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On-Farm

Spring on the farm is amazing. Signs of the season are emerging: lots bright green grass, powerful thunderstorms, an overflowing greenhouse, and, of course, seriously adorable baby goats.

Although we had winter weather well into April, kidding season started right on schedule. We started with eight pregnant does in March and now we have fourteen happy, healthy baby goats.

 

Kidding season is full of incredible moments, but here are just a few:

 

1. One of the first births of the season was a dramatic one. After over 40 minutes of hard labor, it was clear that mama goat...

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...

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...

Farm and Learning Center Staff working on Kickstarter campaign.

Although we raised $39,000 and gained 600 backers, ultimately we did not reach our goal in our initial attempt at crowdfunding, with our “Barns Are For People, Too” Kickstarter campaign. The purpose of our Kickstarter campaign was to raise money for repairs on the barns on the farm and to install stairs, lighting, and safety features so that we can safely and warmly welcome larger groups on the farm to learn, grow and connect.  While building community was the desired outcome of our Kickstarter campaign, community building naturally developed in interesting ways simply by working on the...

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...

A Permaculture-inspired vegetable garden

The term sustainability is getting used more frequently, but what do we really need to create sustainability in our world?

Buttercup

By: Jessie Crow Mermel, On-Farm Educator 

Although this farm was once a dairy farm, there hadn’t been cows here in decades until 2007, when Buttercup and her daughter Maizy, two Scottish Highland cows, were brought here from Little Creek Farm in Wisconsin. These two beautiful cows contributed to providing entertainment and beauty to visitors as well as the all-important fertilizer for the farm. 

On June 8th, 2009, my children stood by me, along with families from a home school overnight, to watch as Maizy gave birth to a male calf, Mai. She needed some assistance from Executive Director Tom Spaulding and...

Our herd is growing!  We are pleased to welcome Ferdinand, the 3 year old Scottish Highland bull.  He joins our other cattle: cows Buttercup, Melody and Maizy, newly named heifers Harmony and Cavatina, steer Mai, and bull calf Mel.  Ferdinand has his work cut out for him, as we hope to have five new calves by next summer!  Enjoy a photo of the whole herd grazing on the hillside. 

 

by Jessie Crow Mermel and Randy Mermel, AOLC On-Farm Educators

 

Angelic Organics shareholders, families, local community members, volunteer naturalists, birders, photographers and water scientists teamed up with Farmer John Peterson, some farm crew members and the Angelic Organics Learning Center team on a beautiful September afternoon. We celebrated our participation in human and non-human community with a Bioblitz on the new 70 acres in Caledonia, IL.  The purpose of a Bioblitz is for scientists, naturalists, and volunteers to spend a day intensively cataloging all plant and animal species found on a given area.  We spent the day from 9...

Thank you to our awesome crew of volunteers from Danfoss and United Way of Rock River Valley. The group of 9 volunteers came last week to help us get the 70 acres of Kinnikinnick Fields ready for our big BioBlitz event on Sept. 15. 

 

 

The crew trimmed branches, helped clear trails, and set up the goat demo area and picnic tables for the event. They even learned how goats help clear invasive species from the wooded areas. Everyone had a great time despite the rain! We hope to see you all again soon! ...

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