“Stories from the Field” Dinner Brings Community Together Around Farmers Market

On the eve of the grand opening of the Old Capitol Farmers Market, the next dinner in the Community Supported Dinner Series, highlighting “Stories from the Field”, will give Springfield community members an opportunity to learn more about the faces behind their favorite farmers market booths.

The dinner will take place on Friday, May 19th and will feature a panel of local farmers market vendors including Chase Sanert of Sugar Grove Family Farms, Chad Wallace of Oak Tree Farms, and Jacque Suttill-Simpson of Suttill’s Gardens. The meal will feature ingredients straight from their farms and will be prepared by Chef Corey Faucon of the newly opened Long 9 Junction in downtown Springfield.


Friday, May 19th: Community Supported Dinner Series: Farmers Markets
Featuring “Stories from the Field” hosted by Liz Moran Stelk, Executive Director, Illinois Stewardship Alliance
Third Presbyterian Church
6:30pm – 8:30pm

The “Stories from the Field” Dinner is the second installment in the new three-part Community Supported Dinner series organized by Illinois Stewardship Alliance in partnership with Lincoln Land Community College, Third Presbyterian Church, Innovate Springfield and Slow Food Springfield. The series brings individuals together around good food while learning how they can shape their local food system and encourage a more just and ecologically sustainable system.  The series is designed to provide an opportunity for learning, reflection, discussion and action.

One Community Supported Dinner event will take place in Springfield each month between April and June. Below are the series dates:

April 29th: Community Supported Dinner: Sustainable Seafood
May 19th: Community Supported Dinner: Farmers Markets
June 23rd: Community Supported Dinner: Cut Flowers

Last month’s series featured Sitka Salmon, a sustainable fishery selling wild-caught Alaskan salmon and seafood at the farmers market in Springfield and through various other venues. This month’s dinner will focus on sharing the stories of farmers market vendors.

“Farmers markets are the lifeblood of many local family farmers,” says Stelk, Executive Director of Illinois Stewardship Alliance. “This dinner will shed a light on what it’s like to grow food for market and give farmers a chance to tell their stories.”

In addition to organizing this new series, the Alliance also manages the Old Capitol Farmers Market in downtown Springfield and works to promote diverse farmers and farmers markets across the state. Last year, many farmers reported a downturn in sales.

Stelk adds, “With reports of farmers market sales being down last year both nationally and here in our hometown, we think it’s especially relevant to bring people together around good food and conversation and kick off this year’s farmers market season with a reminder of what farmers mean to our community.”