Annual Vegetable Swap returns to Heartline and Heart House

University of Illinois Extension Services

It is time again to share the harvest, swap your homegrown garden produce and help the community on Aug. 13 in Eureka. (Photo courtesy of U of I Extension)

Did you know there are parts of Woodford County that are technically considered a food desert, meaning there is low access to food?  

Some residents do not have space or tools to grow fresh tomatoes or peppers. It is time again to share the harvest and celebrate Woodford County’s homesteading spirit.  

University of Illinois Extension and Heartline and Heart House are teaming up for the third annual distribution of fresh garden vegetables to the community, farmers market style. Join in at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 13 for the Vegetable Swap at Heartline and Heart House, 300 Regan Drive, Eureka (across from Eureka College). This program is open to all who want to give or receive vegetables. 

In 2018 and 2019, community members, contributed tomatoes, eggplant, herbs, cucumbers, peppers, apples, and more.  

University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Kelly Allsup says, “The participants in the program were elated with all of the fresh produce. It puts these delectable veggies in the hands of community members that may not have the opportunity to grow their own gardens or shop at a local farmers market.”  

Most gardeners grow more produce than they can handle. This is an avenue to distribute some of your fresh garden produce and know it will be used on someone’s dinner table. If you would like to contribute vegetables for distribution, please drop off at Heartline and Heart House on the day of the program. 

“This program is perfect for the city of Eureka, a town founded on homesteading values and a strong sense of community,” believes Allsup, “and it lets us help our neighbors enjoy garden fresh tomatoes.” 

For questions or if you will need an accommodation in order to participate, please email contact us at the Woodford County Extension Office at 309-467-3789. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs. For more information about Extension and upcoming programming, visit us at 

The Extension is returning to in-person Diabetes Clinic programming this summer and fall. Join “Diabetes Clinic: Cooking with Herbs” class from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 19 at a new location: Eureka Christian Church, 302 S Main St., Eureka. 

Do you have an herb garden but are unsure how to incorporate them into your meals? Herbs can greatly enhance the flavor of food, while reducing the use of salt and sugar. Participants will receive recipes and tips on growing, buying, storing, and using herbs and spices.   

Diabetes clinics are informal but informational walk-in programs with a different topic each month designed especially for persons living with diabetes. Future topics will include “How the Palate Changes”, “Healthy Behaviors for a Healthy Immune System”, and “Nutrition and Eye Health”. There is no cost to attend this program and no registration is necessary.