Help Build Iron Street Farm on Chicago's Southside

 
$13,723
$21,277
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February 25th, 2012- 1-5pm

Growing Power Chicago is Turning 10!  Celebrate by taking a Tour, Aquaponics Workshop and staying for Small Bites and Cheers!

Growing Power Chicago transforms communities by supporting people from diverse backgrounds and the environments in which they live through development of Community Food Systems. These systems provide high-quality, safe, healthy, affordable food for all residents in the community. Starting with a church garden in Woodlawn and another in the Cabrini Green neighborhood, Growing Power Chicago’s network has grown into 7 urban farm and community garden partnerships around the city with two more in the works.

After all that hard work it’s time to celebrate!
Tours: 1pm-5pm
Tours will be offered at the top of every hour starting at 1pm and ending at 5pm.

Aquaponics Workshop: 1pm-5pm
The workshop that we will be hosting will be a suggested 75 dollar donation, if you want to stay later for the Happy Hour and Silent Auction Reception it will be an extra 5 dollar donation

Small Bites, Cheers and Silent Auction: 4pm- 6pm
Our Happy Hour will feature delicious local beers and delicious appetizers from our SPECTACULAR Composting Partners.  We will have all of Iron St. on display and some excellent silent auction items that will feature the expertise of our simply sublime staff, who will also be on hand to chat with you about all aspects of Growing Power Chicago.

RSVP to chicago@growingpower.org or (773) 376-8882
We hope to see you there! 
Lots of kale flourishing in the dead of winter!
Lots of kale flourishing in the dead of winter!

Happy New Year! 

Despite the drop in temperatures, Iron Street Urban Farm is still bustling with activity and year round food production! 

Updates:

-We now have 6 hoop houses finished that are growing delicious winter greens such as kale and spinach. These along with other Growing Power goodies are sold at our weekly farm stand at Iron Street on Saturdays from 10am-4pm. 

- Iron Street Urban Farm also has officially open the doors to volunteers 3 times a week. Even in the winter months, there is plenty to do at Iron Street! Work may include moving wood chips or compost, sifting worm castings, tending crops, and general maintenance.

Tuesdays: 1-4pm, Thursdays: 1-4pm, Saturdays 10am-4pm

So come on out and get your hands dirty!
 
- Growing Power held it's first School Garden ABCs workshop on Saturday, January 14th from 9am - 4pm. The workshop was designed for school garden educators or involved community members who wanted to learn more about designing, planning and sustaining school gardens. Over 50 teachers participated, shared their vision of a comprehensive and engaging school garden, and learned more about Growing Power's techniques and how to better integrate the garden into their curriculum!
- Growing Power staff and youth have also helped harvest our first batch of honey. Youth in our after school job training program are learning all about bees, their vital role in the environment and on the farm, and how to make value added products such as lips balms and other beauty products.
Lots more to come in the upcoming months! Growing Power Chicago will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary on February 25th. More information to come! We hope you will come and help us celebrate all we've accomplished over the past decade. 
Teachers learning about oyster mushroom production
Teachers learning about oyster mushroom production
Teachers making mini vermicomposting bins
Teachers making mini vermicomposting bins
Harvesting Honey!
Harvesting Honey!
Harvesting Honey!
Harvesting Honey!
Harvesting Honey!
Harvesting Honey!

 

We were so excited to have the First Lady, Michelle Obama, come visit the farm on October 25th with Mayor Emanuel. Mrs. Obama and Mayor Emanuel came for a tour of Iron Street Urban Farm after holding a press conference at a Walgreens in Chicago's Chatham community, located on the City's south side. The Chatham Walgreens and 19 others in the city will start offering vegetables and other fresh food in communities that lack fresh and healthy food options.

In her continued efforts to address and fight childhood obesity and food insecurity, the First Lady came to Iron Street to see how Growing Power and the local community have been working towards producing healthy and sustainably grown food in urban environments. While touring the facility, Mrs. Obama got her hands dirty in our vermicomposting bins and examined our aquaponics systems and oyster mushroom production.

Over a dozen of our youth, many who reside in food desert communities, were also given the opportunity to meet and interact with the First Lady!

 

So if you haven't already, please find a time to come out and take a tour of Iron Street Urban Farm. It is growing and evolving every day and we'd love the opportunity to share our work with you. Call our Chicago office to set up an appointment, 773.376.8882.

 

Please continue supporting this project that is now getting national recognition!

First Lady interacting with Growing Power youth.
First Lady interacting with Growing Power youth.

Links:

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:

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:

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Organization

Project Leader

Erika Allen

Chicago, IL United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Help Build Iron Street Farm on Chicago's Southside