Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Von Bergen's Country Market

Von Bergen's Country Market

Bobette Von Bergen, 9805 Rt 173, Hebron IL 60034, (815) 648-2332.

Mid-July - Oct 31, Mon-Sun, 8:30am-6pm. Tues at Woodstock Farmers Market.

Sells sweet corn, tomatoes, muskmelons, peppers, cauliflower, beets, broccoli,
summer squash, winter squash, fall decorations, green beans, large variety of fruits, other vegetables in season.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Klehm Farmers Market (Rockford IL)

Klehm Farmers Market

U of I Extension at 815-986-4357 or Jane Snively, (815) 965-8146

June 16-Sept 22, Mondays, 4-7pm.

Held on the grounds of the Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, the emphasis of the Klem Farmers Market is on locally grown foods including fruits, vegetables, and plants.

2715 S Main St, Rockford IL 61102

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Susie's Garden Patch

Susie's Garden Patch

Susie & Doug Silberhorn, 10258 US Hwy 20, Garden Prairie IL 61038, (815) 597-3011, (815) 597-3011.

May-Oct 31, Mon-Sat 9am-6:30pm, Sun noon-5pm.

Attend local farmers markets including Edgebrook (Wed), Colonial Village
(Fri), Belvidere, Dodge Lanes (Sat).

U-Pick Vegetables: Asparagus, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, peppers, hot pepper, egg plant, okra, brussel sprouts, cabbage.
Fruit: Michigan strawberries, blueberries, and peaches.,

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Monday, February 23, 2009

New Look - Same Great Taste!

In the spirit (if not actuality) of spring, I decided to change up the site a little bit. The sidebar is on the left, rather than the right side of the page now, and I've moved some topics around. I hope you like the new color scheme. Let me know what you think!

DIY: Attract Migratory Birds to Your Garden

If you enjoy birdwatching, or even just enjoy watching wildlife in general, then there's nothing more satisfying that creating your own little bird sanctuary and watching periodic visitors drop by. All right - fly by.

To make the most of your backyard, start with a water source. Whether it's an ornamental pond or a classic bird bath, nothing will draw your feathered friends faster than a visible and inviting stretch of water.

Next, plant trees and shrubs that are native to your area or region. Remember - the birds that summer (or winter) in your area have adapted to living in, on and around native plants. Moreover, native flowers and shrubs will attract typical insects that migratory birds love to feast upon.

And speaking of ground cover, a brush pile or large shrubs will attract birds by giving them a secure place to nest in, or even just spend time in. Remember: most migratory birds nest in shrubs and spend time on tree branches, so birdhouses will not lure many traveling species.

Migratory birds are delightful summertime companions and bring excitement and a dash of color to even the smallest backyard or patio. These simple tips can help you create a small sanctuary for these lovely little creatures.

Bonus! Come back later in the week for a video with more tips and ideas to encourage birds to stop by.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Calendar Update: 2/22 - 2/28

What: BCCD Garden Club
Where: Boone County Conservation District
Address: 603 N. Appleton Rd., Belvidere, IL
When: 7:00 PM on February 24, 2009
How much: free

What: Catch the Wave of Ornamental Grasses
Where: University of Illinois Extension-Boone County
Address: 915 Alexandra Drive, Belvidere, IL
When: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM on February 24, 2009
How much: $7
Description: Ornamental grasses offer great all-season interest. Class will be also be offered from 7 to 8 :30 p.m. Feb. 26. Preregistration required by callling 815-544-3710.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Local ENERGY In Northern Illinois: The State of Biodiesel

First, What Is Biodiesel?
Well, you could also call it "used vegetable oil" that's been purified and refined. Generally, however, it comes from raw soybeans that are crushed and distilled.

Can I Use Biodiesel in My Vehicle?
Most vehicles that can run diesel can run blends of 20% biodiesel without any problems. Burning straight vegetable oil is also possible, but may require some engine modifications for long-term maintenance.

Where Can I Find Biodiesel?
Well, try this link.

Interested in Buying a Diesel Automobile?
Check out this link at before you buy.

Apartment 101: Composting at Home

A video entry on vermicomposting!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Springbrook (Wenger's) Cheese Inc.

Springbrook (Wenger’s) Cheese, Inc.

Fred S. Wenger, John H. Wenger. 12805 N Springbrook Rd, Davis IL 61019, (815) 865-

Wholesale producer of swiss & muenster cheeses.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Richardson Farms

Richardson Farms 

Larry Richardson, 7245 Owen Center Rd, Rockford IL 61101, (815) 965-5000. 

Aug-Oct, Mon-Sun, 8:30am - dark.

Sweet Corn, pumpkins, squash.  Also includes corn maze and Christmas trees!

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North End Commons Farmers Market

North End Commons Farmers Market 

Jeanine at (815) 962-1234 or Renie at (815) 978-3071. 

May-Oct, Saturdays, 8 am-12 noon.

Market located in parking lot behind La Di Da Gifts and Antiques, 1400 N Main St, Rockford IL 61103.   Featuring fresh produce, free range eggs, organic vegetables, plants, flowers, and bakery items.

Featured Local Farms:

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Monday, February 16, 2009

DIY: Build a Cold Frame

In the northern half of the United States, it's hard to grow vegetables and flowers from seed because the growing season simply isn't long enough.  When I've tried it, it seems like my plants are just behind the curve all summer long.  A cold frame is a great way to get a head start on the growing season. 

Here are some plans for an easy and adaptable plant nursery.  Simply find an old storm window, available at most second hand stores (or you may have an old one hanging out in your garage), and adapt the frame to its size. In fact, the instructions are written so that the frame can be built to match any size window.

The frame is also multi-level. The top section has the proper angled top, but the sections below, just add on to grow with your plants.

Note: plans cost $3.95.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Calendar: 2/17 - 2/21

What: Attracting Birds to Your Yard
Where: YMCA Log Lodge
Address: 200 Y Blvd., Rockford, IL
When: 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM on February 15, 2009
How much: free
Description: Bob Bailey, Wild Birds Unlimited discusses how to attract birds to your yard, including how to focus on specific bird types.

What: Meet the Green Party Mayoral Candidate
Where: Just Goods Fair Trade Store
Address: 201 Seventh St., Rockford, IL
When: 3:00 PM on February 15, 2009
How much: free
Description: Meet and greet with Jesus Correa VII, the Green Party candidate for Rockford mayor. For more information, contact David Black at 815-547-4760.

What: 13th Annual Stateline Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference
Where: See Description
Address: , , IL
When: 8:30 AM on February 16, 2009
How much: $35
Description: University of Illinois Extension has designed a program that will address the issues facing fruit and vegetable growers during this full-day format at Stratford Banquet Hall, 21007 McGuire Road, Harvard. Registration required by calling 815-338-3737 or email

What: Wild Ones: Use of Native Plants in Green Roof Systems
Where: Burpee Museum of Natural History
Address: 737 N. Main St., Rockford, IL
When: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM on February 19, 2009
How much: free
Description: Corrine Daniels will discuss the use of native plants to improve the community environment. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Kim Risley at 815-962-4584.

What: Heirloom Vegetable Seed Sale
Where: Roger Gustafson Nature Center
Address: 603 Appleton Road, Belvidere, IL
When: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM on February 21, 2009
How much: free
Description: Hosted by the Boone County Conservation District Cultural Heritage Gardens. The sale will also have free recipes, seed company catalogs and garden handouts. Cultural Heritage Gardeners will be available for questions. For more information, call 815-547-7935.

What: Too Many Gourds
Where: Boone County Conservation District
Address: 603 N. Appleton Rd., Belvidere, IL
When: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM on February 21, 2009
How much: $4
Description: Creative ideas on using gourds. Gourds provided. Preregistration and prepayment is required. Participants must be 16 years or older. Class size is limited. For information and reservations, call 815-547-7935.

Is your event not listed? Email me at

Fitchburg Farmers Market

Fitchburg Farmers Market

Featuring fresh local produce, fruits and vegetables, cheeses, herbs and more!

Agora Pavilion, 5511 East Cheryl Parkway, Fitchburg WI
Every Thursday May 1st - October 30th, 3pm - 6pm

Special Events:
Flowerama May 15th
Strawberry Fest June 19th
Kids' Fest July 17th
Summer Fest August 21st
Fall Fest September 18th

Featured Local Farms:
Scotch Hill Farm

Phone: 608-277-2606

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Oak Park Farmers Market

Oak Park Farmers Market

Open every Saturday June through October, 7am - 1pm.
Early Opening May 24, 8am - noon.

The Oak Park Farmers' Market offers high quality, locally grown produce in the friendly, historic Village of Oak Park. Market features fresh produce, traditional and unusual plants, fresh cheeses, honey, flowers, vinegars, and herbs. Also available: fresh donuts and live bluegrass music!

Phone # (708) 358-5780

Featured Local Farm:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Winnebago Farmers Market

Winnebago Farmers Market

Sue Casson, (815) 335-2861 or Merri Carlson, (815) 335-7617.

Market located at Winnebago Village Park, Main and Benton Streets, Winnebago IL 61088.

May-Oct. Fridays 4-7pm. Locally grown fruits and vegetables, honey, cut flowers and potted perennials, and baked goods.

Featured Local Farms:

John D Rowley

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Monday, February 9, 2009

DIY: Outdoor Planters and Garden Structures

I do not (yet) have a lawn.  Condo life is many things, but it's not convenient for folks interested in gardening.  I've been patio gardening for several years now and I've run out of deck space for plants and shrubs.  Unfortunately, I don't have several hundred dollars to spend on a large commercial garden center planter or potting bench.

However, I found a great website with a lot of plans for virtually every type of structure you'd want to build.  You do have to pay for a lot of the plans (prices range from $6.00 to $15.00) but there are also many free schematics available too.

I found the perfect plans for a "Monterey Potting Center" online - free and easy!

Are you handy?  If so, check out

Wright Way Farm

Wright Way Farm 

Denny & Susan Wright. CSA operating May-Oct. Mon-Sat, 8am-7pm. 

A MOSA certified organic farm.  Vegetables and melons sold at Beloit Farmers Market. Full and half shares in CSA offered with several drop-off locations. Sign-up starts in January of that growing season on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Beloit Farmer's Market

Beloit Farmers Market 

Kathleen Braatz, “Meet me at State and Grand” (located at 300 block of State St and 400 block of E Grand Ave), Beloit WI 53511, (608) 365-0150. 

June-Oct, Saturdays, 8am-1pm. 

Open-air market in the heart of historic Downtown Beloit for over 30 years. Over 60 vendors
each week selling local produce, organics, baked goods, honey, jams & jellies, herbs, bedding plants, fish, meat, eggs & cheese, and fresh flowers.

Featured Local Farmers:
Wright Way Farm

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Staller Estate Vineyard & Winery

Staller Estate Winery

W8896 County Hwy A, Delavan, WI 53115, ph: 608-883-2100 alt: 608-844-1023

In addition to a variety of locally-produced wines, Staller Estate sells candles, wine glasses and stoppers and local Wisconsin cheeses.

Mon.-Wed.:Please Call Ahead 608-844-1023
Thurs.-Sun. 11am-6pm

Winery tours and free wine tastings are available.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Wind Ridge Herb Farm

Wind Ridge Herb Farm

Liz and Tony Fiorenza, 466 Quail Trap Road, Caledonia IL, 815-885-1444

Supplies organizally grown herbs, heirloom vegetable plants and teas, seasonings, lotions, soaps and other supplies.

April - October

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

DIY: Composting Made Easy

Vermicomposting is the art of using worms to break down organic matter and create nourishing, high-quality compost.

Here is a link to a nifty little page showing you how to start composting at home for a minimal investment (less than $10).

Wagner's Produce

Wagners Produce

Bob Wagner, 6302 N Main St, Union IL 60180, (815) 703-4980, (815) 923-2556.

Mid-June - mid-Sept (or later depending on season),
Mon-Fri 3pm-dark
Sat-Sun 7am-dark call first (farm is 3 miles away)
Marengo Market Fridays noon-5pm.
Huntley Market Sat mornings 8am-noon.

Sweet corn, zucchini, yellow and green beans, green and red cabbage, broccoli, yellow
and red onions, muskmelons, kolhrabi, pickles, cucumbers, peppers (yellow, green, hot, red), plum and cherry tomatoes, beets, squash (winter, acorn, butternut).