Agriculture is the foundation of Champaign County and is a way of life for many in our area. Summer is a great time to celebrate this.
Start off next weekend at the annual I & I Historic Farm Days, July 10-14 in Penfield. You’ll take a look back at our history in farming with special displays from Ford for this year. There will be tractor pulls, parades, fireworks, a blacksmith shop, square dancing and so much more.
This time of year, you’ll see many bees hovering around the flowers. The University of Illinois Pollinatarium shows us how important these pollinators are to our agriculture and ecosystems. While the kids are out of school, take them to learn about beekeeping through demonstrations and interactive games. They’re open every weekend from 1-4pm.
While you’re in the area, head to the IDEA garden and the Arboretum as now is ideal to see these beautiful blooms. This is a living laboratory of what’s possible in our climate, cultivated by the University staff and faculty. It’s a great way to get inspired for a garden of your own.
Prairie Fruits Farm is also a local gem for enjoying our agriculture. Their Wednesday open houses offer U-Pick for what’s in season, as well as tastings of their goat’s milk gelato and award winning goat cheeses. Their dinners on the farm provide guests with a true farm-to-table experience, with many of the ingredients coming directly from Prairie Fruits Farm or other nearby farmsteads.
Finally, get ready for one of the biggest agritourism sites to open July 20—Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch opens back up so you can bring the kids out to pick apples, shop the Country Store, seeing the animals on the farm and much more.