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AOLC General

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...

Brain Shobe, Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program & AOLC intern
Brian Shobe, a Duffy Intern from Beloit College who worked with us in our Rockford Roots & Wings youth gardens, was recently awarded a fellowship with the Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program.  The Emerson Program supports a diversity of local and national approaches to eliminate hunger, poverty and social inequality, particularly racism. The fellowship is only offered to 20 people each year, making this quite a notable accomplishment!  We had the pleasure of talking to Brian recently and hearing about the ways his experience with AOLC helped him to learn, grow, and connect. 

 

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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...

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,...

Whole Tree Architecture at Angelic Organics Learning Center

By Jessie Crow Mermel, On Farm Educator & Communications Coordinator

“Design will save the world” is the tagline for Inhabitat.com, a website dedicated to featuring green design projects around the world.  Yesterday, Angelic Organics Learning Center’s whole tree architecture and sustainable building features were highlighted on Inhabitat.com in a piece by San Francisco-based writer and photographer Mark Boyer.

Boyer’s article and accompanying photo gallery illustrate the convergence of the structural and aesthetic innovation that architect Roald Gundersen of WholeTrees Architecture & Structure employed on the buildings of the Learning Center.  Gundersen has a knack for collaborating...

AOLC, Nicholson Conservatory, Atwood Award

It’s been a good year for AOLC’s Urban Farm Educator Katie Townsend.  Earlier this year, the Sinnissippi Audubon Society named her 2012 Conservationist of the Year.  Last week, she was awarded the Seth B. Atwood Award Park and Conservation Service Award for her outstanding contributions in conservation and education at the Rockford Park District City of Gardens program at Nicholas Conservatory in Rockford, IL. 

In addition to her work with AOLC’s Roots and Wings Initiative, Katie has been engaged with organizations dedicated to conservation and environmental education for the past 30 years.  The bulk of her career...

Chicken Tractor at Angelic Organics Learning Center Farm

By Randy Mermel and Jessie Crow Mermel, On Farm Educators

When giving farm tours, we are faced with the challenge of encapsulating the complexity of Biodynamics into a palatable bite-size portion.  Biodynamic Agriculture, the brainchild of Rudolf Steiner (also the creator of Waldorf Education), is the philosophy and practice of our partner farm, Angelic Organics. 

For the general public, we choose to focus on the Biodynamic tenet of the farm as an organism.  Like a body composed of several organs working together for life to exist, a healthy farm system is composed of several...

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