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Local Food Frontier

Follow the growing local movement in central Illinois from field to fork
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And the Golden Beet goes too…

University of Illinois Extension-Livingston, McLean & Woodford Local Foods & Small Farms Educator, Bill Davison is a 2016 recipient of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance's Golden Beet Award for Local Food Innovators. According to the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, "The Golden Beet Awards, now in their 6th year, are awarded by the Alliance to highlight progressive local food pract...

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U of I Extension Educator - Bill Davison

Seeds from Soldiers' and Sailors' Days

Posted by Reid Young -

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – On a blustery, spitting day in November, volunteers were completing winter preparation work at the Refuge Food Forest at One Normal Plaza Park. The day's plan called for caging and wrapping young trees, but dropping temperatures made the nimble work difficult. Instead, volunteers donned gloves and weeded beds, and in turn, made a surprising discovery. The food forest...

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Participatory Plant Breeding for Organic Staple Crops in Illinois

Participatory Plant Breeding for Organic Staple Crops in Illinois BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – A diverse coalition is working to rebuild a viable regional food system for staple crops in Illinois. The Grand Prairie Grain Guild began as a Facebook group sharing ideas about growing diverse varieties of small grains. Soon the members, comprised of Universi...

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More Illinois Farmers See Organic Production as a Way to Add Value

With more than $2 million in infrastructure development and investments, and in collaboration with researchers and professional corn breeders, the Grand Prairie Grain Guild is helping farmers in Illinois adopt more sustainable practices. A project of University of Illinois Extension, Local Food Systems Educator, Bill Davison, sees a variety of factors are coming together that will break through...

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Horticulture and Nature Gifts for the Holidays

"Do you have a plant nerd or 'hortiholic' on your buy-for list this holiday season? Here are some plant gifts that will lead them further down the rabbit hole into the wondrous world of horticulture," says University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. Make a succulent garden with your own personal touch. Buy a shallow pot that is no more than 3 t...

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University of Illinois Dining Services to Source More Local Foods

"The students want to know the story behind the food. Sales increase when there's a story behind a dish," said Dawn Aubrey, Associate Director of Housing for Dining Services, at a recent local food workshop at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. That is good news for Illinois farmers. College foodservice is the birthplace of food trends and increasing university student demand for l...

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Summer Series of Organic Grain Field Days, Part 2

Ag Lender Cites Organic Commodities as Less Risky than Conventional Changes to federal crop insurance over the past few years have put organic commodity growers in a territory that most conventional growers would envy: low risk to lenders. According to Richard Ritter of Flanagan State Bank, organic farmers are generating "more consistent income, more annual net income,...

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