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This week, Liz Whitehurst joins the Angelic Organics Learning Center team as the new On-Farm Initiative Program Director. Former Program Director Deb Crockett will now serve as AOLC's Senior Program Director, providing oversight for all of the Learning Center's initiatives. She'll be more present in Rockford and Chicago in particular, as each of those program areas are expanding. Deb will still be teaching yoga at the farm, doing beekeeping with groups, and coaching Liz as she steps into her job. Deb and Liz will be sending out notice to partners this week to clarify the transition in roles. We are...

Eco Advocates Visit Rock River Valley Food Pantry

The Eco Advocates is a Comprehensive Community Solutions program in partnership with the AOLC Urban Initiative Roots & Wings network. The Eco Advocates vocational preparatory program for young adults combines academics, training in green technology and urban agriculture, life skills, leadership development, and community service. 

Last year, the Eco Advocates grew organic vegetables at the Tinker Swiss Cottage gardens and sold them at the Rockford City Market.  This year, they will be starting a CSA and are exploring other ways they can be of service in the community. They are...

Honey Bees

By Deb Crockett, Senior Program Director

If you think winter has been hard on you, be glad you aren’t a honeybee!  The more that I learn about honeybees, the more amazed I am by their strategies and adaptations to make it through the winter.   Clustered in a tight group the size of a softball, the worker bees rotate from the inside to the outside to maintain the temperature of the core, protecting the queen from winter chills. 

 I am always eager, on a warm winter’s day, to check the hives to see if there is any activity.  The bees “hold...

Our four year-old cow Maisie gave birth on Thursday, June 30th to a bull calf. Mom and baby are both doing well. We are taking suggestions for names now through July 31st. Submissions may be dropped off at the Learning Center, or emailed here. Farm John will select the winner. The winner gets a pie!...

Angelic Organics Learning Center: Urban Initiative (Roots & Wings) 3rd annual Be Healthy Walk is this Saturday (May 28th). All are welcomed to join together with us to do something healthy and fun and at the same time help the Roots & Wings Youth Leaders celebrate the beginning of their Spring academic period.

On October 29, Learning Center partner South West Rockford Community Garden Partnership held a Fall Harvest Celebration, to commemmorate a successful first year and the development of five new community gardens providing fresh food and community for Rockford residents.

 

The event was featured in the Rockford Register Star, and WREX Channel 13 News. The gardens are the result of a new program called Eco-Advocates, developed by Comprehensive Community Solutions and the Learning Center to provide GED and job readiness training for youth ages 18-25. Angelic Organics...

The Zinnicker Family Farm stewards Wisconsin farm-land using organic, Biodynamic methods--and hosts field days for our farmer training programs

Paul Dietmann, a regular speaker for Stateline Farm Beginnings, was recently appointed Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection!   "Paul's work ethic and his commitment to service will serve him, the agency and the people of Wisconsin well," commented Randy Romanski, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. "He brings great energy to everything he does, and he is an important part of the team here at DATCP," he said. Read the full DATCP Press Release for more information.   Here at the Learning...

By Constance McCarthy

One of the places that makes my heart happiest is Angelic Organics, a biodynamic farm in northern Boone County. But wait. Isn't this series supposed to be about biodiversity? Indeed, it is. As biodiversity refers to the diversity of plant and animal life within a particular area, I don't think that it is constructive to draw lines around certain parcels of land within which we're concerned about biodiversity, while overlooking the overall biodiversity of all the land within an area.

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The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University released a multi-state economic impact study on increases in fruit and vegetableimage production in a six-state area (including Illinois and Wisconsin) that was released this past week. Fresh Taste and the Illinois Local Food, Farms and Jobs Council, partners to the project, released the report in Illinois with a press conference on April 28th. As a co-chair of the Council that released the report in Illinois, I see...

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Last week, our aging draft horse Babe came down with colic.   As I waited with her for the vet to come, I heard something I’d never heard before in all my years at the farm.  From the distance, 4 or 5 times, I heard a faint whinny from another horse.  This surprised me, as the nearest horses are probably three quarters of a mile away as the crow flies.

 

In retrospect, I believe that the other horse knew that Babe was in distress, and was calling out to her.

 

Over time, I’ve thought a lot about...

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