Showcasing, celebrating, and EMPOWERING
women farmers of Illinois
Over five Sunday afternoons, from June to October, we are visiting women-led farms, exploring what they do best, and providing an opportunity for women farmers to meet and build a supportive community.
We aim to:
- Showcase the skills of women farmers in Illinois
- Celebrate the achievements of women farmers
- Empower women to become and continue to be farmers
- Learn from and share with each other
At each event, we will explore the skill or niche that the host farmer does best, and then dive into topics relevant to all women farmers, no matter her production type.
Deborah Niemann-Boehle, Antiquity Oaks
June 25, 2-5pm | Cornell, IL
Wool Fiber and Silvopasturing
Cathe Capel, Seven Sisters Farm
July 30, 2-5pm | Sidney, IL
Champaign Cut Flower Tour
Joan Jach, Old Town Flowers
Maggie Taylor/Liz Faermark/Holly Curia, Delight Flower Farm
August 27, 2-6pm | Champaign, IL
Fruit and Herbs
Teresa Brockman, Sunny Lane Farm
September 24, 2-5pm | Eureka, IL
Lorien Carsey/Shea Belahi, Blue Moon Farm
October 22, 2-5pm | Urbana, IL
|2:00pm||Greeting and Introductions|
|2:15pm||Tour the host farm|
|3:45pm||Networking and Refreshments|
|4:00pm||Panel discussion with host farmers|
Early bird registration costs just $5! Register within two weeks of the event and the cost jumps to $10.
All experience levels are encouraged to come: seasoned farmers, beginning farmers, farming enthusiasts, people who dream of owning a farm, everyone! Each and every person brings valuable experience and insight to this collaborative learning environment. Though we are focusing on women's farming experience, we do invite male farm partners, friends, and supporters to join and learn more about farming from a woman's perspective. Children are welcome, too!
Deborah and her family moved to their farm property in 2002 to fulfill a dream of living in the country. After many years as Chicago suburbanites, they finally found a large-enough parcel of hills, pasture, woods, and creeks in Cornell, Illinois to pursue their farm dream. After years of establishing the farmstead and transitioning to the country life, Antiquity Oaks LLC was finally incorporated in 2014.
The farm was established to not only provide food and fiber, but also to educate. In addition to raising goats, sheep, hogs, and cattle, and a variety of annual and perennial crops, the family focuses on education about sustainability and homesteading. When she is not farming, Deborah also teaches courses both on the farm and online, and has written books on raising animals, using herbs, and homesteading.
Deborah specializes in heritage livestock breeds, and has gained expertise in managing a highly diverse landscape, rotational grazing, marketing, and processing for meats and soaps. She is, perhaps more importantly, an experienced educator who is passionate about raising the next generation of farmers.
Seven Sisters Farm | Sidney, IL
Cathe Capel owns and operates Seven Sisters Farm, a 20-acre food and fiber farm near Sidney in east central Illinois. She raises chickens, sheep, turkeys, vegetables, and fruit. She uses sustainable, ethical, and humane production methods, and provides her livestock with the best conditions possible. Animals are raised on high-quality pasture and forage, with grain supplementation when necessary. No GMOs are used or grown on the farm. Currently she is developing 10 acres of the farm into agroforestry and grazing in partnership with Kevin Wolz of Midwest Agricultural Research Service.
Old Town Flowers is tucked into the old town neighborhood in Champaign. As owner/operator, Joan has been sustainably growing flowers on her urban farm and loves supplying the C-U community with fresh flowers during the growing season. She designs weddings and special occasion in addition to selling at local farmers markets, area restaurants, and the Common Ground Food Co-op in Urbana. During the winter, Joan uses herbs and beeswax from her farm to hand craft body care products and herbal remedies for the whole family.
Delight Flower Farm is a CSA flower farm, started in 2011, and incubated at Prairie Fruits Farm in Champaign. Maggie, Holly, and Liz grow a fantastic variety of flowers on their 1 acre parces. Their method of farming is a marriage of organic gardening and experimenting in more integrated styles of cultivating crops and permaculture. This spring, the farm installed its first hoop house, extending the season for their flower business. In addition to operating a flower CSA, the farm designs weddings, sells through area grocery stores, and stock area restaurants with gorgeous blooms for their tables.
Teresa Brockman grew up in Congerville, IL and after living in Iowa, Pittsburgh, Florida, and Japan, she returned to Woodford County where she raises more than 200 varieties of plant starts, over 20 kinds of fruit and 40 kind of herbs on her 3 acre organic farm in Eureka. She uses organic methods and sells her products mostly through her CSA and Legacy of the Land.
Blue Moon Farm | Urbana, IL
Shea Belahi started farming in 2012 after seeing an ad for the central Illinois farm beginnings class. She was looking for the one thing she could do day in and day out for the rest of her life. During her internship with Gray Farms in Watseka, IL she knew she had found it. There was something about the grit, sweat and sore muscles at the end of the day that she loved. While it can be challenging at times and there is always something to learn, the payoff of having fresh food everyday and being able to share it with your community is rewarding. She joined Blue Moon Farm in late 2015 and is looking forward to working with her new partners.
Lorien Carsey has been involved in the daily operations of Blue Moon since 2000. She was excited to finally get into some real dirty work, leaving behind a past of writing poetry and playing the violin. She tried to leave for a few years to pursue a less exhausting career as an ESL teacher in Venezuela, but couldn't stay away from the tractors, broccoli and sunshine of the farm. She took over as winter farmer in 2009, and now is the farm’s Manager, a part owner and key to the farms future for the next generation. She believes in the value of participating in a local food system that promotes sustainable farming practices and good food.
Please plan to bring a reusable water bottle and a folding chair for each person in your group. Thanks!
Early bird registration is $5. The price jumps to $10 within two weeks of each event.