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Five urban farming projects in Chicago to watch in 2017


Laura Erickson, market coordinator for Windy City Harvest, takes beds of lettuce out of the water to be cleaned and sent to market on Dec. 7, 2016. Windy City Harvest, now working out of the Arturo Velasquez Institute, grows more than 100,000 pounds of produce a year.

Like a tomato plant bursting from a pothole, Chicago’s urban farming scene is a tiny hope-filled industry in a tough city, steadily growing as a source of jobs, economic development and food in some of the poorest neighborhoods on the South and West sides.

Greg Trotter
Chicago Tribune
Dec 21, 2016

Excerpt:

The city is jumping into the urban farming game, aided by a $1 million federal grant, one of 45 projects awarded a total of $26.6 million this year through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual Conservation Innovation Grants.

Through its “Growing for Chicago” initiative, the city plans to promote and coordinate urban farming efforts, provide microgrants and training through partnerships with existing nonprofits, and prepare vacant land in the Englewood neighborhood for farming, said Chris Wheat, chief sustainability officer for Chicago.

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December 30, 2016   Comments Off on Five urban farming projects in Chicago to watch in 2017

Editorial: Persecuting an idealist – Thomas Jackson is an urban farmer


A landscaper by the name of Thomas Jackson faces 30 violations from the City of Toledo for attempting to beautify his neighborhood, but he has the support of his neighbors, Green Party, key figures, the Lucas County, and the state of Ohio. (Must see. Mike)

Toledo, Ohio – The city should make him citizen of the year. Instead, the city is persecuting him.

Toledo Blade
Dec 26, 2016

Excerpt:

Thomas Jackson is an urban farmer. Thomas Jackson is a man who is beautifying his neighborhood. Thomas Jackson, who had a record as a young man, turned his life around and went to school to learn how to be a master gardener and harvester of food and trees.

Thomas Jackson is the kind of person the city should lift up and celebrate. Everyone who has met him or been to his neighborhood — Milburn Court, Auburn Avenue, and Macomber Street and their environs — and seen his work, from Congressman Marcy Kaptur, to the Green Party, to University of Toledo professors and students, to representatives of the Ohio EPA, says what he is doing is fantastic.

What he is doing is turning vacant lots of dirt and weeds into green, growing space.

The city should make him citizen of the year. Instead, the city is persecuting him. In the absence of leadership by the mayor’s office, District Councilman Tyrone Riley seems to be driving city policy and enforcement. And it has been a witch hunt aimed at Mr. Jackson.

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December 30, 2016   Comments Off on Editorial: Persecuting an idealist – Thomas Jackson is an urban farmer