The Land Conservancy of McHenry County hosts Common Ground Gathering Dec. 3

Area farmers and farmland owners with an interest in local sustainable agriculture will have the opportunity to network at the upcoming Common Ground Gathering on Sunday, Dec. 3, from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at Duke's Alehouse & Kitchen in Crystal Lake.

Registration is $10 per person. RSVP at or call Linda Balek at (815) 337-9502.

The Common Ground Gathering is a casual social event that gives farmers and landowners the opportunity to learn from and connect with each other. It is designed for those looking for land to start or expand their farm business; looking for a farmer to purchase, steward or lease their land; or just looking to learn more about land access.

"Farmland owners and farmers can partner together in ways that are profitable, good for the land and good for the community," said Linda Balek of The Land Conservancy of McHenry County. "But first they have to find each other and talk. That's what this event is all about."

The afternoon begins with two featured farmers who will share their stories on finding land to farm.

Farmer Bob Haraden will talk about his passion for growing grains organically and his quest to lease more land that will be transitioned from conventionally cropped to organically grown. And farmer Beatrice Kamau will share her inspiring story, from sharing land at an incubator farm to finally owning a farm of her own.

Everyone in attendance is invited to share their own story in the popular lightning round session. Afterwards there will be plenty of time to network with other land seekers and landowners in the community, and browse resources from over 10 organizations dedicated to helping land seekers and landowners. Appetizers will be provided by Duke's.

"This is the seventh year that we are holding the Common Ground Gathering," Balek said. "People really enjoy it and have made valuable connections that have continued beyond the event."

Farmers and farmland owners from McHenry County, northeast Illinois, and southern Wisconsin are invited to attend.

Common Ground is organized by The Land Conservancy of McHenry County, Angelic Organics Learning Center, Northern Illinois Young Farmers Coalition, Illinois Farmlink and the Center for Agrarian Learning.

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