The initial effort, limited to 25 counties in east-central
Illinois, yielded a listing of more than 200 producers, markets and
processors that sold directly to consumers. These listings were
compiled into a widely distributed brochure and on a user-friendly
Farm-Direct is much more than a simple listing of producers. It also
includes educational articles on topics such as "Why Buy Local?" and
"What is a CSA?" which explain the benefits of local production and
If you, or someone
you know, should be listed in the directory, please contact David
Onstad, Farm Direct, University of Illinois, 1201 S. Dorner Drive,
Urbana, IL 61801; or
The project is a joint effort between
the University of Illinois Agroecology/Sustainable Agriculture
Program; The Land Connection, a nonprofit organization connecting
sustainable farmers to consumers; and Prairieland Slow Food, a group
dedicated to the preservation of artisan food production, heritage
seeds and animal breeds, and good eating.
National Drinking Water Week
National Drinking Water Week is May
2-8. All water supplies contain impurities of some kind, and some
contaminants, such as lime and calcium, pose no health risk. Others,
such as wastewater, serve as a source of bacteria, viruses and
parasites that can cause gastrointestinal problems or transmit
contagious diseases, while high levels of nitrate can present a
serious health risk to infants.
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Water testing need not be complicated
or expensive. Sampling for a few basic contaminants is sufficient to
determine the overall quality of the water. Water should be checked
for coliform bacteria, nitrates, pH and total dissolved solids,
known as TDS. If one of these contaminants is present at an
unacceptable level, then further testing may be warranted.
The best time to submit your yearly
water sample is spring or early summer. If possible, gather the
sample after a rainy period, as this is when levels of bacteria and
nitrates will most likely be the greatest. A sample should also be
submitted when any work is done on the water supply system or if
there is a noticeable change in water taste, color or smell.
Local health departments, private
companies and the Illinois State Water Survey are the three primary
sources for water-sampling kits. It is important to note that the
Illinois State Water Survey test does not include bacteria testing.
Self-analysis kits can be purchased at select locations, but the
results of those tests are generally not as accurate as those
obtained from a certified water-testing laboratory.
assistance on local water testing, contact the Extension office at
(217) 732-8289 or the Logan County Health Department at (217)
Logan County Extension office]