July 5,  2016
In this Weekly Harvest:     
The hay and straw that is used on livestock farms may just look like dry grass. How much difference could there be from one bale to the next? 

Experienced farmers will tell you that knowing your hay and straw can have a dramatic effect on animal health, productivity and, ultimately, the bottom line.

That's what makes our upcoming Hay and Straw Workshop so valuable. Led by Wes Jarrell of Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, the four-hour program will be of immense value to anyone raising foraging animals, from goats to chickens to cows to horses. 

Other farmers and haymakers will also speak at the workshop, and a baling demonstration and review of hay analysis sheets will give farmers a complete picture of how to source, evaluate, and purchase high-quality hay and straw in central Illinois.

The program costs $45.00, which includes a resource folder and snacks provided by the farm, and pre-registration is required. Find more information, visit  our website and sign up now! 
Now Hiring: TLC Office Manager - Part Time
Join The Land Connection Team!

The Land Connection is seeking a highly-organized, self-motivated individual to fill our Office Manager Position.  The office manager is responsible for all aspects of office management, and will work closely with the program managers to coordinate and support The Land Connection's programming and business activities.

Candidates should be proficient in Microsoft Office, have experience with data management software, and have excellent written and oral communication skills. Experience with Adobe Suite is a plus! 

Market Corner

We've got a delicious array of local produce, meat, grains, treats, and flowers lined up for you this afternoon.

This week the Orpheum Children's Museum is back, bringing along star-spangled slime to keep the 4th of July festivities going.  Neutral Cycle also join us again. Bring your bike along for diagnostics and tips at their bike clinic. You can also learn more about the Bikenet app, a new local tool to fight bike theft in our community.

RSVP to our Facebook event page to help share the Market with your friends and family, as well as get updates from vendors.

Be sure to stop by the Sampling Tent for a taste of the market as you shop! Today we're featuring ham steaks, bread, and veggies for you to try before you buy.

Here's the quick rundown:
  • Plums
  • Green beans
  • Wax beans
  • Sweet corn
  • Raspberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Havasu peppers
  • Jalapenos 
  • Gooseberries
  • Okra
  • Summer squash
  • Currants
  • Cucumbers
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Snow peas
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Head lettuce
  • Romaine heads
  • Swiss chard
  • Spinach
  • Collard greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Bok choy
  • Cabbage
  • Turnips
  • Organic pork & poultry
  • New potatoes 
  • Pattypan squash
  • Scallions
  • Radishes
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini
  • Fresh herbs  
  • Currants
  • Dried herbs
  • Fresh herbs
  • Mixed bouquets
  • Sunflowers
  • Popsicles
  • Bread
  • Scones
  • Cakes
  • Pastries
  • Flour
  • Oats
  • Cornmeal
  • Buckwheat
  • Wheatberries
  • Granola
  • Popcorn
  • Pancake mix
Meyer Produce will have plenty of returning favorites, including raspberries and both red and orange cherry tomatoes. They'll also have green beans and wax beans, sweet early orange plums, and softball-sized sweet onions!

Sola Gratia Farm will be there to greet you at the southwest entrance to the market with lettuce, carrots, scallions, kale, collard greens, swiss chard, summer squash, cucumbers galore, and new potatoes.

On the other end of the row, Brian Severson Farms will be sampling polenta made from all three of their cornmeals (red, blue, and yellow). Polenta serves as a great base for all kinds of buttered veggies that you can find around the market. They'll also have buckwheat chocolate chip cookies and their famous kale spice muffins for sale, featuring ingredients from other Champaign Farmers' Market vendors (we are all about collaboration at the market).

Pekara will be featuring their new potato brioche hot dog/brat buns for your cookout needs. They'll also have a wide array of breads, from baguettes to foccacia, as well as pretzels, cookies, and other treats.

Joy of Illinois Farm will have banana bread, made from Severson Farms wheat, and Joy of Illinois Farm's own eggs and goat milk. They'll also have cookies, as well as and plenty of delights from the garden, such as Hungarian hot wax peppers, herbs, and wild greens.

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

Mustard Greens Breakfast

Add some spicy to your green! Mustard greens can be green or purple, can be eaten as micro or baby greens in salads, or can be steamed when the leaves are larger. They are a beautiful and nutritious addition to your summer plate, and they add a wonderful spicy bite to your stir fry dishes. Use them as a bed for a poached egg for a peppery addition to breakfast.

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

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!

Farm Dreams
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. Sign up now!

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 going through February. Each workshop costs $25 to register, or $100 to register for all four. Learn more about the workshops and register here.

Central Illinois Farm Beginnings
Class 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!

Farmers Market Sampling Certification and Rules Webinar
Illinois Stewardship Alliance
There are ongoing changes taking place in the laws and regulations that impact farmers' markets and their vendors. Farmers' market vendors & market managers are encouraged to watch this webinar to learn about how to get the new statewide food sampling certificate. Sampling can dramatically increase sales by more than 30% and can enhance your relationship with patrons! The webinar is presented by Rebecca Osland, Illinois Stewardship Alliance Policy Associate, and more information on the sampling certificate can be found here.
Field Day at Vulcan Farm
July 24, 1:00 pm
1123 CR 2300 E, Sidney IL
See hundreds of varieties of over 50 perennial crops, plus establishment technique trials for seedling-stage silvopasture with sheep. Free and open to public. For more information, call  (708) 476-9929.

Feast on the Farm - A farmer, a baker, a brewer, and a chef
August 6
Hazzard Free Farms  
Feast on the Farm at Hazzard Free Farms takes guests on a tour of the sprawling farms old barns along a beautiful creek before settling in for a three-course meal curated by Found's Nicole Pederson and Hewn's Ellen King, paired with craft brews specially forged just for the event by Claudia Jendron (Temperance Beer Company). T his event will feature not only some amazing food and drink but also a tour of our rare grains nursery which should be in full bloom at the time of the event. 

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)

Local Flavors Dinners
June - October
Now you can find farm-fresh meals at your favorite restaurants during the Local Flavors 2016 farm-to-table restaurant series. Local Flavors and 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!

It's July, and we're approaching peak farmers' market season. The first major waves of anticipated foods have come and gone (asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb, sigh), but we are readily consoled by blueberries, tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, and my personal favorite, peaches. 

When the season hits this strong, and the weather's finally nice, and we're surrounded by like-minded folks who love fresh local food, it can be easy to forget that despite its popularity, not everyone is quite as giddy with anticipation for the start of farmers' market season. That it takes time to make a market a key part of a shopper's weekly routine, time to build those relationships with farmers that keep the customers coming back, time for a market to become a pillar of the community...

agnews Agriculture in the News:
Something you should know
A report from the Organic Seed Alliance suggests that even though organic production is growing, there is still a need for breeding organic seeds. Read more here.
Something you should do
Watch Joel Salatin's new docum entary  What's With Wheat?.  Find it online here!

Something to be happy about
The USDA has created a resource to help new food hubs to succeed and thrive.

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:

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!

The Land Connection is seeking a highly-organized, self-motivated individual to fill our Office Manager Position. The office manager is responsible for all aspects of office management, and will work closely with the program managers to coordinate and support The Land Connection's programming and business activities. 
Candidates should be proficient in Microsoft Office, have experience with data management software, and have excellent written and oral communication skills. Experience with Adobe Suite is a plus!

Searching for an intern/farm hand to help with jobs around the farm.  Pay will depend upon experience.  Will include a variety of jobs, everything from animal care, farm maintenance, garden work/produce care, etc.  Must have valid Driver's license.  Hours will vary seasonally. 
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 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.

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

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