October 25,  2016
In this Weekly Harvest:     
toppp   A change in the seasons brings a change in focus
The crisp, chill, autumn air has finally descended and brought with it the colors of fall. Spooky Halloween decorations adorn porches, parks, and store aisles. Here at The Land Connection, the close of autumn harvest brings a change of focus from the growing season and farmers' market to workshops and farmer education.   

This evening is the final Champaign Farmers' Market of the season. The festivities include a pumpkin carving contest, Halloween costume contest, and trick-or-treat bag decorating activities, and of course, pumpkin soup. With the close of the growing season, the cool fall breeze is drawing us back indoors for the height of the winter workshop season.

Our farmer training program is in full swing with preparations for a great series of workshops. Last Saturday was the launch of the 2016-17 Central Illinois Farm Beginnings class. We have 16 students from 8 farm families gathering every other week through the winter to plan their new farm businesses. We are so happy to meet this year's class of students! 

Keep a close eye on our event calendar  and on the event section of the weekly harvest for upcoming dates!
Market Corner
Well, market fans, we knew this day would come: the close of the  Champaign Farmers' Market 2016 season . We're in for a gorgeous afternoon of local food and Halloween fun!

Triple Link October wraps up tomorrow. The October Fruit & Veggie Bonus provides an extra match, which means  Link recipients can receive up to $40 extra to spend! Pick up one of our TLC storage guides for tips on how to make your final market haul last long into the winter.

Cassie will be dishing up pumpkin soup in the Sampling Tent, and we'll be joined by the City of Champaign in the Community Tent with trick-or-treat bag decorating and safety tips for Halloween.

At 5pm we're hosting a costume contest, with prizes for Funniest Costume, Most Creative, and of course, Best Market Themed Costume. Bring along your carved pumpkin creations, too! At 6pm we'll host a jack o'lantern contest and lighting ceremony to wrap up the season.

We'll also have face-painting, spooky science with the Orpheum Children's Museum, and a visit from Frankenstein! 

We're also hosting a food drive to benefit the Stone Creek Food Pantry. Purchase one or more items to donate, and get a Land Connection mug as a thank you. The food will all go directly to their monthly distribution in Rantoul. Help them help struggling families eat healthy!

This week you'll find:
  • Butternut squash
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes 
  • Lettuce
  • Pumpkins
  • Kale
  • Winter Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Arugula
  • Radishes
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Fresh herbs
  • Dried herbs
  • Meat
  • Bread
  • Baked goods
  • Maple syrup
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Honey
  • Chestnuts
  • Salad dressings
RSVP to our Facebook event page to get vendor updates and share your market experience.

All this and more from 3:30-6:30 this afternoon. Come enjoy yet another gorgeous afternoon with us at the Market and load up on fresh local food!
farmfnFarm Fresh Now! Recipe of the Week

Find all of our Farm Fresh Now! recipes  on our website!

When I see the stacks of orange orbs in front of grocery stores, I can't help but think that pumpkins have been hijacked for that trick without a treat, the Halloween jack-o-lantern. The hijackees have been bred not for their texture or flavor, but for their bright color and substantial stems.  

Visit us at the market today to pick up your free recipe card  and nutrition card! 

WorkshopsWorkshops, Field Days, and Grant Opportunities

Small Dairy Intensive
Sunday, December 4, 9am-4pm 
We're teaming up with experts Leslie Cooperband and Wes Jarrell of Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery to bring you answers to your milk selling questions.  Two sequential half-day workshops lead you through legal regulations, milk handling equipment, feed formulations for milk quality, and the economics of bringing milk from the udder to the table. The content will cover information for both cow and goat operations.   Lunch is included with full-day registration.  Click here to learn more.

Managing Risk in Organic Grain Farming - Workshop Series
This series of workshops is designed to help you manage risk in organic grain production, marketing, and financing. The four-workshop series started in J uly and runs through February. Each workshop costs $25 to register, or $75 to register for all four. Learn more about the workshops and register here.


Honeybee Conservancy Invites Applications for Beekeeping Materials
The  Honeybee Conservancy  is inviting applications for in-kind grants designed to help nonprofit organizations or schools safely set up, maintain, and observe on-site bee sanctuaries in schools, community gardens, and green spaces across the United States.  Learn more about the funding opportunity here.


Before the Flood Movie (pre-release)
Thursday, October 27 at 7 PM
112 Gregory Hall, University of Illinois
Urbana, IL

97% of scientists agree that not only is climate change real, it is accelerated by human contribution. The Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) at UIUC definitely agrees with the science.  Please join SSC at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, in 112 Gregory Hall for a free preview screening of Leonardo DiCaprio's newest film, "Before the Flood" before its national debut. For more information, or to RSVP, click here.

Fund-a-Farmer Webinars
Please join Food Animal Concerns Trust for one or both of their free upcoming webinars. 

Tips for Applying for a Fund-a-Farmer Grant 
Tuesday, October 25
6:00 PM CST

Are you thinking about applying for a Fund-a-Farmer grant from FACT this year? Do you have questions about our eligibility requirements or how to apply online? Please join us on this webinar. We will guide you through the application guidelines and process, and answer any questions you have along the way. Register here. 

Understanding Farm Animal Welfare Certification 
Tuesday, November 15
10:00 AM CST

Are you considering Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, and Global Animal Partnership certification? This webinar will walk you through the process of becoming welfare-certified and discuss funding options available to farmers interested in certification - including FACT's Animal Welfare Certification Grants.   Register here.

Good Food is Good Medicine Symposium
Saturday November 5, 2016
9 am- 4 pm
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Feinberg Pavilion, 3rd floor
251 E Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611

Proper diet is a fundamental building block to good health, but how do you sort through all the confusing information to know what diet is best for you?  The Osher Center in collaboration with FamilyFarmed brings you a daylong program filled with valuable information based on the latest science.   Learn more here.

Illinois Farmers Market Association Fall Workshop
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
8:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Lake House @ Crystal Lake Park, 206 W. Park Street, Urbana, IL

Join Urbana's Market at the Square staff as they host the Illinois Farmers Market Association's Fall Workshop. Learn from current market producers, meet with market managers, and network with individuals in the farmers market field coming to the workshop from across the region.   Learn more here.

6th Annual Local and Regional Food Conference
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The Pavilion, Marion, IL

This event brings farmers and industry together to learn how to be engaged in meeting the demand for local and regional food.  The event is a  collaboration of the Illinois Farm Bureau and southern Illinois Farm Bureaus, Missouri Farm Bureau, Kentucky Farm Bureau, Indiana Farm Bureau, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Southern Illinois University, University of Illinois Extension, Food Works, and Illinois Specialty Growers Association. Learn more here.

2017 Good Food Festival & Conference
March 16-18, 2017
UIC Forum, Chicago

The Good Food Festival & Conference Is The Midwest's Premier Showcase For Local And Sustainable Food.  Celebrate our region's growing local food community!  The 13th Annual Good Food Festival & Conference will connect farmers, food producers, investors, trade buyers, policy makers, activists, families and Good Food lovers over three dynamic days.  Learn more here.
Bloog Perpetual Student
I sat in the back the class with my notebook, camera, and the day's agenda on my lap, and took in the warmth of the room that was lit with crisscrossing strings of globe lights--the kind that you might see on a patio in the summer--and the smell of coffee and freshly baked scones.

This would mark the first day of my fifth class of Central Illinois Farm Beginnings. As soon as I said it in my head, I started to question myself, and wrote down the years of the classes I had been a part of in my notebook. The numbers on the paper confirmed that this would, indeed, be my fifth time through. 

agnews Agriculture in the News:
Something you should know
The Farm Storage Facility Loan Program provides low-interest financing so producers can build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities. Learn more here.
Something you should do
Apply for the Fund-a-Farmer grant application. Applications are due by November 21, so don't delay.  Read more here.

Something to be happy about
Paris' New Law Allows Anyone To Plant Urban Gardens  Read more here.

You can post your ad or search for more listings in the  classifieds section  o f our website. To have something listed in the Weekly Harvest, email us at or call 217-840-2128.

Employment Opportunities:

The Savanna Institute invites applications for a Program Manager. We seek applicants who share our passion for restorative and resilient agricultural practices. The Savanna Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Urbana, Illinois. The Program Manager will manage the diverse research and education programs of the Savanna Institute. This position reports to the Executive Director.  Read more here.
We are seeking interns/crew members to start immediately. This is a paid, full-time position with room and board available.   No experience is necessary, but experience in physical labor or mechanical work and animal care is helpful and a great attitude is a must. 

For more information and to apply, contact Julie Larson at

Do you want to farm?  Do you have land but not the skills to tend to it?  Have you wondered what it would be like to spend a summer growing food for a community surrounding a farm?  

Our apprenticeship is designed to give individuals with the desire to farm and grow food an opportunity to do that on a production scale to make a living.  We offer housing & monthly stipend in exchange for a full season commitment. 

We raise mixed produce for CSA, farmer's markets and wholesale customers.  We'll work side-by-side from seed to sale in hopes that you finish the season with a solid grasp of what it takes to run a small farm. Interns are expected to work quickly and efficiently in good and bad weather, to ask questions, and to learn from mistakes. Stipend starting @ $800/month and food from the farm as well as shared housing for the right candidate.
Full-time and part-time positions available. Contact Dylan at!

We are hiring for farm hands. This is part-time work starting in May or June running into December. You would be doing all kinds of manual labor: harvesting, weeding, washing, occasional transplanting and general cleanup. The benefits are hard to beat: lots of produce, exercise, and interesting people to talk to. No experience needed. For an application, visit our website. Please fill it out and send to:

Land, Equipment, and Other:

NEW HOLLAND 1034 BALE WAGON (Mechanical hay loader/stacker)
A pull type wagon that can mechanically pick small square hay bales up out of the field and stack them into pallets of 100 bales that can be moved with a forklift. Always shedded while I've owned them, since 1999. I've quit raising hay. Two available. Asking $5,000 each, obo. 100 pallets also available. Pictures available here. Contact Brian Severson at  815-584-1850 or email

Selling at least 8 pastured, non-GMO fed, antibiotic-free pigs for around $1 a pound. Also available are a few  Red wattles which are antibiotic free, grown outside and will sell for 85 cents per pound. If you are interested contact Ammon Troyer at (217) 543-2979.

LAND USE OPPORTUNITY:  2.5 acres on north side of Aurora, IL
Landowner is making land available for garden/farm use. Has been in grass
since 1981. Located near Indian Trail and Mitchell Road. Call owner Bill
Robinson at  (630) 927-0519.

We hope to see someone purchase our family farm for organic farming practices. 40 acres- 20 acres planted soybeans 2016 + 20 acres fenced pastures/timber w/creek, pond. Modular home, pole barn, municipal water supply plus 2 other wells,300 amp electric, new septic system.  Past operations on property:  horses,  aquaculture (pond & creek), poultry, hogs, sheep, dairy, beef, honey, nuts, fruit trees, berries, mushrooms, herbs (woodland and planted), gardens (floral and vegetable), lots of wildlife habitat and mature timber.   Learn more here.

We have 3 heated hoop houses and 8 unheated hoop houses on 3 acres. The 40' x 74' metal building has an office, kitchen, restroom, working area and a walk in cooler. There is a generator and deep well on the property along with a small created wetland and prairie. Additional acres are available for in ground crops. Great opportunity for a CSA / organic operation that wants to extend their growing season.  Learn more here.

Thank you to all the sponsors, donors, and supporters that make the daily operations and programs of The Land Connection possible. We couldn't do it without you!


 And thanks to all of our 2016 Market Sponsors!

 Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church