June 7,  2016
In this Weekly Harvest:     

Join The Land Connection staff!

We are looking for a highly organized, self-motivated individual who has experience in farmer training and community outreach and education to be our new Farmer Training Program Manager! The ideal candidate has a teaching background, is connected and engaged within the Central Illinois community, and is passionate about training the next generation of farmers to work the land sustainably.  Check out our employment opportunities page for more information and how to apply!
Market Corner

I t's beginning to feel a lot like summer! We've got a delicious array of local produce, meat, grains, treats, and flowers lined up for you this afternoon. Stop by the Sampling Tent for a taste as you shop!

Here's the quick rundown (the list just gets longer and longer!):
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Strawberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Cucumbers
  • Snow peas
  • Cheddar cauliflower
  • Purple cauliflower
  • Broccoli raab
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Head lettuce
  • Romaine heads
  • Rainbow chard
  • Spinach
  • Collard greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Bok choy
  • Tarragon
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Chives with blossoms
  • Organic pork & poultry
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Green garlic
  • Garlic scapes
  • Green onion
  • Zucchini
  • Summer squash
  • Beets
  • Flowers
  • Potted trees
  • Plant starts
  • Popsicles
  • Bread
  • Pretzels
  • Scones
  • Cakes
  • Bread
  • Flour
  • Oats
  • Cornmeal
  • Buckwheat
  • Popcorn
  • Zucchini bread
This week we're sponsored by the  Champaign Center Partnership , who have been an incredible market supporter in so many ways since the very beginning (including very literally keeping us from flying away in a storm!) Stop by the Community Tent to make yourself a fun market superhero mask. Or put together your own costume as a Produce Protector or Veggie Villain and enter our contest at the market. Let's welcome the sunshine and start the summer off right!

Three words: Sugar. Snap. Peas. Sola Gratia will have 'em, along with a variety of radishes, lettuce, and other greens. Stop by Stone Court Farm to pick up delicious fresh herbs for your own fabulous salad dressing. This week's Herb of the Week is mint. Get a free sprig and great recipe ideas with your purchase . They'll also have  sage, oregano, tarragon, cilantro, and dill, as well as  greens, strawberries, and a little rhubarb (so get to the market early!). Joy of Illinois Farm will have  snow peas, currant scones, three kinds of cookies as well as whole wheat bread.

Legacy of the Land will have 4 kinds of radishes and  3 kinds of kale, not to mention loads of greens (including head lettuce, leaf lettuce, swiss chard, collard greens, and spinach), peas, parsley, broccoli and more!

We'll have all the colors of the rainbow this week. In addition to all the greens, you'll find luscious red strawberries at Meyer Produce, yellow summer squash, cheddar broccoli, and purple cauliflower from Pheasant Ridge Farms, and the biggest zucchini you ever did see at Cary's Garden of Eatin'. You'll also find gorgeous i ris, baptisia, lilies, succulents, ninebark, sea holly, and mixed bouquets at Illinois Willows.  
farmfnFarm Fresh Now! Recipe of the Week

Root Tops and Other Greens: Double Value Veggies

Stop! When you get back from the market and are trying to find places for all of the beautiful produce you bought (or the ones that are fresh from your garden), don't throw away those root tops. The tops of carrots, radishes, turnips, and beets, for example, are packed with nutrients (sometimes more than the root itself) --and are delicious! They can be used to make pestos, as greens to spice up your salad, sauteed, or my favorite way, in soups. I particularly like them in soups because it is a great way to make a huge pile of greens get small fast--and you can always freeze it for later. Root veggies are a great way to double your value!

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! 

Sara Creech is a 2013 graduate of our Central Illinois Farm Beginnings  course, and she came into the class with a mission: to create a space for military veterans like herself to heal from their military service and to learn how to become farmers in their own right. In those few short years, Sara has established an incredible operation, Blue Yonder Farm, on 43 acres just a short drive west from Indianapolis. She raises chickens, turkeys, ducks, vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, and honey, sells at farmers' market and through a CSA and an online market, and is certified Indiana Grown. Hers is also the first farm in Indiana to be certified Homegrown by Heroes, a labeling program intended for veteran-run farm businesses, and she is currently transitioning to certified organic production.

For all of this, Sara is the only full-time worker on the farm. She acknowledges that, while diversity on the farm is great and she would not have it any other way, it brings in a lot of complications and a lot of work. But the work she is most proud of is her work with veterans. A week-long farmer training program for veterans is held on her farm annually, and she continues to invite her fellow veterans to her farm to learn how agriculture can heal and provide meaningful work.
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

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!

Promoting On-Farm Pollinators Workshop
June 14, 5 - 8 p.m.
$20 Registration
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. Sign up now! 

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. Register online here!

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!


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 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)

As the days get longer, I seem to get further behind. At The Land Connection, we have moved from conference season to market season, and all of the things that seemed to be impossibly far off in January have us tripping over ourselves trying to keep up now. In April we were wondering what the first green things would be at the market, and now we are madly trying to keep up with the lists of gorgeous, nutritious, flavorful foods that show up in our vendor's lists each week. At staff meetings we talk over each other bragging about what dishes we made with our market hauls, and what farms the ingredients came from.

agnews Agriculture in the News:
Something you should know: Learn about how cover crops can help fight weeds.
Something you should do: There is less than a week left to submit comments to the Agricultural Marketing Service on their proposed rules for organic livestock and poultry production requirements.
Something to be happy about: Read about how  Northfield, Minnesota has created an environment that allows young farmers to 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:

We are looking for a highly organized, self-motivated individual who has experience in farmer training and community outreach and education to be our new Farmer Training Program Manager! The ideal candidate has a teaching background, is connected and engaged within the Central Illinois community, and is passionate about training the next generation of farmers to work the land sustainably.  Check out our employment opportunities page for more information and how to apply!

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

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

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 at Contact Brian Severson at  815-584-1850 or email

On 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.
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