With summer coming into full force, I am in full preparation mode for Farm Beginnings. This October will mark the 13th class of new farmers that The Land Connection has ushered into their new careers! It is such a privilege to help prepare new farmers for starting their local food businesses.
This year, I am planning some updates to the Farm Beginnings curriculum. Firstly, I am incorporating new activities for teaching financial record keeping. This summer, I had the opportunity to work with The Land Stewardship Project on a webinar on crafting balance sheets. This was a great experience and I uncovered some great materials to add to Farm Beginnings for this module.
Secondly, I plan to update our marketing module. This year staff members of The Land Connection have attended some wonderful conferences: Acres USA, Routes to Farm, Good Food Festival. And, this August, I will be traveling to Duluth, Minnesota for the summer gathering of the Farm Beginnings Collaborative. Marketing has been a hot topic at all of these gatherings and I will be incorporating some great ideas gleaned from these experiences to use in Farm Beginnings.
And lastly, for the first time in Central Illinois Farm Beginnings history, I am including a module on agroecology! We will be exploring the basics of soil health and holistic ecosystem management as a formal component to Farm Beginnings! The great thing about agroecology is that the principles are the same no matter what products you are growing.
July is a perfect time to apply for our fall class. If you want to learn more about Farm Beginnings, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-840-2128. There is one more chance to explore farming options at Farm Dreams on August 14 at Spence Farm in Fairbury, Illinois.
“It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s delectable, it’s delirious, it’s dilemma, it’s de limit, it’s deluxe, it’s de-lovely…” (about farming to the tune of Cole Porter’s It’s De-lovely)