June 21,  2016
In this Weekly Harvest:     
We are very pleased to announce that The Land Connection is the recipient of a grant from North Central Extension Risk Management Education, an agency of the USDA. This funding will help us create four amazing programs that will help Illinois grain farmers manage risk when they have transitioned or are transitioning to organic production.

The programs will look at risk in organic grain farming from four different angles. We will hold our first training program on managing risk in organic production systems on  July 28 in Pana. Our second will focus on managing risk through effective marketing of organic grains on  September 8 in Danforth. Our third, held in Atlanta on  December 8, will focus on managing risk through insurance and financing instruments available for organic farmers. And our last program, to be held mid-winter in the Champaign-Urbana area, will focus on how organic farmers can collaborate to manage risk in the larger emerging organic industry. 

Registration is open now for just $25.00 per program. Some of the region's best organic grain growers will present, lead tours, and facilitate discussion on how they have become successful farm business owners. We hope you will join us and share this with the many other farmers in your area who are also making the switch to organic production!

Goldmine Farms (Pana, IL)

Janie's Farm Organics (Danforth, IL)

Palms Grill Cafe (Atlanta, IL)

Champaign-Urbana, IL
TOMORROW: LAST DAY to Sign Up for Rotational Grazing!
Tomorrow, Wednesday June 22, is the deadline to sign up for our upcoming Rotational Grazing Field Day! 

This field day will give participants a comprehensive view of successful rotational grazing strategies being practiced in Central Illinois. 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 and learn directly from the experts!

Market Corner

Summer is in full swing, and so is the Champaign Farmers' Market!

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

RSVP to our Facebook event page to help share the Market with the community.

Don't forget to stop by the Sampling Tent for a taste as you shop! Today is breakfast day, with mini-pancakes from Brian Severson Farms' organic mix, maple sausage links from Burning Oak Farm, and Funks Grove maple sirup available.

Here's the quick rundown:
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Slicer tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Havasu peppers
  • Jalapenos 
  • Gooseberries
  • Strawberries
  • Okra
  • Purple   cauliflower 
  • Zucchini
  • Romanesco
  • Cucumbers
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Snow peas
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Head lettuce
  • Romaine heads
  • Rainbow chard
  • Spinach
  • Collard greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Bok choy
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Wild Alaskan Salmon
  • Organic pork & poultry
  • Potatoes 
  • Turnips
  • Summer squash
  • Pattypan squash
  • Beets
  • Radishes
  • Tarragon
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Succulents
  • Sunflowers
  • Popsicles
  • Bread
  • Scones
  • Cakes
  • Pastries
  • Flour
  • Oats
  • Cornmeal
  • Buckwheat
  • Popcorn
  • Pancake mix
  • Mixed bouquets
  • Lilies
Sunflowers and tomatoes, it doesn't get much more summery than that! Illinois Willows will be brightening up the market with the season's first sunflowers, as well as lilies, sea holly, succulents, mixed bouquets and more!

Pheasant Ridge Farms of Urbana will have everything you need for great salads and light summer meals, including heirloom tomatoes, slicers, and sungold cherry tomatoes (but come early! The tomatoes are likely to go fast). They'll also have plenty of cucumbers, salad mix, bell peppers, sweet lunch box peppers, jalapenos, Havasu peppers, eggplant , and patty pan squash. We thought last week was our last chance for romanesco and purple cauliflower, but they're still growing strong, so pick some up today!

Sola Gratia Farm will have snow and sugar snap peas, lettuce, scallions, bok choy, kale, collards, and more. We're also happy to welcome our newest vendor: The Seasonal Plate, from Cullom, IL. Stop by and check out their great selection of summer produce.

Stone Court Farm will be back with limited quantities of rhubarb, as well as greens and plenty of fresh herbs. They'll also have this week's featured ingredient: gooseberries! Stop by The Land Connection tent for a recipe card, then head on over to pick up pink and/or green gooseberries to make this quick and easy jam.

Brian Severson Farms will have samples of mini-pancakes, from their delicious mix, as well as a new granola. They'll also have buckwheat, organic flours, a variety of cornmeals, and popcorn.

This week in the Community Tent we'll be joined by Arrow Ambulance, who will be showing off emergency rescue equipment and doing blood pressure checks, as well as Home Hospice Care .  Stop by and learn about all these great Carle services available to the community.
farmfnFarm Fresh Now! Recipe of the Week

A plant that thrives on cold winters and humid summers, the gooseberry may just be the ultimate Illinois fruit. The season is short, but it can be extremely prolific, with a single bush capable of producing several pounds of fruit. And the fruit can be harvested at almost any stage--meaning you can pick it green (or not quite ripe), and make sauces and jams out of it. They can be make into all sorts of desserts and can be pickled--and let's face it, saying pickled gooseberries is just fun!

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!

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

Deborah Niemann-Boehle  and her family moved to their farm property in 2002 "to fulfill a dream of living in the country." After many years as Chicago suburbanites, they finally found the large-enough parcel of hills, pasture, woods, and creeks in Cornell, Illinois to pursue their farm dream. After years of establishing the farmstead and transitioning to the country life, Antiquity Oaks LLC was finally incorporated in 2014.

The farm was established to not only provide food and fiber, but also to educate. In addition to raising goats, sheep, hogs, and cattle, in addition to a variety of annual and perennial crops, the family focuses on education about sustainability and homesteading. When she is not farming, Deborah also teaches courses both on the farm and online, and has written books on raising animals, using herbs, and homesteading, and her experience with health concerns has informed and invigorated her work to educate and provide.

Deborah specializes in heritage livestock breeds, and has gained expertise in managing a highly diverse landscape, rotational grazing, marketing, and processing for meats and soaps. She is, perhaps more importantly, an experienced educator who is passionate about raising the next generation of farmers.

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

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. 
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!

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!

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!


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 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.

June 25 1-4 p.m. 
This is a self guided tour...chose your path! This is a great way to get away and sight see some great farms!  Find the farms participating here!

Spence Farm Tour
July 1, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Fairbury, IL
Attendees will learn about the cutting edge farming practices that make the Spence farm sustainable. Register to attend this tour of a well known working historic farm, and learn the latest farming insights from two knowledgeable farming specialists, John Kempf and Gary Reding of Advancing Eco Agriculture. Spence Farm has a large diversity of crops and uses a thorough approach to crop fertility and best practices for quality and nutritious harvests.  Register 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.