Happy [belated] Christmas! and Happy Holidays to come…
It’s been a looong season. First there was record-breaking warm weather in March, with almost half the month in the 80′s and 90′s. Then the driest spring in decades. Nonetheless, there were lots of successes to match these challenges and now that it’s almost 2013. Time to consolidate the records, better document what happened (or didn’t), and communicate that to you and the world.
Over the next couple weeks we’d like to let you know how much we were able to grow on the farm in our first full year, how much we consumed in terms of resources like electricity and water, how many pounds we diverted from landfills by composting, etc. These are some of the easier ways to quantify sustainability from the farming side of things, but we’ll continue to struggle to fully understand the impact of providing workshops, regular tours, and farmtop dinners. Stay tuned for the numbers… The first of these posts, about water usage, is up on the website!
In the meantime, we’re also beginning to plan for 2013. We’re looking to expand in several ways and improve from what we’ve learned in 2012. To be specific, the Urban Canopy’s CSA (community supported agriculture) this year had three members and received a weekly home delivery of fresh produce, delicious bread or granola, zesty kombucha, and free-range eggs. As part of this effort, we’re expanding the number of community and school gardens we collaborate with next year. We’re opening our CSA to all that grow organically in Chicago and calling it the Local Unified CSA, or “LUCk-SA.” We have four members already enrolled in the LUCSA for next year, and are looking for a total of 12. These bold twelve will receive TWENTY weekly home deliveries of even more diverse and delicious fresh produce and products. These twelve will also help Urban Canopy to provide a free 13th LUCSA to an individual or family in need (details to come). Contact us to get more details about becoming a LUCSA member in 2013.
In other good news:
A) We’ll be building a chicken coop to keep chickens on the rooftop farm in March with the goal of adding our own organic eggs to the LUCSA by June. Who wants to help?!
B) Introducing the Compost Club! We will pick up your home’s food scraps every week (or two) and compost it for you as a service. Your food scraps will be composted by our club of composters around the city and used as fertilizer for community gardens, home gardens, our rooftop farm, or your own garden. Email us for further details about either being a composter or “compostee” in the Compost Club.
C) We’re looking for a few solid interns and some regular volunteers. Last year, Quinn, Jacob and Nate (as well as many others) worked between 5-20 hours every week running the indoor and rooftop farms. This year, we’re looking to teach and learn from 3-4 farm manager interns. The positions are unpaid, unfortunately, but we are hoping to figure out ways to pay them financially as well as with produce. Duties will include many of the following: seed starting, composting, harvesting, weeding, chicken-keeping, beekeeping, community work, farmers markets, customer relations, deliveries, basic construction, etc.
D) Dinner Dates for 2013 are going to be to be announced in the spring, but you can expect to have delicious restaurants like Nana Organic and amazing caterers like B’Gab’s Goodies or Zullo’s prepare a rooftop dinner for you and your guests. Each dinner date is limited to 10 people.
Lastly, to our Kickstarter funders. About half of you received your rewards so far, but we weren’t able to get to many of you this year. Our sincere apologies for not getting this done sooner and you have our word to get you your rewards as soon as we can! Our logo is just about done, soon to be sent to the screenprinters, and so on. Thank you for your understanding and patience. Thoughts?
–The Urban Canopy Team