October 4,  2016
In this Weekly Harvest:     
We are thrilled to announce that we have secured two USDA grants to increase access to local foods in our community through the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) and the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP).   The grants are administered by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and create economic opportunities for producers, increase access to fresh, healthy food for consumers, and connect rural and urban communities across the country. The Land Connection is one of four organizations to receive both grants through AMS and the ONLY grantee to receive the Farmers Market Promotion Program in Illinois.
Through FMPP, we received funds to increase consumption of fresh, local food and strengthen current market opportunities by diversifying the number and types of patrons attending the market and increasing market sales. Through LFPP, TLC, along with Prosperity Gardens and Common Ground Food Co-Op, will facilitate a local food system planning process among community members already invested in creative place-making, to address healthy, local food access barriers and increase the consumption and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products. Both grants are vital to supporting our efforts of creating better connectivity between consumers and locally-produced, fresh food and providing consistent and new opportunities for selling farm products. We look forward to collaborating with our local C-U and regional communities to execute these important projects over the next two years!
Market Corner
We're in for a gorgeous fall day at the  Champaign Farmers' Market . Stop by the Sampling Tent for  taste of the market while you shop: this week we're highlighting spaghetti squash and other seasonal veggies.

Our biggest news is the start of our October Fruit & Veggie bonus. All month long we'll provide an extra match for Link cardholders, which amounts to triple Link benefits . Link recipients can receive up to $40 extra to spend every week!

C-U Folk & Roots will be joining us in the Community Tent. Stop by to learn more about the November 3-5 festival and buy tickets to the festival or for their guitar raffle!

This week you'll find:

  • Butternut squash
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes 
  • Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Summer squash
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Arugula
  • Pumpkins
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Fresh herbs
  • Dried herbs
  • Apple cider
  • Apple butter
  • Popsicles
  • Cider doughnuts
  • Bread
  • Baked goods
  • Apple cider
  • Maple syrup
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Honey
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

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!

A rose by any other name might just be a pear. Okay, so my poetry might leave plenty to be desired, but gorgeous fall fruit can make the onset of even the coolest days feel welcoming. The delicate scent of a fresh pear is a sweet reminder that it is time to start putting up fall's bounty and planning your Thanksgiving menu. So as the fickle days of fall tease us, throw a few pears on the grill with a bit of thyme and serve as a side dish or dessert. And remember to store some in a cool basement, or can some for winter--you'll be happy to have them this winter! 

WorkshopsWorkshops, Field Days, and Grant Opportunities

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!

The Artisan Cup and Fork 
October 23, 2016
Artisan Cup & Fork is downstate Illinois' premier food competition: Farm to table chefs combine with family owned farms to prepare one signature dish. We then pair those seasonally inspired creations with an artisan brewer or cider maker to offer eight truly unique culinary experiences.  Learn more about the competition and buy tickets here.

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.


Local Flavors Dinners
October 20th:Timpone's Restaurant
October 20th: Dinner at Anju Above
October 20th: Dinner at American Harvest
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!

1st Annual Wool Conference & 6th Annual Sheep & Fiber Farm Tour
October 7, 2016
Falcon Heights, MN

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.

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 Making the Market Triply Accessible
Last week I got to witness a perfect storm moment: all the things I've been working so hard to accomplish with our farmers' market wrapped up in one family encounter. We had held a promotional drawing the previous week to draw more Parkland College students out to the market. One reason I had worked so hard to get Parkland students out was knowing that a significant number of the student body receive SNAP benefits. The winner of the drawing turned out to be one of those SNAP recipients.  When she attended the market the previous weekend she was actually incredibly moved by the fact that we offered the SNAP matching program. So she turned up not just to pick up her gift bag, but also to swipe her card again and get $20 off her account, plus $20 from The Land Connection.  Read the rest of Sarah's blog here.

agnews Agriculture in the News:
Something you should know
The Illinois Agri-Women Award Committee proudly announces the winners of the Illinois Agri-Women Hall of Fame, Outstanding Illinois Woman Farmer, and Illinois Agri Business Awards.  Learn more here.
Something you should do
Learn about where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on food policy.   Read more here.

Something to be happy about
The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture released details of 26 grants that will help organic farmers and ranchers improve business operations and bring more organic food to the table.  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:

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. 

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!

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:

SEEKING John Deere 2025R or 2032R with H130 BUCKET
Organic specialty cut flower farm seeking JD 2025R or 2032R with H130 bucket and implements - tiller, manure spreader and bed shaper.  Email Ali at or call 773-841-4415 

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.
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