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Farm Dinner Highlights

There was a magical feeling on Angelic Organics farm this past Saturday, July 25. The sun glistened on crops and brightly colored buildings as supporters, shareholders, farmers, and new friends gathered for a celebration of local food systems. The goats greeted and grazed as children played, adults mingled, and everyone explored the beautiful grounds of our farm and learning center. 
The Lone Canary gave us some Upper Midwest Americana, with soothing yet powerful vocals accompanied by instrumental folk. New Holland Brewing created an award worthy seasonal cocktail, mixing our fresh basil with homemade fennel simple syrup and their signature gin to create a gimlet that was fresh, smooth, and flavorful. And then there was the food! Each chef used organic produce from Angelic Organics CSA and other local ingredients.  

Elliot Green taught us a thing or two about how to make the perfect flatbread in our earth oven – a thin, soft, slightly crispy crust stacked with seasonal flavors of basil, corn, sweet onions, fennel, fresh ricotta and goat cheeses. Patrick Alberto got creative with seasonal gazpacho, using a carrot and sweet onion base that popped with a flavorful array of fried corn, pickled kale, and basil oil. Johnny Anderes made beautiful use of this season’s kale and mizuna bounty, using corn and aleppo pepper to capture a Midwest/Southwest flavor that left even the kids asking for seconds.

Jason Hammel showed us why he is considered a pioneer in Chicago’s farm-to-table movement, creating a light yet flavorful risotto of corn broth, fennel, crème fraîche & basil, topped with coal roasted pasture-raised chicken from Barrington Natural Farms and blackberries fresh from the vine. Jennifer Mason cleansed our palette and warmed our hearts with a sweet lemon bar pie and red wine raspberry compote. Octane provided locally roasted coffee as we listened to the lively bluegrass of the No Name String Band, danced, and chatted with friends.

We also learned a lot about Angelic Organics Learning Center from co-founder John Peterson, co-founder & executive director Tom Spaulding, and Board Chair Mary Khoury. Special guests Tia Smith and Diamond Verner showed us the power that farming and food had in improving the life of one Rockford teen, and reflected on the impact that our Roots & Wings program has made in their community. Our CRAFT farmers also stood to be recognized, showing the real impact that our farmer training programs have made in expanding local farms and food systems. One special CRAFT farmer and board member, Dominic Green, created a lively atmosphere for a successful auction and the naming of two lucky goats.

photo by Christina Noël

Guests walked away with fresh herbs, and some with auction prizes, but everyone walked away with memories of this unforgettable evening on the farm. Thank you to all who supported this event. You made an impact on our programs, the people we serve, and the local food systems we help create.