Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 16, 2013.

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A new hoop greenhouse in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood will provide fresh organic produce and job training to local residents

Growing Home’s newest Urban Farm is in need of another hoophouse to increase growing capacity and create new jobs in the Englewood community. 

What we've done

Growing Home’s Englewood urban farms were built on two lots that had been vacant for over thirty years. One of the sites — the Wood Street Urban Farm – now holds 8,400 square feet of covered growing space in three passive solar-heated hoophouses, as well as approximately 3,000 square feet of outside growing space. From a site that was covered with cracked concrete and littered with broken bottles in 2006, Growing Home harvested and sold over 13,000 pounds of USDA Certified Organic produce in 2011. 

Hoophouses at our Wood St Urban Farm
Hoophouses at our Wood St Urban Farm

The current project

Site plan by SHED Studio showing location of proposed hoophouse
Site plan by SHED Studio showing location of proposed hoophouse

Our newest development, the Honore Street Urban Farm, is a one-acre site that is now entering its second season as a productive farm. By the time the site is fully operational, it is expected to triple Growing Home’s vegetable production in Englewood, improving food options in this recognized food desert and expanding Growing Home’s capacity to serve the residents of Englewood through our education and job training programs. 

Constructing the first hoophouse at Honore St Urban Farm
Constructing the first hoophouse at Honore St Urban Farm

Right now, the site is operating at about 1/3 of its potential, with one hoophouse constructed. Your support in our Kickstarter campaign will allow Growing Home to fill out the site with organic compost and fund the construction of the site’s second and final hoophouse. This expansion will allow Growing Home to build on a model that works to deliver fresh food and put people back to work in Englewood.

Program interns harvesting in Growing Home's Wood St hoophouse
Program interns harvesting in Growing Home's Wood St hoophouse

Who we are

Growing Home is the leading social enterprise focused on empowering people and communities with Chicago's first USDA-Certified Organic, high-production urban farms. With farms in the Englewood and Back of the Yards neighborhoods, as well as the 10-acre Les Brown Memorial Farm in Marseilles, Illinois, Growing Home seeks to operate, promote, and demonstrate the use of organic agriculture as a vehicle for job training, employment, and community development.


We're not like other farms

More than just growing food, Growing Home is building community and impacting lives. Since the beginning of our job training program, we've helped over 250 individuals transform their lives. Allencia, one of our 2012 program interns, recently told us this:

"Growing Home has had an IMMENSE influence on my life. After being released from federal prison, I went through some serious challenges in trying to find a job. I must say, mere words are inadequate in trying to articulate my gratitude for such a phenomenal program. I feel very successful. I feel you are successful when you remember that somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a gift, and that gift is what started you in the right direction. I believe you are blessed when you pass that gift on to someone else. That's exactly what I intend to do!"

Allencia harvesting spinach at Growing Home, photo by Alan Yu
Allencia harvesting spinach at Growing Home, photo by Alan Yu

About Englewood

The Greater Englewood neighborhood, where our hoophouse will be built, has struggled with cycles of population loss and disinvestment for decades. Poverty, crime, and a lack of opportunity have made it difficult for neighborhood residents to build lives, families, and careers. Growing Home is reinvesting in this neighborhood, though, bringing healthy food options, community educational programs, and providing opportunities where there formerly were few. Growing Home was recently honored as the Outstanding Community Strategy of the Year by the 2013 Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards, in recognition of its work to transform the Englewood neighborhood through organic agriculture.

Growing Home receiving the Outstanding Community Strategy of the Year award
Growing Home receiving the Outstanding Community Strategy of the Year award

Great rewards

Here are some of the unique, local, organic rewards that you'll be eligible to receive when you support our project. 

$50 - Organic Lacinato Kale seeds harvested from plants at our urban farms
$50 - Organic Lacinato Kale seeds harvested from plants at our urban farms
$100 - Organic urban farm seedlings to grow in containers at your house
$100 - Organic urban farm seedlings to grow in containers at your house
$250 - Honey from Growing Home's hives at Su Casa Market Garden
$250 - Honey from Growing Home's hives at Su Casa Market Garden
$500 - Custom built planter box full of organic veggies
$500 - Custom built planter box full of organic veggies

Note that all rewards are subject to availability.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Having already built four hoophouses in Chicago, Growing Home understands the potential challenges - from uncooperative weather to the dynamic nature of organic compost. Growing Home is the pioneer of organic agriculture in Chicago, however, and has the experience, the technical know-how, and the community alliances to get the job done. With the property secured, building site prepped, and materials and crews already selected, we anticipate no major challenges in bringing this Kickstarter project to life!

FAQ

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    67 backers

    Get a "thank you" shout out on Growing Home's website and Facebook page.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    86 backers

    Party with us! Receive a shout out on our webpage and an invitation to the hoophouse ribbon cutting party this August, where you can enjoy some fresh local food and receive a specially made Growing Home veggie button from Busy Beaver!

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    20 backers All gone!

    On top of the web shout out, hoophouse party invitation, local food, and veggie button, we'll specially harvest a packet-worth of organic Lacinato Kale seeds from plants at our Urban Farms - plants that are a) organic, b) delicious, and c) already adapted to the local Chicago climate!

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    You'll get all the above rewards, plus, we will grow two organic heirloom seedlings for you to plant and grow on your patio, porch, or windowsill. Seedlings will be started and nurtured by interns at our Su Casa Market Garden. We've specially selected varieties that will grow well in containers and thrive in the Chicago climate. What's more, we'll add your name to a "wall of supporters" that will be put up on site at the new hoophouse and list your contribution in a special section of our annual report.

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    6 backers Limited (4 left of 10)

    You'll get all the above rewards, and, we will harvest a pound of Growing Home honey specially for you. To be clear, this isn't any ordinary honey. Our staff collects this sweet local treat from hives at our Su Casa Market Garden only once per year, meaning that only a lucky few will get to enjoy this unique honey produced by urban bees living right here in Chicago! And, we'll throw in a Growing Home cookbook with veggie-based honey recipes submitted by our staff and supporters.

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $500 or more
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    5 backers All gone!

    Receive all the aforementioned rewards, plus, take home a piece of Growing Home! We'll custom build a "farm box" for you - a 3' x 4' organic planter full of Growing Home vegetables to keep you in produce for the duration of the season.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    You'll (of course) get all the above rewards and we'll arrange a private brunch on our Urban Farms for you and up to five of your closest friends! Meal will include fresh Growing Home organic produce and will be prepared by an award-winning local chef from the Englewood neighborhood.

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Whoa! First of all, thanks for getting us 1/4 way to our goal in one fell swoop. Secondly, we'll give you all the above rewards and name a section of the new hoophouse after you!

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Funding period

- (45 days)