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Surviving Zoe and Jada…One Day at a Time!

By on Dec 19, 2014

It’s been a while since last I spoke to you. My latest posts have all been geared toward food and farming, but I think it’s high time we get back to the Zoe and Jada saga, which by the way has increased ten-fold. Zoe is now a pre-schooler who thinks she’s a high schooler. She frequently pretends to talk to Grandma Brenda on her play phone and refuses to wear any clothing item I’ve chosen for her (be it to school or to bed) that isn’t pink, purple, fluffed, ruffled or sparkly. She is the self-proclaimed Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen,” and frequently belts out the lyrics to “Let it Go” at the top of her lungs while strumming my out-of-tune guitar. And all the while her side-kick Jada, who dutifully plays her assigned role of Anna, dishes out a soul-stirring interpretive dance. But don’t get me wrong…little Miss Jada...

From the Turkey Farm to Your Thanksgiving Table: Understanding the Process by which Turkey’s are Raised on the Farm

By on Nov 20, 2014

Ever wondered about the process by which your Thanksgiving turkey arrived at your table? I sure have, and finally, I’ve got a window into the foreign world of turkey farming! I had the pleasure of interviewing Greg Sinn of Sinn Turkey Farms in Tremont, IL. This 80-year-old family turkey farm was started by father Sinn and is now ran by his two sons. Greg Sinn was gracious enough to chat with me about how he runs his farm and what to consider when purchasing a turkey. So if you’ve ever wondered how your Turkey get’s to market, here’s a crash course. About the Sinn Farm The Sinn Farm is one of few Turkey Farms in IL due to very few processing plants in our state. The majority of Turkeys come from places like Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Indiana and Arkansas. This family farm is unique in that they solely purchase male turkeys because they can grow to be...

How NOT to Prepare Your Child For a Trip to the Dairy Farm

By on Oct 28, 2014

It’s that time of year when little ones have been hitting the petting zoos, picking apples and selecting the perfect pumpkins, but are parents really helping their children to connect the dots between farmers and the fun they’re   having at their local farms and orchards? Unfortunately, I unsuccessfully attempted to do just that for Zoe and Jada this summer. We had the privilege of visiting a dairy farm on the campus of University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign. I prepped the girls for our trip by stating that we were going to see the cows that give us milk, and they echoed the news with simultaneous “MOOOs”!  It was going to be a great visit, right…wrong! We pulled up to the school’s dairy farm and as I unloaded the girls onto the gravel walkway they acknowledged that their glittery shoes were now smeared with mud. This visit was nothing like the...

IL Farm Families Seeks New Cohort of Chicago Area Moms for 2015 Farm Tours

By on Oct 15, 2014

Calling All Chicago Area Mommas interested in learning about how your food is raised and harvested; the Illinois Farm Families wants you! Many of you have followed my journey to discovery in the world of farming, food and fear-mongering, and I’m happy to share with you that you too can join in the learning as part of the 2015 cohort! But first, here’s the scoop on what to expect if you’re selected to participate. There’s an average of 5-6 tours that will take place over the course of the year. The first of which is a trip to a local grocery store to learn the ins and outs of food labeling. This tour will also include the expertise of a dietician to answer all of your pressing questions about your grocery purchases and to decode the infamous list of ingredients on the back of your favorite snack packages. The remaining tours, in no particular order, will include...

How I Narrowly Escaped Cow “Slosh and Heavy Rain” During an Illinois Farm Bureau Commercial Shoot

By on Aug 20, 2014

Each time that I visit a farm my respect for farmers grows exponentially; my latest adventure to the Heinsohn Farm was no different. I was recently invited to participate in a commercial for the Illinois Farm Bureau with 3 other farm moms who were just as eager as I have been over the course of the year to debunk the myths surrounding commercially grown food. We drove out to Dekalb County where we shot the commercial in 3 separate locations of the Heinsohn Farm: near the corn fields, inside of a feedlot, and overlooking a small prairie. And while 2 of the 3 locations allowed for ample sunshine, blue skies and fresh cool winds, one location proved to be a bit challenging for this Momma…the feedlot. When we first arrived into the feedlot, I didn’t know that in due time I’d grow accustomed to the stench…but I did. It was more the splashing and plopping of excrement...

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