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urban garden, urban agriculture, youth garden, Rockford community garden

By Spencer Ellsworth, Urban Farm Manager, Roots & Wings

One fine June Thursday in Rockford, a group of people met early in the morning to talk about squash. 

“If we put them in the Northeast quadrant, they’ll be able to vine up the fence.”

“Plus, they’ll be farthest away from that fat groundhog.”  The groundhog had already come around, looking for a feast, despite the fence’s bottom edge having been sunk a foot into the earth. 

“Gotta dig the beds first, though.” 

“Good thing we have help today!”  This convention of strategic minds was the twice-weekly Blackhawk Courts Farm &...

Neddy receiving her doctorate at Drew University

Fifteen years ago, Neddy Astudillo and her husband Tom Spaulding, Executive Director of AOLC, founded the Learning Center with help from John Peterson and a handful of other Angelic Organics shareholders.  Neddy and Tom were the Learning Center’s first On-Farm Educators.  We chose to highlight Neddy this month for the Web of Interconnections because she had such a strong founding role in our organization and because we are so proud of her for recently getting her Doctorate of Ministry in Ecotheology!  We recently spoke with her about her life’s work and the birth of the Learning Center.  

AOLC: When was...

Rockford kids winnowing freshly-ground farm-grown corn meal on the farm

May 20, 2013

Dear Staff of Angelic Organics Learning Center,

 

Thank you so much for providing our sixth graders with a fantastic learning experience on your farm.  They came away so excited (and so tired!), and they truly enjoyed their time. There were even some who were not initially looking forward to the trip that ultimately decided they had fun, and there were others who did not want to leave!


I appreciate that you were able to be flexible with your programming to meet our curricular needs.  Linking the farm trip to our curriculum, including the...

A year in retrospect: Rebecca Haldeman, the Farmer Training Program Assistant and organizer of the CRAFT alliance, wrote this post in response to finding her place within Angelic Organics Learning Center and CRAFT. She will soon be leaving the Learning Center and embarking on a journey in pursuit of her music career. You can watch her grow and "like" her progress on Facebook: www.facebook.com/rebshaldeman

May 25, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I was browsing the produce section at Willy Street Co-op in Madison, Wisconsin. I always scan the shelves for the purple "locally...

Percheron, draft, horse, Angelic Organics, organic, plow, AOLC, Tom Spaulding

By Jessie & Randy Mermel, On-Farm Educators

Babe is one of our most gracious farm hosts.  She happily obliges visiting children to brush and pet her as she stands there, eyelids heavy with the pleasure of attention.    For many children who visit the farm, Babe is the first horse they have ever touched.  Her affectionate nature helps ease any apprehension about her massive size.  Naturally, she is one of the most popular animals on our farm.

We celebrate Babe, our lovely black Percheron horse, this month as she turns 30 on May 14th!  30 is an advanced age for...

Eco Advocates, Angelic Organics Learning Center, AOLC, Roots & Wings, low tunnel

 By Eco Advocates, Desmond Moore and Roger Ross.  

Recorded and Edited by Katie Townsend- Urban Farm Educator

 

The Ecos created a low tunnel because our high tunnel was vandalized during spring break. The construction crew consisted of Joey Grimmett, Roger Ross and Desmond Moore. Another name for a low tunnel is a caterpillar. Undamaged plastic from the original high tunnel was draped over PVC pipe hoops that were fastened to a raised bed. Now the seedlings for our farm tasks could be started under the little greenhouse. This all happened on Kent Street on the southside of Rockford,...

Comcast, Angelic Organics Learning Center, Urban Farming, Earth Day, Englewood

By Martha Boyd, Program Director, Urban Initiative (Chicago)

On Saturday April 27, Comcast Cares and Links Unlimited celebrated Earth Day with the Eat to Live crew in E2L's Community and Learning Garden in southeast Englewood.  They cheerfully weeded out grass from garden beds, hauled many loads of compost, and collected the winter's trash and debris.  Comcast employee Roberto singlehandedly moved about a ton of compost, while his co-worker Vernice posed next to her newly-fluffed beds.  She plans to help the E2L Garden grow all season.  The work day ended with a visit by the Fresh Moves Mobile Market, returning monthly for E2L's...

Dominic Green, Gentleman Farmer, Angelic Organics Learning Center

By Dominic Green, AOLC Boardmember

I was privileged to represent AOLC at the 98th Anniversary Celebration of the Chicago Community Trust at the Harris Theatre on Tuesday evening. For those who don't know, CCT connects donors to Chicago community needs, granting more than $150M to nonprofits in 2012. AOLC has been a grant recipient for many years now.

CCT helps literally hundreds of organizations, so it was a nice honor for AOLC to be highlighted on the evening in the "Food & Health" section. Host Bill Curtis gave a clear, succinct introduction to our work,...

hoop house, urban gardening

By Katie Townsend, Urban Farm Educator 

April 8, 2013 greeted us with wet rain. No worries I thought as the students will be snug in the Hoop House planting seeds for their gardens as well as the plots cultivated by the Roots and Wings Youth Leaders and the starts for the farm at Blackhawk Courts. Then the phone call came …our covering for the Hoop House on Kent Street had been destroyed.

My heart sunk. The resilient Eco Advocate students and Green Americorp Project Leaders had already fixed the structure once after extensive vandalism. (See picture of the Hoop House...

Goat with newborn kids on the farm

by Nellie Conover-Crockett, Livestock Assistant, age 13

Although spring doesn't seem to be coming, things are already starting up at Angelic Organics Learning Center. Farmers are planting seeds in the greenhouse, baby chicks have arrived, and most importantly, goats have started to have their babies.

Last fall, in October, 8 goats were bred to have their babies in March and April. There were no babies in the first part of March but late on the night of March 17th, Sugar had her baby. Sugar had one girl, or doeling, who was named Blanquita, or "Little White One" in Spanish. Blanquita...

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