November 29,  2016
In this Weekly Harvest:     
toppp  TLC in 2017
2017 will usher in a new wave of workshops and educational opportunities for farmers in Central Illinois. We have everything from marketing, to seed starting, to Farm Service Agency programs for beginning and specialty crop farmers. 

The most exciting event is the final installment in our Risk Management in Organic Grain Farming series. We are gathering farmers from across the region to hear experts in organic grain production, including Jeff Moyer, the pioneer of organic no-till from the Rodale Institute. 

We're also looking forward to another great farmers' market season, starting with a series of workshops in Champaign-Urbana and Springfield to help vendors master the market. The Champaign Farmers' Market returns May 16, 2017 with new hours (3:30pm-6:30pm), new children's programming, and even more chef demonstrations. We'll also be offering a Triple Link Tuesday option once a month, plus our regular SNAP matching program.

SpecialInsert Land Connection Gift Ideas
Looking for some gorgeous stocking stuffers that also help support your local farmers?

Check out our gorgeous series of notecards featuring artwork by The Land Connection's very own Cara Cummings.

A set of 8 notecards + envelopes, featuring 4 different designs (radish, okra, ground cherries & of course, eggplant) is just $10, and the proceeds support The Land Connection. Pick some up   here .

impact Community Impact
Our Central Illinois Farm Beginnings grads are blossoming in C-U, quite literally when it comes to Delight Flower Farm.

Maggie, Holly, and Liz completed CIFB in 2016 and have been making their mark around town, especially this holiday season with their beautiful wreaths. Visit Champaign County recently highlighted their creativity and influence on the Champaign Maker scene, praising their innovation and sustainability. 

Describing their farming approach as "a marriage of organic gardening and experimenting in more integrated styles of cultivating crops and permaculture," Delight Flower Farm offers a CSA and supports local artisans and events around the community.
Your donations help us not only offer farmer training courses, but foster valuable mentorship and networking opportunities that can help new farmers thrive.

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

What We're Reading

By: Nancy Bubel

'Tis the season for spring production planning! In The New Seed Starters Handbook , author Nancy Bubel outlines the best practices for starting plants from seed. In this text you'll find information on breaking dormancy, seed starting medium, environmental condition requirements, tools and supplies recommendations, and solutions to seed starting problems. 

This book is a great read to prepare to take our course on Farm-Scale Seed Starting on  February 9 .

- Mallory

P.S. Don't forget that when you order from Amazon, you can use Amazon Smile to select The Land Connection and a portion of your purchase price will turn into a donation. You can donate while shopping, and it won't cost you anything extra!

WorkshopsWorkshops, Field Days, and Grant Opportunities

Marketing Strategies for Specialty Crops and Diversified Farms
January 26, 2017
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, Champaign
The culmination of our series of workshops designed to help you manage risk in organic grain production, marketing, and financing, we are delighted to welcome Jeff Moyer of the Rodale Institute as our keynote speaker. This program will bring in regional experts and stakeholders to discuss the current state of organic grain farming, what the upcoming opportunities are, and how both new and season organic growers can work together to everyone's benefit.  Registration is $25, which includes lunch and morning refreshments. More information available here.
Farm Scale Seed Starting Workshop
February 9, 2017
Parkland Community College Greenhouse
Seed starting on the farm is one of the most rewarding activities of the year. Starting new life, providing all of its needs, nurturing it into a vigorous transplant. It is an art. Come and learn the craft of starting your own seeds at scales large and small. More information available 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.

February 16, 2017
Hilton Garden Inn, Champaign, IL
The culmination of our series of workshops designed to help you manage risk in organic grain production, marketing, and financing, we are delighted to welcome Jeff Moyer of the Rodale Institute as our keynote speaker. This program  will bring in regional experts and stakeholders to discuss the current state of organic grain farming, what the upcoming opportunities are, and how both new and season organic growers can work together to everyone's benefit.  Registration is $25, which includes lunch and morning refreshments. 

CSA Fair
March 3, 2017
Urbana Civic Center, Urbana, IL
Join Urbana's Market at the Square and The Land Connection for the Third Annual Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair on Friday, March 3rd.  customers will have the opportunity to meet local farmers and businesses that offer CSA programs and buying clubs, learn about their farms or businesses, and select a share or club that best meets their needs! There will also be educational information about local food, free samples and recipes, free activities for children, music, and more.  Learn more here.


The FruitGuys Community Fund 2017 Grant Cycle
LOIs due Monday, January 9, 2017
The FruitGuys Community Fund provides small grants (up to $5,000) to small farms and agricultural nonprofits for sustainability projects that have large positive impacts on the environment, local food systems, and farm diversity. Grants in amounts ranging from $2,000-$5,000 will be awarded in Spring 2017. Projects to be considered should help farms and/or orchards operate more sustainably, both environmentally and economically, as well as strengthen community outreach. Learn more about the funding opportunity here.

Center for Rural Affairs Conservation Stewardship Program
Initial applications due February 3, 2017
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a major farmer and rancher funding opportunity that rewards farmers for protecting and enhancing natural resources on their working lands. The program is designed to encourage and reward resource-conserving practices such as planting cover crops, rotational grazing, or ecologically-based pest management. CSP also doesn't forget smaller producers: for folks who qualify for the program, the minimum contract payment is $1,500, no matter the acreage.  Learn more about this funding opportunity 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.

Routes2Farm 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 Market Manager Certification Course
February 10-March 7, 2017
Mount Vernon, IL
Indianapolis, IN
The Market Manager Certificate Program is a voluntary program designed to encourage farmers market managers to pursue leadership skills and professional development in topics essential to market management. Market managers will be recognized with a certificate upon completion of the full program. This certificate offers acknowledgment to market organizers and vendors that the market manager is a trained professional. The course incorporates 3 day-long sessions, in both Mount Vernon, IL and Indianapolis, IN on February 10-11 and March 7, as well as 7 webinars. 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 What I've Learned at TLC in 2016

I can't believe we're winding down another year, can you? Time just flies when you're eating lots of amazing local food and artisan goods throughout the year.

This year, in many ways, was a year of building for The Land Connection - building on the organization's legacy and past success, building new programs and opportunities for farmers, and building our capacity as an organization...

agnews Agriculture in the News:
Something you should know
Maintaining a beautiful poinsettia is easier than you might thinkRead more here.
Something you should do
Check out this list of ways you can help fight hunger in Champaign-Urbana. Learn more here.

Something to be happy about
The USDA has updated regulations to protect the rights of farmers.  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:
We are seeking Floral Designers to help arrange flowers we grow and utilize for weddings and Crew Members to assist with farm duties for Summer 2017. For more information or to apply, contact and send a 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 and send to:

Land, Equipment, and Other:

1980 IH Hydro 84 with IH2250 6' loader row crop model with 4cyl German Diesel Engine. Great farm tractor we have used for the last 5 years transplanting vegetable crops and have upgraded our transplanter and no longer need a hydro tractor. Rebuilt starter and alternator put in last year, new front tires in the last 2 years. Has block heater, 3 point cat i or ii, rear hydraulic outlet, and power steering. Hydro is strong, kept inside. $8500/OBO. For more information email Hans at

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) 400-4275. Find more information on the farm here.

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