South Prairie Street Farm

An urban farm specializing in fresh vegetables, herbs and flowers

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Vitamin B12 and the loss of one’s way


This is the chemical structure of Vitamin B12.  It’s chief responsibilities in our bodies are to help make DNA, keeps blood and nerve cells healthy, prevents anemia and keeps you from becoming easily fatigued (oh and also stops you from being bat shit crazy).  A couple of weeks ago I went to the doctor for a routine checkup.  You know you have to have one every 8 years or so, right? I found out I was extremely deficient in Vitamin B12.  WTF.  I eat great, I exercise, I don’t smoke.

At home later that day I made some Vitamin B12 rich food (smoked salmon, eggs, cheese).  I looked up the effects of Vit B12 deficiency and all of the sudden it clicked: From the end of May 2013 to the current day I had been in a fog, a stupor, veiled and concealed behind a grey curtain. Pulled to the center of the Earth by a super gravity inducing monster. It sucked.  It made me quit many things I love to do. Yet, it all made sense.

The procrastination. The exhaustion. Stress. Bat shit craziness too.

So my faithful friends and readers. This year is the year of Vitamin B12.  Heeelllllooo Urbana Butcher Shop and lox and cream cheese! Hello shrimp and crab and (gulp) sardines!  Hello bottle of tiny pink pills filled with energy!

I want to promise you the moon and stars and say I will be the machine of gardening I used to be, but it may not be.

But it will be better this year. Much better.  Just look at this blog for heaven’s sake!  OK, I’m going to go eat some nutritional yeast on some organic popcorn now.  Thanks for visiting and leave a comment if you’re so inclined!

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Thank You!


Photo by Tiffany Carlton

None of this would be possible without you: my lovely customers, friends and family.  You encourage, inspire and help me in so many ways, large and small. It is because of you that the first Market day went so well!  I met lots of new people, talked about growing, sewing, weather, kids, tomatoes and more weather.  It was a blast!  I’ll see you there again on May 18th. Remember there is still time to sign up for my veggie CSA or for the DELIGHT flower CSA.  Click the links to find the information.

To quote Garrison Keillor: “Be well, do good work and keep in touch.”


Photo by Tiffany Carlton






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CSA Invitation!

Hello faithful readers!

The joyful explosion of Spring has once again ensnared me in its grasp!  I have been filling my time with planting, digging, tilling, and planning.  As always, I feel so grateful for this job with my feet firmly in the earth and my hands creating a colorful harvest from soil, air and water.  It is a little bit of magic my friends!


This summer I will be offering a veggie CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) again because it was so much fun to do last year!  I had a blast talking with the families every week at CSA pick-up time.  Sometimes, if the weather was nice, which it mostly was last year, we would walk around the garden to see what was finishing up and what would be coming up the next week.  It is a great honor to feed people and my heart swells with this opportunity!


If you would like to see photos of the farm and some of last year’s shares please visit my FB page here and go to my photo album titled CSA photos.   A special note to say that the photos from last year will show FLOWERS in the CSA basket but this year flowers will NOT be part of the share.  If you would like a share of flowers each week you can join Delight Flower CSA, which is run by Maggie Taylor and will include flowers from South Prairie Street Farm this year.  For the nitty-gritty details please read on (if you would like to have the CSA Agreement mailed/emailed to you please call or email me or 217-714-3076) :

South Prairie Street Farm CSA 2013
This year we are offering two ways to pay: week-to-week or pre-pay.  Last year the week-to-week model worked well and we want to continue this option for people who are often out of town.  If you are choosing the week-to-week plan please let me know by noon on Wednesday of each week if you will be picking up your share on Friday.  If I don’t hear from you, I will assume you do not want the share for that week!  Payment is required at time of pick up in the form of cash or check (payable to Joan Jach).

There will be 12 pick-up dates this season: June—29 July—6,13, 20, 27; August—3, 10, 17, 24, 31; and September—7, 14.  Pick up will be at my house 708 S Prairie St, Champaign between 4pm and 7pm on Fridays each week.

We are offering two share sizes: large and small.  To determine what size share you should order depends on several factors: how often you cook meals, how much fresh produce you use in each meal and your preference for certain items.  As a general guideline the small share can be enough for a family with 2 adults and 1-2 young children and the large for a family with 2-3 adults and 1-3 young children.  Please remember these are only guidelines and your needs may be different.

Week-to-week: You can change your share size with the week-to-week option.  If you want to change your order for a week, let me know by noon on Wednesday of that week.

Pre-pay entire season: If you would like to prepay for the entire season, please see the last page of this document for instructions.
Content for each week will change depending on what is available in my yard and at the farm.  Here is a rough guideline for each month:

June—greens (lettuce, rainbow chard, spinach), green onions, chives, radish, sugar snap peas and maybe strawberries this year!
July—onions, beans, shallots, summer squash, cucumber, greens, tomato (slicing, roma, cherry), potatoes, herbs, carrot, beets
August—tomato, pepper, eggplant, potato, onions, garlic, cucumber, carrot
September—tomato, pepper, eggplant, potato, garlic, beets, greens, herbs, cucumber and flowers

$15.00—3 med/large tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, ~2 lbs. potatoes, 1 summer squash/eggplant, 1 bunch mixed herbs, 2 med onions
$20.00—same as above plus: 2 of pepper, eggplant, and/or summer squash, 1 lb. potato, 1 onion or bunch of shallots

A few words from the farmer
This will be the second year I have done a CSA!  I have been growing my own food since 2001 when I had my first “real” garden in Ames, IA.  Every year presents challenges and successes to the farmer; it is up to the individual to use those experiences in a positive way.  Last year the drought made for a difficult season with watering and weeding but gave us a beautiful allium crop that stored until now (April)!  I hope to translate my experience and my enthusiasm for fresh food into a sustainable business that provides local produce and flowers to my customers.  This CSA is the start of that business.  I love growing food and sharing it with others!

If you have never participated in a CSA it may be helpful to read this webpage:

I am looking forward to hearing from you!  If you have any questions about price, size, content, or anything else mentioned in this letter, please ask.  I strive to offer the best food and customer service possible while learning how to run a CSA.  So if you need something special or have a suggestion, please let me know!
Visit my Facebook page for updates on the farm and to see photos of actual shares from the 2012 CSA:

Thank you and hope to hear from you soon!

Joan Jach
708 S Prairie St
Champaign, IL, 61820

South Prairie Street Farm 2013 CSA Agreement
Please complete and return no later than May 22nd, 2013!  Choose an option below:

____ Small share CSA $180 total —12 weeks at $15/week

____ Large share CSA $240 total—12 weeks at $20/week

____Small share—week-to-week–$15/week

____Large share—week-to-week–$20/week

I understand that my CSA pick up time is on Fridays from 4-7pm at South Prairie Street Farm (708 S Prairie St, Champaign) from 29 June-14 Sept.  If I cannot pick up at this time I will notify Joan Jach at 217-714-3076 to arrange an alternate person or time for pick up.  I also understand that unused portions of my share are non-refundable.

Please fill out this form and email, snail mail or drop off with your payment to:

Joan Jach
South Prairie Street Farm
708 S Prairie St
Champaign, IL, 61820

Remember to keep a copy of this form for your records!


Love this shop!


Springy fabric on one of her tunics!

I love Manda’s clothes and products for kids.  Her choice of fabric and designs for little ones emphasizes comfort and ease of dressing…just what we all need!  Manda also has a blog where you can keep up to date with her newest ideas and where she will be selling (although it is in the UK!).

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Beekeeping Workshop

I have posted more information about the beekeeping workshop we will be hosting on March 9th. Go to the beekeeping workshop page to find out more about the workshop and the instructor, Tim Childress! This workshop is a great place to start if you are unsure about keeping bees or if you just want to know more about bees, their life cycle and how important they are!  Tim is very knowledgeable and has helped me tremendously to establish my first hive.  In fact, Tim caught the swarm of bees that I started with last May! This summer I plan to have three hives because my first year was such a successful and positive experience.  It has been helpful to have a mentor, especially one who lives in town!  


It has been a whirlwind of a winter!  Here at SPSF (South Prairie Street Farm) we have been building cold frames, ordering seeds and beekeeping equipment and dreaming about summer.  I have been very busy with planning workshops and getting ready for the Market season.  There are more workshops to come (YOGA!  BEER BREWING! FOOD PRESERVING!) and I hope you like what we have to offer!  Please like my Facebook page or subscribe to this blog’s feed to stay up to date with what’s going on!