August News
An overnight camper enjoys morning farm chores.
Upcoming Events
Video Message from Jackie
Executive Director Jackie de Batista would like to thank the Rockford Art Deli for sponsoring "Welcome to the Farm," a summer farm dinner and gathering. We are excited to share that this event is sold out!
Review: Farm Math
Stateline Farm Beginnings® held a Farm Math Workshop last Saturday. Participants spent the morning learning about a math problem solving process, variables to consider, what types of information to incorporate and where to find them, optimization (maximizing production space and minimizing labor costs), determining input values to meet projected production goals, and worked out questions on their own. In the afternoon, the group toured the farm, extending the classroom experiences to observations of planting, spacing, and management choices, and also discussed production efficiency through spatial arrangement, work processes, timing, and use of integrated systems and machinery.

Are you interested in gaining the training and support to start your own farm? The Stateline Farm Beginnings® 2022 application will open next month!

-Ritchie Wai
Farmer Training Program Coordinator
Stateline Farm Beginnings participants
What is Growing at Roots & Wings
In April we partnered with RESA Middle School to establish a garden club for the students and their families. The objective of the program was to educate the students on the benefits of growing their own fruits and vegetables. Also, a portion of the vegetables grown will be donated to a local food pantry. RESA had dedicated 4 raised beds from a previous season and opened up some additional bed space (20”x30”) that hadn't been used before.

Because of the Covid pandemic, the raised beds had not been used in over two years. The beds and cinder blocks that framed them had been overgrown with weeds and leftover debris. We decided we wanted to establish a theme for each raised bed. We wanted an herb bed, salad bed, salsa bed, and the final bed would be full of any other vegetables the students wanted to grow.

We purchased the needed compost, seedlings, and other supplies to get started. Next, we gathered the students and leaders and the work began. The raised beds took shape as the team weeded out the beds and disassembled the cinder blocks. Then we started to build our respective themed garden beds. We harvested perennial herbs from the Roots & Wings Garden and brought over extra seedlings to add to what had already been purchased. The vegetables were planted and the beds were ready to flourish.

During our time together the students got a chance to sample the following herbs: Mint, Oregano, Chives, Lemon Verbena, and Sorrel. Of course this was a new experience for many.

As we assembled the beds and during our closing the students shared the following comments:
“I really liked how we worked together as a team to get the job done.”
“I never knew it was possible to grow so many different vegetables and herbs.”
“I can’t wait until you return so we can taste the vegetables we planted!”

It was a fun day and we got a lot accomplished. After my initial visit, we decided that I would do a video session on the various aspects of gardening that could be shared with the students virtually. In the interim the students and their families would maintain the garden in my absence. Unfortunately, because of some unforeseen circumstances the garden hasn’t flourished in the way we had planned. But, we expect to resume meetings this fall to continue the programming we started. I’m looking forward to our next time together.

-Tedd and Yatte
Roots & Wings Farm Director and Farm Manager
An Overnight Success
We have completed another successful season of Nature's Farm Camp, our overnight camp! This summer we had 74 overnight campers, nearly half of which were returners. Over 25 campers were able to attend camp thanks to scholarships arranged by Tim Magner, Executive Manager of Nature's Farm Camp.

Campers say they most enjoyed campfire cooking, spending time with the goats and going to the creek. Some of the challenges we faced included how to sleep socially distanced, not being able to communally cook, having to wear masks in 90+ degree weather, not being able to run the air conditioning at the lodge and thunderstorms. Camper quotes tell it best:
  • "[Our camper] loved interacting with the animals and learning how they live and how humans help animals thrive in a farm environment. She enjoyed the kind teachers that guided her through this remarkable experience."
  • "[Our camper] had a wonderful time and talks about camp frequently. She has become a vegetarian since camp and is much more aware of the impact of consumption."
  • "Being in the farm, in the ecosystem of the oak savanna, the river and woods was amazing."

-Laura Sjoquist
On-Farm Program Director
We are Hiring!
Job title: Roots & Wings Education Assistant

Summary: The Roots & Wings Education Assistant is responsible for administering culturally-responsive educational programming at the Roots & Wings Urban Farm at Blackhawk Courts in Rockford, IL, a Rockford Housing Authority property. The Education Assistant will act as a liaison for the Community Advisory Council and provide educational opportunities to youth on the farm and beyond. Experience working with low income and disadvantaged communities is required.

Position and pay: Part-time starting at $14/hour. Full job description and application instructions.
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