Local Foods Conference March 20 at College of Medicine

Terra Brockman

From press release

Local Foods Conference keynote speaker Terra Brockman has walked the talk. Author of the recently-released book The Seasons on Henry’s Farm, Brockman will share her experience and observations at the upcoming Local Foods Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, March 20.

The conference, coordinated by the University of Illinois Extension and the Winnebago County Local Foods Working Group, will be at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, 1601 Parkview Ave., Rockford. Conference partners are Angelic Organics Learning Center and the Winnebago County Office of Regional Planning and Economic Development.

The Seasons on Henry’s Farm takes the reader through the many “micro-seasons” on her brother Henry’s sustainable, extremely diverse vegetable farm in central Illinois. Part farm journal, part memoir, this story of a five-generation Illinois farming family takes readers from the soil to the supper table through 52 meditative, closely observed “seasons” on a sustainable farm, accented with culinary, historical, scientific and literary reflections, and culminating with a bounty of foolproof, fresh-flavored seasonal recipes.

Brockman herself has been very involved with many aspects of the farm, and her book relates those experiences. As a member of a remarkable farming family, Brockman is a nuanced observer of, and gifted writer and speaker about, sustainable agriculture. She is also the founder of The Land Connection, an educational nonprofit involved in beginning farmer training. Her Web site is www.terrabrockman.com.

Margaret Larson, county director for U of I Extension, said: “I have worked with Terra on programs throughout the state, and am very pleased to have her be part of this conference. Terra has a thoughtful, powerful message to share, and judging from the book, she will reach out to a wide audience in our area.”

Following the keynote, participants will attend three breakout sessions that feature local experts on a variety of related topics. For example, The ABC’s of Food Preservation will be presented by U of I Extension Master Food Preservers Constance McCarthy and Jeff White. The Farmer and the Chef will feature local restaurant owner Kiki Benson describing how she sources local food, while farmer David Cleverton of Kinnickinnick Farm will discuss growing for the restaurant industry.

Other topics featured will be The 100 Mile Diet; Meat, Your Farmer and Your Butcher; and Sustainable Vegetable Gardening. A growers’ panel will allow participants to learn about various local farm business models and what lies in the future for the local food system in the area.

Local related businesses will have informational booths at the conference, and a light lunch featuring local food will be served. Cost per person is $15.

To register, request a brochure or for more information, visit www.extension.illinois.edu/winnebago or call the Extension office at (815) 986-4357.

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