Field Days

2024 Field Days

Field Days provide an excellent opportunity for small farmers, homesteaders, and home gardeners to connect and learn from one another. During the event, the hosts will guide the group on a brief farm tour, with a focus on a particular successful or challenging aspect of production that they can share with the group. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and share their own experiences during the event.

Field Days are free and open to the public, and a donation of $10 is appreciated but not required. Registration is mandatory, and you can RSVP either by visiting or calling (618) 370-3287.

Field Days are organized by the Southern Illinois Farming Alliance, which is a program of Food Works (, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to promote long-term farming networks that create healthy soils, healthy food, and healthy communities across the 23 counties that comprise Southern Illinois.

2024 Field Days Schedule:

Main Street Pastures Pasture Walk - July 2024

Pasture Walk
July 19th @ Main Street Pastures, St. Rose, IL

Join us for a free event at Main Street Pastures in St. Rose, IL to learn about multi-species grazing and direct meat marketing.
Click here for additional information and to register.
Beekeeping 101 Illinois Extension

Bee Keeping 101
August 15th @ University of Illinois Extension, Murphysboro

Beekeeping is a multifaceted practice that offers numerous benefits to individuals, communities, and the environment. Illinois Extension is teaming up with Food Works of Southern Illinois to offer a beekeeping 101 course as part of the modern homesteading series.
Click here for additional information and to register.

Additional field days coming. Keep in touch:

Click here to sign up for our Field Notes newsletter.

Past Field Days - 2024

Apple Tree Grafting

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

We are grateful to everyone who attended the apple tree grafting workshop led by One Circle-Eco Farm and Scratch Brewery. It was a great learning experience for all of us. Participants got the opportunity to learn about the history and benefits of grafting, and they also watched demonstrations of several types of grafts.

At the workshop, we discussed how to cut scion wood, grow your own rootstock, and graft other types of fruit trees. It was an exciting day where we shared our knowledge and love for apple trees.

We want to thank everyone who participated in the workshop and hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did. We hope that you will continue to propagate apple trees through grafting and gain access to bio-regionally adapted apple genetics. Thank you again for making it a successful event!

View More!
Noah Scalero of Beet Root Farm

Growing Intensively for Market on a Small Scale
May 20th @ Beet Root Farm

Noah Scalero from Beet Root Farm gave visitors a tour of his farm and discussed his no-till methods for managing his acreage. He also explained how they used crop planning to grow intensively for profit on a small scale and shared his experience starting a farm from raw land. Beet Root Farm offered over 30 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers to their CSA members and the Carbondale Farmers Market.

In addition, Ellen Esling from Food Works was available to talk about the new Food Works Mobile Farmers Market. This mobile farmers market aimed to connect communities in the southern 13 counties by providing locally-sourced, fresh foods and sustainable products. It offered a new way for communities with limited access to farmers markets and grocery stores to access fresh, nutrient-dense foods, while also providing local farmers with a sales platform that took less time away from the farm.
View More!

Past Field Days - 2023

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

In April 2023, we hosted a Field Day event in Pomona, IL, centered around a discussion on biochar and a tour of Angie’s Farm. The Kuehl Family showcased their experiments with biochar to improve soil quality in their family garden and demonstrated how to make biochar in your backyard. Attendees also learned about research on biochar, organic pest control, and soil health from Alex Barnes, who had researched biochar at SIU. After the farm tour and demonstration, a potluck was held, and attendees could purchase local honey from Angie’s farm. The event offered a wonderful opportunity for people to learn about sustainable and organic farming practices and connect with others who share the same interests.
View more!

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

In May 2023, we participated in a discussion about food forests, planted and foraged perennials at La Colina Linda Farms located in Cobden, Illinois. La Colina Linda Farms, also known as LCL, is a MOSA certified organic farm that is owned and operated by Kathy Ward and Jerry Kinser. Their specialization is planting and foraging perennial herbs for market and value-added products using vegan inputs and practices. Noah Scalero, Illinois FarmLink Navigator for The Land Connection, was also present during the event to provide information on their land access services connecting landowners and farmers. The day concluded with a vegan-only potluck, and La Colina Linda LLC had herbal tea samples available during the event as well as some of their value-added products for sale.

View more!

Small Scale Grains
June 12th @ Illinois Country Harvest

In June, a Field Day was organized at Illinois Country Harvest in Prairie du Rocher, IL. The event aimed to discuss and provide a tour of small-scale grains. Illinois Country Harvest is a sustainable, diverse farm that grows heritage grains, heirlooms, and native flowers, fruits, and vegetables. They also raise heritage pigs. The farm was the perfect location for the event, and representatives from The Artisan Grain Collaborative, MidWest Grit, and Les Amis du Fort de Chartres participated and provided valuable resources to Illinois Country Harvest. The event focused on sustainable farming practices and provided a great opportunity for farmers to network with other like-minded individuals and learn more about growing grains.

View More!
Glaciers End

Cottage Food & Beyond
July 24th @ Glaciers End

This July field day focused on Cottage Foods, which allowed 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 talked about their experiences in this area, as they were both very involved with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance and the writing and advocacy of the Home-to-Market Act, which expanded where Cottage Food businesses could sell (including on-line shipping within Illinois). They also discussed the process for expanding into a Commercial Kitchen. There was a tour of their new space and they had their products available during the event for tastings and for sale.

Nathan Ryder, Communications Coordinator at Illinois Stewardship Alliance, and Whitney Miller of the Local Foods Program at the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs also joined the event and shared their insights. It was a great opportunity for everyone to learn more about Cottage Foods and how they can benefit from it.
View More!

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

Food Works of Southern Illinois and Rodale Institute invited farmers and interested individuals to attend a workshop on transitioning to organic production. The workshop was held on Thursday, December 7th from 1-5 PM at the SIU Small Business Development Center in Carbondale, IL. It was specifically designed to fit the needs of farms in the southern Illinois region and was funded through the USDA Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP). The workshop was facilitated by Rodale Institute Organic Consultant, Nic Podoll.
View More!

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
Copyright 2024 Food Works