October 1, 2013
Bill Davison (R) leads a tour of his hoophouse.

Introducing Bill Davison


Bill Davison is the new U of I Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator serving Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties. He will deliver research-based information and educational programs for farmers, community members, decision-makers, and others involved in local food systems. He will focus on the development of educational resources for small farm producers, outreach to communities on issues related to local food systems, and team-based outreach efforts.


For five years, Bill owned and operated Blue Schoolhouse Farm, a diversified fruit and vegetable farm in Congerville, IL. Then from 2010 to 2011, he was a grower program manager for The Fair Share CSA Coalition in Madison, Wisconsin. He has taught Central Illinois Farm Beginnings classes on the economics of small farm production, and most recently, he worked at the ISU Horticulture Center.


Bill looks forward to getting to know people involved with small farms and the local food movement in our region. You can contact him with any questions, or ideas you have related to local food:  309-663-8306 or wdavison@illinois.edu.

Ramping Up Our Regional Food System

The Land Connection is one of the sponsors of this conference hosted by The Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University. The conference, entitled Engaging Institutions in the Development of Regional Food Systems: Setting the Table for Collaboration will be held October 15th at the Loyola University Campus and Retreat Center.  

The focus will be on engaging institutions in purchasing local foods so that more people will have access to healthy fresh foods, and more sustainable farmers will have the incentive to grow more great foods.  


The early-bird registration ($75) is still available, and there is now a special student price ($35).  If you have any questions, please contact Sandra Streed at 815.753.0972  


The Land Connection is Hiring! 
We are looking for an organized and efficient office manager who is familiar with bookkeeping, databases, and newsletter software. For the full job description for this half-time position, please email Cara Cummings and put Office Manager Position in the subject line. Our office (and the job) is at
505 West University Avenue, Suite 203, Champaign, Illinois. 
Workshops, Field Days, and Webinars

What does the Food Safety Modernization Act Mean for You and Your Farm?   

Find Out by participating in this Webinar

Oct. 3, 2013

3:00 to 4:30 p.m.


In response to several national food-borne illness outbreaks, The Food Safety Modernization Act was passed in 2010.  Rules governing the growing, harvesting, packing and transporting of fresh produce are now being crafted, and are cause for alarm. For example, as written now, water testing requirements and rules about composting would encourage the use of chemicals and discourage organic and sustainable farming practices. Overall, the proposed rules would discourage farmers from diversifying into local food production and could lead to far fewer local farms producing healthy foods for their communities.


On Oct. 3, 2013, the U of I Extension, along with Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Illinois Farmers Market Association, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition will present a webinar covering the basics of the Food Safety Modernization Act -- including who it will impact, and how you can influence the legislation to encourage small farms and local food production.

Register by clicking here. 


Beekeeping Workshop at Spence Farm

Spence Farm - Phelps Schoolhouse

Saturday October 5, 2013
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Spence Farm - Phelps Schoolhouse
2959 North 2050 East Road
Fairbury, IL 61739

Cost: $20/family 


Whether you are already managing hives or are just interested in learning more about the secret lives of bees, "Nectar of the Gods: Beekeeping for Winter and Spring" will offer practical advice.

Darryl Coates, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist, will discuss winter and spring care of bees, including tools, supplies, methods & techniques, insect and disease pest management.  


Introduction to Permaculture Design Field Day! Deadline to register is Tuesday, October 8th.

Presented by Wayne Weiseman at

River to River Farm - Tunnel Hill

Thursday, October 10, 2013

5:00 - 7:00 PM

Wayne Weiseman, certified Permaculture Design instructor, will explore River to River Farm from the perspective of the methodologies and principles of Permaculture.  Weiseman will focus on farm design and ways to improve yield by identifying opportunities in the areas of climate, landform, water, access and circulation, plants, animals, and soil.  He will also demonstrate how the built environment affects the land base.


"We will walk the land, take inventory of what is already in place, and assess what we can do to make the greatest effect with the least amount of change, one of the essential dicta of Permaculture, " said Weiseman about the field walk.  Be prepared to walk around the farm in comfortable shoes during this evening field day.  You are invited to stay after the field day to discuss this topic further and network.    

This workshop is free for Southern Illinois Farming Network members and $15 for non-members. Registration is required and space is limited.  Please register at www.eatsouthernillinois.org by Tuesday, October 8th.   

For more information, please contact Dayna Conner at dayna@eatsouthernillinois.org or 618-319-0542.  


Farm Fresh Now!


Spaghetti Squash  


Right between the summer crops and the fall crops is the fun and delicious Spaghetti Squash -- full of long strands of low-calorie, gluten-free "spaghetti."  Read all about it in this week's Farm Fresh Now!

Bake, steam, or microwave your spaghetti squash, and mix with herbs and cheese!


Beautiful 60 acre farm at 1126 S. Eden Road, Hanna City, Illinois - 40 acres tillable, 20 acres wooded with creek. Farm homesteaded by McAlister family in mid-1850s, and still in the family. This farm has always been farmed without chemicals - with the exception of an application of Round-up used for noxious plant in a part of one field a couple of years ago by farmer renting land. No house or outbuildings remain. Appraisal of farm done by Green Land Management and available upon request. Close to the Peoria County Hanna CIty Food Hub Project.

Contact Chris Shay   

Farm owner is looking for an experienced person to manage 510 acres of fruit trees, berry bushes, hay, and pastureland in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  There are also 10 acres of vineyards, a winery, and tasting room, plus a large roadside stand.  Contact Terra at The Land Connection for more information.

SMALL ACREAGE NEAR DOWNS -- SOLD to a local sustainable farmer! 


An experienced organic farmer with a diverse vegetable/livestock operation near Springfield is looking for an employee or--if you're an experienced vegetable grower--possibly a business pa

rtner. Contact Terra at The Land Connection for more information. 


Certified Organic Farm Business and large home with 10 acres.

This is a great opportunity if you want to raise organic meat for a well established customer base in central Illinois and the Chicago area.  

32796 E. 750 N. Rd, Chatsworth, IL 60921

More information, photos, and contact here.  


Have something?  Need something? 

Contact us at 217-840-2128 or info@thelandconnection.org to get it into The Weekly Harvest. 


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