It was a blustery but exciting day at Growing Home last week. Senator Durbin attended the groundbreaking of Growing Home's 2nd Englewood urban farm and the first one since the Chicago City Council passed it's “urban ag ordinance,” which makes the process of creating urban farms such as these easier. Many press members attended the event, including WBEZ's Natalie Moore who filed this report. The event was also a joyous occasion for the graduates and staff of Growing Home's transitional jobs program. Later Senator Durbin got a tour of the Wood Street farm from Rebekah Silverman, Growing Home's Associate Director.
The great people at Growing Home had some special visitors in Mayor Richard Daley and Chief Environmental Officer Sadhu Johnston. A large number of the city's media were there to cover the event. It's great to see Growing Home being recognized for the work they do. The Mayor was beleaguered somewhat by some politics du jour but otherwise was very interested in the work being done by Growing Home and other transitional and green jobs businesses in Chicago.
[caption id="attachment_616" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="Harry Rhodes, Growing Home Executive Director and Sadhu Johnston, Chicago's Chief Environmental Officer at Growing Home Wood Street Urban Farm."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_620" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="Mayor Daley with employees of Growing Home at a market stand."][/caption]
I had a great time photographing and meeting up with the wonderful people people at Growing Home at their 7th annual benefit dinner. I am so fortunate to be able to work with them and see the wonderful things they do there. It was a great event, with locally and organically grown food prepared by The Balanced Kitchen, Monogramme Catering, Chef Tsadakeeyah Emmanuel, the Meatloaf Bakery and dinner prepared by Nia Mediterranean Tapas, Bistro Campagne, Charlie Trotter's and Vie Restaurant, Eli's Cheesecakes and Intelligentsia Coffee. A touching and informative keynote speech was made by Rick Bayless.
[caption id="attachment_449" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="I had some fun with my Totally Rad Actions post-production on many of the images in this gallery. No, the sauce wasn't really this color green!"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_450" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="Chefs from many restaurants, including Charlie Trotter's, participated in the food preparation."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_451" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="Many Growing Home volunteers helped serve the approximately 300 guests at the event."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_454" align="aligncenter" width="444" caption="Chicago restauranteur Rick Bayless gave an inspirational keynote speech."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_455" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="Growing Home Executive Director Harry Rhodes with SHED Studio Architects Rashmi Ramaswamy and Mike Newman and Growing Home Board President Valerie Denney."][/caption]
Below is a slideshow of my favorite images. You can view the images larger and even embed the gallery in your own webpage by clicking the buttons in the bottom right corner of the gallery.
One of my most fun and interesting clients is KIPP Ascend Charter School. They are a great organization with a zeal for which I wasn't fully prepared! The school is always buzzing and the students have a great energy. Last week they asked me to come photograph their Career Day. The professions represented ranged from paramedic to actuary and from the military to branding-placement advisor.