Alex Poltorak

Alex is the Distribution Lead & Operations Lead with The Urban Canopy. Within these roles he's responsible for coordinating transportation logistics, as well as distribution of both local and non-local organic produce to our commercial customers. If you're a restaurant, grocery store or generally interested in sourcing more local and organic products, please get in touch at Alex enjoys rock climbing, basketball, biking and cooking from scratch as much as possible.


Amanda Anderson

Amanda is a Farmers Market Manager but also helps out other branches when needed. When not working with Urban Canopy she works as an Environmental Educator with Spring Valley Nature Center helping young students and families reconnect with nature. She is an avid dumpster diver and loves to reduce food waste by preserving it through cooking, canning, and brewing.

Danielle Bonczkowski

Danielle is a Farmer's Market Manager and LUCSA pack and delivery driver at The Urban Canopy. She loves connecting with and providing organic produce to the Chicago community. Some of her favorites are permaculture, farming and hikes through the woods.

David Durstewitz

David joined the Urban Canopy in 2017 as oFarm Lead after four years at City Farm and some rural organic farming and now serves a guiding function on the Trunk. A type-1 diabetic and DIY music organizer, David is passionate about foraging, fermentation, biking and other ways of keeping ourselves rooted in good food and healthy, resilient community structures. He eats a lot of eggs.


Emily Cross

Emily started working at Urban Canopy in 2015 out of a desire to learn more about farming, as a way to honor her grandfather's memory. She quickly became involved with LUCSA and loved connecting with and supporting local farmers. She has worked in every branch except transport. Currently, she leads LUCSA. She is actively involved with El Paseo community garden, loves cooking, biking and dancing. She can be reached at


Joseph Taylor

Joseph is the Farmer's Market Lead and Composter at the Outdoor Farm with the Urban Canopy. He enjoys all things related to food especially trying out new cooking recipes. You can find him by listening for the jubilant laughter at your local Farmer's Market or by emailing


Kate Gurke

Kate is the Farmers Market Lead and LUCSA Co-Lead with The Urban Canopy. She wears many hats and you may hear from her if you have questions about farmers markets, CSAs, or jobs at UC. She enjoys riding her bike around the city, making and eating pasta and pies, sitting on porches, and seasons 1-8 of The Simpsons.


Tom Straus

Tom is currently an administrator for the Compost Club, ensuring that our farm has plenty of healthy soil for the food we grow! Tom also holds a position with the auxiliary board at Plant Chicago, leading the Education Committee’s efforts to update and promote the classes taught there, as well as an Alumni Board position with Food Recovery Network. When he’s not fighting food wastes Tom enjoys gardening, cooking, and recently built an aquaponic system in his home. He can be reached at


Ally Otto

Ally is the Compost Club Lead at The Urban Canopy. She started as a Compost Club driver and immediately fell hard for composting and waste reduction (she now uses bamboo toothbrushes, carries cloth produce bags around on her person, collects mason jars etc.). Apart from work life, she is really into her houseplants, making stuff from scratch, cats, and Ted Talks.


Blue Ocon

Blue is a Transporter at The Urban Canopy. When they're not grooving to disco hits on deliveries  around town or working with the U.C. Crew at the outdoor farm or market, you can find Blue farming on the city's Southside with Nodding Onion Farm (a worker-owned urban farm in the Bronzeville neighborhood that works alongside The Urban Canopy and many Chicago farms to grow & bring sustainable agricultural directly to city residents). On their downtime they enjoy visiting their chickens (Buffy, Willow, Zandy & Cordelia) at their local community garden as well as gardening at home with their two pitbulls (BillyJean & Gimlet). 


Christian Fernandez

Christian is the Indoor Farm Lead, Transporter, and Farmers Market Manager with The Urban Canopy.  You'll always see him with a smile on his face. When at work he enjoys planting wheatgrass and microgreens at the Indoor Farm because it is relaxing and therapeutic. Outside of work he likes spending time with his dog, Gracie, as well as friends and family. He likes to sing and hopes to take vocal lessons sometime soon. He can be reached at


Dannah Abel

Dannah is a Transporter at The Urban Canopy. She is passionate about food sovereignty and enjoys learning about indigenous farming techniques. Dannah is also part of Growing Home's Alumni Advisory Committee and is currently working on a grassroots project designed to combat food apartheid. More information about this project will soon become available at

Elgin Griffin

Elgin is a LUCSA crew member and a transporter with The Urban Canopy. Elgin is very reliable when it comes to getting his work done in a timely manner. He tries to find fun in everything, while staying focused on the task at hand. Elgin enjoys working with LUCSA because he gets a chance to connect with different people around the city of Chicago. Outside of work Elgin enjoys spending time with his family and cat, Sparkles. He also enjoys playing football, basketball, cars, and video games.


Erin Campbell

Erin is a Production Assistant with The Urban Canopy. Her passion for sustainable agriculture began immediately after watching "Food, Inc." for a U.S. history course in high school. After getting a degree in Horticulture she moved to Chicago determined to aid the local urban agriculture movement. Previously she worked as Greenhouse Manager for Metropolitan Farms running its aquaponics system. When she is not focused on farming, eating, or making a good cup of coffee she tries her talents at rock climbing, mastering Italian cooking, and longboarding around the city.


Jenny Sher

Jenny works with the LUCSA branch at the Urban Canopy. She has worked as a farmer in Massachusetts and Rwanda, a floral designer and in the restaurant industry. When not packing and delivering your LUCSA shares, she is on a quest for the perfect home cooked pizza.


Kevin Spicer

Kevin is the Outdoor Farm Co-Lead with The Urban Canopy. He has experience working at farms, farm-like schools, and farm-like camps, in rural North Carolina, Illinois and Vermont. He's grown vegetables, milked cows, taught pre-algebra, tapped maple trees and wrestled Christmas trees. He likes reading, running, cooking, and slow aimless walks through the neighborhood.