The Land Connection: The Weekly Harvest, June 17

Buy Fresh Buy Local Central Illinois Local Flavor Events
The Local Flavors series, an Illinois Stewardship Alliance sponsored event, brings together restaurant owners and   Central Illinois farmers to provide monthly lunch and dinner events to the public.

Chefs from participating restaurants source locally grown, seasonal products to create special Local Flavors dishes to add to their regular menu for the day of the event.

Lunches are held the first Tuesday of each month and dinners are held the third Thursday of each month, June through October. The first dinners will be held this week, Thursday, June 19.

The event is designed to grow a market for Illinois’ small farms and specialty crop producers, to cultivate relationships between local farmers and chefs, and to raise awareness about how eating local food is not only healthy and delicious, but is also better for the environment and the local economy.

For more information or to see the schedule and find links to menus for your community, visit the Illinois Stewardship Alliance website.


Workshops, Field Days, and Grant Opportunities
Free Social Media Marketing Webinars and Starter Kits
Online all the time

We know farmers are busy all the time–that’s why we are creating FREE social media content to help you more effectively market your products to consumers. We have also recorded a webinar series on our website and YouTube channel so you can watch and learn on your own time.   Visit our website to sign up to receive the starter kits and watch the webinars.

Local Flavors Events
Springfield, Bloomington-Normal, Champaign-Urbana and Peoria
Lunch the first Tuesday and dinner the third Thursday June through October

The Local Flavors series, an Illinois Stewardship Alliance sponsored event, brings together restaurant owners and Central Illinois farmers to provide monthly lunch and dinner events to the public. To see the schedule for your city, visit the Buy Fresh Buy Local Central Illinois website.
Farm Dreams Workshops 
Peoria County Farm Bureau
1716 N University St, Peoria, IL
Monday, July 7, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.


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 Launch Pad
315 E Front St, Bloomington, IL

Tuesday, June 17, 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.


Planning For Your Farm’s Future
The Launch Pad
315 E Front St, Bloomington, IL
Wednesday, June 25, 7:30 a.m. -3:00 p.m.
Want to ensure that your farm is well-stewarded, but not sure where to start? The Land Connection and Businesses Helping Businesses  invite farmers and farmland owners to part or all of a daylong farm succession planning day. We will provide you with tools and information to simplify the complex task of farm succession planning, including resources for you to take home and share with your family. Session topics are on our website. Breakfast and lunch are included. Cost is $15 before June 15 and $25 after. Sessions start at 8:30 a.m. and participants can attend one, some, or all for the same price. Preregistration is required as space is limited. Call 217-840-2128 or register on our website. 


Agritourism Intensive

Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery

4410 N Lincoln

Champaign, IL 61822

June 23-25, 2014


The Land Connection’s farmer training intensive on the topic of agritourism will delve into the details of running agritourism operations by receiving tours and presentations of four successful farms, and 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.


Seeding the Next Generation of Farmers

Spence Farm
2959 N. 2100 East Rd.

Fairbury, IL 61739 (Livingston County)

July 12, 2014, 2:00 pm- 5:00 pm

Are you interested in seeing first-hand success stories of four Livingston County young farmers?  Spence Farm Foundation is partnering with the Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network to host a field day on Saturday, July 12 at Spence Farm in Fairbury.  The field day will feature four young farmers, Will Travis of Spence Farm, Derek Stoller of Windy Knoll Produce, and Carrie and Cassie Rickenberger of Garden Gate Produce, sharing the challenges and successes of entering the agriculture business world.

For more information, visit their website.


Legal Issues Workshops

Tuesday, September 2: Springfield, U of I Extension office
Wednesday, September 3:Champaign, U of I Extension office
Friday, September 5: Carbondale, SIUC Dunn-Richmond Center
Tuesday, September 9:Grayslake, U of I Extension office

Sustainable farmers who run their own entrepreneurial businesses have a wide range of legal needs that include:

  • 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.

These workshops are intended for people who are the organizers, presenters, and facilitators of farmer training programs that are aimed at sustainable farmers. University and Extension personnel, community college instructors, and nonprofit sustainable agriculture personnel are encouraged to attend. Each The workshops are a full-day and include lunch. With four locations across Illinois, there is one near you! To register for this free workshop, visit our website.
This Week on the TLC Blog…
Garlic Chive Meatballs

In the spirit of summer, I bought a new grill when it got warm out.


I had a tiny “travel-size” grill last summer and decided to go all out and replace it. This has turned out to be one of my wiser cooking-related purchases, right up there with the juicer.


So I’ve been eating a lot of grilled things and I thought I would share with you one of the more interesting (read: non-sausage) things I’ve made.


Agriculture in the News:
Three things to make you more well-informed.
Something you should know:

The Illinois Senate unanimously approved legislation (HB 5657) last week that will result in smarter, streamlined and statewide rules for food sanitation at farmers markets. Read more from the Illinois Stewardship Alliance.

Something you should do:

Get registered with DriftWatch! It’s a free way for pesticide applicators and specialty crop growers communicate to promote awareness and stewardship activities to help prevent and manage drift effects.

Something to be happy about:

700 new beekeepers registered in Illinois in the last year! This story was first published by The State Journal-Register.
Post your ad in the classifieds section of our new website! To have something listed in the Weekly Harvest, email us at or call



Looking for hard-working individual(s) with a passion for restoration agriculture. Help needed with nurturing (and eventually harvesting) 2-acres of woody perennial polyculture. Need help creating a big year-round greenhouse to grow produce. Also need help to create a silvo-pasture for cattle and pigs.  For more information, please call Marcia at (217) 582-2112 or


Greenhouse fully enclosed for 4 acres, trucks, generators, tools, hose, growing benches, file drawers, desks, computers, growing pots, heating equipment, etc.  Everything that is needed to run the business is for sale. Asking price is $450,000. Contact Vivian Moncken at Lauschke Realtors at 618-558-1551.



Help wanted for diversified livestock operation.   Looking for a motivated, self-starter, who is familiar with livestock.  Experience with farm equipment a plus.  Primary role is animal care and feeding, farm maintenance and repairs. Must have/or obtain after hire a Class C drivers license. Trade and computer skills are a plus.  Compensation commensurate with experience, paid hourly. Benefits include flexible hours and opportunity to work on a multitude of jobs throughout the day. Weekly hours generally around 30-50, variable according to the season. Contact Stan Schutte at Triple S Farms at 217-343-4740 or for more information.



Nonfarming siblings own 40 acres near Easton, IL and want the land to be farmed more sustainably and are looking for options. They do not want to sell at this time, but are interested in an opportunity to help a sustainable farmer get started. Call 425-238-7290 or email for more information.

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