Farm Beginnings Facilitator
Margie Sawicki facilitates the Southern Illinois Farm Beginnings program and writes grants for Food Works. She owns Acorn Ridge Farm, a small permaculture farm near Dongola, Illinois. Figs, asparagus and elderberries are her primary focus with herbs, summer berries, flowers and other fruits used to fill in the gaps. She completed the Southern Illinois Farm Beginnings program in 2017 and the University of Illinois New Illinois Fruit and Vegetable Farmers program in 2016. Following sustainable farming practices, she grows for market, produces handcrafted herbal products and most recently started a cottage food operation.
Margie is a retired registered dietitian and returned to southern Illinois in 2017 after teaching at Saint Louis University (SLU) for nearly 25 years. A graduate of SIU-C, she became a community dietitian, participated in federally funded research grants and joined a team of faculty at SLU to establish an urban farm focused on organic principles, sustainability, and permaculture. She studied public policy, continued teaching and mentoring in sustainable agriculture. Since 2000, Marjorie has been actively involved in farmers’ markets, farm-to-school and farm-to-table programming, culinary/gardening camps for kids, growing food to reduce heart disease risk in the Missouri Bootheel, and creating a an urban permaculture orchard. She provided public service to the Illinois Local Food, Farms & Jobs Council, Illinois Cottage Food Act Task Force and the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity.