Common Ground Gathering
Landowners and sustainable farmers are invited to attend the Common Ground Gathering on Thursday, June 8 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Soulful Prairies Farm, 4706 Alden Road in Woodstock. Registration is required at $10 per person. Space is limited so register by June 1 at www.libertyprairie.org.
“It’s not easy for sustainable farmers to find the right land with the right lease arrangements,” said Linda Balek of The Land Conservancy of McHenry County. “Sustainable farming is all about building the life of the soil. That takes time. So the sustainable farmer needs longer leases than will work for regular corn and soybean farming.”
The Common Ground Gathering will be a social event that will help make connections between sustainable farmers and landowners who share common values about the land and how it is farmed. Landowners who are interested in leasing land to sustainable farmers are invited to attend the event, along with farmers who wish to connect with landowners.
The event will begin with the sharing of a couple of real-life stories from farmers and landowners who have made connections and formed successful working relationships.
Nick Choate-Batchelder and Becky Stark from Midnight Sun Farm in Harvard worked out a lease agreement with Tom Perry, an investor who bought the farm at their request so they could grow organic vegetables and raise free-range livestock there.
Kristen Jurcek is grazing beef cattle on her family’s farm while also leasing out land to a beginning farmer who is incorporating fruit and nut trees on the same farm. Their stories will shed some light on how farmers and landowners who share similar values can be successful together.
The event will offer time to meet and talk with landowners and farmers who are also attending. Sustainable farmers of all kinds are being invited – grains, vegetables, pasture-raised livestock, and agroforestry.
“It’s going to be a fun evening,” said Balek. “There will be appetizers and locally brewed beer, and people will have the chance to connect around local food and community.”
Six organizations are partnering to offer this event; The Land Conservancy of McHenry County, Liberty Prairie Foundation, University of Illinois Extension, Angelic Organics Learning Center, Openlands and American Farmland Trust. For more information regarding the event contact Linda Balek at The Land Conservancy, 815-337-9502.
Thursday, June 8 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Soulful Prairies, Alden Road, Woodstock, IL, United States