Star Farm Chicago is an urban farm in the Back of the Yards neighborhood that seeks to increase accessibility and affordability of locally grown organic produce through our mobile farm stand, farmer’s market, and providing local jobs, job training, and business incubation for adults with developmental disabilities and employment barriers, engaging youth through our Children’s Community Garden Program, hosting community events, and fostering a safe, green space for all.
Star Farm Chicago seeks to maintain a safe, beautiful, productive urban farm for the Back of the Yards community. As a space-maker, Star Farm is owned by the community whose partners contribute to manage and learn from it, whose neighbors enrich it with their family attendance, whose children seek it out for recreation, and for those seeking employment and job skills. Star Farm prioritizes its community and hosts monthly community potlucks, engages its vocational trainees in produce deliveries to our seniors and individuals with mobility issues, and hosts a summer children’s garden program. Moreover, Star Farm listens to its community and responds to what it needs from an open, food-producing space. This has resulted in the creation of a farmer’s market, mobile farm stand, vocational training for adults with developmental disabilities, monthly community events on the farm, a PeaceMobile, Corner Farms, and the cultivation of crops that are culturally relevant.
The Back of the Yards community is a diverse, working-class neighborhood that deserves access to fresh, locally-produced organic food. Education around organic food production is a cornerstone of our mission. The production of food is not complete without an understanding of why it’s important to grow food for our local community, what kind of food should be grown and sold at what cost, and how best we can be a support base for conversations and activities around justice, accessibility, and equity, while offering economic opportunities for our neighbors. Hosting the community through regular programming helps solidify Star Farm and its branches as community assets, whether it’s for recreational, wellness, job readiness, or employment. Star Farm seeks to offer services to community residents at every age—from early childhood to elder years, by fostering an environment of inclusivity. Through partnering with other community organizations Star Farm can be an open-source asset, for day cares to rehabilitation services to high schools. By creating community events around food and inclusivity, Star Farm hopes to increase the well-being of all residents in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.