May 31,  2016
In this Weekly Harvest:     

Old Time Meat and Deli is Giving Back to The Land Connection this week!
Get your fix of fresh chicken, fish, and meat and support The Land Connection all at the same time! This week, Old Time Meat and Deli in Champiagn will be featuring The Land Connection for their charity give back campaign. That means, when you shop at Old Time, a portion of what you spend will to toward supporting TLC's farmer training programs and the Champaign Farmers' Market!

Old Time Meat and Deli offers fresh cut and prepared beef, poultry, and seafood, as well as multiple options for pre-marinated cuts of meat! They also sell sides to accompany your protein, like hummus, macaroni salads, beans, and their famous twice baked potatoes. Just read this piece by Smile Politely, to find out just how wonderful this place is!

Stop by Old Time Meat and Deli from May 31 through June 6 to experience the old time goodness of this butcher shop for yourself and help support The Land Connection!

Market Corner
School's out and market season is in full swing! We've got a delicious array of local produce, cheese, meat, grains, and flowers lined up for you this afternoon.

Here's the quick rundown (the list just gets longer and longer!):
  • Strawberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Cucumbers
  • Snow peas
  • Cheddar cauliflower
  • Purple cauliflower
  • Broccoli raab
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Head lettuce
  • Romaine heads
  • Rainbow chard
  • Spinach
  • Collard greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Bok choy
  • Tarragon
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Chives with blossoms
  • Organic pork & poultry
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Green garlic
  • Garlic scapes
  • Green onion
  • Zucchini
  • Summer squash
  • Beets
  • Flowers
  • Potted trees
  • Plant starts
  • Goat cheese
  • Goat's milk gelato
  • Popsicles
  • Bread
  • Pretzels
  • Scones
  • Flour
  • Oats
  • Cornmeal
  • Buckwheat
  • Popcorn
  • Zucchini bread

Sola Gratia has all the fixings for a refreshing summer salad to help you beat the heat. They'll be on hand with lettuce, radishes, bok choy, and herbs so you can create your own delicious salad dressing. Speaking of herbs, this week Stone Court Farm will be featuring mint as their Herb of the Week. Get a free sprig and great recipe ideas with your purchase (including a rumored  absolutely FAB green chutney) . They'll also have  sage, oregano, tarragon, and cilantro, as well as  spinach, arugula, mustard greens, amaranth, and rhubarb. Joy of Illinois Farm will have  snow peas, green garlic and garlic scapes, as well as whole wheat bread and zucchini bread, featuring organic whole wheat flour from Brian Severson Farm, and zucchini from our next vendor...

Stop by Pheasant Ridge Farms to round out your salad with cucumbers,  kale, romaine heads, broccoli, purple cauliflower, cheddar cauliflower, broccoli raab, zucchini, yellow summer squash, and much more! Pheasant Ridge will be featured on Visit Champaign County's Follow the Farmstead 2016. They'll also be joining us with more information on this must-see tour.

We'll have all the colors of the rainbow this week. In addition to all the greens, you'll find luscious red strawberries at Meyer Produce and Joy of Illinois (stop by early, they go fast!) as well as both orange and purple carrots from PrairiErth Farm. You'll also find i ris, baptisia, lilies, mixed bouquets, and the start of larkspur at Illinois Willows.

Stop by The Pop Stop to cool off with a refreshing treat featuring fruit from Meyer Produce and Stone Court Farm! Flavors this week include  strawberry, and pineapple habanero, fudgesicle, birthday cake, white chocolate raspberry, and strawberry rhubarb.

We'll also be joined by Arrow Ambulance, who will be showing off emergency equipment and offering blood pressure checks.

farmfnFarm Fresh Now! Recipe of the Week

Kale: 50 Ways to Love your Leaves
Buy it, grow it, love it, and definitely eat it!  Kale may seem like it appeared out of nowhere a few years back, but it's been around since ancient Greek and Roman times. And you can get fresh kale most of the year, even in cold climates it will over-winter, and with a hoop house, or even a simple plastic cover, you can be eating fresh, nutritious greens in the winter. But even if you start your garden in early spring, kale will be one of the first things that you harvest--or that is available at your farmers' market. And there are SO MANY ways to prepare it--kale chips, kale salads (at least 50 ways...), and of course kale smoothies.

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

mentorWant a Farmer-Mentor? We've got 'em! 

Dylan Cook is a 2011 graduate of The Land Connection's Central Illinois Farm Beginnings class. While still technically considered a "beginning farmer", Dylan has quickly established a thriving vegetable business in Bloomington. He sells his highly diverse mix of produce through a CSA, two farmers' markets, and a self-serve cooler found on the farm. He also provides add-on egg shar es to his CSA customers, and sells hogs by whole or half. In addition, Dylan is a founding member of the Legacy of the Land farmers' cooperative, which gives his product additional reach.

Cook Farm is not certified organic but they consider their practices to exceed organic standards, and have not gotten certified simply because it would not be cost-effective. The farm operates with a small crew, but employees tend to stick around to continue to be a part of the farm. It could be because of Dylan's positive attitude despite the hardships of farming. "There's a lot of drudgery involved. You just have to try to have a good time and laugh to get through the work."
If you're looking for guidance, our new mentorship program might be a great fit for you. For more information and to apply, go to our new mentorship webpage.

WorkshopsWorkshops, Field Days, and Grant Opportunities

Farm Dreams is an annual workshop series for aspiring farmers like you to discover what it would really take to start your own farm business. From assessing your skills and resources, to meeting successful farmers in your region, to deciding next steps for pursuing your farm dream, this workshop is the perfect setting for you to find out what it takes to own a successful farm business. Each workshop is from 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m and is held on a working farm. Registration costs $20 and includes a light supper and the Farm Dreams Handbook. Register online here.

Promoting On-Farm Pollinators Workshop
June 14, 5 - 8 p.m.
$20 Registration
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery
This workshop will show you how you can create and enhance pollinator habitat on your farm, from the perspectives of Thelma Heidel-Baker, IPM Specialist with the Xerces Society, and Wes Jarrell and Leslie Cooperband, owners of Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, who have been fostering pollinators on their farm for over a decade. Pollinators are essential to farming and ecosystem health. Bees, butterflies, bats, birds, and more all play a part. With the ongoing loss of pollinator habitat, it is important for conscientious landowners and managers to protect and enhance this habitat. Bringing pollinators back to the landscape is not only beneficial to our prairie ecosystem, but can also benefit the farm's bottom line. Learn what it takes to bring these pollinators back and the tools and resources available to help accomplish this on your farm. Register online here. 

Rotational Grazing Field Day
June 26, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
$75 Registration
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, then Seven Sisters Farm, Bane Family Meats, and Rush Creek Farms
This field day will give participants a comprehensive view of successful rotational grazing strategies being practiced in central Illinois. Thorough tours of Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, Seven Sisters Farm, Bane Family Meats, and Rush Creek Farms will give participants the opportunity to see pasture rotations in action for goats, sheep, pigs, cattle, and poultry. Our local experts will share their forage and feed schedules, pest and disease control strategies, and the equipment and infrastructure they have implemented in order to be successful. Register online here!

Hay and Straw Workshop
July 10, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery
Most small-scale, and some medium-scale and large-scale, animal farmers need to make or purchase dried or otherwise processed forage products for animal feed or straw for bedding. This half-day workshop should quickly save you the price of admission if you're relatively new to the hay/straw business, and should be valuable even if you've been farming for a while. Dry hay, haylage, balage, silage, and greenchop will all be discussed, with most emphasis on dry hay. Farmers and technical experts will provide the training. Laboratory test result sheets will be explained so the user can make better decisions about how to select hay and enter it into their farming activities. Register online here!


Food Safety Outreach Program
Deadline June 2
Following recently finalized federal food safety requirements for  produce farmers and  food processors, there is a critical need for targeted food safety outreach, education, and training. In fact, when Congress passed the  Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), it authorized the development of a brand-new competitive grants program specifically dedicated to providing farmers, processors, and wholesalers with the education and training needed to prepare for and adapt to new FSMA requirements. This program - the Food Safety Outreach Program (FSOP) - received its first-time funding in fiscal year (FY) 2015.  Learn more here and  apply online at

Value Added Producer Grant
Deadline June 24
Whether helping farmers  turn organic grains into shelf-ready items  or providing capital for the creation of  farm-identity preserved regional supply chains , the  Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program  has served as a valuable resource for farmers looking to grow their businesses through value-added products. Learn more here and check out this great Guide for Applying.

Farmers Market Fresh Cooking Classes
June - August
Illinois Stewardship Alliance
Classes will be held the second weekend of the month in June, July and August and will feature fresh, seasonal produce from Springfield's Old Capitol Farmers Market. Limit of 10 students per class so please register early. For kids cooking classes, parents may drop off or stay in Copper Pot's waiting room while kids enjoy their cooking class.
1 hour cooking classes, kids age 3-5 - $12 (includes all supplies and snack)
1.5 hour cooking class, kids age 6-12 - $20 (includes all supplies and light meal)
2 hour cooking class, Adults, $30 (includes light meal and/or take home food)

bloogTractors depreciate; mentorships pay dividends
We received a grant from FarmAid this year. This is exciting for two reasons: 1) the email telling you that you got the award also comes with a picture of Willie Nelson signing the grant documents, which really is a reward in its own right; and 2) we get to start a phenomenal program here at The Land Connection.
It's our new  Mentorship Program, and the concept is simple: if you are looking for expert guidance on a farming topic, we will connect you with a mentor in central Illinois or Indiana. Our network of mentors is comprised of a huge variety of farmers, from growers raising livestock on a few acres or producing vegetables for sales at the farmers' market all the way up to organic grain farmers who are growing on thousand of acres and selling into wholesale markets. Thanks to this grant, we were also able to double the amount of mentors in our network, which included bringing in farmers from Indiana and increasing the expertise we can offer on grain production ...

agnews Agriculture in the News:
Something you should know
The Global Soil Partnership has released a new set of voluntary guidelines for sustainable soil management. Learn more about them here.   

Something you should do:
Start your own container garden of fruits, veggies, and herbs! Learn how here! 

Something to be happy about: 
The Organic Trade Association just released conclusive research that suggests that organic agriculture can help boost the health of local economies. Read more about it 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:

Help wanted for the Urbana Market at the Square during 2016 season. Looking for a trustworthy and motivated individual who will work at our market stand. Must have good customer service skills, be able to handle money, and must be comfortable using tablets to track sales.  Hours are Saturday mornings, 7 am-12:30pm, May through October.  Pays $15/hour. 
Contact Stan Schutte at Triple S Farms at 217-343-4740 or send 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. Please fill it out and send it 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 midsts 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.

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.

We are seeking interns/crew members to start immediately.  This is a paid, full-time position with room and board available. 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.

No experience is necessary, but experience in physical labor or mechanical work and animal care is helpful and a great attitude is a must.  Please send your resume or work history to

Full time Academic Hourly position starting as soon as possible. Need a Bachelors Degree, experience with small-scale organic vegetable/fruit production and or research.

The SSF is a 6-acre Vegetable and Fruit farm that is an educational space for University of Illinois students to get hands on experience with small-scale organic vegetable production. The Assistant Manager will help the Manager run the farm; coordinate student volunteers and workers through a wide range of tasks, keep records, coordinate all levels of production; greenhouse work, planting, cultivation, harvest, irrigation, equipment and tool maintenance and repair, marketing and delivering, small building and infrastructure projects.  We also give tours and host classes and ideally are a resource for Illinois Extension and other educational entities. We are looking for someone who is able to handle physical work, who works well with a diversity of people, who is observant, can see many steps ahead in work processes, problem solve, and has interest in working with us for a couple of years if possible. For more information and to apply, contact Matt Turino at or  217-722-3316.

Land, Equipment, and Other:

One June 11, 2016 Live Springs Farm will have an auction for all farm equipment and pastured live stock equipment.  Live Spring Farm is also selling its Golden Nugget-laying hens, Berkshire and Large Black feeder pigs and sows, as well as a Southpoll cattle herd and a St. Croix-Florida hair sheep flock.   Learn more  here  and  here.

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