Sign up for News & Updates

Upper Midwest CRAFT Field Days

Nightshades Field Day - Natural Farm Stand

Each year we organize a variety of field days with topics focusing on the core themes of soils, plants, animals, and people. Field days provide prospective and current farmers exposure to the diversity of farms in the region through a workshop series that balances visits to: 1) larger and smaller farms 2) organic, biodynamic and sustainable farms 3) new and continuing Upper Midwest CRAFT member farms, and 4) other farms throughout our geographic region. Each field day is divided between time on the training topic, the host farm tour, and social time. 

For a one-page printable version of the 2019 Field Day schedule, click here.

2019 Field Days
Saturday, June 1st - Biodynamic Spring Pick
Zinniker Family Farm is the longest-running Biodynamic farm in the country. Attendees will tour the farm, unearth biodynamic preparations that were buried last fall and prepare new ones for summer. Potluck supper after activities. FREE -No RSVP necessary!
Sunday, June 9th - Livestock (Chicken & Sheep)
This field day will feature a tour of Riemer Family Farm. During this tour, you'll learn about how you can incorporate animals into your farm operation. They'll talk about raising chickens and sheep and touch a little bit on cows and grazing.
Sunday, June 30th - Livestock (Cattle)
This field day will feature a discussion led by Paul Maggio and Altfrid Krusenbaum, who will discuss raising cattle and grazing management techniques.
Wednesday, July 31st - Using Hand Tools
Join us to learn how to use various hand tools: featuring paper pot transplanters, in-row torsion weeders, and other hand transplanting tools. John will talk about how using the right tool for the job can make small farms profitable and enjoyable!
Friday, August 9th - Grazing and Regenerative Agriculture
Join us to learn about grazing and regenerative agriculture! Chaz at Grassway Organics will talk about their rotational grazing techniques. Joining Chaz will be members of the Upper Midwest CRAFT Grazing Group, who will add additional grazing insight!
Wednesday, August 21st - Post-Harvest & Winter Storage
At this field day you will learn how to prep your produce and store your harvest! Duncan Simonson will talk about how to deter decomposition and other issues so that your produce can stay fresher longer.
Friday, September 13th - Hemp Production in Illinois
This field day will feature a discussion led by Rachel Berry of Illinois Hemp Growers Association and Liz Rupel of Illinois Stewardship Alliance, who will be discussing hemp production and hemp policy in Illinois. More details to come!
Friday, September 27th - Soil Fertility & CSA Customization
Join Farmer John as he discusses soil fertility at Angelic Organics Farm. John will also talk about how he's using CSA customization on his farm this year!
Wednesday, October 2nd - Urban Agriculture
This is a packed field day that's sure to be full of information! We're teaming up with Windy City Harvest and Advocates for Urban Agriculture to bring you a full day of discussions about urban farming, land access, and small-scale farming!
Saturday, October 5 - Fall Biodynamic Prep
Zinniker Family Farm is the longest-running Biodynamic farm in the country. This a great opportunity to experience hands-on learning and make Biodynamic preparations. We will fill and stuff several different preparations and bury them in the soil. Potluck and bonfire at the farm after. FREE - no RSVP necessary!
Friday November 1 - Extend Your Season With Alternative Income
At this field day, a panel of farmers will discuss ways in which you can extend your seasonal income. Learn about microgreen production, high tunnels, and herb production. You'll also learn about the financial elements and feasibility of extending your season.