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Call for nominations for the Second Annual Beginning Farmer of the Year Recognition, sponsored by the Upper Midwest CRAFT farmer alliance and Angelic Organics Learning Center.

Imagine this scenario: as you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with your family, you begin to realize that each dish has a story.* Perhaps it’s a story about the farmer who grew your mashed potatoes or the friend who gave you his cranberry sauce recipe.

Now imagine: your kids made half the dishes on your Thanksgiving table - so they’re the ones leading the storytelling. They’re sharing tips for proofing yeast and laughing about how they almost spilled the filling as they put the pumpkin pie...

Applications are available today! Please review details of the program online and take the eligibility quiz to see if you qualify for the program. Applications are due by November 30th, 2013 and can be found here.

Eat2Live, Harvest Dinner, Englwood, Chicago

By L. Anton Seals Jr., Project Coordinator, Chicago Urban Initiative

 As the summer season came to a close, Eat2Live celebrated the new fall season with food, music and great dialogue at the 1st annual Community Harvest Dinner. With over 50 participants, and help from the University of Chicago’s community service center, the dinner was a great success. We pitched a tent and set the tables in the front yard of the now-closed Yale Elementary School. 

 

Many community residents were able to find out more about this Englewood gem; what is growing and how they can help grow and steward in...

This year in Rockford we expanded the farm operation at Blackhawk Courts Farm and Garden significantly, increasing both productivity and community activity.  As the season winds down, we will soon enter a planning and visioning process with Blackhawk leadership to collectively envision the future of the farm. 

Trogg's Hollow, Chris Prchal, Stateline Farm Beginnings, CRAFT

Trogg's Hollow, Chris Prchal, Stateline Farm Beginnings, CRAFTWhen Chris and Marcy Prchal started a family, they decided to go into farming. They weren’t aiming to strike it rich; they simply wanted to provide for their family of six, give their children a meaningful upbringing, and support the community with sustainably grown, real food.

Thank you to everyone who submitted photos for the Farm Photo Contest!  We received many beautiful entries and it was interesting to view all the different perspectives of the farm.  You can enjoy all of the submissions on our Facebook page

By Rosana Thompson, parent

Owner of Chai Town Tea

Tears streamed down her face as she grieved that “Banana”, the baby goat she helped name, would not be little when they would return the following year to goat camp. Never in my wildest parenting dreams did I see this coming. Both of my little girls had fallen in love with farm animals, an attachment almost as strong as the one I feel for them. During the three days, the girls collected chicken eggs, made deviled eggs and corn bread from fresh ingredients, cooperated with other children from Chicagoland and...

Iris Moore, ceramic, compost, artist, ceramic art, #AngelicDinner

Iris Moore, ceramic, compost, artist, ceramic art, #AngelicDinner

When fine artist Iris Moore attended an artist's tour of the farm in May, she was immediately inspired.  Realizing that all the abundance from Angelic Organics begins in the compost, Iris took some casts of the compost piles.  She transformed the compost molds into beautiful ceramic plates symbolizing the complete cycle of compost to soil to food to plate and back again.  After falling in love with the farm, she wished to offer something in return.  Therefore, she...

urban garden, urban agriculture, youth garden, Rockford community garden

By Spencer Ellsworth, Urban Farm Manager, Roots & Wings

One fine June Thursday in Rockford, a group of people met early in the morning to talk about squash. 

“If we put them in the Northeast quadrant, they’ll be able to vine up the fence.”

“Plus, they’ll be farthest away from that fat groundhog.”  The groundhog had already come around, looking for a feast, despite the fence’s bottom edge having been sunk a foot into the earth. 

“Gotta dig the beds first, though.” 

“Good thing we have help today!”  This convention of strategic minds was the twice-weekly Blackhawk Courts Farm &...

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