The Angelic Organics Learning Center helps urban and rural people build local food systems. We offer opportunities to grow healthy food and a better quality of life, connect with farmers and the land, and learn agricultural and leadership skills. We reach more than 4,000 people each year through our programs at partner farms and urban growing sites in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.
In Chicago, our Urban Initiative works with our community partners to develop neighborhood projects that increase access to fresh, healthy food and improve quality of life. We offer hands-on learning at urban growing sites to increase local food production and connect urban families with the land.
Our Urban Initiative is based on a participatory planning and project development model. The process begins with our staff assisting community groups to develop their own ideas and plan for ways to engage food system change meaningfully and practically.
With our guidance, partners determine action steps and timelines, assess their strengths and resources, and prepare to launch a project. They can enlist our support in advising, training, or providing direct programming. We also help partners make connections to other resources that strengthen their projects.
Through our Chicago Urban Initiative, we offer:
Technical assistance to create or improve a growing site for urban food production: We provide guidance on site design and installation, and instruction in sustainable, intensive growing methods to produce food for your community, school, or congregation.
Hands-on gardening and urban agriculture workshops:
* Composting & vermicomposting
* Soil fertility & urban soil safety
* Rooftop & container growing
* City livestock: bees, chickens, goats
* Organic, Biodynamic & biointensive growing techniques
* Year round growing: cold frames, low tunnels, hoophouses
* Harvest & post-harvest handling
* Value-added production
* Marketing & business planning
* Cooking & nutrition
Project planning: We guide partners through a participatory planning process for your food system project. Planning assistance includes defining goals, creating a budget and schedule, identifying sources of training, information, funds and materials, and outlining steps to build leadership and self-sufficiency in your project and community.
Food systems presentations: We help your group understand connections among agriculture, hunger and ecology, learn about our local food system, and identify ways that you can use your consumer power and advocacy create change that reflects your values.
Connecting to local farms & community supported agriculture (CSA): Locate and buy directly from farmers who grow for your group or organization.
On-farm tours & programs: Bring your group to our vibrant working partner farm in Caledonia, IL for a farm tour, workshop, or program tailored for your group.
Urban & rural farmer training: Led by the experienced farmers from the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT), we offer business planning, on-farm training, and mentoring. Our farmer training programs help people learn directly from our region’s best farmers and begin growing for market.