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By Jessie Crow Mermel

Event photos>>>

The work of growing food for others offers many challenges, but rarely garnishes much in the way of recognition and acknowledgement. However, the work of two women farmers was celebrated at the recent Good Food Advocate Celebration on April 28, 2017. Andrea Hazzard, farmer and proprieter of Hazzard Free Farm and Ketura St. Fleurose, Roots & Wings Youth Leader, environmental activist, and high school student, were honored as the 2017 Good Food Advocates by Angelic Organics Learning Center. The award recognized the two women for their work in supporting the mission...

The 2017 season has begun and Upper Midwest CRAFT has already facilitated three successful field days! John Hendrickson’s topic of Managing for Profitability (with the added bonus of an equipment demonstration from Alabama-based Oggún Tractor) gathered 12 participants on...

Angelic Organics Lodge is currently under renovation with plans to open in July of 2017. The Lodge will offer overnight farm stays that immerse your head, heart and hands in the rhythms of our organic & biodynamic farm!

Happy National CSA Day!!! We have CSA discounts from Caledonia to Chicago to Rockford and beyond. Sign up for veggie shares, meat shares, seafood shares and more. Buy soon before special discounts expire!

On Wednesday, January 18th and Thursday, January 19th over 120 participants gathered at the Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center in Oglesby, IL for the Routes to Farm Summit, hosted by Routes to Farm, a project coordinated by Angelic Organics Learning Center. During those two days, farmers and local food advocates discussed the direct market issues many are facing and proposed action steps to come to solution and...

Our Bee Friends are declining and need some champions. Honey bee populations are challenged like never before with a multitude of stressors. We need to support the honey bee and other wild bee populations with a more hospitable habitat - and more beekeepers! Angelic Organics Learning Center offers an Introduction to Beekeeping workshop (January 28th) each winter as a means of preparing new beekeepers for spring. Don’t think you have what it takes to keep a beehive? It might be more simple than you think...

Welcome Back, Tom Spaulding & Neddy Astudillo! Our Learning Center co-founders travelled to the Biodynamic Association's National Biodynamic Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico November 16-20, 2016, connecting with changemakers from within & beyond the biodynamic community. Neddy, an Eco-Theologian and pastor at Parroquia San José, presented at the workshop, Connecting the Sacred in Agriculture to a Moral Economy. The conference was the single largest Biodynamic conference ever held in the U.S.A. with more than 700 participants from more than 20 nations. Tom & Neddy also travelled to La Plazita Institute & urban farm in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Check out their amazing trip, impact and...

It's been a busy year for Angelic Organics Learning Center, including the man at the helm, our Executive Director, Tom Spaulding. In October, Tom travelled to Denver, Colorado to present at the Forum 2016: A Call for Leadership Action. The three-day event was sponsored by the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance - a global network of leaders, activists, thinkers and doers. 

“Farms are the places where human beings negotiate their relationship with the living Earth,” said Tom.  “It’s fundamental. Human civilizations formed around farms. History shows that if we don’t...

Kiva Zip has merged with Kiva, strengthening this financing opportunity for farmers that belong to the Upper Midwest CRAFT farmer training alliance at...

Angelic Organics Learning Center is now accepting applications for the fourth year of its Farm Asset Builder program. Farmers who are accepted into Farm Asset Builder will receive a dollar-for-dollar match for every dollar saved up to $2,000. In addition, farmers will receive one-on-one technical assistance to develop their business...

This 12th class of Stateline Farm Beginnings wrapped up on Sunday, September 25 with a "graduation" ceremony and potluck. The rainy afternoon resolved into beautiful sunshine as graduates gave updates on their farm businesses and shared details from...

Hoophouse Build Roots & Wings Blackhawk Buddy House

Good things are growing in Rockford! Our Roots & Wings program now has hoophouses for year-round growing on Blackhawk Courts Farm & Garden. Check out our (national!) publicity and watch the video of the plastic going up! We also have photos from the Harvest Fest celebrating the new hoophouses!

Angelic Organics Learning Center is proud to announce that we are recipients of a three-year, $600,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). Our project, which is a collaboration between the Learning Center and our partners at The Liberty Prairie Foundation, is one of only 37 nationwide to receive...

Rounding the corner from the garden I heard what everyone else knew. A scream. A wail. Mourning that accompanies the death of a loved one. The foreign sound came from a cat on the stoop of an apartment near the Buddy House, our meeting place at Blackhawk Courts...

By guest blogger, Bob Gorman

Today, urban environments comprise limited ground garden space, leading to unimaginable difficulties when it comes to gardening. A rooftop garden is arguably the most suitable option to enjoy all the virtues offered by outdoor spaces and gardening, particularly when the available land is limited....

By Shelbie Blank, Farmer Training Program Manager

My Mom, Caren, and I were driving along the Illinois and Wisconsin border when it started pouring. We were en route to Grassroots Farm in Monroe, WI to learn about Lindsey Morris Carpenter’s farm. This was my first CRAFT field day since I moved back from Arizona and I was really excited to get back...

All things farm-labor related were discussed at LotFotL Community Farm on Tuesday, April 5th, 2016. The small group of 7 CRAFT members joined Tim Huth, owner of LotFotL and farmer of 10 years, to hash out many workforce issues of the day. What ensued was a very informal, wide ranging discussion. Some of the notable topics brought up included legalities in hiring and firing workers, strategies in finding good help, 4 season employee retention, prevailing wage considerations, and many other things of this nature. With most of the attendees being newer or brand new farmers, a lot of the discussion...

Earth Day 2016 is officially recognized on April 22, but we're celebrating with one solid month of growing workshops for all ages! Angelic Organics Learning Center is located on Angelic Organics farm – one of the largest and oldest biodynamic, community supported agriculture (CSA) farms in the country! We sit on 186 acres of majestic land, roughly 90 miles from Chicago, 75 miles from Milwaukee, 60 miles from Madison, 35 miles from Lake Geneva, 20 miles from Rockford and 10 miles from Beloit. All workshops occur at 1547 Rockton Rd., Caledonia, IL 61011. ...


Routes2Farm.org presented award at Good Food Festival & Conference, Chicago

The 12th Annual Good Food Festival & Conference brought farmers, chefs, educators, legislators, entrepreneurs, and consumers together at UIC Forum, March 24-26, 2016. It also hosted the 4th Annual Beginning Farmer of the Year award presentation on March 25. Originated by the Upper Midwest CRAFT farmer alliance, this award is now presented by Routes to Farm, a new project led by Angelic Organics Learning Center that connects both new and established farmers to farmer-vetted resources that help grow their businesses in the local and sustainable...

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