Take a drive a little northeast of Rockford, Illinois, along a long, bumpy, straight, and narrow road tracing a section line to Angelic Organics, an idyllic symbol of how important the small farm was to the American economy — and health. It is a beautiful farm with rich and lush fields of vegetables and herbs. But walking past the fields you will see a difference immediately: chickens ranging freely between the rows of vegetables (insect control), and huge boxes of black earthy soil percolating with glossy earthworms (fertilization). Angelic Organics is not just a symbol of a by-gone era. Angelic Organics is a premier biodynamic community supported agriculture (CSA) farm that grows vegetables and herbs for over 1,000 member households from the greater Chicago and Rockford areas. Members, known as shareholders, receive a three-fourths bushel box of fresh produce delivered weekly to more than 20 Chicago and Rockford sites from June to December.

CSA Learning Center, a not-for-profit educational partner to Angelic Organics, “empowers people to create sustainable communities of soils, plants, animals and people through educational, creative and experiential programs” (CSA Learning Center mission statement).

The Food Security Harvest Shares Program is one of the many programs of CSA Learning Center at Angelic Organics Farm. The Food Security Harvest Shares Program provides affordable access for low-income families to fresh, nutritious, organic vegetables & herbs. Presbyterians in Chicago Presbytery have been an important funding partner in this campaign since 1999; and since 2003, the program has been partially funded by the Presbyterian Hunger Program with Presbyterians’ generous offerings to the One Great Hour of Sharing.

The Food Security Harvest Shares Program offers low-income families new tools to navigate their local food system and affordable access to fresh, healthy vegetables. In collaboration with urban organizations such as Centro San Bonifacio and ECOVIDA in Chicago (both also partially supported with offerings to the One Great Hour of Sharing), the Food Security Harvest Shares Program is a rich resource for self-sustenance. Low income and immigrant communities “learn organic gardening, aquaculture and vermiculture;” and become shareholders, with access to healthy, locally grown produce. The Food Security Harvest Shares Program also works with more than 100 individuals in nutrition and cooking workshops and engages more than 150 individuals in agro-ecology education workshops on the local food system.