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Blog Archive: August 2012

Sampling a Hmong farmer's cucumbers at Fondy Farm Project

After sharing a meal and warm greetings, the 31 farmers and farmer enthusiasts that convened at Fondy Farm Project circled up and settled in for a conversation on cooperative agriculture models. Led by Stephen Petro of Fondy Farm Project and Jay Salinas of the Wormfarm, both men gave a summary of their experiences working at incubators and facilitating the sharing of information and resources among farmers. Before diving into the nuances of these models, “farm incubators” were defined by the presenters as a place for beginning farmers to get started and from which they eventually graduate and move...

One of the activities in this week’s “What’s Cookin’ on the Farm” day camp was “Veggie Idol.”  We began the week with eight vegetables, each day eliminating the least popular, prepared in different ways.   On Monday, the raw round, we said goodbye to zucchini and summer squash.  On Saute Tuesday, cucumber and kale headed home.   Neither broccoli nor beets made it through the juice round (though I must say that beets were eliminated by just one vote). 

The competition got much sweeter on the final day with desserts: carrot cake vs. corn cake.   The grand winner?  Clearly carrots! 

What impressed...

One of the activities in this week’s “What’s Cookin’ on the Farm” day camp was “Veggie Idol.”  We began the week with eight vegetables, each day eliminating the least popular, prepared in different ways.   On Monday, the raw round, we said goodbye to zucchini and summer squash.  On Saute Tuesday, cucumber and kale headed home.   Neither broccoli nor beets made it through the juice round (though I must say that beets were eliminated by just one vote). 

The competition got much sweeter on the final day with desserts: carrot cake vs. corn cake.   The grand winner?  Clearly carrots! 

What impressed...

Presenter Kathy Ruhf from Land for Good

On the afternoon of Monday, July 30th, a dozen farmers and community members convened at the AOLC farm office to participate in a land tenure workshop and dialogue lead by Kathy Ruhf, Co-Director of Land for Good, a New England-based not-for-profit that works with landowners, land managers and entering farmers to keep “working lands working.”

The group was small enough to allow for ample discussion and feedback on participants’ personal land use situations. Beginning farmers were in attendance, seeking short- and mid-term alternatives to the cost of land purchase. Established farmers asked questions about farm expansion, farm relocation...

Danny Frohman, Wash/Pack Coordinator at Tempel Farms Organics

It's not every day that you hear, "When I grow up, I want to be a farmer..." but the staff at Angelic Organics Learning Center hears this sentiment often. Some individuals find fulfillment in growing food for themselves in their gardens in an effort to be more self-sustaining, or simply for the satisfaction of undeniably fresh produce. Others are looking for a safe and healthy place to raise a family and are drawn to opportunities for learning through interactions with animals and the natural world. Chicago resident Danny Frohman needed a change of pace...

Cedar Valley's chicken pens

Old and new friends alike gathered at Beth and Jody Osmunds’ farm, Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm, outside of Ottawa, IL in late-June for a hearty potluck and a tour of their 80-acre farm. One of the first meat CSAs serving the Chicago area, Beth and Jody have been refining their operation since they first started serving the market for sustainably raised meat products in 2002