The Learning Center Team is both saddened and proud to announce that our Resource Development Director, Leah Lawson, has accepted a new role with the Organic Farming Research Foundation.
Leah made a huge impact during her time with us, setting the Learning Center's Resource Development on a strong path the past 3 years while also strengthening our internal processes for gathering data in order to more effectively communicate our impact with our stakeholders.
Within her announcement to our team, Leah expressed she doesn't feel ready to leave the Learning Center and plans to stay connected to our organization and mission as much as possible. There are many possibilities our paths will continue to cross within her new role, as well.
We will deeply miss Leah's presence on our staff and wish her tremendous success in her future endeavors!
A note from yatte moore, urban farm manager
Hi, my name is Yatte Moore and I’m the Urban Farm Manager, and I have been farming for the last 9 years at Roots & Wing Farm & Garden. Roots & Wings is a half-acre urban farm located in Blackhawk Courts; a Rockford Housing Authority property. All the vegetables are grown organically, and we grow over 45 different fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs.
Roots & Wings provides access to fresh fruits and vegetables to the residents of the Blackhawk Courts community. Through our community garden, we specifically grow an assortment of vegetables that residents want, and all the vegetables are available for free.
Also, we offer a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. This program is primarily supported by the broader community but through the generosity from supporters we are able to provide free CSA shares to the residents in Blackhawk Courts. Our CSA is competitively priced and we offer both summer and fall CSA shares for sale. We know you have many choices where to get your vegetables and we ask that you consider our CSA as your source. To sign up for a CSA please visit our website!
It is important to me that I provide the community and CSA members with the best quality, locally-grown vegetables. I personally select all the seeds, decide where and how much to plant and keep detailed records to assist me with my planning. Food safety is our #1 priority! All of our vegetables are cleaned thoroughly. The tools, harvesting buckets, packing containers, and surfaces are sanitized continuously for safety.
The staff and I welcome all visitors to the farm. We offer farm tours, educational programming, volunteering opportunities, and community service work for residents in Blackhawk Courts.
Thank you, Yatte Moore
"I first heard about Roots & Wings from fellow neighbors and students, that there was a local farm in the community that provided on-site training and education for aspiring future farmers. I was about 12 when I started with the Youth Leader program and I was a part of it for about four years. What I like about the Youth Leader program is that it makes a conscious effort at redirecting children and providing opportunities to expand their skills and knowledge with farm-based tasks while giving them notable work history and experience.
I became a farm apprentice by simply volunteering on-site, and over time I was entrusted with more roles and responsibilities until I was able to earn a wage with the organization. I enjoy making stews from the vegetables grown in our garden, and certain vegetables like okra, cherry tomatoes, and red peppers are very delicious freshly harvested from the field.
Learn more about the history of Roots & Wings and the partnerships that make our urban farm possible here. If you would like to get involved with Roots & Wings or schedule a visit, please contact Tedd Snowden, the Roots & Wings Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education and Service (MOSES) is a nonprofit organization that provides education, resources and expertise to organic and sustainable farmers. A cornerstone of their work is the annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference, the country’s largest conference on organic and sustainable farming, which takes place in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Our native Floridian Farmer Training Program Coordinator, now frost-hardy upper Midwest transplant, Ritchie reported that he had “an immensely enjoyable time.” Not only was this the most time he has spent within leek-swinging distance with his organizational family since moving north, this was also the first time since the pandemic began that he had been in close company with so many immeasurably diverse food system people who have aligned and overlapping purposes, perspectives, and experiences. He thoroughly enjoyed learning about the use of topographically-tailored, wooded riparian buffers in surface water management. He was deeply grateful for the candor and solidarity within BIPOC sessions. And he was intrigued by both old and young farmer approaches towards, and their visions of, post-capitalist economies and organizations centered around informal currencies.
“Thanks again to the joyful people with whom we made and shared meals, those we’ve journeyed far with in confined spaces, the late-night visitors, friends we’ve bickered loudly amongst regarding horoscope accuracies, jousted sarcastically against over friendship rankings, cooperatively faced eviction with in light of food pairings, and confronted on all planes of over-amiability including the howling embarrassment of drooling mid-speech. Let’s all do better next year." - Ritchie
Allyson Rosemore is one of our amazing Educators and is the founder of Owl’s Roost Farm, an urban farm located in Rockford, Illinois. As a passionate compost expert, Allyson teaches about the cycle of food production and consumption and why compost is important. She says:
Allyson says a fun fact about composting is that the microbiology of the soil the composting materials are in contact with has an impact on the microbiology (and nutritional profile) of the finished compost. This means that choosing your composting site based on what you intend to use your compost for can make a difference.
Join the compost party
If you have the ability and desire to compost at home, great! If not, consider joining the Owl’s Roost Community Compost program. It’s a bucket swap program, so you’ll get a bucket from Allyson, fill it up, then swap it for a clean one. Repeat! To compost with Owl’s Roost Farm, sign up through Grown By.
Perry first heard about Angelic Organics Learning Center through our friend Bob Benson, author of Local Food Forum. Last August, Perry and his wife attended our Welcome to the Farm dinner and he says, “I was sold.” Perry prioritizes sourcing his ingredients from biodynamic farms, and he appreciates that Angelic Organics Learning Center educates people of all ages on the value of biodynamic agriculture. He has witnessed miraculous results using regeneratively grown and spagerically extracted botanicals and mushrooms.
Perry joined 1% for the Planet because “It’s the right thing to do, and aligns with our mission of placing our planet and product quality first.” In addition to donating 1% of his business profits to Angelic Organics Learning Center, Perry plans to get involved with us by attending programs and sending his children to our Farm Camp. He says he can’t wait to get dirty and learn!
Located in Northfield, Illinois, FuFlun’s Foods offers artisanally crafted adaptogenic herbs and fungi perfected in nature, not a laboratory. Their products are proven and appreciated by naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, and some of the most discerning retailers in the world including California’s ultra-trendy Erewhon Market. Learn more about their practices and products at FuFlunsFoods.com.
We are excited to share that two of our board members have stepped into new roles- Brad Kemp is now Board President, and Jamie Zimmerman is Vice President. Tina Williams will continue as Secretary, and Andy Larson as Treasurer. Brad and Jamie share why they joined and what they are looking forward to.
Interview with On-Farm Educators Randy and Jessie
Like everything we do here, we think about future generations. - Randy Mermel
The ultimate goal of restoration work is listening to what the land needs.
To liberate the old growth oaks from invasive plants that were brought over since colonization.
To free the forest floor and let sunlight in.
If you would like to try a volunteer restoration workday for the first time, make sure to wear sturdy shoes and clothes that can get dirty. Dressing in layers is best because your body temperature changes with the labor. We provide the tools and fire to stay warm (weather permitting), and encourage you to bring water and snacks. Come on time so we can walk into the woods together. Please register in advance before attending a restoration work day so that we can contact you if any changes are made to the timing and location.