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Local Uniqueness, National Thinking: Farm Beginnings Collaborative

Cassie Carroll's picture

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Farm Beginnings Collaborative meeting last week in Portland. Maine with our Executive Director, Cara Cummings. Farm Beginnings Collaborative is the national alliance of regional groups who are offering Farm Beginnings programs. The Collaborative is growing and now includes ten organizations with programs serving beginning farmers in 13 states. The Land Connection was one of the founding organizations of this collaborative back in 2004.

Our Farm Beginnings students have flown the nest!

The 2016-17 Central Illinois Farm Beginnings class has concluded their classroom sessions! Congratulations to our students who made it through 63 hours of rigorous learning on topics ranging from enterprise budgets to legal liability management to whole farm planning. Starting in October, our students traveled from up to three hours away to learn from fellow farmers and industry experts. It was such a pleasure to get to know the students, help guide them through writing their business plans, and listen to the evolution of their ideas in their final presentations.

Farming Foibles: Mr. Possum

At our house, I prefer to keep a certain level of formality with the local wildlife.  So we have Mr. Possum, Mr. Toad, Mr. Earthworm, and so on.  I'm not sure why there isn't any female wildlife nearby, but somehow it just works out that way.    To keep the gender balance fair, the bees are referred to as "the girls." 

Invest in your Farmer – Secure a CSA Share!

Cassie Carroll's picture

All of this unseasonable, 70 degree weather has me thinking of spring and farmers’ market season. While going outside and planting seeds in all my garden beds already might not be the smartest thing to do, I am surely dreaming of the delicious seasonal produce coming in the year ahead. One of the main things I’m thinking about is which CSA (community supported agriculture) share I will invest in this year.

Radish Challenge Results: What do the cool kids think?

sarah@thelandconnection.org's picture

Last week, Cara issued her radish challenge, and over the weekend I wholeheartedly accepted. I picked up some gorgeous misato radishes from Blue Moon Farm in Urbana, and pulled out my new woodland creature and barnyard animal cookie cutters (from an unorthodox approach to Christmas cookie season over the holidays).

Jeff Moyer is coming to town!

Excitement fills the air! Farmers are gathering from across the region to discuss organic grains and how we grow this industry. I, personally, am brimming with anticipation of meeting the amazing farmers who are dedicated to growing organic grains in Illinois and Indiana. It takes a special person to commit to transitioning to organic production. It can be a lonely and confusing endeavor.

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