November 22,  2016
In this Weekly Harvest:     
toppp    Support TLC next week on #GivingTuesday
Next week TLC is joining #GivingTuesdaya global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.
Through our food assistance programs at the Champaign Farmers' Market and farmer training programs around Central Illinois and Indiana, The Land Connection is taking on the problem of food insecurity because food is our future and farmers need support securing that future

Help market shoppers like Crystal, a Parkland college student who regularly brings her family out to the Champaign Farmers' Market to use our SNAP matching program: "It has enabled me to teach my children about the importance of supporting and consuming locally grown or made products."
We're working hard to make fresh, healthy, local food more accessible and affordable for all. Support at the ground level is more critical than ever, and we need your help to continue to build and maintain a sustainable, equitable food system.

WhenNovember 29
What: Donate and help spread the work about The Land Connection
Find more information on how to donate and how you can help spread the word here .
impact Community Impact
The Champaign Farmers' Market is proud to feature farmers who are working hard to fight food security in and around Champaign-Urbana...especially when they bring along an adorable green bus!

Prosperity Gardens is a Champaign non-profit created in 2010 to address the growing problems of youth obesity and limited nutrition knowledge, while providing job training and employment opportunities in agricultural sciences and food production.

In addition to providing valuable job training and tasty veggies at the Champaign Farmers' Market, Prosperity Gardens operates a Mobile Market in Champaign, getting fresh food to low-income neighborhoods that are critically in need of better food access.

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

farmfnWhat We're Reading

When we decided we wanted to heat our home with wood, we knew we would need a special type of fireplace to meet our needs.  All our research pointed us in one direction -- towards a Masonry Heater.  Ken Matesz's beautiful book, Masonry Heaters: Designing, Building, and Living with a Piece of the Sun, made up our mind for us.  In addition to numerous drool worthy   p hotos, Ken's book is full of helpful information on the history, design, and usage of these wonderful alternatives to traditional fireplaces.

We intellectually knew what we were getting into, but the reality of living with something that radiates warmth out all season long has transformed our winters.   -Birgit

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.

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.


Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture FINI Grant Program supports projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. Three funding levels are available for different project scales by farmers' markets, farmstands, or other food system stakeholders. Applications are due December 12. Learn more about the funding opportunity here.


Free webinars on Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP)
The Center for Rural Affairs
Wednesday, November 30
Whole Farm Revenue Protection for commodity producers. This will be a great webinar for commodity producers who have one or two additional crops that they have trouble insuring.  
2 to 3 p.m. CST: for producers. Register here.
3 to 4 p.m. CST: for insurance agents. Register here.

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.

Putting Small Acres to Work
Saturday, December 3, 2016
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
NIU Rockford Meeting and Conference Center, Rockford , IL
This event is designed to help people with rural property explore opportunities to use that land as a springboard into agriculture.  Outreach professionals from University of Illinois Extension and a local farmer will lead  general sessions on permaculture and farm-scale energy production, as well as numerous breakout sessions on both plant and animal topics, including tomatoes and peppers, microgreens, shiitake mushrooms, raising livestock for fiber, meat goat production, and controlling weeds in pastures. The program fee is $40 per person, which includes all program materials and lunch. Registration deadline is Monday, November 28, to guarantee a space and a meal.   Learn more here.

Fund-a-Farmer Webinars
Please join Food Animal Concerns Trust for one or both of their free upcoming webinars. 
Understanding Farm Animal Welfare Certification 
Tuesday, December 13
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.

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 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.
BloogFarming Foibles: Winter is Coming, part 2
I'd like to welcome all returning (and new prospective) pyromaniacs to the 2nd installment of my blog on how to heat your home with wood.  Now that we have kindling out of the way, the next item we need to talk about is firewood.  Having a few acres in the country in Central Illinois doesn't automatically come with a woodlot (or trees in most cases), so you have to be a bit creative.  Of course, you could buy your firewood, but really, where is the sport in that??  We are all about sport at our house ... generally of the "go big or go home" variety.    Read the rest of Birgit's Blog here.

agnews Agriculture in the News:
Something you should know
Cover crop seminars are coming up this January across Illinois. Read more here.
Something you should do
Nominate yourself or a new farmer you admire for the 2017 Beginning Farmer of the Year Award. Learn more here.

Something to be happy about
NIFA has awarded $1.2 million to support the development of environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture around the countryRead 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:
Illinois Stewardship Alliance seeks qualified applicants for the position of Executive Director. Illinois Stewardship Alliance is a statewide 501c3 nonprofit organization located in Springfield, IL dedicated to cultivating a local food and farm system that is economically viable, socially just and environmentally sustainable. Established in 1974, Illinois Stewardship Alliance has a history of advocating for conservation on Illinois' farmlands and supporting the development of local food systems. The organization has three key program areas including Conservation, Local Food and Policy Advocacy. Additionally, Illinois Stewardship Alliance serves as fiscal sponsor for Illinois Organic Growers Association, Band of Farmers CSA Coalition and Grow Springfield.

Learn more about the position hereEmail cover letter and resume by Friday, December 2 to:  or mail to: Illinois Stewardship Alliance, 230 Broadway, Suite 200, Springfield, IL 62701

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 and send to:

Land, Equipment, and Other:

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) 499-4275. Find more information on the farm here.

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.

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