June 12, 2011: Openfields Farm Tour

U of I Extension Announces June 12 OPENFIELDS Farm Tour

University of Illinois Extension is working with producers in Northern Illinois to present the third annual Openfields Farm Tour on Sunday, June 12, from Noon to 5 p.m. Openfields Farm Tour is a rare, one-day opportunity in which participating farms collectively open their land and operations to the public, and visitors get a chance to tour and learn about each farm operation. This is a multiple site self-guided tour, and there is no charge to participate.

The Openfields Farm Tour presents an opportunity to visit area market gardens, CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), and on-farm operations, and learn more about the local foods system in northern Illinois. Participants will meet the producers and learn about their farms, products and passion for what they do. Openfields provides an opportunity to ask questions and learn about market scale production, farming and CSA’s. Connections between the grower and consumer are often limited to conversations at farmer’s markets or farm. Openfields Farm Tour will provide an opportunity for all to make connections and learn from each other.

The University of Illinois Extension is working with area producers to support the local food system in Northern Illinois. The Local Foods Directory-Northern Illinois was recently updated and currently available on the U of I-Winnebago County website. 100 producers are listed in this directory along with 13 area farmers markets. A second directory, compiled by the Northwest Illinois Audubon Society and U of I Extension-Stephenson County, lists 38 local farms in Northwestern Illinois. Extension also provides support and training opportunities to farmers, farmer’s market managers and area restaurants interested in sourcing local food.

To download an Openfields Farm Tour map, or for more information on programs and events related to local foods, please visit www.extension.illinois.edu/winnebago, or call 815-986-4357.

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