Retreat

Despite the grey, drab day, my girls and I were teeming with excitement last Wednesday as we slowly drove down Rockton Road, where the path before us turned from asphalt to crunchy limestone gravel beneath our tires.  We knew we were nearing our destination.

Coming into focus on our right was the farm that we visited many times in the past.  That wonderful place where naturally and ethically grown produce and animals thrive, and people aid in that growth with so much vibrancy and respect for Earth and what she provides for us that it is truly inspiring.

But this was not our final destination this afternoon.  Today we were venturing to a new space on the property of Angelic Organics.  Today we were lucky enough to visit the new Angelic Organics Lodge, nestled on the north side of Rockton Road on a gorgeous limestone bluff.

This space was beyond what I envisioned.  We walked through the entrance of this newly renovated space and quickly found ourselves standing on a deck overlooking an expansive oak savannah.  A muskrat scurried into the bend of Kinnikinnick Creek that lay before us, and we could hear nothing but the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, and the birds chirping happily in anticipation of warm spring weather soon to come.  The quiet of this space was so pleasantly overwhelming.  Such a change from the busy sounds of the city that we are often engulfed by on a daily basis.

Inside the walls of the lodge itself were lovely bunk rooms, a commercial kitchen, and a stunning dining hall that boasted a gorgeous stone fireplace.  And perhaps my favorite part of this building was the floors.  The flooring was made with craft paper, glue, water and then sealed with a water-based finish.  It was simply stunning!

This summer the lodge will be the home of Angelic Organics Learning Center’s Overnight Farm Camp, but the best part is, this space is not just for kids!  The lodge will host family weekends, adult farm camp, and even a weekend wellness retreat, complete with farm yoga.  Yes, please!

And if seeing the new lodge was not enough, our afternoon concluded with a chance to see baby goats, newly birthed on the farm.  And not just see them, but hold them, snuggle them and just love on them for quite some time.  It was the absolute best!

I invite all of you to check out the Angelic Organics Learning Center website for more information about all of their amazing programs.  The staff there is beyond words, and they are so helpful in answering any questions you may have about their workshops, camps, and more.  We are so blessed to have a space such as this in our area!

The Most Amazing News

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Oh friends, I just received the most amazing news.  My favorite blogger/author, Amanda Blake Soule, will be featuring my garden photos and writing on her blog tomorrow.  I invite you to check out the post tomorrow (Friday, July 22) at www.soulemama.com.

I am completely overcome with excitement and gratitude at being given this wonderful opportunity to share with those around the world, what wonderful things are going on right here in Rockford, Illinois.  A true blessing indeed.

And, this news does not come on any random day either.  Today we celebrate my mom’s birthday.  If this is not a true sign of a guardian angel mama always looking out for her babies, I don’t know what is.  You always told me to keep writing, Mom.  And I have been.  Just for you.

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Kicking Things Off

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It’s official.  The school garden at The Cathedral of St. Peter School is fully under way!  Sunday afternoon, we hosted a School Garden Kick-Off Festival where students and their families were able to peruse the garden space, take a look at our fabulous garden sign (hand-crafted by my father-in-law and decorated by the students of St. Peters), and visit with some very special guests.

We were so very fortunate to be joined on Sunday by Father Beekman, who blessed the garden space; Andrea Hazzard of Hazzard Free Farm spoke with families about growing and cooking with grains; Dick Zander of Zander Nursery met with students and their parents to discuss how to grow the best tomatoes in town; and Chef Paul Sletten of Abreo and Social visited with guests to discuss cooking with fresh produce.  It was truly a wonderful afternoon.  The weather could not have been more beautiful, and we were so thankful for all of the families who came out to help ring in this exciting new program for our school.

The entire day left me feeling a great sense of gratitude for all the Earth provides, and how her beauty and bounty can truly bring people together for the greater good.  I cannot wait to see what wonderful adventures await the students of St. Peters as we venture forth with this new endeavor.

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Join Me

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If you are looking for something to do this evening, join me at the Rockford Holistic Moms Network Meeting tonight at Just Goods in Rockford at 7 PM.  I will be presenting at tonight’s meeting, and I would love to see some of you there!  At tonight’s meeting, I will be discussing the ways in which my family has tried to create a “Suburban Homestead” of sorts, and how we try to create a means of food security for our family. It is sure to be a wonderful night.  For more detailed information, visit our chapter Facebook page.

Holistic Moms Network is “a non-profit organization connecting parents who are interested in holistic health and green living. We encourage moms to trust their instincts, parent from the heart, use their innate sense of what is best for their children, live in balance with the Earth, and learn about the pros and cons of all healthcare and parenting options.

No matter where you are on your parenting or holistic living journey, you are welcome at HMN!   We are a diverse and open-minded community, a place where your choices are respected and where you can learn and become informed! “

I hope to see you there!

Walk With Us

This afternoon, the girls and I went for a hike in one of our favorite places in Rockford.  Come along with us through this beautiful haven in the middle of our city…