Meet Noreen Dollinger from the Dollinger Family Farm

Overview of Dollinger Family Farm

During the Fall season, there are so many fun things to do around the Heritage Corridor. If you’re looking for something festive, then look no further. The Dollinger Family Farm in Channahon, IL is a great place to go as a family and learn about the rich history that documents all the way back in the 1800’s. Today, this large farm is run by owner Noreen Dollinger and her family.

Growing up on a farm, Noreen, knows how dependent a successful year is on the weather. In 1988, there was a drought which effected their corn and bean crops. Those crops were were barely worth harvesting. She was a stay-at-home mom at the time and was looking for ways to help with the family income that will involve the kids at the same time. They tired different things, and in the following year decided to plant pumpkins and Christmas trees to sell.

Noreen Dollinger with her three grandchildren in from of their welcome sign

“The Fall of 1989 we picked our pumpkins, set up a picnic table in the yard, and put a sign out on the road,” says Noreen.

Noreen and her husband, John, included their kids in their everyday operation. They would help pick out pumpkins, wash the gourds, and bundle the Indian corn, as well as decide on pricing while learning how to make change. From there, they decided to focus on their pumpkin operations and just recently began to try with Christmas Trees.

Being in business for over 30 years, their first year was special. Having their fifth child and even housing a German Exchanged student at the same time, they had a lot on their plate but were very excited to see where this new journey would take them.

Many years later, what Noreen loves most about her job are the visitors and those who have worked on the farm with her. “For many it is a first job. We talk about how to treat people, what approaches work best and how to be a good employee,” she says. “There is nothing so rewarding as that moment when someone does the work and has the satisfaction of earning their pay.”

As you can imagine, farming can be a challenge even to those who have been doing it their entire life. Noreen says typically they struggle with the weather that can ruin the growth of some crops, but also weeds, bugs and fungus. These are common issues you find when farming, but you have to be able to adapt to these circumstances.

Welcome sign at dollinger farm with an arrowing pointing where to go  A field of pumpkins on a farm   

Being a woman business owner in this field truly makes Noreen special. “I am proud to run a business. I treat everyone with respect and they return the favor,” she says.

Noreen hopes that her family farm brings joy to each person visiting, while creating memories with their families to last a lifetime. As for the area, Dollinger Family Farm does a great job bringing the appreciation for nature to the Channahon area, while educating visitors about agriculture and the rich history of the area.

For the future of the family farm, Noreen looks forward to the day the Christmas trees are ready to sale.

For more information about Dollinger Family Farm, visit www.heritagecorridorcvb.com/Adventure-Outside-Chicago/Dollinger-Family-Farm

The Dollinger Family Farm   Noreen with her two grandkids playin inside the corn pit

 

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