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Putting a few extra acres to work can bring in additional income, provide an opportunity to experiment with a new enterprise, or develop an interest or hobby for its educational or entertainment value, according to a University of Illinois Extension local foods and small farms educator.

“How to get started is the question,” said Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant.

The University of Illinois Extension local foods and small farms team is sponsoring a series of workshops on a variety of topics to help people who have a few acres learn ways that they can put them to use.

“Putting Small Acres to Work” workshops will be offered between Nov. 1 and March 7 at locations throughout Illinois. Topics and presenters will vary at each location, but will include: season extension, vegetable and fruit production, livestock production, choosing scale-appropriate equipment, soil health, beekeeping, herb production, agroforestry, organic production, integrated pest management, and composting.

“You don’t have to own hundreds of acres to create a profitable business,” Cavanaugh-Grant said. “We developed these workshops to help people realize the possibilities that a few acres can provide.”

Workshops will be held on the following dates:

  • Nov. 1 -- Sauk Valley Community College, Dixon
  • Dec. 6 -- NIU Rockford Meeting and Conference Center, Rockford
  • Dec. 6 --Tony Noel Agricultural Technology Applications Center at Parkland College, Champaign
  • Jan. 21 -- Franklin County Extension Office, Benton
  • Feb. 14 -- John Wood Community College, Quincy
  • March 7 - Lincoln Land Community College, Hillsboro

Details and registration are available online at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/smallfarm/puttingsmallacrestowork.html or by contacting Cavanaugh-Grant at 217-782-4617 or cvnghgrn@illinois.edu).

Source: Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator

For more information on University of Illinois Unit 19 programming and to read more helpful articles, visit our website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ccdms/index.html or call us at (217)345-7034.

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David Shiley is a University of Illinois Extension educator specializing in local food systems and small farms.

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Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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