The Farm Beginnings Collaborative is a network of Farm Beginnings™ training programs that are 1) farmer led; 2) community based; and 3) focused on sustainable growers.
From its humble beginnings in a dairy barn in Minnesota more than 20 years ago by a group of farmers calling themselves the “Wabasha County Give a Damns”, it has grown. Its founders wanted to get young people back to the farm and help them make it. The idea grew with organizational support from the Land Stewardship Project, a Minnesota nonprofit. For the whole story, read this piece the Minnesota Post: https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2008/03/farm-beginnings-leads-happy-endings-land.
Over the past two decades, Farm Beginnings™ programs have grown to include 14 regions of the country from North Dakota to North Carolina, Maine to Nebraska. Food Works was accepted as the southernmost Illinois program in 2011. The Land Connection offers Farm Beginnings™ in central Illinois. Angelic Organics Learning Center, whose program is one of the oldest in the network, offers the Stateline Farm Beginnings program in northern Illinois/Wisconsin.
Each program is rooted in its region, informed by local farmers with local wisdom, and strengthened by a national network that shares the most effective tools. The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association is the newest organization to join the Farm Beginnings Collaborative. Member group Grow NYC is pioneering teaching beginning farmers in the urban setting of New York City while programs in the Dakotas and northern Minnesota share strategies for dealing with low density population areas. Beginning farmers in the program learn to keep good farm records, develop a business plan, evaluate enterprise profitability, protect resources , market effectively, and maintain sustainability.
Organizations involved in Farm Beginnings are committed to sustainable farms and food. Farm Beginnings has nurtured thousands of new farmers and is poised to train thousands more within the next decade to meet the demand for new stewards of food and land.
Our friends at Regenerate Illinois have posted a blog in the forum reflecting on a monoculture landscape. We want to share it with you: https://www.regenerateillinois.org/forum/regenerative-farming/crop-livestock-reintegration
The farmers, guests, Coop staff, and volunteers all worked together to bring you the 2017 Farm Crawl. Flyway Farm (mushrooms) welcomed 139 guests during the Crawl on Sunday. Other farms welcomed 20-60 people despite Saturday's high temps and Sunday's unforeseen (but welcome) rain.
September 16-17th 2017 Visit 13 area farms for $20/carload from 1-6 p.m.. Get your passes, make your plan, grab your water bottle, hat and the kids - but leave the pets at home! You can get more info at: http://www.neighborhood.coop/component/k2/item/3697-co-op-farm-crawl
Here are some images from previous Crawls.
#localfood #craftbeer #Ava #SouthernIllinois #agroforestry #agroecology #permaculture
People curious about the the possibilities of a rich, productive farm landscape without vast monoculture crops are encouraged to attend the first Food Film Series offering Friday, July 7th at Scratch Brewery in Ava, Illinois.
In July, Food Works and Scratch are hosting a movie night every Friday and the first film, Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective, shows small and large examples of a farm model that renews the land, preserves biodiversity and partners effectively with nature.
"You will be inspired by the life-affirming possibilities shown in this film whether you have only a kitchen flower pot or a thousand acres," said Kathleen Logan Smith, Food Works Executive Director.
“It’s a feast for the eyes and filling food for thought.”
Films will be shown at dusk at Scratch Brewery at 264 Thompson Rd in Ava, Illinois.
The other films in the series focus on food sovereignty and security. They are: Seed: The Untold Story (July 14); American Meat (July 21); and Greening the Revolution (July 28).
There is no charge for admission. A $5 donation is suggested.
Saturday, May 13th at 1 p.m.
Join Food Works as we tour SIU-Carbondale's Fermentation Sciences Institute. Explore with us this Illinois asset for engaging the next generation of wine, beer, cider and food artisans. We're looking forward to learning more about how the Institute advances food and agriculture in Southern Illinois.
Watch your emails for details on location and parking. Are you coming? Let us know below or call: 618-370-3287 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There's no charge for this event. Just let us know you're coming!
You have another opportunity to get to know the land and its fruits this spring with Food Works. We started with the Tour at Orlandini Vineyard on April 30th and are moving on to Owl Creek Winery & Cidery on Sunday, May 7th. Dress for the weather! Boots are advised if it's wet; hats if it's sunny. These are a good way to prep for the tour of the Fermentation Sciences Institute at SIUC on May 13th! These are free for Food Works members - so JOIN today!