Friday, May 23, 2014

Oh, shiitake!

Love mushrooms? Wish you could grow your own? Join Jill Niewoehner at this year's conference for an exciting overview of growing shiitake mushrooms in logs in the urban landscape.

"With a little TLC, a little shade and a healthy dose of water you will have mushrooms in six to twelve months that will continue to fruit for years to come," says Jill. "Homegrown mushrooms are delicious and fun to grow!"

Jill and her husband, Daniel have been raising kids, chickens and veggies in their yard in Oak Park since 2006. You can visit her online at

Friday, May 16, 2014

Want to sell your homegrown veggies, meat, milk, or other products?

It is virtually impossible to produce exactly the amount of food that you need, whether you are talking about tomatoes, eggs, or meat. What can you do with the dozens of extra eggs or zucchini you have? Can you just sell the eggs and zucchini, or can you make zucchini bread and make a better profit? Even if you have only one sow, she will have eight or more piglets, and most families can't consume that much pork in a year -- and a sow could have two litters a year! What can you do with the other piglets or pork? And what if you have more manure or compost than you need for your garden?

Wes King, executive director of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance and co-author of Guide to Illinois Laws Governing Direct Farm Marketing: For Farmers and Other Food Entrepreneurs will give you the scoop on what you can sell and where you can sell it, as well as the legal requirements. Beyond executive management functions, the focus of his work is developing and monitoring sustainable agriculture and local food related legislation in Springfield and at the Federal Level. In addition, Wes is working on organizing and building the capacity of grassroots stakeholders to influence food and farm related policy decisions.