scout groups. The McDonald Farm

Donations are welcome to support our educational work and our supplying of fresh organic produce to area food pantries to help alleviate hunger. Donations are tax deductible.


Field Notes

Green Earth Institute is here today because of a fortuitous confluence of opportunities and interested people. First, we should recognize Mrs. Lenore McDonald, the stubborn farm owner on the south side of Naperville who—in the face of housing development on all sides—declared that her land would remain in agriculture. It's been a decade since she passed away, but her generosity in donating her 60-acre farm to The Conservation Foundation, with a conservation easement stipulation, provides an immeasurable gift to all who come in contact with the farm.

Secondly, we should salute The Conservation Foundation, a local not-for-profit land and watershed protection organization, for its stewardship of the McDonald gift and its 40+ years of working in the western suburbs of Chicago to enhance the quality of life by preserving open space, protecting natural lands, and improving rivers and watersheds. The Green Earth Institute leases the tillable land at the McDonald Farm from the Conservation Foundation, and we benefit from a close working relationship with the Foundation's staff.

Ever since we started the organic farming operation, there has been an outpouring of interest and help which has been key to making the farm successful. The pull of nature is strong, and given the opportunity to work in the soil and be involved in growing one's own food, many Steve Tiwald, Founderpeople from near and far have responded, and enjoyed it, and come back again and again.

The Green Earth Institute is an organic vegetable farm and much more. It is a growing opportunity to produce healthful food, to model ecological sustainability, and to educate our community about nutrition and environmental stewardship. For yourself and for our mother earth, please join our effort!

Steve Tiwald
Founder and Executive Director