Farm Crawl Meal Kits

Explore the flavor of Southern Illinois from your own kitchen &
help grow sustainable farmers in our foodshed.

This year, the Farm Crawl went virtual and we partnered with the online farmers market LEAF to bring a taste of Southern Illinois straight to your home with Local Meal Kits. Customers expanded their cooking horizons with recipes created by local food educator and writer Dr. Niki Davis featuring seasonal, unique foods produced by small scale, sustainable family farmers. We gathered together the local farm fresh ingredients for each recipe- customers just added a few pantry ingredients to get cooking! Each kit came with a recipe card and a link to a video cooking demonstration. On the final night of the Farm Crawl, Friday, October 9th at 6:30pm, Niki shared about her exploration of food and family heritage in her blog Rooted in Foods, and viewers had a chance to ask her all their culinary questions!
Food Works is proud to partner with the Neighborhood Co-op to host the annual Farm Crawl. Get details on this year's Virtual Crawl and register at:
​The Farm Crawl is an annual fundraiser for Food Works. We count on these funds to help new farmers entering the field through our Southern Illinois Farm Beginnings program. Enjoy a taste of the farm in your own kitchen and support the growth of sustainable farming in Southern Illinois at the same time!
Spiced Winter Squash Dip with Caramelized Onions over Toasted Sourdough Rounds
Warm roasted acorn squash and slowly caramelized onions blend together in this spicy-sweet vegetable dip. Served with toasted sourdough rounds. Serves 
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Roasted Beet & Chevre Flatbread with Fresh Mixed Greens
A handmade 12-inch sourdough flatbread made with wild yeast from southern Illinois and Janie’s Mill flour, baked with roasted beets & fresh local goat chevre, and topped with certified organic mixed baby greens and basil finishing salt.
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Farm Fresh Pasta with Gourmet Mushrooms and Kale
Gourmet mushrooms, onions, garlic, and organic kale combine in a savory sauce tossed with handmade fusilli pasta. This hearty plant-based entree will feed 4 generously, or serve it as a side and feed 6 or more.
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Roasted Duck with Autumn Plum Shrub Sauce & Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes
Local pasture-raised duck roasted with fresh herbs and served with crispy baby gold potatoes and a tangy autumn plum shrub sauce. A romantic entree for two.
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Plum Apple Sangria with Fresh Orange Thyme
Autumn Plum Shrub and fresh orange thyme add depth to this fresh fruit sangria. Can be made with your favorite semi-sweet red wine, or make it non-alcoholic with sparkling grape juice or non-alcoholic sparkling rosé.
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Apple Fire Cider Mule
This spicy apple rum drink can be served hot or cold. Makes two drinks + a little extra Glacier's End Fire Cider to keep you warm!
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Rustic Local Apple Galette
Sliced apples from Lipe Orchard, folded inside a flaky crust made with organic flour from Janie's Mill, and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. This gallette is vegan and completely cooked. Place on a cookie sheet and warm in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes or serve at room temperature.
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Candy-Roasted Tomato Salad

NOTE: These ingredients are NOT included in the meal kit. Dr. Niki Davis created this impromptu side dish using some leftover meal kit ingredients and grape tomatoes she had in her fridge. Try it with the Roast Duck with Autumn Plum Sauce and Duck Fat Roasted Baby Gold Potatoes- right from your own kitchen.
-1 cup grape tomatoes
-2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
-3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
-2 teaspoons sugar
-½ teaspoon salt
-3 cups mixed greens
While the duck and potatoes are roasting, roast your tomatoes. This will give them time to cool before serving. Place the cherry tomatoes in a bowl and toss with the olive oil, thyme leaves, sugar, and salt. Roast for 15-18 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to split apart. Toss the mixed greens in the olive oil then top with the roasted tomatoes prior to serving.

About Dr. Niki Davis

A self-proclaimed food geek, Dr. Niki Davis was born into a family of great cooks who appreciate food for bringing people together. Her parents owned a popular Italian restaurant when she was a child and she credits these childhood years for her love of all things food. Watching cooking shows in the 1980s like Yan Can Cook and spend the noon-hour with Mr. Foods on CBS news cemented her love affair with cooking.

A Professor of Practice in the SIU Hospitality, Tourism, and Event Management program, Niki spent her teen years traveling with her parents to experience food and culture in a way only travel can. Her family was culinary travelers long before the tourism industry had a name for foodies.

Niki built her career around her love of food. In the last 18 years, she has taught students of all ages about food and cooking whether in her classes at SIU or through her various community activities. In 2013, she launched Rooted in Foods (, a personal blog combining her passions for food and family heritage. Today, she continues her passion by writing a weekly column for The Southern Illinoisan newspaper’s TASTE page and their quarterly Life & Style magazine. ​

A Southern Illinois native, Niki lives in Carbondale with her husband Jeff and their daughter, Phoebe. She has three fur-babies - Milla Jo, Sugar, and Betha - and she enjoys cooking for them all!
Food Works is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a sustainable food economy in Southern Illinois.
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PO Box 3855
Carbondale, IL 62901
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