Elvis Sanchez works in a produce farm program through Urban Autism Solutions. (WTTW News)

Urban Autism Solutions, an organization on the West Side, is working to empower young adults on the autism spectrum to learn life skills. The 1.2- acre produce farm is a hands-on program teaching young adults the basics of farming with a goal of enhancing their social and vocational skills.

(Jan Kraus / Unsplash)

More than 200 people across the country, including 11 in Illinois, have become ill after coming in contact with poultry in backyard flocks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Star Farm has purchased the building at 5256 S. Ashland Ave., with plans to transform it into a local foods co-op. (Background image: Star Farm; inset: Google Streetview)

Like a lot of urban growers, Stephanie Dunn of Star Farm sells her produce at farmers markets around Chicago. Now she’s about to start up a different kind of farmer’s market: her own food co-op housed in a building she is preparing to renovate thanks to a grant from the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund.

Urban Growers Collective maintains a herd of 17 goats at its South Chicago farm. (Courtesy of Urban Growers Collective)

Where humans see a messy pile of dried needles, goats see a tasty meal. The herd at Urban Growers Collective’s South Chicago farm can dine for weeks on recycled Christmas trees.

Community events and activities are as much a part of El Paseo's mission as gardening. (Courtesy of El Paseo Community Garden)

El Paseo Community Garden is hosting an open house Saturday to celebrate its achievements in 2020, which include the city handing over a half-acre vacant lot that neighbors feared would be developed into luxury condos. 

Volunteers at Star Farm pack bags of fresh produce, purchased from small farms, to be delivered for free to South Side residents through the Market Box program. (Davon Clark)

Each week, 200 South Side households receive a free delivery of fresh produce, thanks to a collaboration between Star Farm and Experimental Station. To keep the program running through October, organizers need to raise $20,000.

A Reduced Pressure Zone valve, attached to hydrant, is designed to prevent backflow, but it also prevented many gardeners from accessing water this growing season. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Community gardens and urban farms were left scrambling to comply with a new city policy related to hydrant access that left some without water throughout the entire 2020 growing season. 

A pair of ambitious projects are coming to Auburn Gresham, thanks to a $10 million grant from the Chicago Prize. (Pritzker Traubert Foundation / YouTube)

The inaugural $10 million Chicago Prize grant was awarded last week to a team from Auburn Gresham, which has ambitious plans to bring transformational change to the community.

A $2 million investment from the state pushed funding for an urban farming campus over the top, paving the way for Friday’s groundbreaking. (Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity / Twitter)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced $2 million in state funds for the Green Era Urban Farming Campus, pushing financing for the project over the top and paving the way for Friday’s groundbreaking in Auburn Gresham.  

(Steve Buissinne / Pixabay)

More than 460 people across the country, including 16 in Illinois, have become ill after coming in contact with poultry in backyard flocks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Star Farm in Back of the Yards makes up for in ambition what it lacks in size. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Star Farm in Back of the Yards makes up for in ambition what it lacks in size. Founder Stephanie Dunn’s mission is to use urban agriculture as the means of creating a healthier, more resilient community. 

Urban Growers Collective co-founder Erika Allen, right, and staff sort through seeds inside the geodesic dome at the nonprofit’s South Chicago farm. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

The nonprofit Urban Growers Collective operates community farms on Chicago’s South Side, providing fresh produce to underserved neighborhoods with few to no nutritional food options.

Vegetable gardening looks to be the next homebound hobby. (Patty Wetli / WTTW)

Garden centers are juggling an anticipated increase in demand with social distancing concerns. Now, many are offering online ordering, no-contact delivery and curbside pickup as options.

A sample farmers market to-go box. (Courtesy of Closed Loop Farms)

Closed Loop Farms is leading a group of local food producers to deliver everything from Michelin-worthy greens to naturally fermented sodas directly to your door.

(Normanack / Flickr)

A family friendly expo Saturday offers workshops, a resource fair and more for those curious about raising livestock in the city.

Emmanuel Pratt (Courtesy MacArthur Foundation)

Emmanuel Pratt will use a South Side community farm he developed as a “living laboratory” to teach students about contemporary sustainability initiatives.