August 16,  2016
In this Weekly Harvest:     
toppp   Are you Ready for your Farm Beginning?

Beginnings are exciting, full of anticipation and enthusiasm. In any well written story, the beginning launches the arc of the tale, through the climax, and finally the resolution. If you've felt the call to farm, the pull to begin your journey can be intense. As any wise writer will advise, plan your story in advance, else you loose yourself in the process. A wise farmer would advise, plan your season, else you get lost in the weeds.

The Farm Beginnings program is a planning process for your farm life. During nine day-long sessions this winter, we will guide you through the complexities of starting your own farm business and provide a mentor who will advise you through the first year of your journey. Planning the financials, business practices, and structure of your farm before you plant your first seed will launch your story arc from a solid beginning.

Applications are now open, and classes start October 22. Learn more here.
Market Corner
Stop by the Sampling Tent for a taste of the market; this week we'll be featuring watermelon, tomatoes and salad veggies with Joe Joe's balsamic dressing, and treats from Okaw Valley Orchard.

We're also happy to welcome Central Illinois historical re-enactor Mark Wichman to our Artist Corner with a wooden shoe making demonstration. 

We'll be joined by the Twin City Derby Girls, as well as Phoenix Botanical in the Community Tent.
As always, the Champaign Farmers' Market accepts Link, and we'll double your benefits up to $20  each week RSVP to our  Facebook event page  to get vendor updates and share your market experience.

This week we're happy to welcome another new vendor: Earthly Pleasures, with jams made from local produce. Sitka Salmon Shares is also back at the market for their final week of the season. We'll also be saying goodbye to Brian Severson Farms after this week, as their support staff heads off to college. Stop by and stock up on their fantastic array of organic grains!

In addition, you'll find:
  • Melons
  • Peaches
  • Blueberries
  • Plums
  • Green beans
  • Wax beans
  • Raspberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers 
  • Apples
  • Jams
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers 
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant 
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Collard greens
  • Summer squash
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Salad dressings
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • New potatoes 
  • Pattypan squash
  • Scallions
  • Radishes
  • Fresh herbs  
  • Fresh herbs
  • Sunflowers
  • Cider doughnuts
  • Popsicles
  • Wild Alaskan salmon
  • Bread
  • Scones
  • Pastries
  • Flour
  • Oats
  • Cornmeal
  • Buckwheat
  • Wheatberries
  • Granola
  • Popcorn
  • Pancake mix
  • Apple cider
All this and more from 4-7 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

Herbed Heirloom Tomato Salad

Tangy, bright, and explosively ripe, an in-season tomato is any cook's dream. You can do almost anything, or almost nothing, and either way, the result will be mind-blowingly delicious. 

Visit us at the market today to pick up your free  recipe card  and nutrition card! Find all of our Farm Fresh Now! recipes on our website!

WorkshopsWorkshops, Field Days, and Grant Opportunities

Agritourism Farmer Training Intensive
August 27-28, 
Ottawa Visitor Center, Ottawa, Illinois
Agritourism helps farmers bring the public onto their farms and tell the story of their products. It can also be a powerful revenue stream, but there are many barriers to success that can be difficult to overcome. This two-day intensive workshop includes expert speakers and a full day of tours of successful agritourism operations that will leave participants with a deeper understanding of the marketing options, legal issues, operations and infrastructure, and aesthetics that make for a successful agritourism enterprise. You can attend either day for $90 or both at the discounted price of $175.  Register online here.

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. There will be four workshops starting on J uly 28 and running through February. Each workshop costs $25 to register, or $75 to register for all four. Learn more about the workshops and register here.

Central Illinois Farm Beginnings
Classes start October 22
Applications are open for our year-long farmer training program. Now entering its 12th year of creating successful farm businesses, Central Illinois Farm Beginnings (CIFB) gives aspiring farmers the opportunity to write a plan for the development of their farm business over the course of nine winter classes and with the guidance of expert farmers from the region. After the completion of the coursework, students are matched with a mentor farmer as they begin their first year of production. Scholarships are available for this course and now is the time to apply! Learn more and apply online here!


Stone Barns Center is offering farmer scholarships to the 2016 Young Farmers Conference set for December 7-9, 2016, in Pocantico Hills, New York. Scholarships cover the cost of conference registration; recipients are expected to cover the cost of their lodging and travel expenses to and from the conference. Learn more here.


Farmers Market Fresh Cooking Classes
Prairie Fruits Farm, Champaign IL
Illinois Stewardship Alliance and Chef Alisa DeMarco invite you to join us on farm at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery for three different cooking classes featuring local ingredients, simple yet elegant recipes, and bright flavors. Make the most of the season and enjoy an evening of fine food, friends, and fresh cooking. All classes will take place between 6 and 8pm and cost $25 per person. 

Growing Your Hobby Farm into a Business
August 17th (Sycamore, IL), August 18 (Belvidere, IL)
University of Illinois Extension
So you've finally got a few acres in the country like you've always wanted, but you're wondering what kind of agricultural business your land can support, aside from just growing a lot of grass that needs to be mowed.  Or perhaps you're discovering that managing land and infrastructure has a bunch of expenses you hadn't thought about beforehand.  The chickens need feed, the horse needs hay, the tractor needs fuel, the fence needs fixing...and all this is starting to tax the family budget.  How can you make your farm enterprises pay for themselves?  Learn more here.

Local Flavors Dinners
August 18th: Bacaro
September 15th: V. Picasso
October 20th:Timpone's Restaurant

August 18th: Lunch at BraiZe
September 15th: Dinner at Destihl Restaurant and Brew Works
October 20th: Dinner at Anju Above

August 18th: Dinner at Augie's Front Burner
September 15th: Dinner at Engrained Brewing Company
September 25th:  Annual Harvest Celebration - Illinois Stewardship Alliance
October 20th: Dinner at American Harvest

August 18th: Lunch at Cyd's Gourmet Kitchen, Cafe + Catering
September 15th: Dinner at Hearth Restaurant
October 20th: TBD

Enjoy farm-fresh meals at your favorite restaurants during the Local Flavors 2016 farm-to-table restaurant series. Local Flavors dinners will be held on the third  Thursday of each month, June through October in Champaign, Springfield, Bloomington-Normal, and Peoria.  Stop by any participating restaurant on their scheduled date during their regular business hours. Each restaurant will prepare a Local Flavor Menu of three or more items featuring ingredients sourced directly from central Illinois farmers.

The series opens new markets for small farmers; highlights restaurants with a commitment to sourcing locally; and gives YOU a chance to support local farmers, local restaurants, and sustainable farming while savoring the finest flavors of central Illinois. Learn more here!

Back in February when I was sitting at the dining room table with my seed catalogs, I was planning big.

I had decided that I would go all out in the garden this year, and that my big crop would be tomatoes. Seduced by all the photos in the catalog, I lost all sense of how big our back yard actually is, and added Matt's Wild Cherry (MWC) to my order. A couple of weeks later, in March-the month that pretends to hold the gift of spring--in the box of seeds that arrived on my doorstep was an entire packet with tiny, harmless looking (almost cute, actually) MWC seeds. Into the trays they went, and germinated, and grew into seemingly harmless little tomato plants.  
Read the rest of Cara's blog here!

agnews Agriculture in the News:
Something you should know
World's Largest Vertical Farm Near NYC Uses 95% Less Water and No Pesticides!  Learn more here!
Something to be happy about
New Edible Rings on 6-Packs Can Feed Animals Instead of Harming Them!   Learn more here!

Something you should do
Nominate a farmer/farm family for the 2017 MOSES Organic Farmer of the Year award!  Learn 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 Harvest Market Mission is to bring our customers and associates closer to the land, closer to our farmers and makers in order to help them make good food choices.  We believe in the genuineness of family-owned farms and farm families and promise to deliver great tasting food with integrity and transparency.   Learn more about employment opportunities  here .

Sola Gratia Farm is a mission-based farm enterprise dedicated to producing locally-grown, high-quality, natural produce. Along with selling its produce through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and other markets, the farm is committed to helping those who lack adequate food resources by donating at least ten percent of its produce to support regional hunger programs, such as the Eastern Illinois Food Bank.

Farm hands will participate in all aspects of production. This includes greenhouse seeding, field planting, hand and mechanical weeding, harvesting, wash/pack, and distribution to the community. Farm hands will be working side-by-side with volunteers, and in some cases may be leading crews, so good people skills and ability to lead by example is important. More hours and financial bonuses may be available to people who do good work and are willing and able to take on more responsibility.  To apply, please send a cover letter to  or Sola Gratia Farm, 2200 South Philo Rd, Urbana, IL, 61801. 

MINT CREEK FARM (2 positions)
Mint Creek Farm is a 230 acre, Certified Organic, grass-fed livestock farm located about 80 miles south of Chicago. We have a wide diversity of livestock including sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks and seasonal turkeys.  

Come learn and gain an understanding of how to raise livestock and poultry organically on pasture. If you're thinking of starting your own farm, there is no substitute for hands-on experience like what you will receive here. If you're wondering whether farming is right for you or just want to see what life on an organic livestock farm is like, we would love to have you. 

We are seeking farm crew members to start immediately that have at least 1 year of experience on a farm. This is a paid, full-time position with room and board available.  
Knowledge of farm equipment, mechanical work and/or animal care is helpful and a great attitude is a must. 
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 or click here for more information!

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:

This is a part-time job opportunity to work with Jones Country Gardens of Pontiac, Illinois. One day per week the employee will work in a group setting for the duration of Urbana's Market at the Square 2016. The Farmers' Market Sales Associate will gain experience operating a farmers' market stand at one of the oldest and busiest farmers' markets in the State of Illinois. The position will involve a high level of engagement with coworkers and customers in the midst of the hustle-and-bustle of the farmers' market.

I n collaboration with the Produce Manager and other staff, the Farmers' Market Sales Associate will work to market fresh produce, flowers, potting and bedding plants, eggs and frozen meats. Responsibilities will include:  Helping with setup and teardown of the stand,  assisting with display and marketing aspects of the operation,  engaging and conversing with customers and p rocessing transactions. Please email a brief cover letter and resume to, including "Farmers' Market Position" in the subject line. Feel free to contact our Produce Manager, Bryce Davis, with any questions at 815-674-8235.

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.

Small organic farm in Clintonville, Wisconsin. Chemical free for more than 15 years. Two tillable acres on quiet property (~ 4 acres) located on the wooded banks of the Pigeon River Watershed. Perfect for family who wants to enjoy nature, grow their own vegetables and fruits (apple and pear trees on property), fish and hunt, and live near a small community. Used for market gardens. Room to build a house. Two car garage, electricity, drilled well, septic system, greenhouse (house?) foundation, large compost bins on farm. Call 920-788-2445 or email

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.
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