I had the opportunity to visit Growing Home's wonderful Wood Street farm today. I've been working with the team there for almost a year. They are a great Illinois organization, founded by Les Brown 20 years ago and a source of inspiration in this difficult time for the country. In addition to photographing their farming work, I've been able to document the construction of their new main facility building at their Wood Street Urban farm. The new building will house a classroom, production zones and a seedling greenhouse. It has been designed with many green concepts including rain water capture and many recycled/reused materials. The 2nd floor is made out of the bleachers from an Illinois high school gym. From the Growing Home website:
Growing Home provides job training for homeless and low-income individuals in Chicago through a social enterprise business based on organic agriculture. Our program provides experiential learning opportunities and employment in the horticulture field as well as a unique job readiness curriculum that helps reintroduces participants back into the workforce.
100% of the proceeds we make from sales of organic produce are used to improve our training program and pay for upkeep of our farm sites.
Their produce is sold via a CSA program and also at several city Farmer's Markets. I've never tasted produce quite like it!
[caption id="attachment_224" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="Growing Home's new facility building at the Wood Street Farm. I've photographed the building progress from this vantage point since they broke ground. In about a month I'll get a shot of the completed building and then post a gallery showing the progress."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_228" align="aligncenter" width="444" caption="Growing Home Executive Director Harry Rhodes in front of the new building."][/caption]