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Grown By Rockford Youth

Come celebrate with the Learning Center and the South West Rockford Community Garden Cooperative Partnership as we celebrate a successful and very fruitful first growing season!

 

On Friday, October 29, from 11:00am-2:30pm at Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens, 411 Kent St in Rockford, we will be celebrating the harvest season and expressing our appreciation for all of our 2010 volunteers.

 

In its first year, the South West Rockford Community Gardens Partnership has already made a big impact in South West Rockford and beyond. Over 100 youth from the community have put in over...

A Bike festival on 10.10.10

Please join the Youth Leaders and the Roots & Wings network at Go Bike! Rockford, on Sunday, October 10th at Brown Park in Rockford. The Youth Leaders and Roots & Wings network, is coordinated by Angelic Organics Learning Center through our Urban Initiative in Rockford.

Go Bike! Rockford is a public festival promoting the reduction of carbon emissions by establishing and maintaining pro-bicycle culture and urban food systems in Rockford, IL. The event will feature a mini farmers market held by the Youth Leaders, a free bike clinic, a BMX demo, street art expo...

Roots & Wings participants visit the ECO Co-op managed by AOLC volunteer Dietrich McGaffey

Learning Center board member and volunteer Constance McCarthy shares her experience of a recent educational trip to Chicago with Roots & Wings youth.

 

Early on Friday, June 18, the Roots & Wings Youth Leaders headed into Chicago for a two-day whirlwind urban agriculture tour and team-building activities. The EcoAdvocates, the newest member of the Roots & Wings network, joined us on Friday, as well. At the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, we met Martha Boyd, Director of Angelic Organics Learning Center's Chicago Urban Initiative and our tour guide for...

Chickens can be raised in your backyard

We have experienced an overwhelming level of interest in our Backyard Chickens workshops this Spring. Our recent workshop in March sold out with 35 attendees--and a waiting list. When we presented at this year's Family Farmed Expo in Chicago, an estimated 150 were in attendance with standing room only. Everyone wants chickens!

 

In addition to hosting Backyard Chickens workshops, AOLC Chicago Program Director Martha Boyd also manages a Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts google group. The group brings together a flock of folks in and around Chicago to share stories and promote best practices in raising chickens. Many...

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Winter is a nerve-wracking time for beekeepers. We do what we can throughout the summer and fall to make sure the bees store up enough food and are in good health as the weather cools. But once the temperature drops below 50 degrees, we need to keep the hive closed and there’s not much meddling we can do.

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Five fantastic interns and volunteers joined me for our last urban farmstead volunteer day of the year, just before the snow and below-zero wind-chill hit Chicago. After mulching First Presbyterian Church’s landscape with donated woodchips and feeding our composting worms, all six of us piled into our low tunnel, the 7’x 24’ passive solar mini greenhouse we built in our demonstration garden in October. Crouched under the 4 foot ceiling, we thinned, harvested and pulled slugs from beets, carrots, chard, radishes and turnips planted this summer and fall. Our extended season crops in the...

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 Teachers often ask us about incubating eggs at school to teach students about biology, chickens, farming, and food. We asked Chicago chicken keepers if they would like to get their hens from classroom hatching projects. Reflections: 

  1. BIOLOGICAL REALITY IS: about half of the eggs will hatch out male chicks – and there’s no way to know which before they hatch (except a new method that measures estrogen levels inside the shell.) Right after hatching, sex-linked varieties can be distinguished (boys from girls) by color of certain feathers, for instance. Otherwise,
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