Sunday, May 22, 2011
This is where it begins. I like talking about food and restaurants and a lot of them get their vegetables from City Farm. City Farm is a branch of the Resource Center, a non-profit that was started with a focus on recycling and reuse. The site that City Farm uses is a 1 acre plot in the area where one of Chicago's most notorious housing projects was located. The city donates the land and the farm can actually be moved if the city decides that they want the land back. The soil is created from a combination of the compost created from the weeds on the site, food waste from the restaurants that are customers, and manure from the city's horse barns. The farm operates using organic practices (if not certified organic). It operates year round although obviously they can't produce nearly as much in the winter as they can in spring, summer, and fall. They produce, beets, lettuce, carrots, several different types of lettuce, herbs, and more than 30 different types of tomatoes. This year they also received a few chickens from Gunthorp Farms that they will use to work over a farm bed after harvest and before clearing and possibly receive a few eggs in the process. If the experiment is succesful, they may expand the roost and add a few more chickens so they can supply eggs to local restaurants. Some of there customers include Frontera Grill & Topolobampo, Vie, Lula Cafe and Nightwood, Sepia, and North Pond. In addition, they run a CSA, a farm stand, and operate in two farmers markets. In the green seasons, they also have volunteer opportunities every Saturday which is how I found out about them. I volunteer about once a month mostly doing a lot of weeding although occasionally when clearing a bed we are able to harvest some stuff that was missed which is how I got these radishes.