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Illinois

Farm Bureau

WINTER 2012-13

A quarterly magazine for members

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The Seasons of Giving Midwest Food Bank stocks food pantries, provides disaster relief year-round Tiny Toys, Big Dreams Farmer builds hobby into a business

Ham for the Holidays

Bed, Breakfast & Beyond Hunters, quilters stay at Kinderhook Lodge


This Issue at a Glance 1 8

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A True Member Benefit I wanted to drop you guys a quick note to let you know that I look forward to the quarterly magazine coming in the mail. It is one of the benefits of being a Farm Bureau member that I really enjoy and would like to see continue. I thought it might be helpful to hear from your membership base to determine what activities are worth pursuing ... this is one of them!

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Travis Beck McLean County

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1. Family fun in DeKalb County page 14

2. Christmas at the Mansions in Bloomington-Normal page 7 3. Shenandoah Tree Farm in Alma page 6 4. Top Shelf Replicas in Ridge Farm page 12

I am the envy of my friends that I get your wonderful magazine. I read it from cover to cover. Mrs. Shirley A. Drexelius Madison County

7. Winter Art Festival in Highland Park page 30

Editor’s note: Thank you for the kind notes about the magazine. We appreciate any and all feedback, from comments on our website, ilfbpartners.com, and emails to ilfbpartners@jnlcom. com, to letters and phone calls. Please, keep them coming!

8. Main Street Christmas in Cambridge pages 30-31

Getting Schooled

5. Sprague’s Kinderhook Lodge in Barry page 20 6. Festival of Lights in Shelbyville page 30

9. Eagle Watch Weekend at Starved Rock State Park page 31

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I did so much enjoy your article on the horseradish farmers [“Bringing the Heat,” Spring 2012]. The Heepkes attend the Eden Evangelical Church in Edwardsville, as I do. Your magazine was so interesting it got passed to many of our church members.



The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences [“Growing an Education,” Fall 2011] is an outstanding concept that not

only serves to train students about different disciplines in agriculture, but also to train them in the economics and importance of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] as it relates to agriculture and food sciences. We call this STEM concept FASTEM, which stands for Food and Agricultural Sciences in Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. We need to replicate such high schools and related training throughout the country. Students attending this hightech school will receive numerous scholarship offers throughout the country and will one day become agricultural scientists, professionals and, hopefully one day, our boss or schoolteacher at all levels of education. Thanks again for a job well done. Bobby Phills Florida A&M University, Tallahassee

write to us Email us at ilfbpartners@jnlcom.com. We welcome any feedback,story ideas, gardening questions or recommendations for our events section. Illinois Farm Bureau


Features 8 The Seasons of Giving

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Midwest Food Bank volunteers feed the hungry, provide disaster relief year-round

12 Tiny Toys, Big Dreams Young farmer builds a hobby into a business

14 Discover DeKalb DeKalb County offers family fun during the holiday season and throughout the year

Every Issue

20 Bed, Breakfast and Beyond

5 prairie state perspective

Hunters and quilters alike enjoy a stay at Kinderhook Lodge

Raising poultry leads to golden moments for kids, parents

6 Almanac Will the summer’s drought affect the price of food?

17 country wisdom Create a plan to survive the sandwich generation

18 Watch Us Grow Farm family ensures livestock receive TLC

24 recipes Enjoy ham for the holidays in savory sides and snacks

28 Gardening Use math to plan and grow your garden

30 Winter Events View different varieties of poinsettias in Peoria

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On the cover Photo by Antony Boshier Mike Meece, administrator of Midwest Food Bank in Bloomington

more online Ellwood House Museum in DeKalb

Winter 2012-13

Watch videos, read stories and browse photos at ilfbpartners.com. ilfbpartners.com

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Volume 5, No. 1

Illinois

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Farm Bureau

An official member publication of the Illinois Farm Bureau

Visit our website for videos, stories, recipes and much more

Farm

Food

Finds

Resources Publisher Michael L. Orso Editor Dave McClelland Associate Editor Martin Ross Production Manager Bob Standard Photographic Services Director Ken Kashian President Philip Nelson Vice President Rich Guebert Jr. Executive Director of Operations, News & Communications Chris Magnuson

Content Director Jessy Yancey Project Manager Blair Thomas Proofreading Manager Raven Petty Content Coordinator Rachel Bertone Contributing Writers Joe Buhrmann, Charlyn Fargo Ware, Cathy Lockman, Jessica Mozo, Jan Phipps, Martin Ross, Kay Shipman, Joanie Stiers Creative Services Director Christina Carden Senior Graphic Designers Stacey Allis, Laura Gallagher, Jake Shores, Vikki Williams

FARM

Creative Technology Analyst Becca Ary

Bird is the Word An estimated 88 percent of Americans surveyed still serve turkey for Thanksgiving. Find more fun facts about this holiday centerpiece at ilfbpartners.com/turkey.

Photography Director Jeffrey S. Otto Senior Photographers Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord Staff Photographers Todd Bennett, Martin Cherry, Michael Conti Web Creative Director Allison Davis Web Content Manager John Hood Web Designer II Richard Stevens Web Development Lead Yamel Hall Web Developer I Nels Noseworthy

Connect With Us

Ad Production Manager Katie Middendorf Ad Traffic Assistants Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan

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Accounting Diana Guzman, Maria McFarland, Lisa Owens Receptionist Linda Bishop Chairman Greg Thurman

watch our videos on youtube

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read past issues and online-only magazines

President/Publisher Bob Schwartzman

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Sr. V.P./Operations Casey Hester

Executive Vice President Ray Langen Sr. V.P./Sales Todd Potter Sr. V.P./Agribusiness Publishing Kim Holmberg V.P./Sales Rhonda Graham V.P./Visual Content Mark Forester V.P./External Communications Teree Caruthers V.P./Content Operations Natasha Lorens Controller Chris Dudley Distribution Director Gary Smith

grow, cook, eat, learn

recipes, tips and food for thought

Illinois Farm Bureau Partners is produced for the Illinois Farm Bureau by Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (800) 333-8842. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Illinois Farm Bureau Partners (USPS No. 255-380) is issued quarterly by the Illinois Agricultural Association, 1701 Towanda Ave., P.O. Box 2901, Bloomington, IL 61702. Periodicals postage paid at Bloomington, IL 61702 and additional mailing offices. The individual membership fee of the Illinois Agricultural Association includes payment of $3 for a subscription to Illinois Farm Bureau Partners. POSTMASTER: Send change of address notices on Form 3579 to Illinois Farm Bureau Partners, P.O. Box 2901, Bloomington, IL, 61702-2901. Member Member

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Browse holiday recipe ideas at farmflavor.com 4



Illinois Farm Bureau


Prairie state perspective about the author Joanie Stiers writes from West-Central Illinois, where she raises corn, soybeans, kids and chickens.

Here a Chick, There a Chick Raising poultry produces golden moments The chirping chorus on the phone announced their arrival We live a famous feathered verse of “Old MacDonald’s before the postmaster finished her first sentence. Farm,” minus the rooster. Those birds grew fast, supported the local feed store, We own chickens. The joy first arrived with Chick Days and provided great garden fertilizer. My son helped feed at our local feed store. It multiplied with the postal service and water them almost daily. He arrival of 25 more. Our kids, ages 4 asked every few days, “Can we eat and 6, spent hours in a corner room them yet?” Comically, they must have of the shed holding the fuzzy The chickens provide an seemed like chicken nuggets. youngsters. They heard them chirp, education in animal care Seriously, he understood the purpose watched them eat, and giggled when for this meat animal. they pooped. Only Christmas and behavior. My kids The chickens provide an education morning could be as exciting. understand that their birds’ in animal care and behavior. The kids But what frustrations they caused. livelihoods depend on us. notice when the chickens need feed, Our family invested time to move to seem hot, prefer to rest or feel ill. They our farm an old half-ton building that used to house hogs on our main farm. We built a fence that learn patience in waiting 18 weeks for the first egg. Meanwhile, they feel responsible. My kids understand that refused to tighten. My husband and I knocked our heads their birds’ livelihoods depend on us. on the building’s tapered rafter angle – several times. At Before bedtime one summer evening, our daughter one point, my husband threatened to buy KFC. However, the first egg’s arrival diluted those tribulations. shared a philosophy with her brother. “If we be nice to the chickens, they will be nice to us,” Our daughter found the first. she said. “The chickens laid an egg!” she squealed, showing her She formulated that on her own. At 6 years old, she brother and me. She then thanked the chickens. Really – defined the premise of any poultry or livestock farm. she used her manners. The moment proved the worth of A well-treated animal proves more productive. the literal headaches. A few months into the chicken project, I pulled a “I want two eggs tomorrow so we can make cookies!” childhood trophy from a high shelf. I still display it for fun, she exclaimed as she carefully sheltered the egg in her because the chicken figure on top seems more novel than a hands. The beautifully shaped, smooth shell resembled the girl holding a baseball bat. hue of weak chocolate milk. Before I returned to the house, Twenty-five years ago, my meat chickens earned she had rinsed and stored the egg in her Disney Princess Champion Market Flock at our county 4-H show. Our lunchbox in the refrigerator. 4-year-old son thought I won a chicken race. Our daughter For now, we care for just five hens that lay eggs nearly accused me of actually earning second place, as the faded once a day. About three dozen eggs per week seem plenty golden chicken atop the trophy rather resembled silver. By for us and the grandmothers. Last spring, though, we Olympic standards, I placed second. raised 25 chickens for meat. Regardless, the experience itself earns gold. Those chicks arrived in the mail from an Iowa hatchery.

Winter 2012-13

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Bad Year, Good Policy?

Field Trip

Many Illinois farmers took a beating from the weather this summer. As a result, crop insurance also took a few licks. Anticipation of billions of dollars in droughtrelated insurance claims nationwide sparked debate over the taxpayer cost of federal crop premium discounts for farmers. Cost estimates in media reports overlook the fact that farmers oftentimes pay premiums without filing a claim.

Fine Pines Get your ornaments ready and head to Shenandoah Christmas Tree Farm in Alma for the perfect holiday pine. Not only does the farm provide fresh pine trees, wreaths and garlands, it also offers animals to pet, a wooden play train and weekend rides on the Shenandoah Choo Choo Express, making it ideal for a family Christmas outing. Discover more about the tree farm as well as its products and activities at www.shenandoahtreefarm.com.

Farm Focus

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Policy consultant James Callan argues the 2012 drought illustrates the importance of insurance in “helping provide a stable food supply” and lower prices. Premium subsidies have helped farmers afford coverage and thus survive to raise food for human consumption as well as poultry and livestock feed for another year, according to Callan, a former U.S. Department of Agriculture official. “It’s really making production agriculture viable in many regions,” he says. Given its growing success in addressing weather- and market-related risks, the U.S. crop insurance program is becoming a model for international policymakers, Callan adds. Sharing risks and costs with private insurers and farmers offers major budget savings over direct farm subsidies — an attractive prospective for developing nations and economically challenged European countries alike, Callan says.

Hay The 2012 drought reinforced the importance of hay to Illinoisans. Livestock, including horses, normally graze pastures in the summer and eat hay as winter feed, but with dry pasture conditions, many farmers had to dip into their hay supply early.

In 2011, Illinois produced 1.576 million tons of hay, with the southwest region producing most of the total. Alfalfa hay made up more than 952,000 tons grown on 280,000 acres throughout the state.

Washington County (1) ranks No. 1 in the state for production of alfalfa hay and mixtures, while Johnson County (2) ranks No. 1 for all other hay production.

Some Different varieties of hay include clover, orchard grass AND Timothy hay. More online For more hay trivia, visit ilfbpartners.com.

What’s the difference between hay and straw? Hay serves as feed for livestock and other animals, while straw is primarily used for bedding, mulch and coverings. 6



Illinois Farm Bureau


Marvelous Mansions Celebrate the holidays with a history lesson on the ninth annual Christmas at the Mansions, a three-stop home tour in Bloomington-Normal. Stops include one elegant manor steeped in history and two mystery houses decorated for the season. Tours of the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site in Bloomington showcase a rich cultural heritage. Guests will enjoy educational storytelling, learn about historic preservation, be treated to delicious Christmas treats and participate in hands-on activities at the former home of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice and friend to Abraham Lincoln. This year’s tour will be Dec. 15 from 2 to 5 p.m. and again from 5 to 8 p.m. To learn where tickets are sold, visit www.christmasatthemansions.com.

Snow Safety

Farm, Food and Fuel News

When joining in the fun of winter activities, always remember safety first — especially when it comes to ice.

Price Peace of Mind

A Waterloo resident all too familiar with the dangers of ice founded Project Skipper in 2010. The nonprofit aims to teach kids ice safety using the acronym SKPR. If someone falls through ice, the acronym reminds them to Stay calm, Kick like a swimmer, Pull yourself up onto ice, Roll away. Project Skipper offers a few more vital tips: • If a toy, sled or pet slides onto frozen water, do not step onto the ice to get it. Even a pond that appears frozen solid or covered with snow can be dangerous. • Throw a rope or tree branch or lay a ladder to reach the victim if someone has fallen through. Never walk onto the ice to attempt a rescue. Visit www.projectskipper.com for more information on Project Skipper and ice safety.

Winter 2012-13

Will the summer’s drought affect the price of your groceries? Only at a very minimal rate compared to previous years. According to Illinois Farm Bureau Senior Economist Mike Doherty, food prices rarely remain static, as they’re affected by many factors, such as inventory adjustment, export demand and energy prices. This means a relatively minor drought impact, with food prices expected to rise 3 to 4 percent in 2013, compared to a 2.5 to 3.5 percent increase in 2012. Economists forecast beef prices will increase the most due to higher prices of feed, but only by 1 percent more than last year. Higher feed prices have led to some farmers liquidating their herds, which eventually will reduce the beef supply. For products whose ingredients include corn or soybean meal or oil, such as frozen dinners, the impact will be negligible, Doherty says. ilfbpartners.com

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The Seasons of giving Midwest Food Bank volunteers feed the hungry year-round

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Illinois Farm Bureau


Joanie Stiers photography by Brian McCord story by

The success seems impossible, a volunteer says. Others label it amazing. And the numbers prove astounding. In 2003, Midwest Food Bank served 10 food pantries from an old farm building. Less than a decade later, its four warehouses aid an impressive 696 food pantries in seven states. More than 400,000 hungry people receive food every month through the pantries and nonprofits helped by the food bank. The food bank functions strictly on donations, whether food or funds. Monetary donations fuel its fleet of trucks and fund warehouse operations, including minimal staff. Bloomington’s warehouse alone operates with 1,800 volunteers and only three paid staff members. “We never intended for it to be more than 10 agencies,” says Illinois farmer Dave Kieser, founder and volunteer president. To explain the success, he references hymn 302 from his church hymnal, How Great Thou Art. “When I think about what happened at the food bank, I have to think about how great God is.”

Purpose-Driven Success The faith-based, nondenominational Midwest Food Bank collects food and funds from individuals, businesses and food corporations. Through a meat program, farmers also donate about 5,000 pounds of pork monthly. Volunteers and staff redistribute the donated food to pantries, churches and similar nonprofits that feed the hungry. The donations certainly make a difference in the state. According to Illinois State University, some 55 percent of food that Illinois nonprofits receive comes from the Midwest Food Bank. In 2011, the food bank distributed $33.2 million in food, all at no cost to the recipients. “I always think, as a nonprofit, we have a very simple story to tell,” says Mike Meece, administrator at the Bloomington location. “It’s food and service. That’s something that resonates.” Brothers Dave, Robert and Paul Kieser and their families founded the

Midwest Food Bank volunteers help process food for distribution to more than 600 food pantries. The food bank began on the Kieser family’s farm in 2003.

Winter 2012-13

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food bank on their Central Illinois farm in 2003. Within three years, the food bank owned three warehouses in Peoria, Bloomington and Indianapolis. In 2011, it added a warehouse in Georgia. Today, the food bank serves nonprofits in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Georgia. Nationwide, as a provider to the Salvation Army, it prepares and distributes relief boxes. Each box provides five days of food and hygiene products for three people. The food bank’s first relief effort came with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Dave Kieser and wife, Wilma, drove a semi-truckload of food and health items to the victims. The devastation prompted the food bank’s response of 165 loads in semi-trucks within two years. This year, the food bank already has provided several truckloads of supplies to victims of Hurricane Isaac. In 2011, Illinois volunteers drove 14,049 miles to deliver 12,764 relief boxes. This Central Illinois warehouse resembles that of a major retailer. Floors stay well swept. Shelves neatly store products from floor to the 24-foot ceiling. A pallet jack works from a walk-in cooler. Lines mark safe zones. And workers – rather, volunteers – tackle tasks in organized fashion. Food producers and grocers contact the food bank when they have food to donate. Volunteers drive to pick it up. The quantities may prove too large for a single food pantry to handle, for example, pallets of granola bars, crates of beverages or massive bags of green beans. “We’re a link between the donor and agencies that need it,” Kieser says. 10



Harvest for All Illinois farmers volunteered nearly 80 hours weekly in 2011 to curb hunger. The hours serve Harvest for All, an effort of the American Farm Bureau Federation and Feeding America. In Illinois, the Farm Bureau Young Leader Committee implements the national fund- and food-raising campaign, which began in 2003. “Harvest for All is one of those feel-good programs where everyone can get behind a good cause and help those who are less fortunate,” says Jennifer Smith, Young Leader manager for the Illinois Farm Bureau. Illinois’ young farmers and agriculturalists proved to be among the nation’s most generous, earning first place for funds and hours in 2011. They volunteered 4,081 hours and distributed $401,761 to food pantries and banks. The donated food weighed in at 503,602 pounds. County-level Young Leader committees organize activities to support local food pantries and also sponsor programs, including organized volunteer time at Midwest Food Bank. Their “Drive Out Hunger Campaign,” which sells toy semis, generated $14,500 in 2011. Find out more at www.ilfb.org.

The food bank equally values donations from families and group food drives. Monetary donations pay for special projects and voids in food staples. In a new endeavor, the bank uses donated bulk goods to develop nutritious meals. For example, it packages a chicken and rice meal enhanced with vitamins and minerals. The recipient simply adds boiling water. Volunteers Provide Foundation In 2011, Midwest Food Bank counted 26,362 volunteer hours in Bloomington, its mothership warehouse. Volunteers range in age from 10 to 94. “There is more going on here than food,” Meece says. The service uplifts people. John Hassebrock, the 94-year-old, volunteers to “get out of the house.” More seriously, he says he loves the work and the purpose it gives him. So does his daughter, Lorraine Wilmert of Bloomington.

“I love helping and serving. That’s what we’re here for is to serve others,” she says. “It’s just amazing how many people day after day serve.” Volunteers serve in groups, such as Scouts, though many others serve as individuals. Some come just once; others serve multiple days each month. Many volunteer during the busy loadout weeks, when food pantries, churches and similar nonprofits pick up food. From his desk station, volunteer Stan Hodel looks down a warehouse aisle. The area bustles with activity on its fourth day of loadout week at the Bloomington warehouse. Vehicles with open trunks line the center. Volunteers lift flat boxes of food from pallets and place them on carts. More volunteers unload the carts into the trunks. Some people mark clipboards and deliver papers to Hodel. The energy seems contagious. “I think it’s absolutely amazing,” he says. “It’s almost impossible to think of the way that it started out there on the farm and what it’s grown to.” Illinois Farm Bureau


How to Help To learn how to donate food, money or time to Midwest Food Bank, visit www.midwestfoodbank. org. You can also reach the Bloomington location at (309) 663-5350. Volunteer Bob Adcock moves pallets of food with a forklift, while Sheri Brownfield prepares food for distribution. Midwest Food Bank’s Illinois warehouses, powered primarily by volunteers, serve 61 counties in the state.

Winter 2012-13

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tiny toys,

BIG Dreams Young farmer builds a hobby into a business

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Illinois Farm Bureau


Cathy Lockman PHOTOGRAPHY BY Antony Boshier STORY BY

Alan Chesnut can fill a storage building with boxes of his toy trucks and tractors. But the toys this sixth-generation farmer from Ridge Farm possesses are anything but reminders of his childhood. Chesnut owns Top Shelf Replicas, an independent manufacturer of die-cast collectibles. Farm toys have been a longtime interest for Chesnut. In high school, he repaired and modified toys and even built some from scratch. But despite his passion, his business happened almost by accident. After graduating from college, Chesnut attended a toy show intending to sell his display cases. He placed several of his modified toys in the display cases and found that buyers were more interested in the toys than the cases. An entrepreneur – and a business – was born. Chesnut began selling more farm toys and expanded into selling model trucks as well. But when buyers began asking for products that were not yet made, he knew there was an opportunity to meet the demand. In 2010, his company made the first Top Shelf Replica toy. How do you go from modifying toys to actually manufacturing them? Chesnut explains that it takes time, patience, attention to detail and a team you can trust. First, he finds a product that will interest customers. “I go to trade shows and toy shows across the country to get ideas,” he says. Next, he contacts the manufacturer of the real vehicle or farm implement to get permission to produce a miniature version. Then the real work starts.

Winter 2012-13

Once Chesnut locates an actual tractor or truck, he painstakingly measures it to be sure the replica will be of the correct scale. He passes those measurements on to an engineer who designs the implement using special software and then prints out a 3-D model. Chesnut carefully inspects each model, and works with the engineer to make any corrections before sending it on to the factory for production. The factory, in turn, makes models and sends samples to Chesnut for him to check. When he finishes tweaking, the toys are manufactured and shipped to his farm. “From the idea stage to the finished product can take up to two years,” says Chesnut, who won the 2011 Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leader Excellence in Agriculture Award. “There are many times when I’m in the field on my own tractor talking to an engineer about a miniature one.” The intersection of farming and toy manufacturing doesn’t end there. “Just like I monitor my crop at all the different stages, I do that with the models,” he says. “And just like I appreciate the rewards of a successful harvest, I enjoy the satisfaction that comes when the hard work is done and another high-quality product has been produced.”

How to Buy Are you interested in a replica of a Classic Wilson Livestock Trailer, an International RDFC405, or various other trucks and tractors? To learn more about the products available from Top Shelf Replicas, visit www.topshelfreplicas. com or email Alan Chesnut at sales@ topshelfreplicas.com.

Vermilion County farmer Alan Chesnut launched Top Shelf Replicas, a business that makes detailed miniatures of farm equipment and trucks. He works with an engineer who uses a 3-D printer to print a model, top center, and a factory that manufactures the toy-sized end products.

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Discover

County offers family fun during the holidays Story by

DeKalb

Jessica Mozo |

Photography by

Antony Boshier

Located 60 miles west of Chicago, DeKalb County combines the past with the present. In this community, you’ll find historic mansions next to modern homes and antique stores next to trendy shops and eateries. Its county seat, Sycamore, features a quaint downtown where you can still park for a penny. The city pulls out all the stops to celebrate the holiday season, beginning with the Festival of Trees at the Midwest Museum of Natural History. Visit

the museum during December to discover dozens of creatively decorated Christmas trees. On Dec. 6, sample an array of fine chocolate desserts while browsing downtown Sycamore’s shops during the Winter Chocolate Walk. And on Dec. 7, Santa Claus will arrive in Sycamore for the seventh annual Walk with Santa and Courthouse Tree Lighting. Waterman hosts a Holiday Lights

Train every Friday, Saturday and

Sunday in December. Marvel at more than 250,000 twinkling lights in displays featuring giant toy soldiers, candy canes, f lying reindeer and more. Held at Waterman & Western Railroad, visitors enjoy free hot cocoa and popcorn in the heated train station, ride the train and meet Santa. Antique shops and other boutiques line the charming Main Street in Genoa, which hosts an impressive Quilt & Fiber Arts Walk in January. Quilts, baskets, needlepoint, embroidery, knitting, crocheting, lace and more will be on display throughout downtown Genoa with free demonstrations and workshops. Love the outdoors? Shabbona

Lake State Park, DeKalb County’s top tourist attraction, offers crosscountry skiing, hunting, ice fishing, ice skating, sledding and a seven-mile snowmobiling trail. The park, open year round, can be accessed from U.S. Highway 30 in Shabbona. Visitors to Russell Woods Forest Preserve on Illinois Route 72 in Genoa can enjoy sliding down its toboggan runs and sledding trails. A Chicago architect designed DeKalb’s restored Egyptian Theatre, built in 1929, around the theme of Rameses II, one of Egypt’s pharaohs. More than 25 community groups perform at the Art Deco movie palace. If your style leans more toward visual arts, stop at Nehring Gallery in DeKalb, which showcases local artwork. The gallery celebrated 100 years of DeKalb agriculture this year with an exhibit called DeKalb Ag Memories. The DeKalb County Farm Bureau, located in Sycamore, is observing its 100th anniversary this year.

From left: Santa at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore; bottles of wine from Prairie State Winery in Genoa; fishing at Shabbona Lake State Park. Opposite: Midwest Museum of Natural History in Sycamore.

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Illinois Farm Bureau


DeKalb County Must-Sees J.F. Glidden Homestead & Visitor Center Ellwood House Museum Nehring Gallery NIU Convocation Center Downtown Sycamore and DeKalb Main Street Genoa Jonamac Orchard Shabbona Lake State Park Egyptian Theatre Midwest Museum of Natural History

10 DeKalb County Eateries Al’s BBQ Shack The Confectionary Hillside Restaurant Johnny’s Charhouse

Apples, Pumpkins and Wines

Nat’s on Maple

If you’re passing through DeKalb County during the warmer months, don’t miss Jonamac Orchard in Malta. Open late summer through November, the family orchard features pick-your-own apples and pumpkins, a corn maze, a barnyard play area and a country store and a bakery. For more information, visit www.jonamacorchard.com. DeKalb County also has two wineries open seasonally: Prairie State Winery in Genoa and Waterman Winery and Vineyards in Waterman.

Mediterraneo Grill

Winter 2012-13

Riccardi’s Red Hots Sweet Dream Desserts Tapa La Luna Taxco Restaurant ilfbpartners.com

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Tantalizing Tapas Tapa La Luna serves picture-perfect cuisine in a trendy atmosphere If You Go... Tapa La Luna, 226 East Lincoln Highway in downtown DeKalb, is open Monday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m. (Closed Sundays.) Reservations are encouraged. Learn more at (815) 217-0990 or visit them online at www.tapalaluna.com.

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Tapa La Luna in downtown DeKalb serves such artfully prepared cuisine that diners often whip out their cameras and snap a photo of the food or drink in front of them waiting to be devoured. “The presentation is really something to see,” says Robert Deshazer, who co-owns Tapa La Luna with Chad Warborg and Ron Proesel. “Chad Warborg is a truly talented and gifted executive chef who is constantly creating new menu items, reduction sauces and soups.” (A reduction in chef’s lingo is the result of boiling or cooking down a liquid until it reduces to the consistency of a sauce.) Still, the owners don’t want the expansive menu to seem daunting. “We’ve spent a great deal of time creating ways for wine with food to not seem intimidating and hopefully be more accessible for people wishing to step out of the box,” Deshazer adds. Tapa La Luna opened in February and quickly gained a following for its tasty tapas (a Spanish word for appetizers), as well as made-from-scratch, creative entrees that rival dishes found in big-city restaurants.

“All our prep is done in house,” Deshazer says. “We have a dish called vested shrimp – shrimp stuffed with horseradish and wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon, served with cherry chipotle barbecue sauce and a passion fruit reduction. We don’t receive the shrimp pre-stuffed, and the reduction sauces do not come to us in a bottle. It’s all done by our chef, and that’s true for the entire menu.” One crowd favorite, bleu cheese-crusted marinated beef, is finished with balsamic glaze and passion fruit sauce. “It’s the best thing I’ve eaten in 10 years,” Deshazer says. Tapa La Luna exudes a contemporary yet friendly ambiance with exposed brick walls, hanging lights and sconces, and a five-footwide glowing LED moon light behind the bar that warms the room. “I hear all the time how customers feel they’re in Chicago,” Deshazer says. “The only thing missing is cabs whizzing by outside.” You won’t pay big-city prices here, though. Small-plate tapas range from $6 to $12 each, entrees $12 to $18. The menu also features a variety of burgers, pizzas and salads. – Jessica Mozo Illinois Farm Bureau


COUNTRY ® WISDOM about the author Joe Buhrmann is a Certified Financial Planner™ certificant and the Manager of Financial Security Field Support for COUNTRY Financial. Visit COUNTRY on the web at www.countryfinancial.com.

Surviving the Sandwich Generation Create a plan to help care for aging parents’ health, finances Several years ago, I received a frantic call from my wife. • Living will/advance medical directives outline their “Can you get the kids from school? Something’s wrong wishes regarding medical care. with Dad! Please hurry!” According to Genworth Financial’s 2012 Cost of Care If you’ve had a similar conversation, you’ve felt the study, the average annual cost for a long-term care facility squeeze of the sandwich generation. is $73,000. Long-term care needs can wreak havoc on an According to the Pew Research Center, one in every eight otherwise sound retirement plan. Americans between 40 and 60 is raising a family and caring Have the conversation (early) with parents about for an aging parent or relative. It’s a frightening thought, as whether they have long-term care insurance or have set the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that the number of aside sufficient savings to cover the costs. If Mom and Dad Americans age 65 or older will are younger and still in relatively double in the next 15 years. good health, they may be able to According to the Pew Research I’ve written many times in this reposition assets to provide funds Center, one in eight Americans column about the importance of for this likely expense. having a tangible plan and how it Be an advocate for your between the ages of 40 and 60 is can be crucial to your financial raising a family and caring for an parents, and seek out assistance. success. The best plan for helping Talk to local social service aging parent or relative. parents is, well, having a plan. agencies or government bodies Children often know very little that focus on the elderly. Make about their parents’ finances. Money conversations between sure your parents’ are receiving all the benefits to which spouses can be difficult; conversations between children and they may be entitled, such as Social Security, Medicare parents can be nearly impossible. and veterans benefits. Look for opportunities to glean pieces of the financial See if community groups may be able to assist with meals puzzle. Ask questions. “We were thinking of updating or care. A great place to start is the U.S. Administration on some of our legal documents. Who did you and Dad work Aging website: www.eldercare.gov. There, you’ll be directed with?” “Do you still bank at Central Bank?” to a treasure trove of local senior services. Consider speaking with your parents and a qualified Don’t forget to take care of No. 1 – you! As much as you attorney about preparing legal documents aimed at want to help your parents, don’t put saving for retirement carrying out your parents’ wishes when they can no and college on the back burner. It’s crucial that you and longer make decisions for themselves. your family stay on track for your financial success. Options include: Make sure that your plan is in place for a secure future. • Durable power of attorney can allow you authority to Talk to a trusted adviser and share your concerns about make specified financial and medical decisions on both your immediate family and your extended family. another person’s behalf. An adviser can help make sure you stay on course and • Wills provide direction for managing and may provide you with a sense of comfort when you feel distributing your parents’ estate after they pass away. yourself squeezed in the sandwich generation.

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To learn more about Illinois Farm Families, scan this QR code using your smartphone. You will need to download a QR code reader application if you don’t already have one. Many are free.

Hog Heaven Farm family ensures pigs receive TLC STORY BYKay Shipman PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jeffrey

S. Otto

Female hogs greet visitors with curious sniffs and low grunts on the Gould family farm near Elburn in Kane County. The animals’ calm behavior illustrates how content they are.

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Illinois Farm Bureau


Happenings Wanted: Field Moms!

Chris Gould and his family breed and raise hogs on their farm near Elburn. They often host visitors to show how they care for their animals. Past tours have included the field moms who participated in the Illinois Farm Families program.

“We treat each sow (female hog) as an individual and give them all TLC so they are the most pampered pigs you can imagine,” says Eldon Gould, who farms with his wife, Sandy, and son and daughter-inlaw, Chris and Dana. His daughter, Lynda, works as a veterinarian. “We have every incentive to take care of them as well as we can. That’s when they produce the best,” Chris says. The Gould family farm, located about 50 miles west of Chicago’s Loop, specializes in hog breeding and giving birth. They care for about 750 hogs in their sow center, and grow corn and soybeans on 2,700 acres. Raising piglets is the family’s specialty. The Goulds and their animals frequently host visitors for tours. Recent visitors included the field moms who participate in the Illinois Farm Families program. The Goulds give attention to each detail of their animals’ care. Sows eat feed with nutrients suited specifically for their sex and size throughout their life, Eldon

Winter 2012-13

notes. The family monitors each sow’s pregnancy and collects information about the births. Sows stay in stalls that keep their newborns from being stepped or laid on accidentally by their much larger mothers. “I was surprised by the TLC and how they treat each animal as an individual even though there were so many,” says Pilar Clark, a field mom from Lisle. Sows stay in individual stalls that prevent injury by other, more aggressive, females. The stalls also stop dominant animals from eating more than their share of feed and leaving little for the meeker pigs, Eldon explains. “From what we saw, the sows are comfortable,” says Farrah Brown, a field mom from Elk Grove Village. “It makes the best sense for you guys to take care of your animals the best you can,” Jenn Weis, a field mom from Big Rock, told the Goulds during the tour. “It’s in our best interest to treat them well,” Chris says.

Are you an urban or suburban mom who is curious about how your family’s food is grown? Over the next year, Illinois Farm Families will offer the opportunity for a group of moms to tour farms and get answers to their food questions from the farmers themselves. See videos, read blogs about the 2012 field moms’ experiences and find an application for 2013 field moms at www.watchusgrow.org. Find the application on the “About Us” tab or by scanning the QR code on the opposite page.

Keep In Touch Each month Illinois Farm Families sends an email to subscribers who are interested in learning more about food and farming. The emails cover current topics from the points of view of both farmers and the field moms. They also often include recipes, coupons and special offers. Sign up at www.watchusgrow.org/ AboutUs.htm or scan the QR code at left.

Illinois farm Families We are Illinois farmers who support Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Beef Association and Illinois Farm Bureau through farmer membership and checkoff programs. We are committed to having conversations with consumers, answering their questions and sharing what really happens on today’s family farms. More than 94 percent of Illinois farms are family owned and operated. We are passionate about showing consumers how we grow safe, healthy food for their families and ours.

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bed, Breakfast

& Beyond Hunters and quilters alike enjoy a stay at Kinderhook Lodge STORY BY

Charlyn Fargo |

PHOTOGRAPHY BY

Antony Boshier

Andy Sprague grew up on a traditional Western Illinois corn and soybean farm where his family had farmed for more than 100 years. But like many farm families, there wasn’t enough income for all three Sprague brothers to make a living from the land. After college, Sprague took a job with the University of Illinois Foundation, but he returned to the farm when his older brother, Randy, was diagnosed with leukemia. Before his death in 1995, Randy had purchased a nearby farm. “It was the first farm Randy bought, and it had a strong sentimental value for me,” Sprague says. “It had a big brick house, and I gave it six months of TLC, adding on the equivalent of a house.” Andy Sprague owns Sprague’s Kinderhook Lodge in Barry in prime white-tailed deer country. Hunters come for the location, though other events such as reunions, retreats and receptions draw a wide variety of guests.

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Illinois Farm Bureau


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Clockwise from left: Kinderhook Lodge Chef Wendy Glasgow bakes pies to serve in the two dining rooms; guests can choose from several rooms in the bed-and-breakfast; quilting and other craft-related retreats take place during hunting’s nine-month off-season; Lexi, the lodge’s unofficial mascot, rests after a hard day’s work.

The house and surrounding land lie in Pike County, known as the whitetailed deer capital of the world. Sprague formed a partnership with a local outfitter, IMB (Illinois Monster Bucks) Outfitters and set up Kinderhook Lodge on the family’s centennial farm, founded by his great-great-grandfather, Seaman Sprague, in 1872. “I’ve been enjoying the ride,” Sprague says. “We’ve had strong demand. And that allowed me to dream bigger dreams.” 22



In 2001, Sprague remodeled the original Kinderhook Lodge structure from a large two-story, red brick antebellum farmhouse built by sawmill operator Ian Churchill in 1848. According to Sprague, Churchill’s story ended tragically in St. Charles, Mo., where he was murdered by river pirates while taking a load of lumber down the Mississippi River. Over the years, Sprague expanded the lodgings from the original

farmhouse to include three homes, and he has a fourth in mind. Today, the lodge hosts corporate, quilting and scrapbooking retreats, class reunions, wedding and baby showers, rehearsal dinners and other types of meetings and receptions. Guests have a choice of two dining rooms with views of sunrises and sunsets over corn, soybean and wheat fields. One also features a two-story fireplace built with stones carved from the nearby river bluff by Illinois Farm Bureau


Stay at Sprague’s Sprague’s Kinderhook Lodge is located in the Western Illinois town of Barry. For more information or to make a reservation, call (217) 432-1090 or visit www. kinderhooklodge.com .

Great-Great-Grandfather Seaman. Another building, built in 2006, features the kitchen where Sprague’s mother, Pat, cooked for guests for 10 years. She recently turned over the stove to executive chef Wendy Glasgow, a retired home economics teacher known for her homemade pies and breads. “Chef Wendy is quite a baker,” Sprague says. “Early on, I’d see her giving each roll a pat, and I’d ask her what that meant. She says she was

Winter 2012-13

giving them all a little love.” Sprague remodeled a third home, which looks like a Western cabin, in 2008. It serves as a bed-and-breakfast for guests and hunters. While Pike County offers some of the very best upland, wild turkey and predator hunting in all of Illinois, many crafters – those who love to scrapbook or quilt – also have made the lodge a destination. “We’ve found so many people love to get away and craft,” says Sprague.

“That area, especially quilting, has just exploded.” While sportsmen fill Kinderhook during the hunting season from October to December, Sprague devotes the remaining nine months to bed-and-breakfast guests and craft-related retreats. “There’s not a better audience,” Sprague says. “They’re a very social group and love to share their stories and experiences. They love to relax here and have fun.” ilfbpartners.com

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4-H helped Charlyn Fargo get her start in food. Her love for the culinary arts helped her land a job as food editor of the State Journal-Register, a daily paper in Springfield, and eventualy a master’s degree in nutrition. Now a registered dietitian, she teaches nutrition and baking at Lincoln Land Community College and consults as a dietitian.

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Illinois Farm Bureau

Photo courtesy of National Pork Board

about the author


Ham for the

Holidays Serve savory sides and snacks inspired by a favorite Illinois pork product

&

Charlyn Fargo food styling by Mary Carter photography by Jeffrey S. Otto story

recipes by

“Pork is synonymous with the barbecue grill and great taste,” says Lyle Dorjohn, a hog farmer and feed salesman near Atwood, just east of Champaign. Dorjohn not only likes to throw a ham steak on the grill, he’s cared for hogs all his life, raising about 200 pigs a year. He sells his hogs to 4-H and FFA members to groom for the show ring at fairs or other competitions. He spends much of his summer watching how his pigs do in the show ring – and encouraging the kids who show them. He also keeps up on pork trends. He’s seen the kind of pork that consumers want go from meaty to lean and lean to meaty. “When I was growing up, everyone wanted a lean, muscular type of show pig,” Dorjohn says. “Then we had a trend to a little fatter, more flavorful pork. And now we’re back to the meat type. We want to be able to raise a hog with lots more muscle – to get more pork from fewer pigs.” He got his start in the business managing a pig farm near Nokomis in

Winter 2012-13

Central Illinois. Then he moved back to his home area of Atwood and began working for Suidae Tech, a company that provides nutritional quality feeds for livestock. The average pig farmer raises 100,000 head of hogs a year, Dorjohn says. “There have been volumes of genetic research for muscle quality to better meet the customer’s desire for a better-quality hog,” he says. “We’re seeing that now in the pork that’s in the grocery aisles.” One of his favorite meals is a big ham steak on the grill with a baked sweet potato. “My second favorite,” he adds, “is when we take a half fresh ham and half cured ham, grind it and make it into a ham loaf. The flavor is amazing.” We’ve come up with a few of our favorite ways to make ham delicious. You can chop up leftover Christmas ham for these recipes or try them any time of the year.

More online Find recipes for cooking whole hams and more information about pork at www.porkbeinspired. com. You can also visit ilfbpartners.com/ham to find more recipes for using leftover holiday ham.

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Mini Ham and Cheddar Veggie Cups cup finely chopped onion cup finely chopped broccoli cup finely chopped green pepper cup chopped ham (about 2 ounces) cup (1 ounces) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives teaspoon dried thyme teaspoon black pepper 3 large eggs 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking

spray. Over medium-high heat, add onion, broccoli and green pepper, and sauté 2 minutes or until crisp tender. Add ham and sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool. 3. In a large bowl, combine cheese, chives,

thyme, pepper and eggs, and stir gently with a whisk. Add ham mixture, stirring with whisk. 4. Spoon mixture into 24 miniature muffin

cups coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until set. Tip: Don’t like broccoli? Try other veggie combinations, such as zucchini or spinach.

Yields 24 veggie cups.

did you know? Ham — and all pork — is an excellent source of thiamin, a nutrient that metabolizes carbs, proteins and fats.

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Illinois Farm Bureau


Potato, Ham and Spinach Gratin 7 cups (about 2

pounds) Yukon gold potatoes

2 teaspoons olive oil cup thinly sliced green onions 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 cup (about 4 ounces) chopped ham teaspoon thyme teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

â „ teaspoon grated nutmeg

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1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry 2 cups skim milk cup all-purpose flour teaspoon salt cup (3 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Ham and Cheese Scones 1

cups all-purpose flour cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder 2 teaspoons sugar

2. Peel potatoes, and cut into slices about -inch thick.

teaspoon salt

3. In a small nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-

teaspoon ground red pepper

high heat. Add onions and garlic, and sautĂŠ until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in ham, spices and spinach. 4. In a large bowl, whisk together milk and flour.

3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces cup (3 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese cup chopped ham cup buttermilk

5. In an 8-inch square baking pan coated with

1 egg

cooking spray, layer half of potato slices. Sprinkle with salt. Spread ham mixture over potato slices. Arrange remaining potato slices over spinach mixture. Pour milk mixture over top. Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake for 1 hour, 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for another 15 minutes.

cooking spray

2. Combine flours, baking powder, sugar, salt and

Yields 8 servings.

3. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk and egg,

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

pepper in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is like a coarse meal. Stir in cheese and ham. stirring with a whisk. Slowly add liquid mixture to flour mixture and stir until moist, being careful not to overwork the dough. 4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead lightly 4 or 5 times. 5. Coat a round baking sheet with cooking spray, and spread dough into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges, cutting into but not entirely through the dough. 6. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yields 8 scones.

Winter 2012-13

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Calculating Plants Use math to plan and grow your garden

Remember back in grade school arithmetic class thinking you’d never use those skills? Well, surprise! We use math daily, including in the garden. Incorporate addition, subtraction, division and multiplication to plant-by-number your garden with color. about the author Jan Phipps is a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener. She farms, gardens, writes and podcasts near Chrisman.

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Add plants inexpensively by growing self-seeders and spreaders. Annuals (plants that live only one growing season) and biennials (plants that last for two years) are the best seed producers. Pick plants with seeds that may survive our Illinois winters, such as cosmos, cleome and sweet rocket. Good biennials include money plant, columbine and hollyhock.

The spreaders, usually perennials (plants that last more than two years), include rudbeckia, Becky daisies, blackberry lily, Russian sage, bee balm and plumbago. This brings us to gardening by subtraction, which is just removing any of the “addition” plants from places where you don’t want them. Weed them out when they’re small, and then transplant them Illinois Farm Bureau


Ask an expert

Q

Are commercial “compost starters” worth the money?

A elsewhere in your yard or give them to friends as pass-along plants. When a perennial gets too big for its spot, the center dies out, the flowering decreases or the plant just looks tired and washed out, bring division into the gardening equation. Divide your plants in one of two ways. For most perennials, especially daylilies, dig up the rootball and cut it into sections. Alternately, slice off an edge of the plant, which works well for plants with “eyes” such as hostas or peonies. Divide hostas in the spring when the eyes are just emerging. Peonies prefer early autumn. All that division leads to multiplication of your perennials. Where you once had one

Winter 2012-13

plant, now you have three or even four. Saving non-hardy seeds will give you free seeds for next year. Collect mature, dry seeds. Put them in a container and label it. Store the seeds in a dark, dry place. Try zinnias, sunflowers and nasturtiums. Multiply a shrub using a method called layering. Take a healthy branch, make a small cut and lay the branch down so the cut has contact with the soil. You will have to use a landscape pin – or a small rock – to hold it in place. Keep the area moist, and in a couple of months the new shrub will have rooted. Then, sever it from the mother plant and transplant it. Spend the winter calculating how you will use math to grow your garden.

No. A shovelful of garden soil or compost from a previous pile will accomplish the same thing for free.

Q

Can I overwinter soil from my clay containers in the pots or do I need to dump it out?

A

Leave it in the pot. Once the soil has completely dried out, move the pot into a garage or shed where it will stay dry all winter. Email your gardening questions to Jan at ilfbpartners@jnlcom.com.

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This listing includes a few events from around the state to add to your calendar. Dates were accurate at press time but are subject to change. Please check with the contact listed before traveling long distances to attend. Additional information is online through the Illinois Bureau of Tourism’s website, www.enjoyillinois.com. Feel free to send event suggestions to ilfbpartners@jnlcom.com.

into the spirit with live performances of Christmas music and free admission during the holidays. Candlelight Walks take place Fridays and Saturdays from mid-November through December. For more information, call (309) 686-3362.

The Art of Winter

NOVEMBER & DECEMBER Light Up the Night

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centerpiece for the festival. Volunteers and locals help put the lights in place, with new lights and themes added each year. For more information on the Shelbyville Festival of Lights, call (217) 774-1342.

Nov. 16-Dec. 30, Shelbyville

Peoria’s Poinsettias

Kick off the holiday season with thousands of twinkling lights at Forest Park’s annual Festival of Lights in Shelbyville. Stroll through themed areas of the park, such as Candy Cane Lane, which honors loved ones who have passed; Victorian Village; Santa’s Shop; the North Pole; Bethlehem and more. A large, intricate carousel made of lights placed on the historic Chautauqua Auditorium serves as an attractive

Step into a winter wonderland filled with hundreds of holiday poinsettias at Luthy Botanical Garden’s Candlelight Walk and Poinsettia Show in Peoria. Though most Americans prefer the red poinsettia, the flower comes in a variety of colors, including pink and white. The popular Christmas flower joins the other tropical plants in the gardens for the season. The conservatory encourages guests to get



Nov. 16-Dec. 31, Peoria

Nov. 30-Dec. 2, Highland Park As the newest addition to Amdur Production’s lineup, The Inside Show: A Winter Art Festival showcases 40 talented artists and their best holidayinspired work. The three-day show features all types of arts and crafts, with a special emphasis on holiday giving and home décor. The weekend event takes place at the Highland Park Country Club, just 30 minutes north of Chicago. To learn more, call (847) 926-4300 or visit www.amdurproductions.com.

Christmas in Cambridge Dec. 2, Cambridge Searching for the perfect handmade holiday gift? Look no further than the Illinois Farm Bureau


Once Upon a Holiday Dec. 7-8, Bloomington Head to downtown Bloomington to welcome the Christmas season with an array of fun and festive activities. From live holiday window displays to vintage carriage rides, kids and adults alike will enjoy the event’s seasonal attractions, which also include visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus and old-fashioned caroling. The two-day event concludes with a holiday parade and Christmas at the Courthouse at the McLean County Museum of History.

get More online To learn more about this event, call (309) 829-9599 or visit www.downtownbloomington.org.

annual craft show at Cambridge Main Street Christmas on the Square, where more than 70 artisans share their wares at Cambridge High School. Don’t miss the beautifully decorated homes on the Tour of Homes, and stop by area churches for some special treats. The festival also hosts visits with Santa at Cambridge Community Hall, holiday music and the Festival of Trees show. To learn more about the festival, call (309) 937-2633.

Christmas of 1759 Dec. 8-9, Metropolis Ever wonder how Christmas was celebrated in the 18th century? Old Tyme Christmas at Fort Massac State Park recreates the holidays of days past. Period decorations and music accompany re-enactments of Christmas in 1759 at the festively — and historically — decorated museum. Enjoy hot spiced tea and freshly baked cookies from an authentic period oven. Park staff and local historians dress in costumes to celebrate “Joyeux Noel.” For more information, call (618) 786-9700.

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JANUARY & FEBRUARY America’s National Emblem Jan. 1-Feb. 28, Utica During the winter months, thousands of eagles migrate south from Canada, and Illinois serves as one of the greatest populations of wintering bald eagles. Get a glimpse of these majestic birds at the Starved Rock Lodge, which offers a “Bald Eagle Trolley Tour” on specific days of the week. For more chances to catch an eagle in flight, head to Starved Rock State Park for Eagle Watch Weekend, which features fun activities at the lodge and the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center. Be sure to bundle up, as the top of the 125-foot-tall Starved Rock serves as one of the best viewing spots. For more detailed information about the events, call (815) 667-4726 or visit www.starvedrockstatepark.org.

Notice of Annual Meeting

Illinois Agricultural Association Notice is hereby given that the annual meeting of the members of the Illinois Agricultural Association will be held in the Palmer House Hotel, 17 East Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60603, on Saturday, December 1, Sunday, December 2, Monday, December 3, and Tuesday, December 4, 2012 with the official meeting of voting delegates convening at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, December 3, for the following purposes: To receive, consider and, if approved, ratify and confirm the reports of the officers and the acts and proceedings of the Board of Directors and officers in furtherance of the matters therein set forth since the last the last annual meeting of the Association. To elect nine (9) members of the Board of Directors to serve for a term of two years. To consider and act upon such proposed amendments to the Articles of Incorporation or to the Bylaws of the Illinois Agricultural Association and upon such policy resolutions as may be properly submitted. For the transaction of such other business as may properly come before the meeting.

James M. Jacobs Secretary

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The Pettengill-Morron House Museum in Peoria contains a collection of objects from several area families. Moses Pettengill built the 11-room house in 1868. The Peoria Historical Society now owns the museum and offers tours by appointment. Learn more by calling (309) 674-1921.

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Winter 2011-2012 ILFB Partners  

ILFB Partners is designed to highlight what’s good about Illinois – from the best travel destinations to articles about important agricultur...

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