An annual event where neighborhood kids work together to raise funds to help an inspiring group of Warriors at Opportunity Knocks. Kids of all ages plan and organize the event and often show up with their piggy bank and tooth fairy money to donate to the cause.
This year’s Knocktoberfest will feature Oktoberfest food offerings from the OK enterprise, Knockout Catering, and Chicago Bears football! Stop by for warm apple cider and other fall treats or stick around and enjoy all there is to offer!
Seven years ago an 8-year-old named Kate asked if she could have a lemonade stand to raise money for Opportunity Knocks. She met with OK founders Mike & Phil Carmody to discuss her idea, and a friendship and fundraiser were born. Opportunity Knocks is a nonprofit serving adults with developmental disabilities and their participants are known as warriors for their strength and perseverance. Kate hoped to raise $50 and ended up raising over $500 with the help of family, neighbors, friends and one very generous community.
The August lemonade stand eventually became an autumn cider stand and more kids and families joined forces to grow “Knocktoberfest.” The kids grow the event each year but the constant is the generous community and small businesses that come out to support the kids’ efforts. Knocktoberfest volunteers are fondly called “Knockstars” and they range in age from babies to high schoolers. The babies UP the Knockstars cute quotient and the kids work hard organizing, baking, decorating and fundraising.
Last year the kids raised over $11,000 from online donors and cider stand donation jars. Families bake treats, a great aunt ships handmade doll clothes to sell from Utah and homemade Italian bread sells out in minutes. Piggy bank jars are emptied and we raise unbelievable sums because of this dedicated group of kids.
If you can’t make it to the event, donations to Knocktoberfest can be made here! All donations are tax-deductible and go toward supporting Opportunity Knocks.
General operations and the development and execution of programming are largely funded by the generosity of individual donors. Your donation helps Opportunity Knocks continue to engage young people who have developmental disabilities.Thank you for your support!
We believe the farm serves a purpose in our mission to help us facilitate a high quality and fully-accessible experience. We have built a stage that creates an opportunity for Warriors to perform, create and interact in a meaningful way. Our farming practices are organic and we believe in biodiversity. The farm is an ongoing work in progress and we continue to build systems that promote an enviornmentally responsible food system. Check out some of the things we do by scrolling thru the grid below.
We continue to invest in the infrastructure of the farm so that all who come to it have the ability to connect. In that, we have established fully accessible walkways & raised beds. We are also working to landscape paved paths to reach the upper berms of the farm. The work continues!
We grow with organic practices. We do not use any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or artifical agents. Our soil is sourced from our own compost system and from a third-party partner that guarantees organic constitution.
With guidance from our friends at the U of I Ag Extension and funding from the Oak Park Community Mental Health Board, we’ve installed a rainwater catchment system that captures rainwater from the Reuse Depot’s downspouts so that we can reuse for irrigation at the farm.
We grow our own produce for 5 out of 12 monts of the year. When we are pulling food from the farm, it goes straight to your plate. Salads, sides, apps and vegetarian-based menus come from seed to harvest.
Some of our desserts are wrapped in bacon. Some of them are just regular, non-bacon-wrapped delicious. Our sweet treats are a growing menu, but we have to offer tried, tested and true. Bacon and brownes!
Sandwiches of all kinds. Burgers. Pulled meats. Etc. Meats that are delicious on their own, but made even better by the addition of the line of Knockout Pickles. Dill-icious pickles and delicious meats.
We are deeply grateful to the many volunteers, donors and partners who have showed up throughout the first few seasons of the farm to transform a barren grass field into a highly productive urban farm. Our partners have given endlessly to help us build the infrastructure of the farm. We have called in the pros we know to do so many things. From testing soil and water, to consulting on logistics, water conservation and aggregate acquisitions; to hauling, excavating, landscaping, patio paving, carpentry and more.
That amount of support does not even include our volunteers! We have been fortunate to bring so many friends to the farm to help us with site prep and construction to planting, weeding and harvesting and every other farm job in between. We have received an enormous amount of support from neighbors, friends, staff, community and corporate partners. It has been a community effort in every sense of the word and we are convinced that it takes a village to build a farm!