Chicago Opens First Urban Farm

Honore Street Farm will be the first urban farm opened under Chicago’s new urban farming regulations. The farm, located between 58th and 59th street, broke ground earlier this week and, city officials hope, will be the first of many that will help revitalize the city economy and create much needed urban jobs.

Earlier this year, the Chicago city council rewrote local ordinances to allow small-scale urban farming operations, a move made in the face of a stagnant city economy and increasingly high unemployment.

The Honore Street Farm in currently managed by Growing Home, a nonprofit agency dedicated to rehabilitating individuals with substance abuse problems and offering stable employment to people who have suffered from chronic unemployment. The farm hopes to give back to the community, not just economically, but in its ability to improve the lives of local residents.

To this end, the choice of location was key. Honore Street Farm is located in the midst of a food desert, an area in the industrialized world where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain. Typically, food deserts are urban areas with limited access to supermarkets, forcing residents to rely on local convenience stores and unhealthy, processed foods. The creation of this farm will hopefully not only stimulate the economy, but provide a better quality of life for local residents.

The ground breaking ceremony was attended by Chicago politicians as well as Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, who expressed hope that the farm would be the first of many that would help life residents out of poverty and transform a struggling economy.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer