Are you ready for the market?
Are you ready to grow things for the market?
Are you ready for your land to be used to grow things for the market?
Our farmers’ markets in central Illinois are starting now, and we are excited! Most people visit the market to buy vegetables and fruits, and maybe bread and meat. But the producers are the most important part of any good market, and a huge part of our work is making sure that there are enough farmers to grow food for the markets we all love to visit!
The Land Connection will be at this Saturday’s Urbana’s Market at the Square and we look forward to meeting with community members and connecting with local farmers. The first five shoppers to visit our table and tag us on social media will get a free tote bag, and everyone can play “Cards against Agrarianship” with us!
But more important than tote bags and games, we have a Farmland Access Field Day on Saturday, May 10, at 3:00pm. If you are a beginning farmer, looking for land, this CISFN co-sponsored event is for you. We will have a soil specialist, a bank loan officer, an attorney, and representatives from U of I Extension, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. A farm tour of the grass fed beef, apple orchard and prairie restoration at Homestead Harvests, LLC, in Heyworth, will follow. For more information about the speakers, or to register, visit our website or call 217-840-2128.
And then on Tuesday, May 13, at 6:30pm, we will have a Farmland Transition Roundtable event with a locally sourced supper in Champaign. This event is for those who own land, whether you are an elderly farmer, a non-farming landowner, or people who have inherited or will inherit farmland. We will talk about your goals for the land and you will leave with ideas about the next steps to take to steward your land into the future. For more information or to register, visit our website or call 217-840-2128.
Have you ever dreamed of having your own farm? Farm Dreams is an interactive workshop designed to help you learn what it takes to do just that. Participants meet experienced sustainable farmers, learn about different successful farm enterprises, and ask questions about the genesis and development of local sustainable farm businesses. It covers resource assessment, goal setting, financial planning, and marketing options. The workshop costs $20 and includes a locally sourced dinner. To register, visit our website. Registration closes the Thursday before the workshop date–so sign up soon.
Farmland Transition Roundtable
The Land Connection
505 W. University
Tuesday, May 13, 6:30-8:30p.m.
The Land Connection’s Roundtables are an easy way to start the important conversation about your farm’s future. You will meet others in similar situations, and have a facilitated discussion about what you’d like to see happen with your farmland. We will do some goals clarification, succession self-assessment, and you will have the opportunity to get information and feedback about your farmland situation, and offer feedback to others. Visit our website for more information.
Restoration Agriculture Workshop
Sun Dappled Farm
115 N Cramer Rd
Elmwood, IL 61529
Friday, May 30, 6:00 PM – Sunday, June 1, 2014 1:00 PM
A workshop to learn the basics of Permaculture and Restoration Agriculture from Mark Shepard, author of the bestselling Restoration Agriculture. Around the globe most people get their calories from annual agriculture – plants that grow fast for one season, produce lots of seeds, then die. Every single human society that has relied on annual crops for staple foods has collapsed. Restoration Agriculture explains how we can have all of the benefits of natural, perennial ecosystems and create agricultural systems that imitate nature in form and function while still providing for our food, building, fuel and many other needs – in your own backyard, farm or ranch. Mark’s teaching, based on real-world practices, presents an alternative to the agriculture system of eradication and offers exciting hope for our future. Friday evening is a free event open to the public. Come to get an introduction to Restoration Agriculture.
(Workshop includes all meals. Free camping available on-site. Limited indoor lodging available at additional cost – please contact organizers.) For more information, visit the event’s site.
Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery
4410 N Lincoln
Champaign, IL 61822
June 23-25, 2014
The Land Connection will host its first Farmer Training Intensive, on agritourism, from June 23rd-25th at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery in Champaign. Attendees will delve into the details of running agritourism operations by: receiving tours and presentations of four successful farms that will cover topics from start-up and capital access to pricing, regulation and infrastructure; learning from regional tourism boards and The Land Connection staff about the potential markets and opportunities for growth in agritourism; walking through the risks and risk mitigation strategies of successful agritourism businesses with a farm law expert; and observing the promise and the peril of an on-farm commercial kitchen and processing facility through both presentation and delicious meals provided by the farm’s chef. For more information or to register, visit our website.
Join us for a “train the trainers” event for those who help farmers with legal issues.
Sustainable farmers who run their own entrepreneurial businesses have a wide range of legal needs, such as:
· creating a business entity
· writing by-laws and operating agreements
· negotiating land leases
· hiring employees and interns
· health department regulations for value-added or processed foods
· complying with a variety of production and marketing regulations
The Land Connection, in collaboration with Rachel Armstrong, lead attorney at Farm Commons, will present information, structure role-play interactions, and provide resources to help you effectively present and disseminate the legal information and tools that farmers need to become economically viable businesses, and the stable and resilient foundation of rural areas. To register for this free workshop, visit our website.
This Week on the TLC Blog…
Akshita pays a visit to Urbana’s Market at the Square.
Akshita rocking a TLC tote
This past Saturday Urbana’s Market at the Square began the 2014 season under a bright, beautiful sun. I, like thousands of other folks from the area, was able to stroll around in Lincoln Square Village and take in all the different tables and stalls offering up plants, produce, bottled jams and jellies, and my favorite, freshly baked bread! The most enjoyable part of the whole market were the local performers sprinkled throughout the market providing a welcome opportunity for patrons to interact with each other.
OUTREACH INTERN AT THE LAND CONNECTION
The Land Connection is seeking an Outreach Intern. The Outreach Intern will assist with publicity and outreach efforts surrounding our Legal Issues workshops and materials. They will also assist with general outreach tasks including social media.The ideal candidate will have prior experience coordinating social media across platforms, and excels at taking initiative and following through with projects. They should also share our passion for local food and farming. This is a grant funded position ($10/hour) for Summer/Fall 2014 with the possibility of extension for the right candidate. The Outreach Intern will work 7-10 hours a week, at least half of which will be in our office in Champaign. This position reports to the Office Manager. Anticipated start date is late May. For more information and the full job description, visit our website. To apply, send a cover letter, resume and writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, May 16, 2014.
FARMLAND NEAR BATAVIA
Two acres of permanent growing beds for lease, will divide.Well water and ample supply of mulch and finished compost available on site. Two hoop houses can be included. Shed space (with electricity) for tools and equipment. Tomato cages, plastic hoops and other supplies also available. 75 old growth maple trees on site that can be tapped to make syrup. Good setup for beginning market gardener or family needing a large garden. Land is just west of Batavia and is ready for planting. Contact Tim Fuller for more information email@example.com
FARM MANAGER NEAR QUINCY
Looking for hard-working individual(s) with a passion for nature, the earth, and growing food! Help needed with growing produce for market and food coop Hancock County, 40 minutes from Quincy, IL. Owner will be available but ability to work independently is important. Flexible schedule, but looking for commitment throughout the growing season. Benefits include profits from produce sales, supplemental stipend, and available lodging at the property in primitive cabin. Owner will cover cost of seeds, plants, and other incidentals associated with approved projects. Must have own transportation. For more information, please call Rebecca at (217)592-2383 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and see ad on TLC site.
FARM MANAGER IN WISCONSIN
Farm manager needed for 2014 season for small organic farm located between Dodgeville and Spring Green, WI. Approximately 8 acres of previously tilled land,plus additional acres, available for immediate planting or preservation. Housing available.
Beautiful land and home about 6 miles up from the Mississippi River town of Grafton. Land is bisected by a small creek and woods. It would make the perfect market or hobby farm for the right people. 33 raised 20′ x 4 feet beds currently in production, 18 of which are small fruits and asparagus. Plenty of room for expansion at the front of the property, or on upper acreage. I just want to see our dream carried on by someone who wants more than just a country retreat. Contact and other information here.