Big Grove Tavern, Champaign, Charity, Eastern Illinois Foodbank, Family Service, Give Back, Illinois, Local Food, Local Support, Prosperity Gardens, Sustainable Farming, The Land Connection

Give Back Campaign- Three Month Recap

For the past three months, Big Grove has partnered up with a different, local non-profit each month as part of a campaign called Give Back. Our Give Back campaign aims to financially support and raise awareness for various local organizations within the Champaign Urbana area. Join us for lunch any weekday and a portion of the lunch sales will be donated to the featured organization! (Click here to see our full lunch menu.)

Here is a little information about each organization we have worked with thus far:


October 2014 Partner

October 2014 Partner

The Land Connection‘s mission is to train farmers in resilient, restorative farming techniques and work to protect and enhance farmland so that we, and generations to come, will have clean air and water, fertile soil, and healthy, delicious food. They work to inform the public about the sources of our food and why that matters.
Featured programs like Farm Dreams workshops and Farm Beginnings courses equip their students with the knowledge needed to start a farm business with a solid foundation for its success.
Check out the Farm Fresh Now series of vegetable profiles (with recipes), plus a local foods infograph showing what’s in season and when to spread the word about all the great produce grown by Illinois farmers!

Our donation will be going towards as scholarship for the Farm Beginnings Program

Our donation will be going towards as scholarship for the Farm Beginnings Program


November 2014 Partner

November 2014 Partner

Through neighborhood farming, Prosperity Gardens is dedicated to cultivating healthy communities by providing education, employment and collaborative opportunities.
Prosperity Gardens works with the R.E.A.D.Y. school and the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club to educate and promote healthy lifestyles. The gardens also employ students over the summer. These student employees help Prosperity Gardens to produce hundreds of pounds of produce annually to be sold from an on-site farm stand each Thursday from 3:00pm-5:30pm. This gives students an opportunity to learn small business skills like the importance of customer service and entrepreneurship.
Through urban gardening, Prosperity Gardens can grow a stronger, more prosperous and healthier community.
Check out their Cookbook for a collection of healthy and delicious recipes inspired by the fruits and vegetables grown in the garden!

The Founder of Prosperity Gardens, Nicole Bridges

The Founder of Prosperity Gardens, Nicole Bridges.


December 2014 Partner

December 2014 Partner

The Eastern Illinois Foodbank exists to alleviate hunger in eastern Illinois. Clients seeking help from the Foodbank’s agencies and programs include older adults, children, the working poor, single-parent families, and the newly unemployed. To a family in crisis, Foodbank programs provide a little hope and support during difficult times.
The Healthy Futures Initiative is the Eastern Illinois Foodbank’s coordinated approach to alleviating child hunger. The initiative strives to increase children’s access to healthy foods such as produce, dairy, grains, meat, nonperishable fruits and vegetables during times of food insecurity. This includes programs like The Backpack Program which sends backpacks full of food home with children who are at risk of weekend hunger. Also, school pantries which provide a more readily accessible source of food assistance to low-income students and their families.
Click here to read more about the impact the Eastern Illinois Foodbank has on our community.


January 2015 Partner

January 2015 Partner

We are so pleased to announce our January Give Back partner is Champaign County’s Family Service– Senior Resource Center. Their mission is to support people across the generations by providing quality human services. Their reach is far and wide and includes programs such as Meals on Wheels, which delivers hot meals to seniors and the Senior Resource Center which provides seniors and their families with information about all services available in their area. There are many forms of counseling also available including Children First, a program that educates divorcing parents on the impact of divorce on children and helps them develop resources and new ways to relate to each other and their children.
Family Service aims to enrich lives across the generations. To learn more about their programs and how to get involved click here.

Thanks for reading and we hope this has given you an idea of why we at BGT feel giving back to our community is so important.

Happy Holidays from the BGT staff!

Happy Holidays from the BGT staff!

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Big Grove Tavern, Fairbury, Farmstead Visits, Illinois, Kilgus Farmstead, Local Food, Organic, Sustainable Farming

BGT Staff Visit to Kilgus Farmstead

The Big Grove Tavern staff had the opportunity to visit the Kilgus Farmstead (Fairbury, Illinois) this week. We source our milk, cream and ground beef from them. This family run farm houses 150 Jersey cows who are milked two times a day for their delicious milk and cream. Jenna, our wonderful tour guide, informed us that as a breed, Jersey cows give less milk than their black and white counterparts, but their milk is highly prized by cheese makers, chefs, and others because of its increased protein and calcium levels.

A week old baby Jersey cow

A week old baby Jersey cow

Jersey Cows and Snickers the Dog

Jersey Cows and Snickers the Dog

Upon our arrival we watched the milk bottling session for the day. We witnessed the gallons of milk being bottled that were to be delivered to our restaurant the following morning. It doesn’t get much fresher than that!

In the milking room where cows are milked 2 times every day. 365 days a year!

In the milking room where cows are milked 2 times every day. 365 days a year!

We learned that Kilgus cows are on pasture starting in April and enjoy the pasture grass until November. During  the winter months the cows are fed a ration of non-GMO corn silage that is grown on the Kilgus farm.

Chef Jessica and her friends

Chef Jessica and her friends

Kilgus also is the home to pigs, goats and a few farm dogs!

Chef Matt and the pigs

Chef Matt and the pigs

If you eat at Chicago’s Girl and the Goat, The Little Goat or Frontera Grill, the goat comes from Kilgus Farmstead!

The Big Grove Staff after an awesome tour of the farm & loaded up with local goodies.

The Big Grove Staff after an awesome tour of the farm & loaded up with local goodies.

After our tour we enjoyed a lovely lunch at Fairbury’s own Lost in Time restaurant where they source their ingredients locally and make their dishes from scratch!

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