A holiday wreath hangs on red barn doors

Imagine owning and running the business of your dreams, and not being in control of one of the most stressful aspects of a business: the cost of production. For many, this situation is not a fantasy, it is a reality.

According to recent USDA data, farm sector production expenses for farmers both large and small are almost 18 percent higher on average compared with this time last year.

In an environment of 40-year-high-inflation, farmers are experiencing increased risk in two of the five USDA-recognized categories of risk:

Green, red and white tomatoes

A full return to farmer's market season is upon us. Producers have faced many hurdles in the past few years; they are relying on your support to stay in business. This article is a refresher to local farmer’s markets in McLean county, in case you have fallen out of the loop in recent years. Here you will find market locations, times of each market, and their date ranges. Folks in other counties are encouraged to get in touch with their town to see what markets are nearby.  

Stacked pumpkins in front of a hay bale

Celebrating the year’s crops with a Thanksgiving feast has been a tradition for over 400 years. Likely in 1621, individuals fed their families and communities by growing vegetables in the field. This past summer, Illinois residents went to farmer's markets despite pandemic conditions as America continues to demand locally sourced vegetables and increased access to healthy food.  

Beets, parsnip, squash and apples

Being thankful for our families has a new meaning this year, and the feast should be spectacular. Let’s add a sometimes-missing ingredient this year: the love that a local grower, baker, or cook puts into their product.

My role in the Thanksgiving meal is to procure ingredients and I challenge myself to buy mostly fresh local ingredients for the big meal.