Thursday, September 16, 2010

Feature: Les Brown Memorial Farm

This last Sunday I took my brain outta the city and into the green. Some old friends and new acquaintances drove about 70 miles southwest of Chicago to participate in the Growing Home Harvest Festival. (I was introduced to the festival by the talented Katy Collier, pictured to the right, who works for Growing Home in Chicago doing grant writing).

The festival was held at the Les Brown Memorial Farm, on the site of an old weather station, which was acquired by Growing Home, Inc. in 1992 from the government; the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 allows federal surplus money (and, apparently, land) to be used to provide services to homeless individuals. Since 2002, Growing Home, Inc. has offered a job training program, hiring people to live and work on the organic farm (a similar mission to Cafe Too, a great little restaurant in Uptown in Chicago that provides food service job training to people who are homeless and in poverty). Growing Home offers transitional employment and a social enterprise organic agriculture business (in the form of a Chicago CSA), encouraging the employees to be invested in the land, and in a healthy, connected way of living. They also run Wood Street Urban Farm in Englewood (Ashland and 58th) and the Su Casa Catholic Worker House (51st and Laflin), and sell at the Green City Summer Market.

Photos from the sunny afternoon follow! (Click to enlarge).

1 comment:

  1. Hey Julia, thanks for the nice write up! I'm going to pass it on to the staff. (It came up as a google alert for me.) --rebekah