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Snowy garden, George Washington Carver

I find myself at the sleeping farm on 15th Ave in Rockford, Illinois. The scene and mood is sterile compared with the energy and hubbub of the summer growing season. I miss growing fresh vegetables, cooking with the youth leaders and the people that visit Blackhawk Courts Farm and Gardens. I try to wish the snow away, but then stop. Every season even a snowy winter is part of a grand scheme. Snowflakes as well as compost replenish our earth.

Vernice King at the Eat to Live Garden in Englewood, E2L, urban agriculture, urban farming, chicago

Angelic Organics Learning Center is excited to announce a generous grant from The Cedar Tree Foundation to support the Eat to Live (E2L) project in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Angelic Organics Learning Center and the E2L partners are installing an urban agriculture campus at the intersection of 70th Place and South Princeton Avenue, incorporating both an Urban Farm Incubator and a Community and Learning Garden.

It was Halloween Eve in Rockford, IL. Members of Blackhawk Courts Farm and Garden as well as staff from Angelic Organics Learning Center and Zion Outreach were transformed into the undead. AHHH! Zombie Farmers!

toothpaste recipe

Laughter pours out of the room that women have gathered in for Swag and Sweetness Classes. The classes, serving women from Blackhawk Courts, are offered through a partnership between Rockford Housing Authority, Zion Outreach, and Angelic Organics Learning Center.

natural body careThe two-month series provide residents with the opportunity to make new friendships while learning to make body care products and sweet treats. One participant, Courtney Aldridge values the fellowship opportunity.  "You get to know each...

As the summer comes to an end I asked the Youth leaders and young adults from the Blackhawk Courts community to reflect on some of their experiences over this summer with the Roots & Wings program. Here is what they had to say:

Milca St. Fleurose (Age 16, Youth Leader Apprentice) 

"One experience that I’ve had through the Roots & Wings program this summer is going out to Pecatonica IL, and seeing Andy Hazzard’s farm. I have a love for nature so seeing all the green fields and feeling the fresh summer breeze makes me happy, as well as...

Eat to Live garden in early July

….is the motto of the Eat to Live project, and certainly that is happening this summer! 

We are grateful to the many neighbors, volunteers, and friends who have contributed hours spreading compost, planting, weeding and harvesting in the Eat to Live garden space at 70th and Princeton. 

We have shared hundreds of pounds of bounteous greens and roots with neighbors and volunteers, with families from nearby Harvard School, with seniors from the Vincennes Senior Center, and with guests of the Maria Shelter. 

Regular summer volunteer hours take place on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons.  Come and join us! ...

Roots & Wings, Urban Agriculture, Urban Farm, Urban Garden, Youth Leader, Angelic Organics Learning Center

As we quickly approach the beginning of the June, I am reminded that only few weeks ago we had an accumulation snow on the ground (Brrrrr….). Over the last few months much work has been done at the Roots & Wings Youth Farm and the Blackhawk Courts Farm and Garden in preparation for the growing season.

Angelic Organics Learning Center's Chicago Program Director Martha Boyd, who moderates the Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts, staffed a table for CCE at the 12th Ward's Green Fair in McKinley Park on April 11.

The Blackhawk Buddy House has been packed the last two days with eggcellent crafts. On Thursday, the younger children dyed eggs with natural dyes, made with coffee, tumeric, onion skins, cumin, cabbage and hibiscus flowers. Over 38 children came from Blackhawk Courts housing project to dye their eggs. It was a bustling kitchen!

We’ve all changed just a little bit in the off-season, and grown outward, upward, or inwardly. Youth Leaders and apprentices who were, before, slightly tentative, have stepped forward with a fresh confidence and focus. Younger youth, like Kijuan, have started to craft their special, unique-snowflake selves and shown us how they can be a valuable part of the team.

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