Field Days

2024 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. 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

2024 Field Days Schedule:

Noah Scalero of Beet Root Farm

Growing Intensively for Market on a Small Scale
May 20th @ 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 Ellen Esling, 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.
Register Here!

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Past Field Days - 2024

Apple Tree Grafting

Apple Tree Grafting Workshop: Cultivating Resilience and Diversity in Southern Illinois
March 19th @ Scratch Brewery

Join our apple tree grafting workshop led by One Circle-Eco Farm and Scratch Brewery. Learn to propagate apple trees through grafting and gain access to bio-regionally adapted apple genetics.

At the workshop, participants will learn about the history and benefits of grafting and watch demonstrations of several types of grafts, including the whip and tongue. You will also learn how to cut scion wood, grow your own rootstock, and graft other types of fruit trees.

Workshop, $20 per person, includes one self-grafted tree. Additional trees are $5 each. (limit 5 additional trees)
Thank you to all who joined us!

Past Field Days - 2023

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!

Transitioning to Organic Production with Rodale Institute
Dec 7th @ SIU Small Business Development Center

Food Works of Southern Illinois and Rodale Institute invite you to join us Thurs, Dec 7th from 1-5 PM at the SIU Small Business Development Center in Carbondale, IL for a workshop on transitioning to organic production. This workshop will be presented to fit the needs of farms in the southern Illinois region and funded through the USDA Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP). It will be facilitated by Rodale Institute Organic Consultant, Nic Podoll. 
Thank you to all who joined us!

Previous Topics Covered

Creating, Diversifying, and Protecting Pollinator Habitat
Climate Change and its Impacts on Agriculture in Southern Illinois
Preserving the Harvest- Intro to Canning
Low Till/No Till Vegetable Production
Chainsaws: Basics, Tree Trimming & Felling Demonstration
Constructing a High Tunnel and Planning for Winter Vegetable Production
Solar Energy for Small Farms
Enemies and Allies: Insect Identification and Management Practices for a Diverse Organic Garden Ecosystem
Beekeeping Basics for Southern Illinois
Permaculture: Planning for Berms and Swales
Food Works is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a sustainable food economy in Southern Illinois.
(618) 370-3287[email protected]
Food Works
PO Box 3855
Carbondale, IL 62901
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