The 2015 summer season has come and gone. But there is plenty to do at the farm despite a change in seasons.
The opportunity to grow food in Chicago is enormous. We think of it as a harsh climate but the plants at the farm don't seem to mind! (Just ask our Arugula)
And although the trees look barren and the cold wind makes you believe nothing would want to thrive outside, there's plenty of life above and below the soil. And it's important to take care of it.
There are many crops to harvest still. The collards, chard, the kales, lettuce, mustards are all still growing. And although you're not going to live of off eating these greens, you can make a living by selling them all over the city, while being part of an urban ag organization and the Chicago community.
A great deal of what we do tries to create synergy. This idea is often explained as "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". Or another way of putting it is that 1 plus 1 does not equal 2 but rather much more. We can see this idea everywhere in natural ecosystems, like when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone.
Mimicking nature and creating synergy is behind much of what we do at The Urban Canopy.
We grow connections in our community that produce much much more than a simple customer-vendor relationship. These connections allows us to sell the food that we grow, spread the ideas we believe in and connect us to others who are like minded and we collaborate.
We grow food, sell to our community of good food eaters and we make sure all the left overs are returned back to the earth where they will decompose again into fertile soil.
Check out our oFarm Branch Lead Matthew Phillips, inspecting the compost we have created from valuable nutrients that were diverted from landfills by the choice of hundreds of residents through our city. Including our partner restaurants and their patrons.
We can't thank enough all of the people that support us and we have formed relationships with. These relationships are just as important as the fertility of the soil. And with every farmer's market interaction, or pleasant exchange while delivering a LUCSA share, we know for a fact, we are doing the right thing.
And we will do it far beyond the seasons end....
Stay tuned for more updates on the 2015 season! Now that the hardest part of the season is over, we turn to the digital realm to help us grow The Urban Canopy! ( ;