Growing Power - Chicago

Growing Power is a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, safe and affordable food for people in all communities. We implement this mission by providing hands-on training, on-the-ground demonstration, outreach and technical assistance through the development of Community Food Systems that help people grow, process, market and distribute food sustainably.
Aug 18, 2011

Summer at Iron Street

Iron Street
Iron Street

This has been a busy busy summer for Growing Power and Iron Street Urban Farm.

On June 21st, Growing Power held the grand opening of Iron Street Urban Farm. That morning WGN featured the new farm on their "Around Town" segment. In the evening over 250 individuals from the surrounding community and beyond came to support and celebrate the grand opening of this new food hub for Chicago. The event included tours presented by Growing Power staff, live bluegrass music, and delicious food served by our own chef on staff as well as our local restaurant partners. Over $4,000 was raised to assist in the continued development of the farm. Thank you to everyone that was able to come out to the event. We would love to hear your feedback!

The following week, Iron Street Urban Farm jumped right into our youth programming, which provides green job training opportunities for at-risk youth throughout the City. Growing Power was able to employ 45 youth at Iron Street Farm from communities such as Wentworth Gardens, Englewood, and Bronzeville in sustainable agriculture and community food security in an urban environment. Teen participants engaged in activities such as compost production, seeding, transplanting, mushroom cultivation, garden and farm design, and culinary appreciation.

Our youth even got to participate in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's second press conference held at the site! On July 26th, Mayor Emanuel came back to Iron Street Farm to further address urban agriculture, food policy and security, and the ability to use this industry as a tool for economic development and job creation. They Mayor himself praised our youth for all they've accomplished and the hard work they've devoted to bettering their community.

Thank you again for all your support. If you haven't had an opportunity to come out and see Iron Street Farm, please contact our Chicago office to arrange a tour!

Iron Street youth with mushroom chandelier
Iron Street youth with mushroom chandelier
Iron Street youth transplanting
Iron Street youth transplanting
Mayor Emanuel with Erika Allen
Mayor Emanuel with Erika Allen
Mayor and Iron St.
Mayor and Iron St.'s aquaponics

Links:

May 19, 2011

Save the Date! June 21, Grand Opening of Iron St.

Please come join us next month for the grand opening of Iron Street Urban Farm. We will join with Growing Power supporters and the local community to celebrate how far we've come and the potential for this site to become a true community food center in Chicago.

We can't wait to share with you all that we've accomplished!

Links:

May 10, 2011

1 day, 2 states, 13 queens, and 33,000 bees

bee hives at sunset.
bee hives at sunset.

It's been an exciting month for Iron Street Urban Farm!

After months of waiting, the bees have arrived! 33,000 italian honey bees traveled in the back of our trunk from Milwaukee to Iron Street Urban Farm last night and we could not be more excited. Take a look at the 6 bee hives we now have installed on the roof of Iron Street. One of our youth, Malcom, helped our beekeeper with the installation!

Other news:

The other week we had some wonderful volunteers from Wellpoint Foundation construct the frame to our second hoop house. With their hard work, we were able to finish it in less than 4 hours!

Also, we have the infrastructure set for our first three aquaponics systems! These were build by our youth over the course of the past month. We should have them up and running by the end of May.

Fresh honey and tilapia, does it get any better than that?

.....

Want to come and check out Iron Street Urban Farm and see all this progress for yourself? Well, here is your chance! June 21st, Growing Power and its Chicago Advisory Board will be hosting a Grand Opening Summer Solstice BBQ for the new site. Come celebrate all the work we've accomplish with delicious food, drink, and music! More details to come soon.

And once again, thank you to all our supporters! We can't wait to see you in June!

Malcom helping with installation.
Malcom helping with installation.
plants sprouting in our hoop house.
plants sprouting in our hoop house.
2nd hoop house.
2nd hoop house.
aquaponics systems
aquaponics systems

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