We are happy to report that this summer has been one of our busiest and most prosperous summers yet.We continued to build existing partnerships and create new ones, increased production and our outreach efforts.Below is a list of specific activities performed during this quarter:
We worked with 230 teens during this summer at our Chicago farms, teaching grow bed construction, seeding and planting, harvesting, marketing produce to their communities, cooking and nutrition.
A new partnership with Working Bikes, a Chicago based non-profit, was launched to teach our teens bicycle repair and safety.Teens learned how to fix-up salvaged bikes, how to safely navigate city streets, and how to transport produce via bike cart.More than 200 teens were certified through this program.
Staff maintained our seven active farm sites totaling 7 acres of vegetable production.Vegetables included tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, eggplant and greens. Our Chicago crew is selling our produce at farmers markets and stand across the city of Chicago. We will be breaking ground soon on our newest farm site in partnership with the Chicago Park District.This 7 acre site will include an urban orchard, a community garden and will incubate 5-10 farmers with the launch of our “Farmers for Chicago” project.
Our Chicago farm launched sprout production during this past summer.You can purchase local pea shoots and sunflower micro-greens at our Iron Street Farm location.
Growing Power benefited from a recent change in State of Illinois composting laws.This change will allow us to significantly increase our compost production at our Iron Street facility.We are processing 60,000 lbs of produce, brewery mash and wood chips monthly at this location.
We are working with Tru Blooms Fragrance Company to grow florals at our Grant Farm park to be used to create a hyper-local perfume.This year, our farmers grew lavender, two varieties of roses, patchouli and rose scented geranium for the perfume company.
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