Growing Power’s Chicago Projects Office officially opened in February of 2002 to manage resource development and the technical assistance needed to assist emerging Community Food Centers and urban and small farm projects in the metropolitan Chicago area. The Chicago office has established projects that have received national recognition and exemplify the mission of the organization. In Chicago, we are currently farming over 12 acres of land within the city!
Urban Farm Sites in Chicago:
In partnership with the Chicago Park District, this “landscaped” urban farm demonstrates how to grow an abundance of vegetables, culinary herbs and edible flowers in a beautiful and productive way. Teens are trained on this site to grow food and give tours to the approximately 10,000 people who walk past this site annually.
Jackson Park Urban Farm and Allotment Garden, established 2006
Near the intersection of Stoney Island and Marquette Avenue
The Jackson Park garden is a place where neighbors can come together to grow good, safe food on the South Side. Over 20 community gardeners steward this land preserved by the Chicago Park District.
This dynamic urban farm is a Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) project with over 3-acres of growing space. The site has 8 hoop-houses for year-round production and an active apiary. During the summer months, 100 teens are employed on the site, learning farming, culinary, composting and active transport of produce. During the school year, in partnership with Carver High School and After School Matters, 15 teens are employed on the site.
Roosevelt Square Youth Farm, established 2011
Intersection of Washburne and Loomis Street, Chicago, IL
In the heart of Chicago Housing Authority’s Abla and Roosevelt Square homes lies our one-acre urban farm, run by neighboring youth. With the assistance of the senior home next door to the farm, teens gauge what to grow based on demand, and sell their produce at an on-site market weekly during the growing season. This farm is a partnership between Growing Power, CHA and After School Matters.
Educare Preschool Farm
Educare Chicago is a high-quality Early Head Start and Head Start program in Chicago’s Grand Boulevard community.
Educare helps prepare children for kindergarten and a lifetime of school success. Their program offers a safe, comfortable, and fun environment that inspires a child’s natural curiosity and help him or her develop a lifelong love of learning. Educare’s education and family support services will give the tools needed to help their child realize his or her full potential.
Each classroom at Educare has it’s own garden plot that is planned and planted by the children. The school has a larger farm that children help plant, maintain, and harvest. The harvested produce is given to families with children at the facility.
South Chicago Farm
Clara Shaffer Park, located at 8900 S. Green Bay Avenue, was established in 2015 to serve the residents of South Chicago. This 15-acre site is designed to engage residents in both food and fitness activities. The park has walking trails, along with an urban farm and community garden managed by Growing Power, Inc. In 2015, Growing Power, along with two incubator farmers, began to develop the urban farm site. In 2016, we will engage 15 to 30 area teens in a summer job training program and create an acre of community garden space to begin programming the park and engage the broader community. We are also expanding the number of incubator farmers to five individuals, as well as adding up to 100 plots for neighborhood gardeners.
The farm and community garden at Shaffer Park serves three functions. These programs will provide training, mentoring, and coaching for individuals to obtain increased agricultural and growing capacity, with a focus on individuals from economically disadvantaged ‘food desert’ communities.
Did you know?
Growing Power Chicago annually trains and employs over 300 city youth in urban agriculture and community food system development. Through their work in urban gardens and greenhouses, the Chicago Youth Corps learned how to grow soil, vegetables, herbs, flowers and launched a unique line of hand-crafted beauty, culinary, and craft products.
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