Farmers like Derek and Libby are building resilient local food systems– you can help.

The Harvest Auction is open through Wednesday night and features amazing items like this Artisan Food Basket. 

The basket features unique items lovingly and expertly hand-crafted by the farmers of LEAF Food Hub in Southern Illinois, including Derek and Libby Ervin of Glacier’s End Farm.

Five years ago, Libby and Derek uprooted their lives in Chicago and moved to the 40 acre family farm in Southern Illinois. They dreamed of starting an apple orchard and cidery, but there were roadblocks along the way.

Apples take years to grow and cideries require start-up capital. They needed a way to earn money on their densely wooded farm right now. They learned that cottage food laws in Illinois would allow them to make products in their home kitchen and sell them at farmers markets.  

But they needed support. They joined Illinois Stewardship Alliance’s budding Local Food Caucus and found other farmers and cottage food entrepreneurs doing the same thing. 

They learned that other folks also felt limited by not being able to sell their cottage food online or at fairs and festivals. 

Derek and Libby worked with the Alliance and farmers in the Local Food Caucus to put forward new legislation and helped negotiate the bill with stakeholders. 

Derek and Libby shared their story with local press so that the public could learn about the issue; they testified at a State House Committee hearing on the bill; and they got their friends, family, and fellow farmers to take action to contact their legislators. 

The Home to Market Act was signed into law by the Governor in August! The new law will help grow hundreds of small farms and food businesses like Libby and Derek’s and give YOU greater access to amazing local food and artisan products. 

In recognition of their leadership on the Home to Market Act, farmers Derek and Libby Ervin received the first Local Food Changemakers Award from the Alliance at Agriculture Day at the State Fair this summer. Their work resulted in changing laws to help grow small farms and food businesses across Illinois, improve the state’s economy, and make it easier for YOU to find the local food you love. 

You can support the Local Food Farmer Caucus and farmer leaders like Derek and Libby by making a bid on great items in our Harvest Auction.

We recommend bidding on these items donated by cottage food producers who worked tirelessly on the Home-to-Market Act: 

  • The Artisan Food Basket by LEAF Food Hub Farmers which features products from Glacier’s End Farm as well as many other cottage food producers and farmers in Southern IL, including Tam Pirman of River-to-River Farm and Liz DeRuntz, manager of LEAF Food Hub. 

There’s tons of other great items in the auction. To start bidding, simply create a free account with Handbid. You won’t be charged unless you win. 

Shop our Harvest Auction for unique local gifts for the holidays, Thanksgiving turkeys or Passover lambs, farm-to-table dinner experiences, or family friendly farm tours. 

Shop our Harvest Auction for unique local gifts for the holidays, Thanksgiving turkeys or Passover lambs, farm-to-table dinner experiences, or family friendly farm tours. 

Your bid helps build collective power to bring farmers and eaters together, shift policy, and create a more just and regenerative food and farm system.

P.S. Our limited edition Illinois Stewardship Alliance T-Shirts are also available for purchase during the Harvest Auction only! Order the Red Rooster T-Shirt or Blue Wild Garden T-Shirt and we’ll ship it to your door!

Thank you to our sponsors

Thank you to our Host Committee

Angie Mizeur • Piero Taico • Lindsay Record • Shari O’Donnell • Ben Hankins Andy Heck • Lindsay Keeney • Emily Wright • Julie Roland • Crystal Kern • Melissa Schwoerer Nancy Weichert • Dick Lyons • Tori Londrigan • Jamie Minnaert