Date(s) - 06/12/2023
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Food Works and Southern Illinois Farming Alliance will host an in-person field day event at Illinois
Country Harvest on Monday, June 12th from 5:30-8:30 pm.
Prairie du Rocher, IL – Come join Southern Illinois Farming Alliance and Illinois Country Harvest of Prairie
du Rocher for an in person field day event on Monday June 12th from 5:30pm-8:30pm on Small Scale
Illinois Country Harvest is a sustainable, small, diverse farm located in southwestern Illinois, owned
and operated by Jason & Jennifer Duensing. They grow heritage grains including Rouge de Bordeaux
wheat and Cherokee White Eagle corn They also grow heirloom and native flowers, fruits and vegetables,
and raise heritage pigs using all natural, sustainable practices.
During the field day, they will provide tours of their small scale grain field areas and processes for
the goal of raising food grade grains. They will discuss their crop selection and all natural growing
practices such as seed saving, planting, harvesting, crop rotation and cover cropping. They will also be
displaying antique farm equipment that they use on the farm and talk about market avenues for their
grains. Also on site will be representatives from the following organizations The Artisan Grain
Collaborative, MidWest Grit, and Les Amis du Fort de Chartres, all of which have provided valuable
resources to Illinois Country Harvest and will discuss what they have to offer other small to midsize
farmers interested in growing grains.
Midwest GRIT (Grains Resource & Immersive Training) is a new USDA-funded program meant to
strengthen opportunities and outcomes for diverse small- and mid-size Midwest food-grade grain farmers.
A program of Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI), in partnership with the Artisan Grain
Collaborative (AGC) and The Organic Grain Resource and Information Network (OGRAIN), Midwest
GRIT supports farmers through three key areas: education, peer-to-peer learning and relationship
development, and resource sharing. GRIT Farmers support each other to gain new knowledge of organic
food-grade grain production and marketing, while also developing and/or strengthening mentoring skills
that will benefit their communities beyond the length and scope of this program and each individual
cohort. Educational programming will provide tools, hands-on education, and networking opportunities to
establish or expand on each participants’ existing agricultural enterprises and experience.
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) is a non-profit organization addressing the challenges of soil
fertility, water quality, climate resilience, food security and farm success through research, education and
Artisan Grain Collaborative (AGC) is a network of farmers, millers, maltsters, bakers, chefs, food
manufacturers, brewers, distillers, researchers, and advocates working together to promote a
regenerative grain shed in the Upper Midwest.
Organic Grain Resource & Information Network (OGRAIN) offers the latest organic grain research and
information generated by UW-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UW Extension, and
The Les Amis du Fort de Chartres Seed to Loaf project explores and celebrates the important
French Colonial wheat history of the region and creates discussion and educational opportunities for area
residents and tourists visiting the many historic and scenic sites to learn about the region’s wheat history.
From collection and analysis of flotation samples from the French Colonial Cahokia Wedge site, the
grains of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) were identified from early eighteenth-century deposits.
These bread wheat grain samples represent the earliest records for this introduced grain crop in the
Mississippi River Valley. To represent this history, we have chosen the heritage wheat variety of
Rouge de Bordeaux, a famous French wheat variety from late eighteenth-century to early
nineteenth-century French Colonial history. Illinois Country Harvest Heritage Farm and Gardens grows
this heritage grain locally.
Registration for this event will be limited. To register for this event please visit
https://www.fwsoil.org/field-days/. This event is family friendly and a potluck will follow the tour and
discussion. Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather for this outdoor event and be prepared
for uneven terrain throughout the farm. Bring a chair, beverage and a dish to share. Field days are a free
event for members of Food Works but a $10 suggested donation for non-member guests is greatly
The Southern Illinois Farming Alliance (SIFA) is a farmer-driven network, whose focus is to
encourage area farmers, gardeners, and local eaters to learn from one another and is just one of the
many programs Food Works offers. Food Works is a non-profit organization, dedicated to creating a
sustainable food economy in Southern Illinois. As a member of Food Works and SIFA you receive
access to our SIFA Facebook page, free access to local events such as field days, and receive a
monthly newsletter with farming news and education information to access.
If you have any questions about Food Works or want to learn more about any of Food Works
programs which include SIFA, Carbondale Community Farmers Market, Southern Illinois Farm
Beginnings, and the Southern Illinois Link Match Hub, go to www.fwsoil.org or feel free to contact
Jennifer Duensing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food Works is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to creating a sustainable food economy in Southern
Illinois. Through farmer training and consumer education, Food Works promotes long-term farming networks
that create healthy soils, healthy food, and healthy communities in the 23 counties that make up Southern