May 10,  2016
In this Weekly Harvest:     
It's spring again, and everyone is out of doors. The farmers, the kids, the dogs and birds...and the bees. The average person might fret over this, wondering when they'll get stung this season. But growers know better. Instead of nuisances, they see their partners hard at work in the air around them.

We have two training programs coming right up that will help growers like you strengthen those partnerships. On  May 22nd, Arvin Pierce of AC Bees Apiaries in Waverly will show folks how to better manage their beehives and provide great forage to let honeybees thrive. Then on  June 14th, Thelma Heidel-Baker from Xerces Society will hold a workshop alongside Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, demonstrating how to create great habitat for native pollinators on the farm. In addition, Thelma will also host a separate program on attracting predatory insects to the farm for pest control.

Beneficial insects make the work of growers possible in so many ways. We are happy to show you how to work with them more closely than ever before. Join us in May and June for this exciting series of workshops.

May 22, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Waverly, IL

June 14, 5 - 8 p.m.
Champaign, IL 
Market Corner
Our second market of the season is here, and we're celebrating the return of fresh produce on our bikes! Neutral Cycle, Champaign County Bikes, and Yelp to bring C-U Bike Month to the Market! At  3pm , Neutral Cycle is going to give us a tour of the shop and give a brief demo on how to do simple checks and fixes on your bike. After that, they'll lead a bike ride to the Champaign Farmers' Market, where Champaign County Bikes will provide complimentary bike valet services while you shop for great local food.

And great food you will find. Stone Court Farm and Joy of Illinois will have asparagus and rhubarb (perfect for our recipe of the week!), as well as plenty of delicious fresh herbs. PrairiErth Farm will have  Hakurei turnips, arugula, salad mix, fresh beets, spicy mix, and an assortment of potatoes. Burning Oak will have organically fed pork and poultry. Brian Severson Farm will have a great assortment of organic grains, including cornmeal, oats, and more! You'll find strawberries, asparagus, swiss chard, and more from Cary's Garden of Eatin', as well as plenty of eggplant, tomato, and pepper plant starts from Sola Gratia Farm

East Place Produce will be back with potted herbs and veggie plants, and you'll also find potted trees, red Russian kale, collard greens, horseradish root, and baby romaine from Pheasant Ridge Farms of UrbanaIllinois Willows is bringing to color to a gray day with irises, tulips, lilacs, and other gorgeous flowers. 

Pop Stop and Piato will be on hand with snacks and treats, and we'll be joined again by the Orpheum Children's Science Museum with great kids' activities. Stop by next to the Land Connection tent and learn more about Three Spinners a great local organization dedicated to providing rescue and relief efforts for Syrian refugees.  Working together with other local businesses, restaurants, residents, and non-profit organizations, they are  creating a network of resources to generate food, clothing, items, funds, educational opportunities, and vocational training to support a community of refugees in Champaign-Urbana.

Market season is back, and there is plenty of great food available. Stop on by and help support your local farmers!
farmfnFarm Fresh Now! Recipe of the Week

Rhubarb Rosemary Margarita

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

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

Penny Gioja and her family started their farm, Joy of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois in 1993. They moved there wanting to raise a family and create a homestead that could feed everyone without losing money. They had no intention to sell what they raised. In 1994, they made their initial investment in goats and soon added sheep to the mix. 

People began stopping at the farm to ask if their animals or products,  visible from the busy road, were for sale and the Giojas made occasional sales. Word spread, particularly among the migrant population in the Champaign-Urbana region, with customers who had emigrated from Mexico, Guatemala, China, Vietnam, and other countries.

With the passage of 23 years and raising 9 kids on the 6 acre farm, Penny and her family have gained substantial expertise in managing dozens of animals, from chickens to sheep to pigs and more, as well as vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and beehives. They rotate their pastures and supplement with non-GMO feed. Their markets are almost entirely word-of-mouth, though they are also selling at the Downtown Champaign Farmers' Market this year, offering a variety of baked goods and vegetables.

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

Intermediate Beekeeping Workshop
May 22, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
AC Bees Apiaries, Waverly, IL
This workshop is intended for people who have invested in honeybee hives and would like to improve their hive management skills. Led by Arvin Pierce of AC Bees Apiaries, participants will leave with knowledge of how to better manage and increase their number of hives, and create great forage for healthy, productive honeybees. Register online here.

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.
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.
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!


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.
*Check out the webinar about applying for this grant on May 6! Learn more here.

What's the Dirt on Composting?
May 24, 6:30p.m.
Eureka Public Library
Join University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners for a fun evening learning about composting. Participants will learn how to convert yard and garden trimmings, food scraps, and fall leaves into compost in order to improve soil structure. 
Compost provides nutrients back to the soil without using chemical fertilizers and reduce your family's contribution to the landfill by up to 20%, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A mix of browns and greens is needed to start the composting process. Learn which materials are the "browns," which are the "greens," and the ratio to combine them for successful composting. Woodford County Master Gardener Kenneth Smith says, "We are helping mother nature put the resources back where they belong." Please register by calling the Eureka Public Library at (309) 467-2922.

bloogLobbying for Local Food
About a month ago, Sarah and I headed down to Springfield to join the Illinois Stewardship Alliance for their annual Local Food Lobby day at the state capital. Neither of us had ever attended a lobby day event or attempted to lobby for a cause before, so of course, we spend the hour and a half drive discussing seed libraries, co-ops, the SNAP for farmers market program, and whether we thought we should have worn comfortable or fancy shoes.

When we arrived at the beautiful Arlington Restaurant, we were greeted by Dee, the Lindsays and Rebecca, and directed to our seats. There were 20-30 people there, grouped by legislative district and we learned that we would be going after the senators and representatives in teams. After introductions, Rebecca gave us a deeper overview of the bills that we would be lobbying for. It was an extremely educational experience, giving me a deeper insight into the particularities of the legislation as well as some arguments legislators might have for not supporting legislations which to me, seemed universally agreeable.

agnews Agriculture in the News:
Something you should know
You and farmers you know can learn to extend your grazing season, take better care of your forage, and improve your soil with these free downloadable grazing charts!  Click here to learn more.  

Something you should do:
Submit your comments to the FDA about what the food label "natural" means or should mean. The opportunity ends today, so comment now

Something to be happy about: 
It's finally farmers' market season! Check out this awesome list compiled by Illinois Stewardship Alliance of all the markets in Central Illinois, their starting dates and times. 
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

PrairiErth Farm is a 300 acre diversified, certified organic farm in Atlanta, Illinois. We are seeking motivated, outgoing individuals to work in our Bloomington Farmers' Market stall. Work involves preparing produce for sale, building displays, creating signage, assisting customers and keeping our sales area clean and welcoming. Friendly, helpful demeanor is a must; interest in local, organic vegetables and excellent customer service skills are desirable.  Applicants should be able to lift 50+ lbs and stand for 6 hours at a time. It is important that our team provides accurate and honest information to all of our customers so hired individuals will be expected to learn basic organic growing principals during their visit to the farm. Learn more and find the application here. 

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.

Grand Prairie Friends (GPF) seeks applicants for a seasonal land steward to help
manage prairie and woodland natural areas in east-central Illinois. This position starts on or about May 9, 2016 and is expected to run through November 2016.

The GPF Land Steward will perform ecological restoration duties to control and remove invasive plant species using mechanical and chemical techniques in forest
and prairie natural areas. The Land Steward will also be responsible for the general upkeep, maintenance, and repair of tools used in the course of work. These tools include chainsaws, leaf blowers, power brush cutters, loppers, handsaws, hand-pruners, backpack herbicide sprayers, and other hand tools. Other duties may include sign installation and maintenance, fence and boundary monitoring and maintenance, and seed collecting. Send questions to

Seeking a highly motivated, self-driven, knowledgeable, personable,  independent farm manager to manage close to 3 acres of produce and  fruit. Salary will be a percentage of farm sales, open to discussion.  This is your opportunity to run a farm with no expenses or  investments, income is only limited by your potential.  Jubilee Farms, is located in Clinton, IL, in addition to fruit and  produce I have chickens and alpacas. Livestock would not be the  responsibility of the farm manager. Please contact Cyndy via email at .

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. Intern will receive a monthly stipend 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!

Farraway Farm, Bluford, Illinois, is looking for an experienced cattle herdsman to manage all aspects of our 200-cow Angus commercial cow-calf operation on beautiful rolling hills of southern Illinois. Owners plan transition to a primarily grass-fed herd. Key responsibilities include:
·      Oversee all aspects of cattle herd including nutrition, reproduction, calving,
·      Manage and improve 500 acres of pasture and fence
·      Coordinate mowing and grooming of grounds and farm frontage
·      Oversee full-time hourly farm hand
·      Manage hay production
·      Repair and maintain farm equipment and buildings
·      Keep online herd records up to date
·      Manage budget and expenses
·      Communicate daily with owner
Apply by email to

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.

Organic farm for rent east of Downs, IL. It consists of 20 acres of land that is a mix of pasture and hay.  Marjorie Gilmore is the owner and she would like to find someone that wants to grow organic vegetables, grains, or livestock on her land. Her website is and she can be contacted at

We own and run a small farm 15 minutes outside of Springfield, and are looking for someone to partner with who will run vegetable production. Right now, we raise Cattle, Hogs, Goats, Chickens and Turkeys. I have plenty on my plate with working off the farm, and running the livestock side, building barns, fixing equipment, etc. We are looking for someone able to take on the vegetable side of the operation, and are open to working out a deal to benefit everyone.  This would be a great opportunity for someone who doesn't have land, but wants to farm. For more information, contact Jim at .
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