Help Build Iron Street Farm on Chicago's Southside

by Growing Power - Chicago
Sep 5, 2012

Summer with Growing Power Chicago!

Youth Corps in hoop house full of okra at Iron St.
Youth Corps in hoop house full of okra at Iron St.

Even though summer is officially over, Iron Street Urban Farm is still in full bloom. This summer has been especially exciting as we have seen this once abandoned site, which we've spent so much time transforming, prove to be a productive urban farm! We have tons of tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, and other delicious veggies growing in our hoop houses and outdoor raised beds.  Growing Power Chicago was able to train and employ over 225 youth throughout Chicago this summer! Over 45 youth from Chicago's south side participated in our programming at Iron Street Urban Farm. Our teens assisted us in seeding, harvesting, weeding, and other general maintenance of the farm including putting on shade cloth on all of our 6 hoop houses.

All the produce grown has been sold to local restaurants and farmers' markets, including the creation of 5 new markets on Chicago's west-side. Growing Power partnered with the City of Chicago to open 5 new farmers' markets in food insecure communities including Austin, West Humboldt Park, and Garfield Park. Growing Power was able to hire a new market manager as well as 5 local youth to assist with managing and promoting the markets. If you have an opportunity please come support any of the following markets, as they will run through October!

COLUMBUS PARK (South Austin)
June 26 – October 30, 1pm – 7pm, Harrison and Central
LA FOLLETTE PARK (Austin/ West Humboldt Park)
June 20 – October 24, 1pm – 7pm, 1333 N. Laramie
June 28 – October 25, 1pm-7pm, Lake and Central
MT. EBENEZAAR BAPTIST CHURCH (Humboldt Park/East Garfield Park)
June 30 – October 27, 10am-4pm, 3555 W. Huron
June 24 – October 28,  2pm-6pm, 4941 W. Chicago

Aside from starting new farmers' markets and engaging hundreds of teens, Growing Power Chicago also assisted in installing 6 new urban farms/ gardens this summer!!! These included:

- Trublooms Garden in Grant Park in partnership with TruFragrance to create Chicago’s first truly local perfume consisting of lavender, lilies and roses.

- Educare Garden at 59th Street and South State Street, Chicago, IL 60621. This site will be a teaching garden for the preschool at Ounce of Prevention. It contains 200 square feet with 10 beds, an herb spiral, and pumpkin patch.

- Beloved at 78th Street and Racine Avenue, Chicago, IL 60620, which will be a youth run farm with a market. 

- 3 community gardens in partnership with Chicago Housing Authority located at Wentworth Gardens, Lathrop Homes, and Lake Park Place. These sites each employ 6-8 youth from the designated community to assist with garden design, implementation, maintenance, and community engagement.


Come check out all the hard work we've done this summer!

Cooking session with Youth
Cooking session with Youth
snap peas and radishes
snap peas and radishes
Growing Food in the City
Growing Food in the City
flowers and hoop houses
flowers and hoop houses
GP Staff and Interns at Educare Garden
GP Staff and Interns at Educare Garden

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Organization Information

Growing Power - Chicago

Location: Chicago, IL - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Growing Power - Chicago
Project Leader:
Erika Allen
Chicago, IL United States

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