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Chicago Synagogue’s Urban Farm Thrives

Some of the fruits and vegetables harvested from the KAMII farm.

The KAMII farm now comprises two 50-foot-long plots of cultivated crops and two mostly self-sustaining “food forests”

By Aimee Levitt
July 11, 2017


The farm at KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation in the Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago is very much an urban farm, with a bus line running past the side entrance, and tourists passing by to see Barack Obama’s former home across the street; so, the volunteer farmers do not feel obligated to wake up at the crack of dawn. Still, they prefer to work in the cool of a summer morning, so by 9:30 a.m. on a recent Sunday — farm day — the weekly harvest was well underway.

Half a dozen farmers crouched between the long rows of crops that run parallel to Hyde Park Boulevard, plucking large leaves of collards, kale and mustard, and small black raspberries and red serviceberries. In the synagogue vestibule, pungent with the smell of wild onions, another volunteer sorted the leafy greens and berries into boxes. The day’s yield would total about 50 pounds; later on in the season, when tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and eggplants are ripe, the volunteers anticipate a harvest five or six times that.

Read the complete article here.