"Profitability of small farms is the elephant in the room. It’s really, really hard work, and you also have to be really knowledgeable, because sustainability is not a simple thing."
Catherine Capel grew up in Champaign, Illinois. After her studies in Wyoming, where she earned a BA in American Studies, Capel returned to live in Mahomet, Illinois. Building on earlier experiences of farming and ranching, she built a barn and an indoor arena, and began teaching about riding, horse breeding, boarding, and training at the Long Leap Farm. She sold the horse farm in 2006, and bought the 7 Sisters Farm in Sidney, Illinois. There, Capel raises chickens, turkeys, and sheep. She sells the wool to local knitters at Urbana's Market at the Square, and the eggs at Natural Gourmet in Champaign. Her meat products (sheep and turkey), which aren’t produced in large quantities, tend to be sold by word of mouth between customers.
In addition, Cathe Capel facilitated The Land Connection's Farm Beginnings program for several years and also served as The Land Connection's Director of Farmer Programs from 2010 to 2012. Capel is now working with another group, the Savanna Institute, to plant an experimental fruit and nut woody polyculture on an unfenced corner of her property. The project will hopefully provide a more productive and sustainable farming infrastructure.
Want to know more about Cathe Capel?
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