Last week, I travelled to Duluth, Minnesota for the summer meeting of the Farm Beginnings Collaborative. This 1,400 mile 4 day trip was my first excursion into the far north of the country and I found it fascinating. The lands were flat, forested, and full of lakes, and the people were warm and welcoming. It called to mind the many many summer evenings spent with my grandmother in her kitchen in the plains of Ohio listening to "A Prairie Home Companion." So, in honor of Garrison Keillor...
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Mallory Krieger's blog
"When they begiiiin Farm Beginnings..." (to the tune of Cole Porter's Begin the Begine) Oh how I love Farm Beginnings and Cole Porter, so why not mesh them!
With summer coming into full force, I am in full preparation mode for Farm Beginnings. This October will mark the 13th class of new farmers that The Land Connection has ushered into their new careers! It is such a privilege to help prepare new farmers for starting their local food businesses.
I just have to dive right in and say it: women farmers are awesome! They are the single strongest and most resilient group of people I have met in my life. Many people know just how challenging farming can be, but did you know it can be much more so for women farmers?
Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting a demonstration garden at the University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Michael Biehl gave me a tour of the plants in their exhibit, and though it is still early spring, they are numerous and vibrant. This demonstration garden is not just any old collection of pretty plants, it is unique among the gardens that line Lincoln Avenue at the U of I campus, it contains POISONOUS plants!
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.
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.
I am so pleased that the days are beginning to lengthen, the sun rising ever so marginally earlier and setting slightly later. It is breathing life into these wintery days. Even though the days are short in light, they are most definitely long in activity! For, my friends, it is now full-on workshop and conference season!!
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Acres USA conference in Omaha, NE. It was a great trip! I love long drives, and the 8 hours from Champaign to Omaha was perfect!
When I left the house this morning, I exhaled in the last rays of moonlight and gazed as the mist of my breath dissipated in the gentle breeze. I was cold and grateful. I was grateful that I had everything I need to survive the morning in that frigid air. I had a full belly of the morning's breakfast. I was well hydrated. I was breathing the oxygen rich morning air. And, I was clothed in the heavy winter sweater I recently pulled from summer storage. The organism of my body was supported.