Quintesssential Barrington “Barrington Native Shares His Passion for Horticulture and Health”

As featured in Quintessential Barrington Magazine  –  Nonprofit News by Shefali Bhuva

IN THIS ISSUE we are excited to profile Adrian Saliu. Born and raised in Barrington, Adrian’s family has deep roots here. His father has operated The Blue Heron Café for 35 years. His mother and three of his four sisters also live in Barrington. Adrian has a daughter who is eight years old.

After graduating from BHS, Adrian attended Colorado State University, however his studies got cut short when he was diagnosed with stage III Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. (Adrian has been cancer-free for about 12 years now.) He used integrative medicine for his healing, bridging conventional Western treatment with holistic plant medicine and wellness practices.


Adrian’s experience with cancer opened his perspective to the importance of using plants and food as medicine, which launched his career in horticulture.

Adrian works full time with the nonprofit Smart Farm and nonprofit Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, serving as a farm assistant and sustainability advisor. He’s an educational resource in sustainable farming and gardening practices, sustainable facility/site operations, as well as holistic wellness strategies in the form of gardening and plants.


With his time and resources, Adrian started growing several varieties of plants commonly used in traditional herbalism/Chinese medicine and donated them to the Integrative Medicine Garden at the hospital. He’s also working with the director of Integrative Medicine, Dr. Lori Walsh, on creating a healing atmosphere at the center through nature and plants.

Adrian also volunteers with Barrington 220 as a consultant, advisor, and educator, serving on the BHS career pathway advisory committees, Green Learning Advisory Committee, and the Hart Road Restoration Committee. He’s created an in-depth design for a horticultural and environmental sciences field site across the street from the high school for students to use as an outdoor classroom. Adrian has also taught classes for several weeks on Mondays and Tuesdays for the Environmental Sciences and Horticulture classes, teaching students about permaculture.

Adrian has also volunteered with Citizens for Conservation, supporting the efforts of buckthorn removal, wetland plantings, and education to high school students during classes. The Barrington Park District community garden is another place Adrian often volunteers with to support successful sustainable harvests, as well as proving donated plant starts. We asked Adrian about his perspectives on volunteering.

Any thoughts you would give about volunteering? “From my experience, when we volunteer our efforts toward what we are passionate about, more doors and pathways open allowing us to go deeper, in our understanding, our community, and our network.”

What do you like best about volunteering? “The amazing thing about volunteering is that everything I involve myself in, I am passionate about. All the work that I do in general is designed with care for the people, the earth, and the future. The school project holds a special place in my heart, along with the Good Shepherd project. This place has had an incredible influence on who I am today, and I’m sure it will be just as impactful on my daughter’s life!”

Join BAVC now! Simply create a volunteer profile at www.thebavc.org and start your year with something new! Visit: volunteer.theBAVC.org.

This is the perfect time to create your profile on BAVC and start volunteering! To hear more from these nonprofits, visit thebavc.org/news.


Published by Quintessential Barrington in Barrington, Illinois.