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AOLC Blog

By Shelbie Blank, Farmer Training Program Assistant

February 28th CRAFT members gathered at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy, Wisconsin for the annual CRAFT Open Meeting! Learn more about the meeting details, the first CRAFT Field Day of the year "Rightsizing Your Farm" panel discussion and a QuickBooks Recordkeeping workshop which also took place at the meeting.

The Learning Center is proud to be co-sponsoring a first ever "Farm Dreams" workshop in Spanish! Please let any Spanish-speaking farm dreamers know that there are still spots available in the session on Saturday March 8th from 10-4.

In early January this year, April Yuds accompanied three staff members of Angelic Organics Learning Center as the farmer representative to the first ever North American CRAFT gathering at Hawthorne Valley Farm in New York State.

Angelic Organics Learning Center is proud to be co-sponsoring The Right to Food Conference with Vandana Shiva in April!

One of the biggest hurdles to starting and growing a farm business is finding the money to do so. Financing any new business, let alone a farm, can be hard to do and requires a ton of time putting together business plans and completing loan applications.

Angelic Organics Learning Center and the Upper Midwest Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) are recognizing beginning farmers and their mentors with the 2nd annual Beginning Farmer of the Year award.

Would you like to support sustainable agriculture by investing in farmland managed by Angelic Organics?

See why Angelic Organics Learning Center is one of the region's favorite spots for memorable and educational field trips!

Local artist and studio art instructor Lily Picot has been fascinated with the insect world for as long as she can recall. As a young girl growing up in North Carolina, she would perch next honeysuckle plants, studying bumblebees and marvelling at their furry bodies.

AOLC is excited to announce a brand new Farmer Training program: The Farm Asset Builder Program! This program was a long-time coming, and many hours of hard work went into making this program a reality.

Angelic Organics Learning Center, Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA), and the Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts again present the Urban Livestock Expo on February 22, 2014 from 10AM to 1PM at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, 3857 W 111th Street in Chicago.

Support Rockford youth - reserve your 2014 Youth Farm CSA Shares today!

Upper Midwest CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training), along with 12 other CRAFT farmer alliances from across North America, met at Hawthorne Valley Farm Jan 2-4 in Ghent, New York, for an inaugural in-person meeting of CRAFT farmers and coordinators. This special meeting happened in conjunction with, and was hosted by, the Farm Beginnings Collaborative, a network of 9 US nonprofits--including Angelic Organics Learning Center--that offers the Farm Beginnings strategic farm business planning program to their farmer networks.

This time of year, friends who are familiar with Angelic Organics farm might be wondering: What is the farm like during the winter?

As I drove into the farm today, past craggy piles up on either side of the driveway, it was remarkably still. Especially compared to how it feels during the height of the growing season - hands harvesting, machines moving, kids playing - it is quiet on the farm this time of year.

But there is always life on the farm and there is always work to be done. Our dedicated crew keeps the livestock fed and watered....

In a few weeks, on January 29, 2014, Angelic Organics Learning Center’s Farmer Training Initiative will be the beneficiary of a Whole Foods 5% day!

Call for nominations for the Second Annual Beginning Farmer of the Year Recognition, sponsored by the Upper Midwest CRAFT farmer alliance and Angelic Organics Learning Center.

On November 26th residents of Blackhawk Courts gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving—farm style. This multi-generational family event brought over thirty people together to create & cook an assortment of pies. Prior to the event, pie-making participants decided about what type of pies they would like to make with fruit, nuts or vegetables.  In response to popular demand, pecan and banana cream pies were added to the menu. Other taste sensations included sweet potato and apple fillings, both of which were grown or gathered locally by the farm crew at Blackhawk Courts. The theme of the night was “let’s bake and eat...

Not only do farmers require ingenuity and creativity in dealing with issues that arise on the farm, today's modern small-scale, organic farmers must possess this same level of ingenuity when it comes to marketing and selling their products. Farmers must set themselves apart, create an edge in the market. As a 5-foot-tall, spunky, single woman farmer with long dreadlocks, Andy Hazzard naturally stands out.

On September 24th, we received a phone call at Angelic Organics Roots & Wings office from someone wondering if our organization was interested in harvesting some organically grown apples and pears. The call was given to me and the warm voice on the other end belonged to Joan Sabin of Rockton, Illinois. I responded with a resounding “YES!”

Imagine this scenario: as you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with your family, you begin to realize that each dish has a story.* Perhaps it’s a story about the farmer who grew your mashed potatoes or the friend who gave you his cranberry sauce recipe.

Now imagine: your kids made half the dishes on your Thanksgiving table - so they’re the ones leading the storytelling. They’re sharing tips for proofing yeast and laughing about how they almost spilled the filling as they put the pumpkin pie...

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