Did you reserve tickets for Gather & Grow Farm Social? You won't want to miss this special evening celebrating the beauty and purpose of the Learning Center. Connect with our team and board members as Kate welcomes you to the fire pit to talk about your Farm Dreams, walk Neva's Garden with Tedd to discover more about urban agriculture, and let Julie snap your photo with the goats that help her teach our summer campers about food cycles. 

You won't be able to experience this uniquely magical event if you don't act soon to secure your tickets. We can't wait to nourish your soul with music and nature, your body with good food and fresh air, and your heart with the gladness that you're supporting the goals the Learning Center is working hard to achieve in creating sustainable, resilient food systems for all.

Reserve Your Tickets!

Support Gather & Grow Farm Social by becoming a sponsor!

Event Sponsor

September News


We're Hiring! Are you our next team member? We have several openings for candidates who care about reshaping our food systems and educating their communities about sustainable agriculture. 

On Farm Program Manager implements diverse educational programs with a focus on organic farming, farm-to-table cooking, regenerative agriculture and environmental education.

On Farm Educator Facilitate in-person educational programs on the farm in Caledonia including camps, farm stays, work projects and tours.

Roots & Wings Lead Educator aid in developing and teaching culturally-responsive educational programming at the Roots & Wings Urban Farm at Blackhawk Courts

Apply Now!

Membership Applications Open November 1!

Whether you’ve never farmed before, you seek advanced training, or you’re transitioning to sustainable agriculture, renew your membership or join the UM CRAFT network! Get access to a robust newsletter of resources, a local directory of UM CRAFT members, free and low-cost workshops and virtual events throughout the year with topics focusing on the core themes of soils, plants, animals, and people. UM CRAFT network provides prospective and current farmers exposure to the diversity of farms in the region, and is built on the practice of farmer-to-farmer training.

Learn more about UM CRAFT


Homeschool Program

• Oct. 5

• Fall Garden Fun (6-9 yrs)

• Livestock Basics (10+)

• Please RSVP

Join Us!

Evening Art Social

• 10/12, 11/16

• 3pm - 8pm

• Get Creative

• Build Community

Sign Up!

Morning Mindfulness with the Old Oaks

• Sat Nov 12th 10:00am - 11:30am

• Quiet your mind

• Open your senses

• $8 or $20 to sponsor

• Pay-what-you-can available

Walk with us

Volunteer Restoration

• 11/3, 11/12

• Restore the Oak Savannah

• Bring a lunch

• Pay-what-you-can available


A Letter from Jackie

A few weeks ago I took the Metra from Elgin to Union Station. I’m a big fan of the environmental and communal benefits of public transportation but am an occasional rider as a rural resident. I happily relaxed in my seat and watched the journey unfold out my window, and became a tourist in a world I rarely see. 

I saw the backs of strip malls with their overflowing garbage dumpsters and huge stacks of empty pallets. There were mini-mountains of pea gravel and railroad ties in hidden, pothole-filled lots. We passed by car graveyards, and at the foot of numerous municipal water towers, and by mile after mile of invasive species-lined tracks while being almost continually surrounded by enormous webs of electrical power lines. Railroad tracks run through a forgotten, neglected and yet extremely integral space to our lives. My Metra trip laid bare what I rarely get to witness and therefore easily forget: the backside of consumerism and the degradation that is often a result of its efficiencies we hold so dear. 

On my return trip to Elgin, it struck me that our food systems are equally as mysterious and hidden from most people’s everyday experience. Food and farming is integral to our existence yet the immensely complex web of farmers and farmworkers, urban and rural farmland, food-related transportation, marketing and sales, layers of industry-specific rules and regulations, financial markets, governmental programs, food waste and system-specific inequities is the product of efficiency and the unseen backdrop to every single meal on our plate. What is the backside to our food choices? 

A sudden voice yelling, “TICKETS!” interrupted my musings on the Metra but is also relevant. Do you have your tickets to the Gather & Grow Farm Social? October 1 is right around the corner and we can’t wait to visit with you as we enjoy a magical evening celebrating food, farmers, and the great work being done at the Learning Center. By joining us, you will help us build and strengthen local food and farm systems to ensure the backside to eating is just, healthy, sustainable, visible and valued. 

Jackie de Batista

Executive Director

What's Growing at Roots & Wings

From Farmer Tedd

In partnership with Zion Lutheran Church we officially opened the Buddy House. Residents from the Blackhawk community were invited to join us for a fun-filled afternoon, which included relay races, scavenger hunt at the farm for the kids, and bingo for the adults. The food was prepared by several volunteers from the Blackhawk community and the menu included hamburgers, brats, chicken and BBQ ribs.

Keep Reading...

Around the Farm...

Our fabulous On Farm Educators have been busy at the Learning Center over the past couple of weeks. Randy, Jessie, Allyson, and Laura have all been busy delivering dynamic curriculums to hundreds of area high school students.

Keep Reading...

The Farm Store is OPEN!

You can visit our Farm Store in person at the Learning Center! Our storefront is located in the Workshop, on the Southside campus. Or order online and pick up your order the next time you're at the Learning Center. 

Stock up on home-made goat milk soaps, local honey, coffee from Just Coffee, stylish Learning Center apparel and more!

Shop Now!
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