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Natural Awakenings Chicago

Urban Farm Sprouting in Bronzeville

Jun 26, 2014 07:13PM

Bronzeville, once home to the stockyards and industry, is a South Side community undergoing a dramatic revitalization to include an urban farm that will produce local food and provide jobs. The project is gaining momentum and public support. To fund the effort, a crowdfunding site ( has been set up to accept public donations for Michelle’s Garden, which makes reference to First Lady Michelle Obama.

Team member Danielle Kizaire states, “Our goals are to provide a space to teach sustainability to all ages and allow research projects that would promote urban agriculture and renewable energy.  We aim to produce vegetables, fruits and fish, and my favorite—find a way to grow truffles in Chicago. We want to supply healthy stuff for surrounding universities, restaurants and a permanent farmers’ market for our community of Bronzeville.”

Bronzeville Urban DevelopmentThe working site is the vacated Commonwealth Edison Building at 626 East 40th Street, which the organizers, nonprofit Bronzeville Urban Development (BUD), hope to acquire as sustainable education center. The whole seven-acre site is 2.5 miles long on an old elevated railway abandoned in the 1950s, and is planned to become a self-sufficient, commercial-scale, worker cooperative urban agriculture entity.

For more information or to get involved, call Executive Director Charles Sutton at 312-233-2745, email [email protected] or visit Donations to Michelle’s Garden may be made online at