October 9, 2015
Angelic Organics Learning Center’s project based in Rockford, partnered with Blackhawk Buddy House, to address the joint issues of unemployment and lack of access to healthy food in our community. In order to do this, they started a farm as a business and partnered with the Rockford Housing Authority and its residents.The program is primarily focused on youth, hiring 15 youth each summer to work on the farm and run a Community Supported Agriculture and farm stand. This community garden for residents, youth and adult apprentices educates residents about different vegetables, how to harvest, store and cook them.
Another community garden program based at Fairgrounds Valley and Orton Keyes is funded by a City Grant and run by the Boys and Girls club. During the months of July and August a total 14 adults and 42 youths worked in the gardens for 28 hours learning how to weed, water and harvest vegetables. More than 64 pounds of produce was harvested including cucumbers, onions and purple bush beans. All produce went to the residents of Fairgrounds and Orton Keys.
The mission of RHA involvement in these programs is to connect people to the land, to sustainable food production practices, to healthy living, to garden knowledge. This process will assist RHA residents to that improve their capacity to practice effective social, economic, cultural and ecologically sound cooperation with each other and others.
The purpose of these projects also is to bring together the interests of the agricultural program community with interests from our residents in a cooperative effort to develop and promote sustainable agriculture in the greater Rockford Area. The Rockford Housing Authority Recognizes that a transition to a more sustainable society is needed if we are to leave a healthy natural environment, a prosperous economy and vibrant communities for future generations.