STAR FARM CHICAGO PROGRAMS
Since 2016, Star Farm is more than a farm--it's a classroom and community center without walls. We're building a resilient food hub in Back of the Yards through empowering local women, youth, and people with disabilities because we're committed to nurture all generations of growers and food sovereignty leaders.
FAMILY GARDEN DAYS
On Saturdays, the garden is activated with programming and activities with different themes and workshop leaders. We engage youth, heads of households, and elders in inter-generational community building activities, offer engaging programming on sustainability and circular economies in all relevant languages. The garden is a platform to build communnity through programs and activities that reduce violence and build relationships, share knowledge across generations through games and hands-on learning, create conversation around sustainability, circular economies, agriculture, and healthy food preparation.
FARMERS WITH DISABILITIES
Adults and youth with disabilities play a huge role at Star Farm. Between learning how to use tools, care for fruit trees, harvest and pack fresh produce, participants engage with the community and other growers, building a culture of inclusivity and visibility for this important population. Their participation is not only educational, but acts as a springboard to employment through Star Farm or other opportunities. Since 2016, we've engaged with more than 600 adults and youth with disabilities through bi-weekly programming on the far.
YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING
We are committed to providing a safe and meaningful work and learning environment for youth in Back of the Yards. Providing after-school and summer opportunities is an essential service to engage and educate youth. Participating in the community farmstand, learning principals of sustainability, and growing are skills that they build upon year after year.
THE STAR FARM FRESH MARKET AND SHARED KITCHEN
With support from the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, the Chicago Region Food System Fund, and private donors, Star Farm will launch a retail brick and mortar in Back of the Yards inlate 2021. The Star Farm Chicago Market, Shared Kitchen, and Community Room will be an oasis in a food desert providing fresh produce, educational and employment opportunities, community building, and support for local food entrepreneurs.
The Star Farm Fresh Market will be a retail farmers market offering local produce and other local products at affordable rates. We will accept LINK, WIC, senior farmers market coupons, and participate in the “Double LINK” program. We will also offer bulk organic and local goods such as oats, flour, seeds, etc. There will be a full selection of meat, poultry, dairy, dairy alternatives, prepared foods, bread, and more.
The licensed Community Kitchen will serve as a classroom for community cooking demonstrations using fresh produce and other local products to co-create culturally relevant recipes and products. The Kitchen will also be used for workshops around nutrition, food safety, healthy cooking, and sampling.
The Kitchen will also be rented at sliding scale rates to caterers, bakers, local food entrepreneurs, and farmers looking to create value-added products with their produce (such as kale chips, salsa, jam).
COMMUNITY DINING ROOM
The Community Room will feature a communal dining area, small library, children’s play area, and a gallery featuring rotating artwork from local artists It will be available to neighborhood residents and organizations to host meetings or celebrations, and for growers to host workshops.
A Community Farm fostering safe placemaking, job readiness, and inclusion
The Stockyards Gardens, designed and managed by Star Farm in partnership with Neighborspace, is a 36,000 sq ft community garden that will feature 30 production beds, 30 allotment beds, a nature play area, multipurpose gathering area, a stage, an orgachrd, and pollinator and native habitat.
The site is expected to pump 20,000 lbs of produce in the local community via produce donations, community growing, create 2 full-time and 4 part-time jobs for Back of the Yards residents, and engage 4,000 youth and adults annually via workshops, events, celebrations, and programs.
THE STAR FARM INCUBATOR FARM AND SHARED SPACES
Star Farm hosts an incubator farm, shared greenhouse, and shared cooler space for BIPOC women growers looking to expand or start a farm business or programming based non-profit farm.
The Star Farm team has combined 15 years urban farming experience in Chicago. Growers participating in the cohort receive monthly one-on-one business consulting from Star Farm as well as monthly group knowledge-sharing sessions with the other participants in the cohort.
Participants receive access and training to specialize farm tools, access to greenhouse growing, product and materials storage, and customized strategic planning to help meet their individual goals, whether that's structuring community-based programming or accessing wholesale or retail sales outlets.
MEET THE 2021 STAR FARM INCUBATOR FARMING COHORT
Meet the 1st year cohort of passionate and talented individuals. These applicants showed strength and dedication towards their projects with a strong will to collaborate with Star Farm's community engagement and outreach programs.
RACHEL NAMI KIMURA, HINATA FARMS
Hinata Farms is a Japanese heritage farm located in Chicago, IL. Founded in 2020, our mission is to make accessible locally-grown and culturally-relevant produce to the Japanese and broader Asian community in Chicago. For the latest updates, please follow us on IG
ANNA ACOSTA, TIERRA Y PAZ
I am a Mexican American woman and was born in Chicago and raised in Back of the Yards. I am a proud Chicago Public School Educator who served the Brighton Park community for 19 years. The produce we grow will go to CPS families and mutual aid efforts in Back of the Yards.
MELANIE CARTER, SUNFLOWER SOULE FARM
I want to provide organically grown produce that is accessible to all members of the community in underserved areas regardless of income. We will also strive to bridge the gap between food “aparthied sticken areas and food oases. We are dedicated to continuing our efforts to advocateadovocate for food justice in BIPOC communities.
NATASHA COLEMAN, COLEMAN PHARAOH'S GARDEN
Natasha Coleman, Coleman Pharaoh's Garden
THE STAR FARM MOBILE MARKET: TAKING THE FARM TO THE STREETS
Grow Food, Share Food: We are committing to bringing produce to where the people are via our mobile pop-up market! We show up at block club parties, senior residences, backpack giveaways, schools, events, and more! In 2021 we are committed to popping up at 50 different locations on the Southside--bringing the produce AND the party with our souped-up ice cream truck
Want to request a free produce pop-up? Fill our the form below and email
VISIT THE GARDEN
STAR FARM EVENT CALENDAR
We welcome you and yours to the garden for an experience like no other! Follow the links to learn more and purchase tickets to these events
FAMILY GARDEN DAYS
Join us for bi-monthly family garden days at the farm! Each event will include a workshop, art project, offer socially-distanced family picnic areas, and seasonal farmwork such as planting, mulching, and cultivating.
MONTHLY FARMING WORKSHOPS
Learn hands-on seasonal responsibilities of a high intensive urban farming such as seed starting, transplanting, building a crop plan, food safety, harvesting and processing, fertilizing, storage, interplanting, building infrastructure, integrated pest management, and so much more!
All workshops are on the 4th Saturday of the month from 9:30am-11:30am.
SPRING PLANTING FESTIVAL
Come celebrate all things spring on our urban farm! Tour the garden to see what's growing, participate in an art workshop, plant some seeds, and take home some seedlings! Pack a picnic lunch and soak in the sun in our large, ourtdoor, urban space. We promise they'll be surprises along the way
CATCH US AT THESE FARMERS MARKETS THIS 2021!
Wednesdays starting May 5th
Green City Market Lincoln Park
Thursdays starting April 8th
Rare Bird Pop-Up Market, Oak Park
Thursdays starting June 17th
South Loop Farmers Market
Saturdays starting May 8th
61st Street Farmers Market
Green City Market, West Loop
Green City Market, Lincoln Park
Sundays starting April 18th
Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen
Alternating Sundays starting May 9th
Logan Square Farmers Market
Alternating Sundays starting June 13th
Roscoe Village Farmers Market
Come support your local Chicago farmers and producers at these vibrant markets!