Partnering with Urban Growers Collective to Up Your Garden Game

 

 

We have been following the work of Urban Growers Collective since they opened their doors in the fall of 2017. They run several programs supporting urban farmers with land, training, and resources, they increase access to affordable fresh nutrient dense produce with The Fresh Moves Mobile Market, and they lead youth programs at an Early Childhood Center and for teens.  One of the things that resonate with us as a partner working in the urban agriculture field is stated plainly on their website: their core values honor shared leadership and collective decision making; racial, economic, gender and LGBTQ equity; and employee well-being: they have witnessed how these values lead to thoughtful, holistic programming and yield environments that nourish and create prosperity.

Check them out on Instagram (@urbangrowerscollective) for some great farm and food information and inspiration. Below is their list of workshops available this year to help you expand your skills and sharpen your tools.


They do not want financial barriers to prevent anyone from attending our events. Please reach out about scholarships and work exchange opportunities: 773-376-8882 or info@urbangrowerscollective.org

To register for events, or to learn more about Urban Growers Collective or upcoming workshops and events, visit their website at www.urbangrowerscollective.org.

Farmers For Chicago Workshops

The Farmers for Chicago Program provides an opportunity for active participation and learning to support the training and development of new farmers, regardless of skill level. Each session has a strong hands-on training and classroom session to support development goals, and to make each vision a workable business plan, to eventually make a new urban farm a reality. Please come prepared for field work with weather appropriate attire.

Workshops cost $75 for half-day workshops and $150 for full-day workshops. The 3-day Dismantling Racism Training costs $350 (including refreshments and lunch).

The Vision, Seeding Your Future in the Community

Saturday, February 2, 2019, 10:00am-4:00pm

Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th Street (enter at Racine entrance – Dial UGC)

Big vision mapping session; mission & vision statements; defining core values, both personal and commercial; and community engagement. Crop planning will be the focus for farming oriented projects. Participants will develop a comprehensive vision of their commercial agriculture endeavor. It is important that participants clearly define the various program elements and economic aspects of their project. Once the big picture is developed, participants will create a project outline that will serve as the blueprint for the business plan to be developed over the year. The process is creative and provides a step-by-step approach to guide the development of a full project plan.

Marketing, Financials and Financing your Farm Project

Saturday, February 9, 2019, 10:00am-4:00pm

Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th Street (enter at Racine entrance – Dial UGC)

We will begin the day discussing financial planning, budgets and spreadsheets, grant writing and financing your project, and small group budget development. Next, we will create a comprehensive operating budget, profit and loss format and begin to develop financing or grant writing for the business plan. UGC will provide bookkeeping and accounting basics presentation and provide templates for developing the budget. This information will provide a springboard to begin strategizing how products and services will be sold to generate revenue for the enterprise. Planning value-added products, workshops, and sales to restaurants, Community Supported Agriculture, and farmers’ markets will all be explored through small group discussion and a questions and answers session.

Greenhouse Production: Seeding & Transplanting

Saturday, February 16, 2019, 1:00pm-4:00pm

South Chicago Farm, 9000 S Mackinaw Ave, Chicago IL 60617

Participants receive hands-on training to learn how to mix soil, seed, harvest, wash and package a variety of crops. Participants engage in group discussion focused on year-round greenhouse production and marketing strategies to effectively sell products within marketplaces that suit their goals and resources.

Dismantling Racism in the Food System – Intensive Leadership Training

Thursday, February 28th – Saturday, March 2, 10:00am-4:00pm (all days)

Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th Street (enter at Racine entrance – Dial UGC)

An understanding of dismantling racism principles is critical to the success of any urban agriculture project. This three-day workshop will introduce a framework to better understand how racism and privilege manifests on an individual, cultural and institutional level, as well as provide space to reflect upon ways to create projects that empower low-income and communities of color through sustainable, local agriculture.

We will be discussing recent challenges and opportunities in the food movement world both from a local, in your community, perspective and from the national and international food sovereignty arena. Designed to build a community of leaders who are enabled to take action and provide intensive training and dialogue that facilitates anti-racism, with the hope that leaders take food justice actions in our own programs and neighborhoods

Mushroom Production & Medicinal and Culinary Herb Garden Planning

Saturday, April 27, 2019, Herbs 10:00am-12:00pm, Mushrooms 1:00pm-4:00pm

South Chicago Farm, 9000 S Mackinaw Ave, Chicago IL 60617

This workshop will begin with visioning your healing garden. Growing herbs to expand culinary flavors, create healing tinctures and to add vitality to your reflective practices. One of the long term goals is to build a Urban Medicinal Plant network that shares knowledge and plants for healing work in the community.

In the afternoon, participants learn how to raise oyster, wine cap, and shitake mushrooms that are profitable and inexpensive to maintain. Fungi don’t take up “mushroom” in your garden and can be a fun and tasty addition to your edible landscape.

Beekeeping 101: Hive Setup & Installation & Composting 101

Saturday, May 4, 2019, Beekeeping – 10:00am-12:00pm, Compost 1:00pm-4:00pm

South Chicago Farm, 9000 S Mackinaw Ave, Chicago IL 60617

Beekeeping workshops are held at our beautiful South Chicago Farm and Apiary.  The workshop is geared for beginning beekeepers who are interested in purchasing or currently own bee hives.  The first course introduces participants to honey bee biology and behavior, hive parts and tools, record keeping, as well as hive installation and set-up. The instruction for the course includes both a classroom-style presentation as well as hands-on work in the apiary.  Participants should wear light-colored pants and a long-sleeved shirt, socks and closed-toed shoes.  Protective gear will be provided while in the hives.  The workshop will be rescheduled in case of rain.

In the afternoon, participants will learn how to develop a comprehensive and sustainable growing system that can grow food with a consistent and affordable supply of fertility. We will show participants how to manage a small-scale compost system. Participants will discuss collection of waste streams in the city or on the farm. We will also teach the basics of Vermicomposting and will construct and explain how to maintain a worm bin.  The on farm use of vermicomposting as a fertilizer will be a focus and how to use it for generating cash from those who want an excellent, organic fertilizer or compost teas. After learning the fundamentals, we will focus on building beds, direct seeding and transplanting techniques.

Medicinal Herb Care & Urban Orchard Management

Saturday, June 8, 2019, 1:00-4:00pm

South Chicago Farm, 9000 S Mackinaw Ave, Chicago IL 60617

Learn along as we plant, maintain and grow our orchard. Fruit trees require special care to be productive and healthy. We will learn from expert arborists all the tricks of the trade. After working in the orchard, we will visit the medicinal herb garden to provide routine care.

Beekeeping 101 – Hive Maintenance

Saturday, July 8, 2019, 10:00am-12:00pm

South Chicago Farm, 9000 S Mackinaw Ave, Chicago IL 60617

The hive maintenance workshop will build upon the components of the first workshop, although it is not mandatory to have participated in the first workshop.  After a brief review of bee biology and behavior, we will spend the bulk of the workshop in the hive inspecting bee brood, honey flow, bee “work”, as well as pests and diseases in the hive. Come prepared to work and prepare the hives for full swing summer honey production. Participants should wear light-colored pants and a long-sleeved shirt, socks and closed-toed shoes. Protective gear will be provided while in the hives. The workshop will be rescheduled in case of rain.

Medicinal Herb Harvest & Use

Saturday, August 17, 2019, 1:00-4:00pm

South Chicago Farm, 9000 S Mackinaw Ave, Chicago IL 60617

They will demonstrate how to harvest herbs for their various properties and prepare them for use. Participants will tour the herb beds and learn about the various medicinal and culinary properties of the plants. This is a hands on, learning share workshop and a follow up to the spring Herb planning workshop.

Beekeeping 101 – Hive Winterization & Honey Harvest

Saturday, September 28th, 2019, 11:00am-1:00pm

South Chicago Farm, 9000 S Mackinaw Ave, Chicago IL 60617

Participants will inspect the hives for diseases, pests and honey flow. After inspection and clean-up, we will prepare the hives for winter. Learn the ins and outs of taking care of your bees over the winter months to help maintain a healthy hive all year-long. After the hives are prepared, participants will learn how to extract and process honey. Participants should wear light-colored pants and a long-sleeved shirt, socks and closed-toed shoes. Protective gear will be provided while in the hives. The workshop will be rescheduled in case of rain.

Community Garden Plots at South Chicago

South Chicago Farm, 9000 S Mackinaw Ave, Chicago IL 60617

The 2019 application is now available on their website. Plots are 10’x10 and cost $25

Mandatory orientation for plots at the South Chicago farm will be held from 11:00-11:30am every Saturday from April 6th through June 1st.

Goat Yoga

Saturday, June 8th, 2019, 10am-11-am

Saturday, July 20th, 2019, 10am-11-am

Saturday, September 28th, 2019, 10am-11-am

South Chicago Farm, 9000 S Mackinaw Ave, Chicago IL 60617

Nothing says “get your inner zen on” quite like yoga with goats.  Let Lil’ Debbie and our crew of furry, dwarf & pygmy mini-goats help set your soul at ease while you stretch and relax your body.  They will probably just try to eat your yoga mat, but you’ll have lots of pictures of you snuggling goats to post on Instagram!

Workshops cost $25. You may pay by cash, check or square when arriving at the farm.

Summer BBQ

Saturday, July 20th, 2019, 12:00pm-3:00pm

South Chicago Farm, 9000 S Mackinaw Ave, Chicago IL 60617

Join UGC for a summer cook out at our South Chicago Farm!