Signup for our E-Newsletter

Home » AOLC Blog

AOLC Blog

Beekeeping Basics: The Bees’ Knees Needs

Beekeeping at LotFotL (Living off the Fat of the Land) Community Farm

Arriving at LotFotL Community Farm on Tuesday, CRAFTers were greeted by some exceedingly healthy and jolly-looking pigs (as well as an impressive heap of winter squash).  However, it was a few hundred thousand head of LotFotL’s other livestock that was the focus of this beekeeping field day.

Beekeeper and farm manager April Yuds (pictured here with LotFotL owner/operator Tim Huth) started off this incredibly informative session with a tour of a Langstroth style hive and an overview of all...

Tipi Produce CSA Box

Over twenty CRAFT members took a break from their fall cleanup chores to enjoy a wonderful potluck lunch and learn about soil fertility at Tipi Produce outside of Evansville, WI, on Tuesday, October 7th.  Tipi is situated on seventy-six acres with over forty-five...

Coop Tour, Chicago, Urban Chickens, Chicken Coop

On September 20 and 21, the Learning Center and Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts held our 5th Annual Windy City Coop Tour. Between periodic showers, 29 hosts reported good traffic during the 4-hour windows that they were open for tour visitors, with an estimate of 350 at all sites. 16 Hosts were new to the tour, while the others had hosted at least one previous year – and 3 hosts have participated each of the 5 years of the tour! During that time, 70 hosts in at least 26 wards of Chicago and 5 neighboring communities have opened their yards to the...

Here at Angelic Organics Learning Center, we love chickens.

So much so that we have staff who have worked in their cities, towns, and villages to overturn the chicken laws so that residents can have feathered friends in their own backyard. (By the way, congratulations Roscoe, IL!)

We love chickens so much that we frequently stop a conversation mid-sentence to gawk at their awkardly hilarious run.

We love chickens and we can't get enough of them.

In light of this chicken-love, we recently decided that enough was enough. It was officially time for "Bring Your Chicken to Work" Day.

...
Blue Cross Blue Shield, Angelic Organics, Roots and Wings, Blackhawk Courts, urban agriculture, award

We are grateful to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) for awarding a $15,000 Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grant to support the Roots & Wings Urban Agriculture and Youth Development Program. The Roots & Wings network builds leadership, job skills and community through farming in the city of Rockford. Angelic Organics Learning Center coordinates the Roots & Wings network together with Rockford youth, their families, neighbors, and support organizations.

"Giving back to help our communities is...

pumpkins

Autumn in the Midwest offers ample opportunities for shooting pictures of beautiful barns, rolling fields, and grazing livestock. You are invited to send in your favorite shots from any farm during the month of October for your chance to win an organic t-shirt.

By the Root: Food Sovereignty
An occasional post from Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agricultural Systems in the Americas
 
Food sovereignty is a term used around the world to call for food systems that are just, sustainable, and democratically governed by people and communities (not corporations). Food sovereignty is not a one-size-fits all approach, or a singularly defined demand. It is an expansive, and evolving vision that looks different in different communities. Six widely accepted principles of food sovereignty include: the right of everyone to healthy food; the valuing of all those involved in growing, harvesting, and...

This Sunday the sun shown brightly and warmed up Chicagoland just in time for our CRAFT field day. On September 14th, CRAFT members gathered at Green Earth Institute in Naperville, IL, to learn about postharvest handling. Amongst the group of CRAFT members were also special guests - four students from the horticulture department at College of DuPage, enrolled in "Organic Vegetable Production" taught by CRAFT farm member Kim Marsin of Sweet Home Organics.

Green Earth Institute is surrounded by many subdivisions within a suburb of Chicago. The farm is 60 acres total so it’s not really constituted...

Janice Forrest has one of those smiles that can turn even the worst day around. Her open and welcoming heart radiates through her bright grin. Her joyful nature is a breath of fresh air to a community that has gone through hard times.

Janice has worked with Zion Lutheran Church for 5 years as the Buddy House/Blackhawk Farm Involvement Supervisor at Blackhawk Courts, a Rockford Housing Authority (RHA) community. Blackhawk Courts Farm and Garden is a partnership between RHA, Zion Outreach and Angelic Organics Learning Center.

When I interviewed her recently, she told me...

Can I name this one Henry?” or something similar, has come from many of the kids that I’ve seen hold a worm.

A red wiggler. Our tiniest farm animals, they are also one of the most valuable.

Every day, we have to eat. We also tend to have a little bit of waste every day…that extra handful of rice, the last bite of a sandwich, an apple core or banana peel. 

The good news is that red wigglers have to eat, too. And they are good-to-the-last-drop definitely not-picky eaters. Throw in that apple core, they gobble it up. The rice...

Curious about urban chicken keeping? This is your chance to take a peak at the wide variety of chicken coops and breeds in the Chicago area at the 5th Annual Windy City Coop Tour on September 20-21 from 10 AM to 2 PM each day.

As many as 29 hosts in Chicago, Riverside, Blue Island and even Hammond, IN, will be opening their gates an sharing their coops, yards, and chicken-keeping wisdom with visitors.

In addition to chicken-gazing, visitors can also learn about other green features at some of the host sites. Like this home in Lincoln Square that also...

As the summer comes to an end I asked the Youth leaders and young adults from the Blackhawk Courts community to reflect on some of their experiences over this summer with the Roots & Wings program. Here is what they had to say:

Milca St. Fleurose (Age 16, Youth Leader Apprentice) 

"One experience that I’ve had through the Roots & Wings program this summer is going out to Pecatonica IL, and seeing Andy Hazzard’s farm. I have a love for nature so seeing all the green fields and feeling the fresh summer breeze makes me happy, as well as...

Irish Grove Farm, Stateline Farm Beginnings, Angelic Organics, farmer training

The Illinois Food, Farm, & Jobs Act has called for support of programs that recruit, train, and provide technical assistance to beginning farmers in order to meet the demand for 5,000 more local farmers in Illinois by 2020. Angelic Organics Learning Center has been fulfilling that role by training farmers for the past ten years.

farm dinner, angelic organics, peak harvest farm dinner, local food event, benefit event, angelic organics learning center, field-to-table

A golden glow blanketed the field of organic leeks and lettuce as guests made their way to their tables overlooking the colorful crops at Angelic Organics Farm. They gathered for a gourmet, 5-course meal prepared by celebrity chefs from Chicago and Rockford with produce and meat sourced directly from the farm.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is all about building relationships and supporting one another through good times and bad. Most CSA farmers rely on the money they make through their shares to support their families and many cannot afford health insurance or have very limited coverage. If a farmer or a member of their family becomes ill, they sometimes have to reach out to their community for support.

In June, one of our CRAFT farmers, Lori Vierow of Bob's Fresh and Local was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL for short. Lori's insurance does not cover all of her...

Bill Conover, Mindfulness Instructor, Angelic Organics Learning Center, meditation

Guest post by Bill Conover, Director, Spiritual Life Program at Beloit College and Mindfulness Workshop instructor


A cool summer sunset illuminating tower clouds over Angelic Organics fields. Thousands of fireflies dancing upward from the crops, sparks lifting off from a greenish fire. The steady diesel thrum and cough of a parked refrigerator truck, loaded with veggies bound for Chicagoland the next morning.

And out in the middle of that scene, at the end of their eighth and final weekly session in the Learning Center's Mindfulness Workshop, a small group of people practicing mindfulness, opening to it all ......

Guest post by Rozalinda Borcilă

This was our first time at Angelic Organics and the Learning Center. We live in Chicago, time is tight and so is our budget, so attending a five-day camp at the farm seemed like a stretch. Still, it was time for an adventure, or actually, it was time for two adventures in one. We decided to camp at Rock Cut State Park for six nights, and explore the Farm Animal camp during the day. Upon first arriving at the Learning Center, my daughter was, as always, a bit shy, a bit unsure of being left...

Eat to Live garden in early July

….is the motto of the Eat to Live project, and certainly that is happening this summer! 

We are grateful to the many neighbors, volunteers, and friends who have contributed hours spreading compost, planting, weeding and harvesting in the Eat to Live garden space at 70th and Princeton. 

We have shared hundreds of pounds of bounteous greens and roots with neighbors and volunteers, with families from nearby Harvard School, with seniors from the Vincennes Senior Center, and with guests of the Maria Shelter. 

Regular summer volunteer hours take place on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons.  Come and join us! ...

Angelic Organics Farm Adventure Summer Day Camp entrepeneurs

Last week at Farm Adventure Day Camp, the campers faced new, exciting challenges each day - making products to sell to shareholders, caring for the livestock, building rafts to float on Kinnikinnick Creek, beautifying the garden, clearing trails and more. It was a large group of kids in this sold-out day camp, but they all worked together to brainstorm ways to meet their challenges and democratically choose solutions.

As people started tumbling out of cars I could see their faces light up as they took it all in. The kids didn't waste a second before scrambling over fences to pet the goats, running through the orchard, checking out the campfire, and gathering sticks. What is the deal with boys and sticks anyway?

Pages

Subscribe to