Back November 30, 2020
Travel Blog

Jammin’ it up at Big Miniature Farms

bwcvb BLOG bmf staff

Opened November 2020

Mount Carroll’s Historic Downtown has a new storefront, and people are lining up to get their hands on everything they have to offer. Big Miniature Farms (BMF) opened their doors in early November of 2020. They are overwhelmed by the demand for their homemade creations. 

BMF was unofficially formed in the summer of 2019 by Travis and Cami Yenney when, due to an over-zealous crop of organic produce, they started selling it along with their signature horseradish jam at the local farmer’s market. Even though they have backgrounds in finance, culinary school, and manual labor,  Cami and Travis never intended to turn BMF into a commercial venture.

bwcvb BLOG bmf horse sand

It’s all about the jam

The horseradish jam was originally created by Travis to use on pork loin, but they realized it was too good to keep to themselves. When they brought their produce and jams to the area farmer’s markets, the jam always sold out and soon became a regional favorite. This enticed them to create more flavors. They experimented with using surplus jalapenos and cucumbers to create more jam flavors. Flavors named Carolina Rhubarb, Sweet Rhubarb, and Jalapeno and Cucumber Marmalade soon joined their product list.

bwcvb BLOG bmf cauliflower

Farm background

BMF doesn’t use pesticide sprays or chemicals on their farm. This means they spend hours and hours pulling weeds and maintaining the plots. They start all plants from seed and seasonally offer a variety of peppers, beans, tomatoes, ground cherries, purple cauliflower, and zucchini. 

Operating under the “Cottage Law” at local farmers’ markets, they were only allowed to make certain foods in their own home to sell at markets and small fairs, but they wanted to expand their reach. It became clear that in order for them to sell commercially to restaurants they needed to have a certified commercial kitchen. After speaking with their farm loan manager, they found their small farm qualified as a specialty grower and within a few months, Big Miniature Farms was designated as a Certified Specialty Grower with the USDA. 

bwcvb BLOG bmf microgreens

Cami and Travis love the people of Mount Carroll and the Farmer’s Market where it all started. When they saw that the old laundromat in the heart of Mount Carroll’s historic downtown was for sale, they knew it was perfect. The three apartments upstairs helped the investment with offsetting any costs for the business. In April of 2020, they purchased the property located at 120 West Market Street. After seven months of hard labor, a few setbacks, and many late nights, the commercial kitchen space and remodeled apartments were finished and ready. 

bwcvb BLOG boy

A walk-up window for excellent service

Now that the commercial kitchen is open, they are looking at commercial outlets for their cheesecakes and jams. They are now in the process of remodeling the basement of the building in order to grow microgreens and salad greens year-round. Because they are a commercial kitchen they are not able to offer indoor seating. However, with the placement of doors in the building they were able to add a window and counter for walk-up service. Since opening, they have had an overwhelming response and a steady stream of customers. 

bwcvb BLOG bmf jams

Not your ordinary jams & cheesecakes

Horseradish Jam – Their #1 seller, is sweet and offers all the horseradish flavor without the heat. It’s great on pork or any meat and their vegan friends love it on vegetables. They have customers who put it in meatloaf and even on cold sandwiches. 

Jalapeno Jam – This jam is all about the jalapeno flavor and is slightly spicy. Nothing is added to make it hotter; the heat comes from the jalapenos. 

Cucumber Marmalade – The cucumber and lime marmalade is excellent on graham crackers or warmed up and drizzled over ice cream. It is also a great addition to hot dogs or brats as a sweet relish. 

Carolina Rhubarb Jam – This jam is made with Carolina Reapers (an extremely hot chile pepper) and rhubarb. It is HOT.  Customers love it on chicken, over cream cheese, and even as a topping on their cheesecake.

Sweet Rhubarb Jam – This jam was created because an older gentleman was looking for a rhubarb jam similar to what his deceased wife used to make for him. His sweet request touched Trent and Cami and the sweet rhubarb jam was born. Good news – he absolutely loved it and so did everyone else. It is one of their best sellers!

Cheesecakes – They make mini cheesecakes and 10″ cheesecakes. Specialty orders are taken on request and are willing to entertain any flavor idea–except peanuts. They are a peanut-free kitchen due to their son, Brandon, having a severe peanut allergy. Not surprisingly, their cheesecakes are a best seller.

Hours & Location

120 West Market Street
Mount Carroll Historic District, IL 61053, US
Phone: (815)906-0158
Email: b 

Monday: 2 PM – 7 PM
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 2 PM – 7 PM
Thursday: Closed
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 10 AM – 2 PM
Sunday: Closed

Website | Facebook

Illinois Extension Local Foods and Small Farms

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWVVMLYZV60&t=1210s&fbclid=IwAR2-tZu6VL-JFufxbKfiH9LWzsFyUqzS0Kyk8Puyd_OT1SIQIvq7yKOTJx4

This Father's Day, create special moments in NW Illinois. 𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 your adventures with us using #𝗙𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗗𝗮𝘆𝗜𝗻𝗡𝗪𝗜𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗼𝗶𝘀!"
https://swiy.co/NEot

#VisitNWillinois #middleofeverything #enjoyillinois
Nothing beats freshly brewed coffee, locally made macaroons, or an iced drink on a hot Friday morning! ☕️✨ Check out @CoffeeCrushDixon for a cozy start to your day. 👉👉 𝗕𝗢𝗡𝗨𝗦: The annual nesting of Mama Duck on the property provided 16 ducklings this year! 

#LocalSpotlight #CoffeeLove #VisitNWillinois #middleofeverything #enjoyillinois #leecountyIL #discoverdixon #SupportLocal #CaféCulture #MorningBoost #NWILCoffee @discoverdixon @visitleecountyil @thenoblecakery
Here's a sneak peek of what's coming up this weekend in #NWillinois! Lots of art and music, plus a carnival to keep everyone happy. Go to our EVENTS CALENDAR at bio link for a complete listing of things to do.

#VisitNWillinois #middleofeverything @enjoyillinois #enjoyillinois @visitleecountyil @discoverdixon
Bring the kids to #FultonIL to see the amazing De Immigrant Windmill and explore Wierenga’s Heritage Canyon. History and heritage, NW Illinois has it all. 🌾🪨

 #VisitNWIllinois @VisitFulton @enjoyillinois #middleofeverything
It's #roadtrip adventure in 𝗪𝗵𝗶𝘁𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁𝘆! 🚗 Whether it's an invigorating paddle on the 𝗛𝗲𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗽𝗶𝗻 𝗖𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗹 🛶, finding antique treasures at 𝗦𝗵𝗼𝘄𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗔𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀 & 𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲𝘀🏺, hitting the 𝗚𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗥𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗕𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗹 all around #FultonIL 🚴‍♂️, or avoiding singed eyebrows when ordering the Forest Inn Restaurant & Lounge's Saganaki 🔥. #OPA! 🎉

#visitNWillinois #enjoyillinois #middleofeverything @visitrockfalls  @sterlingmainstreet  @visitfulton @enjoyillinois #whitesidecountyIL #paddling #SterlingIL #RockfallsIL
Let's show some #MidweekLove 🥰 in NW Illinois!  This week, tap into the beauty of art at the "𝗪𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗢𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝗦𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗔𝗿𝘁 𝗘𝘅𝗵𝗶𝗯𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻" opening June 11, or groove to the timeless tunes of 𝗙𝗼𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗦𝗼𝗻𝘀, the ultimate CCR tribute band on June 12. Then, dive into the hometown charm of 𝗣𝗼𝗹𝗼 𝗧𝗼𝘄𝗻 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗿𝘆 𝗗𝗮𝘆𝘀  June 12-16, and wrap up with soulful beats at the 𝗦𝘂𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝗖��𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗿𝘁 𝗦𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀  in Dixon on June 13. Don't miss out on these midweek gems! READ ABOUT the events 
 at EVENTS link found at bio link. 

#VisitNWIllinois #MidweekEvents #middleofeverything #enjoyillinois @whitepines_resort  @tnps_dixon #DixonMunicipalBand  #PoloTownandCountryDays @enjoyillinois
Watch our latest reel for a sneak peek of the 𝟴 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗮𝗰𝘂𝗹𝗮𝗿 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 occurring on Sat., June 8. 🎶🍔 Whether you're into music, food, or outdoor fun, there's an event with your name on it!! 

#VisitNWIllinois #middleofeverything #enjoyillinois #LocalFun #SummerVibes @visitrockfalls @discoverdixon @visitleecountyil @visitcarrollcounty @explore_oregon_il @johndeere @enjoyillinois
Ready to soak up some sunshine & good vibes? Check out our latest blog on the amazing 𝗙𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹𝘀 & 𝗙𝗮𝗶𝗿𝘀 happening this summer in NW Illinois! From toe-tapping music festivals to mouth-watering food fairs, here's a guide to making your summer unforgettable. 

#VisitNWIllinois #SummerFun #FestivalsAndFairs #LocalEvents #GoodTimes #ExploreLocal #middleofeverything @enjoyillinois #roadtrip #carnivals #kidfriendly

TRAVEL GUIDE

Request a free copy or view our latest guide online.

PLAN YOUR TRIP

Ideas and resources to help plan your next real getaway in NW Illinois.