Launched in 2013, Windy City Harvest’s Farm Incubator Program was developed with assistance from the USDA–NIFA (U.S. Department of Agriculture–National Institute of Food and Agriculture) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. The program’s function is to help reduce the risks of starting one’s own farming-related enterprise. Incubator farmers are carefully selected each year from applicants who have completed Windy City Harvest’s 9-month Sustainable Agriculture Apprenticeship & Sunshine Enterprise’s 12-week Community Business Academy. Windy City Harvest has incubated 26 farm businesses, 7 are currently in the program & 11 have graduated to proudly operate independent of Windy City Harvest, supporting our local food system. Incubator farmers are based at Legends Farm in Chicago.
Accepted farm businesses receive:
Incubated Farm Businesses Currently in the Program:
As QTBIPOC and farmers with disabilities, Zafra Farm is invested in creating an accessible, inclusive space for underrepresented communities to access high quality and nutritious produce. We celebrate foods from our Asian and Caribbean culture through recipe zines, food education, and urban farming programming with a focus on sustainable farming methods. Follow our Instagram @zafrafarm to support our work.
"Arcoiris Alliance is Black and brown femme led urban farm in the south side of Chicago. They plan on providing access to working class folks that look like them, with locally grown organic fresh produce, herbs, added value products, subscription boxes, and cut flowers (both edible and decorative). Their farm will be operating on an 1/8th of an acre plot ,where they'll grow, harvest, process produce to be sold at farmers markets and restaurants located in the south and west sides of Chicago. Arcoiris Alliance's goal is to model food sovereignty in our communities because they truly believe that food is a right, and as a community we can define and design a food system that works for us instead of extracting from us." IG Handle @arcoiris.alliance
Otter Oaks Farm contributes to the local pipeline of Chicago-grown produce through a sustainable urban farm located right here in the city. We offer Community Supported Agriculture produce boxes paired with recipes focused on American Southern and Lebanese cuisine. These boxes supply our customers with fresh, seasonal produce, while expanding their culinary knowledge of dishes that are near and dear to us. Our farm plot is an ⅛ acre within a communal space that provides affordable rent, water access, and a priceless sustainable farming experience. Connect with us: www.otteroaksfarm.com // firstname.lastname@example.org
Smooth and Social Roots
Smooth and Social Roots farm is a vision that founder David Edwards had after noticing an ongoing food desert on the South side of Chicago. His vision became to develop a comprehensive food grid while providing an alternative healthy solution for health issues that plague the African American communities across America. It’s a fact that African Americans don’t have the same access to healthy natural foods as other communities. Smooth and Social roots is urban farm that uses organic methods for growing some of the richest produce grown locally. Smooth and social roots will assist in the growth and sustainability of the community and the development of local producer’s market share. www.smoothandsocialroots.com
Aurora Farms is part of an entrepreneurial incubator land program at Windy City Harvest. Our goal is to encourage Urban agriculture specifically in the South and West sides of our city. Encouraging the best lives for everyone, well-being and health through sustainably and organically grown fresh vegetables. Focused on being hyper local, where we both live and work. Accessibility has been a long-standing problem in the South and West sides of Chicago, we are doing our best to contribute to a solution.
Aurora Farms is expanding our nursery in preparation of next season. It will primarily cater to Chicago Urban Agricultural communities providing soil starts of organic vegetables, beneficials, herbs and selective natives. We’re excited to support farming in a new way. Join us in supporting our neighborhoods and communities
Former incubated businesses currently operating on their own:
Cedillo's Fresh Produce
Field and Florist
Garfield Produce Company
Just Roots Chicago
Nodding Onion Farm
Planted Chicago LLC
Smooth and Social Roots
Your Bountiful Harvest Farm
Contact: Kelly Larsen, Director of Operations