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What . . .
is terroir?
is local food?
are food miles?
is a locavore?
does sustainable mean?

Top 10 foods to . . .
source locally
grow at home


Learn More:

The Geography
of Flavor: Bringing
a European Idea Down to Earth: Producers, Farmers Pin Hopes on the Appeal of 'Terroir'

Eating Your Veggies:
Not As Good For You?

Food miles are
less important to
environment than
food choices

Food That Travels Well

Shoppers Willing
to Pay Premium
for Locally Grown Food

How to Pick a Peach
by Russ Parsons

Animal, Vegetable,
Miracle: A Year of
Food Life
by Barbara Kingsolver

The Taste of Place
by Amy Trubek

Your Bounty


Rediscovering a Midwestern way of life
By Gina Edwards,

In the Midwest, we are surrounded by undulating fields of green speckled with spots of red barns and stark white farmhouses. Growing up, we’d spend an hour in the car whizzing through these hills and vales on the way to my grandparents’ farm – only slowing down to pass through small towns that you’d miss if you blinked.

My grandma raised chickens and we always had fresh eggs. Her orchard overflowed with jewel-toned cherries, fuzzy skinned peaches and apples just waiting to be made into pie. There were gooseberries so tart you thought your cheeks would never get unstuck from puckering. Grapes drooped from vines knowing their little skins would eventually squish open to yield jars of grape jam and glasses of dry, tart homemade juice.

Each fall, acres of homegrown popcorn would be harvested and cobs banged against each other to release piles of pearl and gold kernels that we couldn’t wait to pop and drizzle with butter. It was magical, and apparently rare.

It’s something I always took for granted. Today, those popcorn fields have been turned into acres of field corn, the grape vines long ago turned into wreaths and the garden plot is covered with crabgrass.  And I, like a lot of Americans, am thinking what have I done? Where is my food coming from? What can I do differently? 

. . . more


Wine and Cheese . . . enjoy local varietals

It was 230 years ago at La Ville de Maillet when vintners from surrounding vineyards brought their grape harvests to the village’s wine press and stored their wares in a shared underground wine vault.

These villagers celebrated what the French call terroir, the concept that wine has a sense of place and embodies the unique tastes and flavors of the land on which it is grown.

La Ville de Maillet is the home we now call Peoria.

By 1900 Illinois was the fourth-largest wine producer in the United States, a tradition that went by the wayside when Prohibition forced our vineyards to be uprooted for corn and soybeans . . . more

Includes information on:

  • Kickapoo Creek Winery
  • Willet’s Winery and Cellar
  • Ropp Jersey Cheese Store
  • Avanti Foods’ Walnut Cheese
  • Mackinaw Valley Vineyard

Start a New Holiday Tradition  . . . Go Local

. . . Whether it’s raising turkeys, cattle or sheep, central Illinois farmers know more than a thing or two about why local food is so important and they’re just waiting for you to ask, and buy. 

With the last farmers’ market tent packed away for the sea
son, you might think your days of enjoying fresh local foods are done for another year. 

But they’re not . . . more

Includes more information on:

  • Heritage Farmers Market, open year-round
  • Yordy Turkey Farm
  • Blue Ridge Family Farm
  • Bittner's Eureka Locker
  • Elmwood Locker Service

Is Illinois a Food Desert?
Illinois ranks fifth among other states for the annual loss of farmland and 95 percent of organic produce and foods sold in Illinois are grown and processed in other states yet, Illinois residents purchase $500 billion of organic foods annually. Farm produce, sold directly to consumers, accounts for less than 0.2 percent of Illinois agriculture sales . . .  (read more)

This site is part of

In the Spotlight
Heritage Farmer's Market

20235 Illinois Rte. 9
Pekin, Illinois
Phone: (309) 620-0616
Open Saturday from
8:30 to 4 p.m.,
Monday- Friday from
12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Owner Doug Sassman and his team of farmers offer variety of poultry and meats available  including pork, steaks, roasts, chicken and rabbit. The market also offers a variety of local foods including fresh baked breads, jams, honey, cheeses, eggs, sauces, sweets and much more.

Resources for Finding
Local Food Producers:

Local Farmers

May through October
Seasonal Produce
for the Central

    Copyright 2009