2018 Eat Local Challenge


Thank you for taking the September Eat Local Challenge! And for choosing to keep your food dollars local, invest in your community, and support family farms. Here you'll find everything you need to make finding and preparing local food fun and easy! 

Buy Fresh Buy Local Central Illinois 2018 Directory

The 2018 Buy Fresh Buy Local Central Illinois Print Directory is finally here, bringing you a one-stop guide to finding the freshest local food around! In an effort to create a robust source of information, this guide features over 75 central Illinois farms, the products they raise, their farming practices, and their sales avenues, making it easy for you to find exacty what you're looking for!


Also included are farmers markets, farm-to-table restaurants, local food retailers, institutions, wineries, and breweries that have pledged to source locally whenever possible. 


When you purchase from any of the members listed in this directory, you can feel confident that you are supporting local businesses,  a healthy environment, and a more just food system. 

Weekly Meal Prep: Lunch for the Week!

Below you'll find 4 different meal plans featuring a variety of seasonal produce and proteins and a farmers market shopping list. Each meal plan makes enough for 5 healthy lunches throughout the week for 1 person and can be easily doubled, tripled to feed the whole fam. These meal plans are a guideline, but feel free to swap in your favorite seasonal veg. Can't find sweet potatoes? Sub in butternut squash. Don't like kohlrabi, swap in cabbage! And don't forget to share your recipe photos on social media for your chance to win great prizes! #SeptemberEatLocalChallenge @BuyFreshBuyLocalCentralIllinois

Week 1: Mediterranan Quinoa, Roast Chicken & Zucchini Meal Prep

Photo Scavenger Hunt

Complete the photo challenges from the list below and post your photos on Facebook and Instagram throughout the month of September with the following tags: 



Each week we’ll choose one of our favorite photos on social media to receive a $10 gift card to the Buy Fresh Buy Local farm, farmers market, or farm to table restaurant of their choice.





Complete all 10 photo challenges and submit your photos online by Thursday, September 27th for your chance to win $100 to the Buy Fresh Buy Local venue of your choice. 

Grand Prize $100

Weekly Winners!

Secret Recipes from

Farm-to-Table Chefs: 

Check out Anju Above in Bloomington for more delicious farm-to-table fare


Check out Epiphany Farms Restaurant in Bloomington for more delicious farm-to-table fare


Check out The Old Bank in Leroy for more delicious farm-to-table fare


Check out Healthy AF in Dekalb for more delicious farm-to-table fare


Check out Healthy AF in Dekalb for more delicious farm-to-table fare


Make it Last! Guide to Storing and Preparing Produce

How do you choose an eggplant? How do you prepare kohlrabi? What's the best way to store cabbage to make it last? Check out The Land Connection's Specialty Crop Cards for all of the storage, preparation, and nutrition facts you need. 

Guide to Buying a Whole or Half Animal

Everything you need to know before buying a whole animal-- from how much freezer space you need to how to calculate cost, and how to find local farms near you! You got this!

THIS SEPTEMBER, is the BEST month to advocate for local food

Download the Dishing on the Farm Bill Kit and get everything you need to make hosting fun and easy! From sample invites and social media graphics to simple menu inspiration, to letter-writing tips, and more. 


Eating local is the first step in changing the food system....but to make a real and lasting impact, we also need to change the policies that shape our system. 


Right now, Congress is working on the  2018 Farm Bill–-the major food and agriculture package that comes around once every 4 years. The Farm Bill determines funding for everything from food stamps to crop insurance and sets policies that will decide what type of food ends up on our plates. 


Congress is working to pass the Farm Bill by September 30 and many local food and conservation programs are on the chopping block.There's never been a better time to get involved!


This September, get your favorite people together for a Dishing on the Farm Bill letter-writing party. Now you can sip wine with your friends AND do good.