Field Days

2023 Field Days

Field Days are a great opportunity for small farmers, homesteaders, and home gardeners to network and learn from their fellow food growers. During the field day, hosts will lead the group on a short farm tour, focusing in on one topic or element of production that has been a success or challenge that they can share with the group. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and share experiences during the event.   

Field days are open to the public and free for members of the Southern Illinois Farming Alliance and Food Works. A $10 donation is suggested for non-members. Registration is encouraged but not required. RSVP at or by calling (618) 370-3287
Field Days are hosted by the Southern Illinois Farming Alliance, a project of Food Works (, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes long-term farming networks that create healthy soils, healthy food, and healthy communities in the 23 counties that make up Southern
Illinois. This event is created in partnership with the IDEA Farm Network ( a learning community of farmers, scientists, advocates, food entrepreneurs and consumers to advance regenerative agriculture.

2023 Field Days Schedule:

Biochar for Small Farms
April 17th @ Angie's Farm

Join us for a discussion about biochar and a tour of Angie's Farm in Pomona, IL. The Kuehl Family has experimented with biochar to enrich the soil in their family garden, and they will demonstrate how to make biochar in your backyard. We will also learn about research on biochar, soil health, and organic pest control from Alex Barnes, who researched biochar at SIU. A potluck follows the farm tour and demonstration, and Angie's farm will also have local honey for sale. 

Thank you to all who joined us!

Food Forests, Planted and Foraged Perennial Herbs, May 21st @ La Colina Linda

Join us for a discussion about food forests, planted and foraged Perennials at La Colina Linda Farms in Cobden, IL. La Colina Linda Farms LCL is a MOSA Certified  Organic farm owned and operated by Kathy Ward & Jerry Kinser. They specialize in planting and foraging perennial herbs for market and value-added products using vegan inputs and practices. Also joining us is Noah Scalero, Illinois FarmLink Navigator for The Land Connection, who will be available during the event to provide information on their land access services connecting landowners and farmers. A vegan-only potluck will follow, and La Colina Linda LLC will have herbal tea samples available during the event and will have some of their value-added products for sale.

Thank you to all who joined us!

Small Scale Grains
June 12th @ Illinois Country Harvest

Join us for a discussion and tour about small-scale grains at Illinois Country Harvest in Prairie du Rocher, IL. Illinois Country Harvest is a sustainable, small, diverse farm located in southwestern Illinois, owned and operated by Jason & Jennifer Duensing. They grow heritage grains, heirlooms and native flowers, fruits, and vegetables and raise heritage pigs. Also joining will be representatives from the following organizations The Artisan Grain Collaborative, MidWest Grit, and Les Amis du Fort de Chartres, all of which have provided valuable resources to Illinois Country Harvest and will discuss what they have to offer other small-to-midsize farmers interested in growing grains.

Thank you to all who joined us!
Glaciers End

Cottage Food & Beyond
July 24th @ Glaciers End

This field day will focus on Cottage Foods, which allows growers and food entrepreneurs to prepare certain foods and beverages in their home kitchen and sell directly to consumers. Glaciers End, Libby and Derek Ervin will talk about their experiences in this area as they both have been very involved with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance and the writing and advocacy of the Home-to-Market Act, which expanded where Cottage Food businesses can sell (including on-line shipping within Illinois). They will also discuss the process for expanding into a Commercial Kitchen. There will be a tour of their new space and they will have their products available during the event for tastings and for sale.

Also joining us will be Nathan Ryder, Communications Coordinator at Illinois Stewardship Alliance, and Whitney Miller of the Local Foods Program at the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs.

Thank you to all who joined us!

Growing Intensively for Market on a Small Scale
Aug 13th @ Beet Root Farm

Noah Scalero of Beet Root Farm will give visitors a tour of his farm and talk about how they manage their acreage using no-till methods. Noah will also explain how they use crop planning to grow intensively for profit on a small scale. He will also talk about his experience starting a farm from raw land and all the components that go into that. His farm provides over 30 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers to our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members and to the Carbondale Farmers Market. 

Also joining is Food Works' own Karen Jensen-Britton, who will be on hand to discuss the new Food Works Mobile Farmers Market. This mobile farmers market fosters connections among communities in the southern 13 counties by offering locally-sourced, fresh foods and products produced in a sustainable manner. The mobile farmers market offers a new avenue for communities with limited access to farmers markets and grocery stores to access fresh, nutrient dense foods and it also provides local farmers with a sales platform that takes less time away from the farm.

September: TBD

Past Field Days

Creating, Diversifying, and Protecting Pollinator Habitat
Climate Change and its Impacts on Agriculture in Southern Illinois
Herbicide Injury: Identifying the Symptoms & Reporting the Damage
Low Till/No Till Vegetable Production
Silvopasture, Water Catchments and Farm Transitions
Constructing a High Tunnel and Planning for Winter Vegetable Production
Preserving the Harvest- Intro to Canning
Enemies and Allies: Insect Identification and Management Practices for a Diverse Organic Garden Ecosystem
Chainsaws: Basics, Tree Trimming & Felling Demonstration
Permaculture: Planning for Berms and Swales
Solar Energy for Small Farms
Beekeeping Basics for Southern Illinois
Food Works is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a sustainable food economy in Southern Illinois.
Food Works
PO Box 3855
Carbondale, IL 62901
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