IOGA has scheduled the following field days for 2012:
Sustainable Farm Practices
August 15, 2012, 6:00 PM
Andy Anderson Farm, 2190 N. 45th Rd, Leland, IL 60531
Andy has been slowly transitioning his small acreage into sustainable practices. Although he does not use organic practices many of his practices such as compost beds for raising vegetables and fruit, compost teas and a pollinator to encourage beneficial insects. In addition, Andy and his wife will welcome you to view the new pole structured workshop heated by geothermal and wood heat. This day is co-sponsored by IOGA and the University of Illinois Extension. Cost is free.
A Biological and Organic Farm System: A Road to Sustainability
Gary McDonald, Two Roads Farm, Assumption IL
August 25, 2012, 8:30 – 11:30 AM (please register by August 24)
Learn about biological proliferation, nitrogen fixation, using earthworms, cover crops, and other strategies for building and maintaining good soil. You will have the opportunity to tour the Two Roads Farm and enjoy refreshments featuring local farm products. This day is co-sponsored by IOGA and the University of Illinois Extension. The cost is $5.
Directions: Two Roads Farm is located 7 miles east of Assumption, IL on the Findlay blacktop then one mile south on 1200 East Road. Follow the signs to the Two Roads Farm Field Day.
There is no charge to attend, but please register by August 24 online at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cjmm or call University of Illinois Extension, Taylorville, IL (217) 287-7248.
Organic Grain Production, Soil Carbon Monitoring, and Cover Crops
Butler Farm Organics, 5430 South Malta Road, Malta, IL 60150
September 6, 12:30 – 4:30 PM
Fourth-generation farmer, Paul Butler and his son, Aaron (fifth generation) have more than 1600 acres in a rotation of corn, soybeans, wheat, oats and hay. Certified organic since 1997 and always looking to improve their organic system, they are conducting field trials of two new inputs for corn: organic seed-coating and soybean meal as a nitrogen source. Also, they are experimenting with tillage radishes as a cover crop for the first time this year, as well as the old tried and true cover crops of alfalfa and clover. The Butlers also have invested in an RTK guidance system to enhance their cultivating capabilities. They’ll talk about how the system is working out, share other details about what’s working on their farm and allow time for discussion about two on-farm research studies with the University of Illinois. The first, led by Michelle Wander, is studying carbon sequestration in organically managed soils withe two years of soil samples comparing organic to conventional soils; and, the second project, led by Dan Anderson, is studying the effects of cover crops on compaction. This field day provides plenty to think about for both new and experienced organic farmers who want to improve their operations. The day is co-sponsored by IOGA and the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES).
Pre-registration is requested but not required. Cost is free.
Farm to Table
Goodness Greeness, 5959 South Lowe, Chicago IL 60621
Uncommonground on Devon, 1401 West Devon Avenue Chicago IL 60660
September 10, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Tour the processing facilities at Goodness Greeness, which directly supplies organic produce to over 300 stores that include the region’s largest supermarkets and independent retailers. Learn about their expectations and relationships with growers. Lunch on your own at Uncommonground on Devon, a restaurant that sources local food, including that from their own Uncommondground Rooftop Farm. After lunch, tour Uncommonground Rooftop Farm, the first certified organic rooftop farm in the United States.
Cost: $10 plus purchase lunch on your own at Uncommonground. Preregistration required by August 31. Register here
Field and Wash Equipment for Small Vegetable Farmers; Organic Research Updates
University of IL Student Farm, Urbana IL
September 11, 2012, 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Demonstration of field and wash equipment for small vegetable farms, including: lay down weeder, water wheel transplanting system, multiple tool bar set up for Allis G Electric tractor and how it fits into system, commercial scale Jang seeder set up and use, multiple BCS walking tractor implement set up and system use, multiple irrigation schemes (drip, hard line, hand), and high tunnel specific tools. Tour the wash pack facility and learn about process of working toward GAP. View posters of current organic research from the University of Illinois. This day is co-sponsored by IOGA and ASAP, the Agro-Ecology and Sustainable Agriculture Program of the University of Illinois.
The Sustainable Student Farm is located near the intersection of Lincoln and Windsor road in Urbana. Lincoln turns into a gravel road at that point. You will see the farm’s sign on the fence, continue until you see the open gate on the left side of the gravel road.
Cost is free, but pre-registration is highly encouraged. Please register here
Organic Management for High Tunnel Systems
Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, Simpson IL
September 11, 2012, 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Learn more about organic management in high tunnel systems, including insect and disease control, with Jeff Kindhart, Senior Research Specialist at Dixon Springs Agricultural Center. John Pike, Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator, University of Illinois Extension, will share information about developing direct and commercial marketing strategies and Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator, University of Illinois Extension will discuss “Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) in Organics.