Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Erehwon Farm

Erehwon Farm

Tim Fuller & Beth Propst, 630-365-3741

Erehwon Farm is a community supported agriculture, or CSA, providing flowers, herbs, fruit, vegetables, perennials and more.

39w962 State Route 38
Elburn, Illinois 60119

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cabbage Soup


6 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth (for really local flavor, make your own)
4 stalks celery, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup barley
2 cups diced ham
1 tablespoon dried parsley


1. Place the chicken broth, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, cabbage, barley, ham and parsley in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rochelle Farmers Market

Rochelle Farmers Market

Located behind the Flagg Township Museum, 518 Fourth Ave, Rochelle, IL.

Debby Van Dyke

Through September, Thursdays, 2-6pm.

Featuring vegetables, herbs, baked goods, and plants.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Caveny Farm Heritage Poultry

John & Connie Caveny, 217-762-7767

Caveny Farm raises poultry and lamb. Heritage breeds of turkeys, ducks and geese are the mainstay. Birds are raised in pastures that grow grasses, clovers and amaranth. All of our poultry are fed custom formulated feed to compliment the nutrients found in our pastures. Corn, soybeans and soybean meal along with vitamins and minerals are the only ingredients in the feed.

1999 N 935 East Road
Monticello, Illinois 61856

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Monday, March 23, 2009

DIY: Portable Gravity Irrigator

Collecting rainwater runoff is great for your area's water quality, but what do you do with the water after 'barrelling' it?  Here is a simple set of instructions for building a simple irrigator to get the water from your barrel to your garden.  

Better yet, this idea can be generalized for any situation where so-called 'gray water' is being collected, meaning that you can use the same concepts to minimize water waste in, say, your shower while the water is heating up!

Portable Gravity Irrigator - More DIY How To Projects

Friday, March 20, 2009

Prairie Pure Cheese

Prairie Pure Cheese

Brian Gerloff, 1-866-9CHEEZE

Prairie Pure Cheese was formed in July 2004 as a partnership between three families in Belvidere, Illinois. The parnernership works with a small cheese plant in southern Wisconsin-Edelweiss Town Hall Dairy, Monticello, Wisconsin. To date, approximately 15,000 pounds of cheese has been sold.

P.O. Box 805
Belviedere, IL 61008

List of Local Retailers

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Home Made Chicken Broth

Yields about 6 cups.

1 Whole chicken (small) or 1 bone-in chicken breast (large)
3 Cloves of Garlic, or to taste
2 Carrots, chopped into 3" pieces
1 Onion, coarsely chopped
2 Stalks of Celery chopped into 3" pieces
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut off excess fat and skin from chicken, being sure to leave some skin for flavor. Place the chicken in a pot and add 2 quarts water.
2. Bring pot to boil, skim of foam (it's clarified chicken fat)
3. Reduce heat, add remaining ingredients and
gently simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Strain.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Perryville Farmers Market

Perryville Farmers Market

Ben Bernsten, Rebekah Anderson, 6801 Spring Creek Rd, Rockford IL 61114, (815) 229-3000.

June 7-Sept, Sat, 9am-1pm.

Come sample the season's freshest produce, bakery goods, plants, flowers, herbs and other specialties. Mingle with neighbors and friends at the Eastside market.

Market located in the Perryville Commons Shopping Center (enter at Perryville & Fincham intersection - just south of East State St.

663 Highgrove Place
Rockford, IL 61108

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Famous Fossil Vineyard and Winery

Ken and Pam Rosmann, 95 West Cedarville Road Freeport, Illinois 61032

As well as distinctive Illinois wines, Ken and Pam Rosmann, who moved from Iowa, offer award winning cheeses, jams, syrups, farm fresh eggs, and other local products.

Thursday 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Friday 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Saturday 11:00 a.m-5:00 p.m.
Sunday 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
and by appointment

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sugar Prairie Wildlife Corridor

Sugar Prairie Wildlife Corridor

Nina Langousis, 815-629-2779

Fresh eggs from happy, free-range hens. Raised with fresh air and pasture, hay, and organic or locally -grown grains only - NEVER a prepared commercial "crumbles" diet.

Pet sitting/boarding is also offered. Horse boarding also available.

16360 Cannell Rd
Rockton, IL 61072

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Recipe: Roasted Acorn Squash

Hello dear readers. Local Food has a new feature! Starting today I will be posting a season-appropriate recipe each Thursday. This is a tough time of year for local eaters, but you might have a few winter squash left from harvest or your local market. In that spirit, here is a simple but delicious recipe for roasted squash!


2 medium acorn squash
3 tablespoons butter
2 small onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Cut the squashes in half length-wise and remove the seeds and membranes. Roast them, cut side up, on a baking sheet for 50 minutes or until flesh is tender. Reserve warm.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Saute the onions until they begin to caramelize at the edges, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic, coriander, and nutmeg and cook until the garlic is tender. Season with salt and pepper and fill the squash halves with the mixture. Serve warm

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wauconda Farmers Market

Debra Ogorzaly, 847-526-5580

Sponsored by the Wauconda Chamber of Commerce, this market features a wonderful mix of vendors from Lake and McHenry counties. Plenty of fresh produce, eggs, cheeses, natural products, and products for pets also. Also offers music and special theme market days.

Featured Local Farmer:
Harms Farm & Garden Center

Thursdays from 3 pm to 7 pm starting June 26 running until October 9th

Downtown Main Street in Wauconda, Illinois, between Mill Street and Bangs Road.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

John D Rowley

John D Rowley

415 W Cunningham, Winnebago IL 61088, (815) 335-2821.

Aug-Oct, Mon & Tue, various hours.

Berries including raspberries and blackberries. Vegetables in season including potatoes. Cut flowers. Attend Winnebago Farmers Market on Fri.

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Monday, March 9, 2009

DIY: Starting Seeds From Scratch

Here is a wonderful, almost poetic, article written in the NYT on raising your own plants.

For more practical tips:

Step 1: Buy your seeds

You can purchase seeds from almost any nursery, garden center, or hardware store. Wherever you get them, be sure to check the packing date. Don't use seeds that are more than a year old.

Step 2: Plan your timetable

The planting dates for vegetable and flower plants very significantly,making it impossible to plant all seeds simultaneously. Be sure to check your seed packet for the appropriate timing, which is usually stated in the number of weeks before the last frost. If you're unsure when this is, contact your county extension agent.

Step 3: Choose your planting soil

Youcan buy seed-starting mix or potting soil from your garden center, oryou can make your own mixture. Whatever you use, it's important to start your seeds in a soil that is free from weeds, pests, and soil disease; is able to absord/hold water; and is loosely packed.

Before filling your seed trays, make sure the soil is moist. You should be able to make a ball with it. To ensure this, put the soil in a bucket and gradually add water.

Step 4: Fill your seed trays

If you don't have any plastic seed trays or flats, you can use egg cartons, plastic jugs, yogurt containers, or foil pans. You can also purchase peat pots at your local nursery. Before you begin, make sureyour container has drainage holes - just use a needle to poke holes inthe bottom. Fill planting soil to about 1/2 inch from the top of the container. Gently pat the soil to eliminate air pockets.

Step 5: Plant the seeds

For small seeds, simply scatter them lightly over the soil about 1/8 inchapart. Larger seeds need to be placed exactly and spaced about 1/2 to1 inch apart. Next, cover the seeds with soil. Planting depth may vary. A general rule, however, is to plant the seed three times its diameter deep. Finally, label the containers with the plant's name and date.

Step 6: Wait for germination

Cover the containers to maintain even moisture. Place them in a warm location and spray lightly with water if the soil appears to be drying out.

Step 7: Provide light and water

Once the plant sprouts, remove the cover and place a flourescent light about 2 inches about the container for 12 to 16 hours a day. Continue to spray with water. After two weeks, you can start to fertilize the seeds, if desired.

Step 8: Thin out the plants

When the plants reach an inch in length, use tweezers to eliminate the smaller, weaker sprouts. By thinning out the plants, you can avoid entangled roots.

Step 9: Start hardening off

After about 6 weeks, your plants are ready to be moved outside. Introducethem to outdoor life, know as "hardening off", by placing the containers in a semiprotected location for a few hours a day, gradually increasing the length of time. Eventually, the plants will be outdoors for a full day. This process could take up to two weeks. If the temperature drops below 50 degrees, bring the plants inside.

Step 10: Transplant to the garden

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Calendar Update 3/8 - 3/14


What: Why Grow Native Plants?
Where: Rock Valley Garden Center
Address: 785 N. Bell School Road, Rockford, IL
When: 2:00 PM on March 14, 2009
How much: free
Description: A free workshop featuring guest speaker Tim Lewis of Wild Ones. He will speak about the benefits of native plants. For more information, call 815-398-1937.

What: Seed Starting and Propagation
Where: Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden
Address: 2715 S. Main Street, Rockford, IL
When: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM on March 14, 2009
How much: $25
Description: Klehm's director of horticulture and maintenance will discuss seed selection, growing supplies, artificial lights and caring for young plants. Meet in the Clarcor building; a portion of the class will be held in the greenhouse. Members save $5. Class size is limited. Call 815-965-8146 or see


What: Meeting of the Friends of the Pecatonica River Foundation
Where: Rafters Restaurant on Hwy 20
When: 7 p.m. March 12th
Address: 9426 W Wagner Rd, Lena, IL‎
Description: LENA — The next meeting of The Friends of the Pecatonica River Foundation will be at 7 p.m. March 12 at the Rafters Restaurant on U.S. 20. The public is invited to attend. For more information on the organizations, contact Lee Butler at (815) 232-5340.


What: Illinois Products Expo 2009
Where: The Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds
When: March 7 - 8
Address: Illinois State Fairgrounds
How much: $4.00
Description: Tasty, Illinois-made food products from more than 50 companies are on the menu for the 2009 Illinois Products Expo. And, best of all, samples are free!

The 11th annual "Food and Cooking Extravaganza," which also features products from state wineries and agribusinesses, will be held March 7-8 in the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. In all, about 70 companies are scheduled to participate.


What: A Festival of Arts & Crafts
Where: DuPage Expo Center
When: Today, 3/8 from 10 am - 4pm
Address: 4050 E. Main St., St Charles IL
How much: $2 admission, under 12 free
Description: 160 booths of all hand-made in the USA items for sale!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Willow Lea Stock Farm

Willow Lea Stock Farm

Michele Aavang, 10414 Aavang Rd, Woodstock IL 60098, (815) 648-4210.

Beef raised naturally without the use of antibiotics, added growth hormones, steroids, or implants. Cattle graze on pasture land as the seasons permit and supplemented with home-grown hay and non-GMO grain. Cattle humanely raised on family farm. Black Angus and Limousin genetics utilized for lean, tasty beef. Beef is processed at nearby USDA inspected facility and sold at local farmers markets including Woodstock and Algonquin, or year-around by appointment. Selection of individual cuts including ground beef, patties, steaks, and roasts
are available. Whole beef, halves, or quarters sold for freezer.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Evanston Farmers Market

City of Evanston Farmers Market

Contact: (847) 866-2958

Saturdays, May 17 - Nov. 1, 2008
7:30am to 1pm

The Farmers Market is located at the intersection of University Place and Oak Avenue.

Enjoy the bounty of Midwest farmers every Saturday throughout the summer. For over 30 years, the Evanston Farmers' Market has been a crowd-pleaser with 30+ vendors of fruit, vegetables, meat, flowers, cheese and bakery items. Free parking is available in the Maple Avenue Parking Garage!

Farmers Market Website

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Waterman Winery & Vineyards, Inc.

Waterman Winery & Vineyards, Inc.

Terrie & Alexa Tuntland, 11582 Waterman Rd, Waterman IL 60556, (815) 264-3268.

April-Dec, Sat & Sun, Noon-4pm.

Grapes grown on vineyard's farm for wines. Red and white wines are handcrafted on the farm. Some fruit wines are also available including pumpkin, apple, pear, peach and cherry. Farmers markets in DeKalb, Sycamore and Sugar Grove. Sat & Sun or by appt.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

DIY: Calculate Your Carbon Footprint!

First of all - what is a carbon footprint

According to wikipedia, it's “the total set of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product” (UK Carbon Trust 2008).

In other words, a carbon footprint is like a head - we've all got one.  Our carbon footprints are determined by our choices - what kind of car we drive (or do you have a car?), how long we leave the lights on, and what type of food we eat.  The farther your food travels, the greater the carbon footprint.  Ever heard of the 12,000 mile salad?

Local agriculture has many benefits - supporting local farmers, reduced risk of food contamination, better flavor & nutritional value - but a key one is a smaller impact to the environment, especially if the farmer follows sustainable agriculture practices.

Is this a big deal?  Well, according to some estimates 1 hamburger results in 8 - 13 pounds of carbon being released into the atmosphere, much of which due to petroleum products - packaging and shipping.

What to do?  If you're interested in learning more, check out  You can: 
  • calculate your own carbon footprint
  • learn strategies to reduce your environmental impact
  • purchase "carbon offsets"
A carbon offset is a fancy way of saying that somebody will take your money and plant a tree or help build a wind farm to reduce the environmental impact of our collective lifestyle.

Get informed!

Bonus! Check back later this week for a video on how to reduce your own carbon footprint!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Calendar Update: 3/1 - 3/7


Chicago Flower & Garden Show
Where: Navy Pier
Address: 600 E. Grand Ave, Chicago IL
When: March 7 - 15, 10am to 8pm Monday - Saturday, 10am to 6pm Sunday
How Much: Adults $14 (weekends), $12 (weekdays), Children under 12 $5, Parking $14 all day
Description: The Chicago Tribune's garden writer Beth Botts will be speaking on "beauty and the Plastic Beast: Your Plants, Where They Come From and Why It Matter" from 12:30-1pm on March 14th. More information on events and attractions at, 773-435-1250


What: Natural Land Institute Archaeology Program
Where: Macktown Forest Preserve
Address: 2221 Freeport Road, Rockton, IL
When: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM on March 3, 2009
How much: free
Description: Join the Natural Land Institute for this program by archeologist Sara Pfannkuche of Midwest Archeological Research Services. She will speak on her current research and previous significant findings at the Nygren Preserve. Meet in the Macktown Living History Education Center.

What: Natural Land Institute Volunteer Gathering
Where: Macktown Forest Preserve
Address: 2221 Freeport Road, Rockton, IL
When: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM on March 3, 2009
How much: free
Description: Andy Bacon, land stewardship director for the Natural Land Institute, will tell how volunteers help with restoration activities at the Nygren Wetland Preserve and other natural areas such as Pecatonica Ridge Prairie east of Pecatonica, Stone Bridge Nature Trail at Roscoe, and Colman Dells Preserve southwest of Rockford. Learn how to can get involved with land protection efforts. Snacks will be provided. Meet in the Macktown Living History Education Center. Call 815-964-6666 for more information.


What: Naperville Community Gardeners Meeting
Where: Lower level meeting room of John Greene Realty,
Address: 1311 S. Route 59, Naperville
When: 7pm
How Much: Free
Description: Naperville Community Gardeners invite the public to attend their meeting. Mary Saba of The Growing Place will present a program on "Shade Gardening." There is no charge to attend. Visit


What: Spring Fish Sale
Where: Delivery will be at 11am at the SDA/SWCD parking lot March 24
Address: 1620 S. Galena Ave.
When: Orders for grass carp must be received by March 6, orders for others must be received by March 17.
Description: Stephenson Soil & Water Conservation District is taking orders for its spring fish sale. Species available include grass carp, channel catfish, largemouth bass, hybrid sunfish, redear sunfish, bluegill, black crappies and fat head minnows.
For more information, call (815) 235-2161.