Organic Wheat Farming From Field to Mill


Learning Tour


Organic Wheat Farming
From Field to Mill


July 22, 2018


The Mill at Janie’s Farm Organics
405 N. Second Street
(This is not the Mill entrance, see directions)
Ashkum, IL 60911


$20 includes a bag of flour and donation to Gilman Historical Society

Purchase your ticket via BrownPaperTickets


Limit: 20 people


Questions: 312/380-1665


IF you wish to attend and need a ride or carpool, please advise. Be willing to contribute to your host’s gas and work with their schedule. IF you are willing to offer a ride, please advise.


Harold Wilken, together with his wife Sandy and son Ross, are the proprietors of Janie’s Farm Organics. The farm’s name honors Harold and Sandy Wilken’s daughter, Janie, who passed away in a car accident in 2001 at the age of 15.


From the first 33-acre field that Harold farmed organically, Janie’s Farm Organics has grown to include over 2,400 acres of USDA Certified Organic grains.


At last count, Janie’s Farm Organics was growing wheat, oats, rye, emmer, einkorn, buckwheat, corn, soybeans (for soy milk and tofu), black turtle beans, alfalfa, popcorn, and seed corn. Harold is also growing Kernza, a perennial grain developed by The Land Institute.


The Mill at Janie’s Farm is a natural extension of Janie’s Farm Organics. They have been growing certified organic grains for over 15 years, and are now milling the grains they grow, as well as those grown by their organic neighbors.


Their mill is custom-made by Engsko, a Danish company in the milling business for over a century.  Although it’s brand new, the mill is the most ancient type feeding whole grain kernels between stationary and rotating mill stones. They carefully monitor the temperature of the stones to ensure that they stay cool and preserve all the nutrition of the whole kernel–including the bran and germ, with all of their essential proteins, oils, vitamins, and minerals. Their sifted flours contain 70-90% of the whole kernel, so you get more flavor, and more nutrition.


Afterwards, we will visit a local historical society.


Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance is dedicated to celebrating, exploring and preserving unique food traditions and their cultural contexts in the American Midwest. By hosting public events, developing archival resources and generating publications, the GMFA uncovers the distinctiveness of a region that is as varied in tastes and traditions as it is in its geography from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains . Whether indigenous foods like Wisconsin cranberries and Minnesota walleye, iconographic flavors like the wheat and corn from across the prairies, immigrant cuisines from early Europeans to 21st century newcomers, or fish boils and fine dining in small towns and big cities, the Greater Midwest Foodways promotes and chronicles the diversity of the region’s culinary character.





Early arrivals may want to dine at K&H Truck Stop at exit 283 (Gilman) or Monical’s Pizza at the same exit about ½ mile east.


1:00 pm —Arrive at The Mill at Janie;s Farm

We will first visit the milling operation, then go out to the fields where the grain is grow.
We may witness a harvest, though farmers work on their schedule. Bring an extra pair of shoes
in case there are muddy conditions.


3:00 pm     Visit Gilman Historical Society, 217 N Central St., Gilman, IL 60938


5:00 pm     Visit an alpaca farm in Grant Park, Illinois. The owner will not be present, though it’s ok to check out the herd. Directions and address will be given to participants.