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Cassie Carroll's blog

Invest in your Farmer – Secure a CSA Share!

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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.

A (Hopefully) Useful Template for Starting a Grant Application

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Oh grants - I know grant applications are intimidating, especially if you've never written one before. We all hear the horrors of lengthy applications, multiple forms, unclear directions, etc.... but if you have an idea, there are some simple steps you can take to prepare your idea for a grant application, no matter the format or specific opportunity instructions.

Think Local this Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and what a better time to reflect on how thankful we all are for our farmers, putting in long hours, hard labor, and their resources to give us amazing and delicious food. It's important to remember our farmers and be thankful for all they do to reduce food insecurity, but let's take it another step this year by actually supporting our farmers this season and purchasing ingredients for the big feast locally.

Preserving this year's Harvest at Home

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Learning how to preserve your harvest is one of the most rewarding triumphs of growing your own food and/or supporting local farmers. Whether you preserve through canning, freezing, dry storage, dehydrating or placing items in the fridge, there's a preserving method that will fit your fancy. As we start to move into the fall and winter months, and are approaching the end of farmers market season, it is important to know how to savor this year's harvest all winter long.

Why Burning Oak Farm Teamed Up with the Artisan Cup & Fork

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There's a new event on the block - the Artisan Cup & Fork - downstate Illinois' premiere food competition. The tagline, "Life is too short to drink bad booze and eat bad food" is the perfect way to describe this unique culinary experience. The event highlights 8 farm to table chefs, 16 family-owned farmers, and only one team will come out on top as the winner.

Tips for Farmers' Market Meal Planning

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I, for one, know how a busy week can quickly run away from you. Next thing you know - BLINK! It's Sunday again. You ask yourself, " I had SO many plans... what happened to the week?" That's me. If I'm not focused on the few things outside of work that I want to get done during the week, it just doesn't happen between kickball, glass blowing, yoga, tending to the garden..... and the list can go on. 

The Search for Understanding Sustainable Food Labels

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Cage-free, grass-fed, natural – I know we have all seen these terms before and thought, “This sounds really healthy for me and probably better than this other brand. I should support these practices …sounds good let’s buy them!” Well, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been slightly mislead.


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