Extension Educator, Community Development
Brenda E. Derrick
Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness
Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms
August 28, 2008
Mike and Theresa Roegge planted their first crops of strawberries and pumpkins in 1995. Today their farm has grown to include sweet corn, asparagus and an educational agri-tourism business complete with a corn maze. Roegge's Mill Creek Farm in Quincy, is the site of the final University of Illinois Extension small farms tour this year. The tour will run from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Friday, October 3.
Mike Roegge said that the farm has evolved by listening to what their customers say and following through on it. "We had been growing strawberries with Theresa's folks in Mt. Sterling for a couple of years, and really enjoyed it," he said. "We both felt that Quincy was ready again for such activities, as years ago Quincy hosted quite a few commercial vegetable and fruit operations. However, to our knowledge, there were really only one or two strawberry farms in the area then. Since then, we've added additional crops and continue to modify our crops based upon what our customers want."
Mill Creek Farm is best known in the area for its strawberries, sweet corn and pumpkin patch. Roegge said that their sweet corn is sold both on the farm and also in local stores. The pumpkin patch hosts several thousand kids each October during the school week and families on the weekends.
On the tour, Mike and Theresa Roegge will talk about how Mill Creek Farm grew to what it is today and why growing local food is important. "Theresa will be hosting school classes and we'll listen in on her educational message that she gives a class that day," said Mike Roegge. "And if we can get some warm weather, we'll venture out to the corn maze." Roegge said that the corn maze was planted late so it needs some warm days to grow.
"Mill Creek Farm is a great example of a local foods operation that has grown and flourished by responding to what the community wants," said Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, Extension Specialist, Small Farm and Sustainable Agriculture.
A registration fee of $20 per person will be charged for the tour, which includes lunch. Registration at least one week in advance is required. Visit http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/smallfarm/ to register and for more details about each of the tours including a map and agenda. To register by phone, contact Donna Cray at 217-241-4644. For more information, contact Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant (217-968-5512; email@example.com).
For more information about Mill Creek Farm, visit www.millcreekfarmquincy.com/.
University of Illinois Extension is a statewide educational network that links the resources and research of the University of Illinois to the people of Illinois. The programs and workshops, which take place throughout the state, address issues involving youth, families, community development, agriculture, and natural resources. If reasonable accommodations are needed in order to participate in any of the programs, call 217-241-4644.
This tour is sponsored by University of Illinois Extension, Mill Creek Farm, North Central Region Sustainable Research and Education Program, Agriculture and Tourism Partners of Illinois, and the University of Illinois Agroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program.
August 21, 2008
August 5, 2008
The Food Initiatives Group (FIG) invites you to a Local Foods Dinner at 7 pm on August 9, 2008, located at Sullivan Taylor Coffee House/The Wine Sellers/Taylor Hall (S. Randolph, E. Side of Square). The evening will showcase vegetable, fruit, dairy, meat, and grain products from the region with a gourmet five-course feast that will tantalize your taste buds.
The event is a fundraiser for the Food Initiatives Group, a grassroots non-profit group advocating for the resurgence of a local food culture that provides every person access to sustainably produced, nutritious food. Proceeds from the dinner will be used to facilitate use of the Link card--a debit card for food assistance--at the Macomb Farmer's Market.
Tickets are $30 each and can be purchased at New Copperfield's Book Service, a local independent bookstore located at 120 N. Side of Square (309-837-3052). Seating is limited. Purchase of tickets in advance is recommended. For more information, visit our website: www.macombfig.org or contact Vajo Necak at 309-837-2338 or firstname.lastname@example.org