At the end of October, we had our annual Harvest Celebration at Blackhawk Courts Farm & garden. Every year, as we wrap up on the farm, we like to end the season by inviting folks from the community to come over to the farm to share a meal with us. Yatte makes sure he plans and grows enough vegetables specifically for this event.
This year we offered pull pork sliders, coleslaw, chili, salad, and sweet potato pie. All the vegetables used in the meal came from the farm. We had plenty of food and many residents took home multiple plates or came back for seconds. By the end of the day there was very little left.
The weather was perfect, and we had over 40 people from the community join us for this event. It is always nice to meet new residents and serve them in this manner. It’s another opportunity to connect with them, and fellowship over a meal
We are planning our Thanksgiving event in partnership with Zion Lutheran Church. During this event fresh greens from the farm will be provided to accompany the turkey and other items that will be given away to residents of Blackhawk Courts.
Finally, we are also planning a sit-down holiday meal with the Blackhawk residents in December. This will be the first time we are doing this post pandemic in over two years. We are excited and are looking forward to both events.
The Learning Center added two new members to the staff roster this month! Mia Spaid is our new On Farm Program manager and long-time friend of the Learning Center Andy Skupien will be stepping into the kitchen as our new chef for programs on the farm!
They both are busy learning the ropes and on-boarding with Jackie and their program directors, but they each were able to write up a lovely little bio to introduce themselves to our audience.
Mia Spaid, On Farm program Manager
I’m excited to join the AOLC team as your new On Farm Program Manager. I got started in my nature-based career with an MS in Environmental Science focusing on invertebrate ecology in the Great Lakes Region. Somehow that turned into a fascination with urban agriculture, and from then on I sought to use the food we eat as a way to bridge the mental gap between humans and the rest of nature. I believe that we can do great things by seeing ourselves as part of an ecological community rather than just a human one.
When I’m not trying to change the world one bite at a time I’m at home obsessing over my sheep and taking a million photos of every cute thing they do. I raise shetland and babydoll sheep alongside my partner’s dairy goats and a variety of free-range poultry.
Andy Skupien, chef for on farm programs
Hello Friends! I am very excited to join the AOLC team. I have always had a passion for food and nature so this just felt like a great fit. I spent over twenty years in the restaurant industry and have been blessed to work for some of the best chefs in our area.
In the summer of 2020 I opened Man Bundt Bakery. I specialize in plant-based baked goods with a heavy focus on locally sourced ingredients. It brings me great joy showing the kids who attend our camps how tasty farm to table can be! It is also wonderful introducing them to vegetables they may not have ever seen before. In my free time you can find me hanging with my family, hiking, or in my garden. I look forward to getting to know you all. There are no strangers, only friends we haven't made yet.
...and another goodbye!
In a surprise plot twist, our wonderful On Farm Program Director, Julie Tackett, was offered an opportunity she couldn't turn down, which meant resigning as Program Director with the Learning Center. It was a difficult decision! Everyone on the team is sad to see her go, but we all wish her great success in her new endeavor.
Julie had this to say about her tenure with the Learning Center:
I had a fabulous time working with all the people at the Learning Center. It was a great experience and I will always have fond memories of my time at Angelic Organics Learning Center. I will continue to support and appreciate the job that the hard working staff put into the day to day operations in order to help teach a new generation. Children and adults alike are lucky to have such a wonderful place to learn, grow and connect. Thank you for letting me be part of such a great organization. Best wishes to you all! -Julie
We already miss you, Julie!