how to live, travel and explore the world from your van

Illinois Farm Vacation on $20 a day

This is part of an 18 week, 7,532 mile, Vanabode road trip detailed in the book from Amazon
titled Big City Wild Country East Coast Road Trip on $20 a Day for just $2.99
See East Coast Road Trip for more pictures, itinerary, maps and trip overview.

Our family by marriage owns an organic farm in Maple Park, Illinois. They offer to let us leave the van on their property and drop us at the train station so we can ride into the big city of Chicago for a week..

  my wife Kelly picks vegetables at a farm on our road trip

Above: Kelly picks vegetables for dinner at the Illinois family farm.

vanabode at an organic farm

Above: They grow mostly corn, soybeans, hay, oats, and wheat on this farm with many different fields connected via wooded tree lined windbreaks and tractor friendly country roads.

combine machine on organic farm

Above: We saddle tractors and ride in the massive air-conditioned glass enclosed cab of a complicated monster called a combine. The combine was developed to combine three different farming tasks into one machine, reaping, threshing, and winnowing. I ride the loud beast through the thick fields of grain. The combine twists and rolls and cuts the oats down, pulls it inside, threshes it, separates the oat stems from the oat heads and spits them out. In the final act the combine shoots the oats into a large storage tank behind our seat.

Later when ready to process, the oats are blown airborne through various turbines and equipment to remove any dead insects, dust, debris, coral dust, and other non-food particles. Only objects that are exactly the size and weight of a single oat grain proceed down the line and become food products.
Their house is a nice two story reddish brick structure with full underground basement. Down here it is much cooler than in the rest of the house. I’m reminded of my idea to build and hide a simple eight hundred square foot underground house beneath a garden in the Nevada desert. Their cool basement rekindles my interest in the subject.

vanabode parked at farm

The lady of the house drops us off at the train station, for a fun ninety-minute seven-dollar ride into one of the most progressive and popular big American cities, Chicago.

For thousands of unforgettable experiences on this affordable 18 week 7,500 mile road trip
Click to see the book "Big City Wild Country East Coast Road Trip on $20 a Day"
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