Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network workshop in May
April 9, 2012
  • /Agricultural and Consumer Economics
  • /Animal Sciences
  • /Crop Sciences
Learn about equipment for small farmers, soil fertility and getting your plants off to a good start, and biodynamics at a workshop organized by the Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network (CISFN).

To start the workshop, Marty, Kris, and Will Travis (Spence Farm) will present information about the function and use of tractors and other implements, including a bale mulcher, crop cart, tractor tiller, converted horse drawn cultivators, and a potato planter. They will show how to set up a small farm inexpensively using older-style equipment while also being innovative with newer equipment.

After lunch, join noted crop consultant Bob Boehle (Boehle Consulting, Bloomington, Ill.) as he conducts a "walk and talk" through the production areas at Spence Farm. Learn how to look for signs of fertility deficiency and crop stress, and find out what might be barriers to growing outstanding nutrient-rich produce. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers concerning your crops.

Alex Weber (Live Springs Farm, Carrollton, Ill.) will provide an overview of biodynamics and talk about "the farm as a self-sustaining organism." Alex will also share information about biodynamic preparations and will provide a hands-on demonstration. Marty Travis will share his experience with the biodynamic planting calendar.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, May 12 from 10 a.m.—3 p.m., with registration from 9:30—10 a.m. at Spence Farm, 2959 N 2100 E, Fairbury, Ill. (Livingston County). For more information and to register, visit https://webs.extension.uiuc.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=6646 or contact Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at cvnghgrn@illinois.edu, 217-782-4617.

The Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network's mission is to promote the development of local food systems in central Illinois through farmer support and training. Network members are committed to sustainable farming and are willing to share knowledge and participate in learning opportunities. Programming for CISFN is facilitated by the University of Illinois Extension and The Land Connection, with direction provided by an Advisory Group of Central Illinois farmers.