About Chicago Botanic Garden
Seventeen years ago, the Chicago Botanic Garden began a pilot project called the Green Youth Farm. Starting with 13 teen participants and one acre of land in North Chicago, the project helps youth learn and earn through sustainable growing. In 2005, the Green Youth Farm opened a second farming site in the North Lawndale neighborhood. Based on the success of the pilot project, the Chicago Botanic Garden established Windy City Harvest in 2007. Today, Windy City Harvest is an urban agriculture education and jobs-training initiative to help build a local food system, healthier communities, and a greener economy. Windy City Harvest serves a variety of people with comprehensive programs that focus on youth development, workforce training and job placement, entrepreneurship training, farm business opportunities, and access to quality fresh produce.
What Sets Them Apart
Windy City Harvest is proud to be connected to diverse partners for our 15 farm sites and job training programs – city colleges, health care institutions, park districts, count organizations, Forest Preserves of Cook County, NeighborSpace, food service providers, and mixed income developers.
Partnering with Fresh Midwest
“Midwest Foods, the parent company of Fresh Midwest, has been a critical partner for our agricultural programs because they have supported purchasing locally since the beginning of our programs. Through their commitment to purchasing locally, they educated our sales team on what crops and varieties are most useful locally. Midwest Foods has supported us with food safety compliance, which improved our training model. We also appreciate the use of collapsible crates instead of wax boxes, reducing waste stream inputs. The extension of our partnership to now include Fresh Midwest allows us the opportunity to offer locally grown produce grown on Windy City Harvest farms to their direct-to-consumer customers.” - Chicago Botanic Garden