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Tag: agroforestry

Restoring the Agricultural Richness of Pembroke

Located one hour south of Chicago, the Pembroke Township in Illinois was once home to the largest Black farming community north of the Mason-Dixon line. Today, less than 50% of this land is owned by descendants of the farming families. Iroquois Valley, in partnership with Black Oaks Center, Savanna Institute, Conservation Fund, Food Finance Institute, and Fresh Taste, was awarded a Conservation Collaboration Grant in 2020 to support this farming community with the financial and technical resources necessary to expand and diversify the region’s agroforestry production. 

As part of this grant, Black Oaks Center recently hosted an Open House for all Pembroke landowners to attend and learn more about federal funding opportunities. Present at the event were Conservation Fund, Savanna Institute, Iroquois Valley, and Renewable Pembroke. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) was also available to sign up landowners for FSA programs – their first step in accessing National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) services. John Steven Bianucci, Iroquois Valley’s Director of Conservation, reported that over 25 landowners registered with the FSA. 

Overall, the event was a big success, increasing the momentum for Pembroke farming.

A day at Rock Creek Farm

This week, the Rock Creek Farmhouse was designated a historic landmark and the Midwestern contingent of the Iroquois Valley team hosted a socially distant gathering to celebrate. The house is one of 57 historic landmarks in Will County, Illinois.

Last spring, Iroquois Valley planted 10,000 trees at Rock Creek to create a windbreak. The trees planted at this event replaced some that had not made it through the hot and dry spells over the summer.

At the event, the team planted trees and enjoyed a meal cooked by Dan Weiland, a Chicago-based chef. He shares, “As a chef, your meals are only as great as the ingredients you use. I had the privilege of cooking at Rock Creek for some wonderful people who brought some amazing meats, grains, and produce. To know where your food comes from creates a greater connection and respect for the environment and for the hard working people who grow it.”

In the future, we plan to host events at Rock Creek for folks interested in agroforestry and organic agriculture.

Events

2021 Holiday Gift Guide

December 3, 2021
Iroquois Valley is excited to share our annual gift guide featuring products grown by the farmers we partner with. Scroll below for products available across the country as well as products available in certain regions.

News

Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT, PBC Announces Bill Stoddart as CEO and Christopher Zuehlsdorff as COO

July 28, 2022
Iroquois Valley is proud to announce the hiring of William “Bill” Stoddart as CEO, effective July 11th, 2022, and Christopher Zuehlsdorff as COO, effective July 25th, 2022.

What We're Reading

Iroquois Valley joins Will County, IL farm alliance to improve soil health, water quality and local economies

August 20, 2021
We need a regional agricultural food, nutrition and conservation business plan that incentivizes farmers to continue producing economic, environmental and social benefits for another 100 years.  

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