Finally! The Champaign Farmers' Market is back starting this afternoon at
opening market is sponsored by our friends and neighbors at
One Main Development
. Thanks to their generous support, we have got quite a season opener planned!
Check out the Market Corner below to learn about all the wonderful food on offer, and check out
to find your favorite vendor.
The Champaign Farmers' Market is pleased to once again offer our SNAP doubling program. Swipe your Link card for tokens, and we'll match your purchase up to $20 every week!
We will also be hosting a plant drive for the Randolph Street Community Garden. Help support an amazing organization by purchasing a plant start from a local farmer and donating it to the Garden. Everyone who donates will get a free Keep Champaign Beautiful bag filled with Land Connection goodies!
Speaking of bags... We will be giving out our 2016 market bags to the first 50 customers who stop by The Land Connection tent so don't miss out on yours!
The Orpheum Children's Science Museum will also be set up offering kids' activities, and you can get your very own custom hula hoop from local performance artists Michael Braswell and Satina.
Of course, we will also be giving out our popular recipe cards once again. This year, we also created complementary nutrition cards so that you can know the health benefits of the featured vegetables and fruits each week. They also make a great guessing card game for the kids.
Come out and enjoy this gorgeous afternoon at the Market!
The Champaign Farmers' Market is back! We're so excited to bring an even greater variety of fresh, local food to Downtown Champaign, with the generous support of our friends and neighbors at One Main Development.
This week you'll find plenty of new faces and old favorites for our inaugural season. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery will be on hand with goats milk cheeses, gelato, and other delights.
You'll find rhubarb and asparagus from Stone Court Farm & Joy of Illinois, as well as a fabulous selection of fresh herbs, flowers, and herbal body care products from Old Town Flowers.
You'll also find great plant starts from Sola Gratia Farm, Pheasant Ridge Farm of Urbana, and East Place Produce. Prosperity Gardens will also be back at the market with the adorable green bus and great veggies and plants. Pekara Bakehouse will be bringing a great selection of breads and other baked goods, and Illinois Willows will brighten up the market with
Tulips, Lilac, and much, much more.
And Hopscotch will be on hand with dessert: come out see what delectable creations Kaya has concocted this week!
New vendors this season include Brian Severson Farm, with organic grains. This week they'll have 3 different kinds of cornmeal (yellow, Blue Hopi, and Red Bloody Butcher), great for Cinco de Mayo! They'll also have oatmeal and buckwheat cookies, and rumor has it, popcorn samples. A new meat vendor, Burning Oak Farm, is also joining the ranks with grass fed beef, and organic fed pork and poultry. We'll also have PrariErth Farm, featuring a huge array of radishes (so many I don't have room to list them), carrots, turnips, beets, and greens (salad mix, and arugula, and spinach, oh my!).
Our other new additions include The Pop Stop, with popsicle flavors including
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Green Machine, Cookies N Cream, "Fresh Mint" Chocolate Chip, Black Cherry, and more. You can also pick up dinner or a snack from the Piato Catering and Organic Food Nanny truck. Check out their array of fabulous dishes sourced from local farms.
|Farm Fresh Now! Recipe of the Week
Spring Asparagus Tart
Asparagus is one of the first, and most delicious, signs of spring! The tender shoots, which emerge at the rate of up to an inch per hour, from a perennial root system, is considered a delicacy. Asparagus can be eaten raw as a sweet, crunchy snack, or can be cooked and added to all sorts of spring dishes like pizza, tarts, and is wonderful with eggs and salmon.
Want a Farmer-Mentor? We've got 'em!
This week we're featuring Cathe Capel, owner of
Seven Sisters Farm
in Sidney, Illinois. Cathe raises Leicester Longwool sheep for meat, for breeding stock, and for wool, which she has spun at a mill and sells as yarn. She also raises chickens for both eggs and meat. She sells almost exclusively through on-farm sales, using word-of-mouth for nearly all of her marketing, and is happy with the scale of her farm.
Cathe is a graduate of
Central Illinois Farm Beginnings
, offered by The Land Connection, after which she facilitated the course for two years and also served as the organization's programming director and acting executive director.
If you're looking for expert guidance on herd management and wool production or a huge variety of other learning needs for farmers, our mentorship program might be right for you!
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
Workshops, Field Days, and Grant Opportunities
THE LAND CONNECTION WORKSHOPS AND EVENTS
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
, 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
apply online at Grants.gov
Value Added Producer Grant
Deadline June 24
*Check out the webinar about applying for this grant on May 6!
Learn more here.
OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS
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.
Women, Communication, and Managing Risk
I traveled to Fort Worth, Texas last week to attend a training for 2016 Extension Risk Management project directors. The Land Connection was awarded a risk management grant for a project titled Risk Management for Illinois Farmers Transitioning to Organic and Identity-Preserved Crop Production, but I'm not going to tell you about that project now--We'll share more about that soon, when we have more details about how to sign up for the workshop series.
After the training, I stayed for the Extension Risk Management Education National Conference, which is what I am going to write about. As is the case at many conferences, choosing which sessions to go to was a challenge--there were five concurrent sessions, and all seemed important, and relevant, to the farmers we work with. So I decided to pick two themes, and stick with them-- I chose themes that were on some levels surprising (I didn't expect whole tracks dedicated to them), yet completely obvious when you look at the statistics--women farmers, and communication...
Agriculture in the News:
Something you should know
Something you should do:
Buy direct from farmers! New research shows that farmers who sell directly to consumers (at farmers' markets or through CSAs) tend to be more successful and last longer than those that don't.
Read more about it here.
Something to be happy about:
The Illinois Senate has passed legislation to protect seed swaps and seed libraries from rules that could have shut them down. Read more about the bill here!
FARMERS MARKET HELP - TRIPLE S FARMS
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.
FARMERS MARKET STAFF - PRAIRIERTH FARM
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.
FARM HAND - BLUE MOON FARM, URBANA
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
FARMERS MARKET SALES ASSOCIATE - JONES COUNTRY GARDENS
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, including "Farmers' Market Position" in the subject line. Feel free to contact our Produce Manager, Bryce Davis, with any questions at 815-674-8235.
INTERNS & CREW MEMBERS WANTED - MINT CREEK FARM
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
ASSISTANT MANAGER - SUSTAINABLE STUDENT FARM UIUC
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
NATURAL LAND STEWARD - GRAND PRAIRIE FRIENDS
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 email@example.com.
FARM MANAGER - CLINTON, IL
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
INTERNSHIP - COOK FARM
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
for more information!
EXPERIENCED HERDSMAN WANTED - BLUFORD
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
Land, Equipment, and Other:
ARTHUR, IL - PIGS FOR SALE
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.
FARM FOR SALE CLINTONVILLE, WI
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
ORGANIC FARM FOR RENT
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
FARMLAND AVAILABLE FOR VEGETABLE FARMERS
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
And thanks to all of our 2016 Market Sponsors!