November 29,  2016
In this Weekly Harvest:     
toppp  Strategizing and Selling - A Marketing Workshop
"A farmer's job is to grow healthy people."     - Jeff Moyer   Wise words from a wise farmer.

To grow healthy people, we must be masters at getting our healthy food to them. This takes marketing!

Marketing Strategies for Specialty Crops and Diversified Farms brings together industry experts and skilled farmers who will share their strategies, tips, and insight into marketing your farm products. 

Learn how to write a marketing plan, optimize social media reach, and brand your business. Successful farmers will also present their experience with running a CSA, selling to chefs, running a farm store, and selling to groceries and large wholesale buyers.

When: Thursday, January 26, 9:00am-4pm
Where: Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery,  4410 N Lincoln Ave., Champaign, IL
Register: $75, includes lunch, more information and registration here.       
SpecialInsert Land Connection Gift Ideas
Looking for some gorgeous stocking stuffers that also help support your local farmers?

Check out our gorgeous series of notecards featuring artwork by The Land Connection's very own Cara Cummings.

A set of 8 notecards + envelopes, featuring 4 different designs (radish, okra, ground cherries & of course, eggplant) is just $10, and the proceeds support The Land Connection. Pick some up   here .

impact Community Impact
Our Central Illinois Farm Beginnings grads are taking root all over the region.

2016 graduate John Williams has been mentoring with Wolfe Orchard near Monticello to help him prepare for starting his own orchard in the future. He's also been working as the post-harvest lead with PrairiErth Farm, gaining valuable experience in the fields, at the market, and everywhere in between.

Your donations help us not only offer farmer training courses, but foster valuable mentorship and networking opportunities that can help new farmers thrive.

Find out how you can help us fund important programs like CIFB and the Champaign Farmers Market   here .

What We're Reading

By: Carol Deppe

I want to be Carol Deppe when I grow up.  She is amazing ... she breeds plants, she saves seeds, she sells seeds, she writes books, she cooks (and shares recipes).  This book is a great resource for those looking for information on how to grow (and use)  potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs (ok, you don't really grow eggs, but you know what I mean).  This book contains the *best* pumpkin (roasted winter squash) pie recipe known to man. 

Her other  books (The Tao of Vegetable Gardening and Breed Your own Vegetable Varieties) are also great!

- Birgit

P.S. Don't forget that when you order from Amazon, you can use Amazon Smile to select The Land Connection and a portion of your purchase price will turn into a donation. You can donate while shopping, and it won't cost you anything extra!

WorkshopsWorkshops, Field Days, and Grant Opportunities

Marketing Strategies for Specialty Crops and Diversified Farms
January 26, 2017
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, Champaign
The culmination of our series of workshops designed to help you manage risk in organic grain production, marketing, and financing, we are delighted to welcome Jeff Moyer of the Rodale Institute as our keynote speaker. This program will bring in regional experts and stakeholders to discuss the current state of organic grain farming, what the upcoming opportunities are, and how both new and season organic growers can work together to everyone's benefit.  Registration is $25, which includes lunch and morning refreshments. More information available here.
Farm Services Agency Workshop
February 11, 2017
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery
Officials from the Illinois state FSA office will be presenting a three-hour workshop, walking attendees through programs designed to assist farmers with access to operating credit, real estate financing, conservation support programs, and disaster relief. Attendees will learn about eligibility and preferential funding groups such as beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers. The workshop will conclude with a panel of farmers describing their experiences with the loan application process and how access to FSA funding has improved their businesses.  Attendees of this workshop will be the first to receive The Land Connection's new printed guide to FSA programs for specialty and non-commodity crop farmers.  Learn more and register here.

February 16, 2017
Hilton Garden Inn, Champaign, IL
The culmination of our series of workshops designed to help you manage risk in organic grain production, marketing, and financing, we are delighted to welcome Jeff Moyer of the Rodale Institute as our keynote speaker. This program  will bring in regional experts and stakeholders to discuss the current state of organic grain farming, what the upcoming opportunities are, and how both new and season organic growers can work together to everyone's benefit.  Registration is $25, which includes lunch and morning refreshments. 

CSA Fair
March 3, 2017
Urbana Civic Center, Urbana, IL
Join Urbana's Market at the Square and The Land Connection for the Third Annual Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair on Friday, March 3rd.  customers will have the opportunity to meet local farmers and businesses that offer CSA programs and buying clubs, learn about their farms or businesses, and select a share or club that best meets their needs! There will also be educational information about local food, free samples and recipes, free activities for children, music, and more.  Learn more here.


The FruitGuys Community Fund 2017 Grant Cycle
LOIs due Monday, January 9, 2017
The FruitGuys Community Fund provides small grants (up to $5,000) to small farms and agricultural nonprofits for sustainability projects that have large positive impacts on the environment, local food systems, and farm diversity. Grants in amounts ranging from $2,000-$5,000 will be awarded in Spring 2017. Projects to be considered should help farms and/or orchards operate more sustainably, both environmentally and economically, as well as strengthen community outreach. Learn more about the funding opportunity here.


Free webinars on Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP)
The Center for Rural Affairs
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Whole Farm Revenue Protection for livestock producers. WFRP will insure up to $1 million in annual revenue from animals and animal products - learn how to apply.
11 a.m. to noon CST: for producers - Register here.
Noon to 1 p.m. CST: for insurance agents - Register here.

Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference
January 11-13, 2017
Crowne Plaza Hotel and Convention Center
Springfield, IL
The Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference (ISCAOC) will be held January 11-13, 2017, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield. The conference, which features nearly 100 speakers and 60 trade show exhibitors, will again host four concurrent preconference workshops, general sessions and breakout sessions aimed at helping Illinois specialty growers cultivate their operations.

To receive registration materials or to obtain exhibitor information, please contact Charlene Blary at 309-557-2107 or A detailed conference agenda, online registration, and cider contest information can be found here.

Routes to Farm Summit: Emerging Challenges for Direct-Market Farms
January 18-19, 2017
Starved Rock Lodge & State Park
A growing number of farmers in our region now report declining farmers market sales and increased difficulty attracting and retaining CSA members. Through a process of open dialogue among farmers and local food advocates who gather in January, we will (1) gain an understanding of current challenges for direct market farms, (2) identify critical issues and barriers to their continued success and (3) develop a farmer-led agenda for action that will guide follow-up activity.

Early registration for farmers begins November 13th. Please complete the registration form below. Meals and lodging will be available at no cost for farmers. General registration for food system advocates and other stakeholders will begin December 1st. Space will be limited.  Learn more here.

2017 Market Manager Certification Course
February 10-March 7, 2017
Mount Vernon, IL
Indianapolis, IN
The Market Manager Certificate Program is a voluntary program designed to encourage farmers market managers to pursue leadership skills and professional development in topics essential to market management. Market managers will be recognized with a certificate upon completion of the full program. This certificate offers acknowledgment to market organizers and vendors that the market manager is a trained professional. The course incorporates 3 day-long sessions, in both Mount Vernon, IL and Indianapolis, IN on February 10-11 and March 7, as well as 7 webinars. 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 A Look Back at the Market's Sophomore Season

Another season has wrapped up, and it's time for reflecting, and more importantly planning what's to come in 2017. 

The sophomore season of a new farmers' market is said to be one of the toughest. This year was definitely a learning experience, from weather to sampling to new vendors to cooking demos, we adapted and innovated throughout the season. We came out the other side having tripled the amount of SNAP benefits matched as in 2015, probably this year's proudest accomplishment...

agnews Agriculture in the News:
Something you should know
Researchers have identified resistance in farm animals to a last-resort antibioticRead more here.
Something you should do
Lend your voice to Crate Free Illinois' petition against inhumane practices on hog farms. Learn more here.

Something to be happy about
Seed sharing is now legal in California!  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:
We are seeking Floral Designers to help arrange flowers we grow and utilize for weddings and Crew Members to assist with farm duties for Summer 2017. For more information or to apply, contact and send a resume to

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 and send to:

Land, Equipment, and Other:

1980 IH Hydro 84 with IH2250 6' loader row crop model with 4cyl German Diesel Engine. Great farm tractor we have used for the last 5 years transplanting vegetable crops and have upgraded our transplanter and no longer need a hydro tractor. Rebuilt starter and alternator put in last year, new front tires in the last 2 years. Has block heater, 3 point cat i or ii, rear hydraulic outlet, and power steering. Hydro is strong, kept inside. $8500/OBO. For more information email Hans at

Lockie Farm is a 22-acre sustainable farm near Ogden (15 miles east of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois). 2 acres are Woody Perennial Polyculture (planted May 2014). The rest is leased to Kevin Wolz, who is creating a demonstration site for restoration agriculture. I am looking for someone(s) who will rent the 2-bedroom, 2 bath partially furnished house (with garage) and look after the 2-acre food forest. There is a half-acre west of the house that can be used for growing (and selling) produce. T he house will be available in January 2017. If interested, please contact  Marcia Powell at or call  (727) 400-4275. Find more information on the farm here.

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.

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