Food. Jobs. Health.
The Chicago Botanic Garden and Lawndale Christian Health Center (LCHC) are establishing the Farm on Ogden, a food hub and training facility. The facility will bring food, health, and jobs to a neighborhood that will benefit from this significant investment. The Farm will model a preventive “whole-person” approach to health and wellness. Windy City Harvest, the Chicago Botanic Garden’s urban agriculture training programs that serve youth, ex-offenders, and others, will provide workforce development and jobs.
The Farm on Ogden is designed as a community hub—a flourishing indoor garden and thriving learning space for Lawndale Christian Health Center patients, community residents, and urban farm entrepreneurs.
Located in Lawndale at the highly visible transportation hub of Ogden Avenue and CTA Central Park pink line, the building will include a large-scale hydroponics/aquaponics system to support year-round fish and leafy greens production and training, a commercial kitchen/microprocessing center to prepare vegetables and develop value-added products distributed through an indoor community market, cold storage to assist with managing the aggregation and distribution of 130,000 pounds of produce, an enclosed produce-packing station to professionalize food safety and post-harvest produce handling, offices for Windy City Harvest staff, and a large multipurpose community space for classes, nutrition education, food demonstrations, and produce-box pickup. The Farm on Ogden will create jobs for youth and ex-offenders, offer increased training capacity, support small farm businesses, and position Windy City Harvest and Lawndale Christian Health Center to deliver a Food as Medicine program to address health in a low-income community.
The facility will build Windy City Harvest’s capacity for training in aquaponics, packing and distribution, and back-of-the-house work in the food industry. The Farm on Ogden will support the VeggieRx program: healthcare providers at Lawndale Christian Health Center will prescribe doses of fresh produce for patients with (or at risk for) diet-related diseases. The program will include nutrition classes delivered by certified dieticians and food demonstrations by Windy City Harvest participants. Construction began in early June 2017. The Chicago Botanic Garden and Lawndale Christian Health Center are anticipating construction completion in December 2017 with a grand opening of the Farm on Ogden in spring 2018.
For more information and to support the Farm on Ogden, contact Angela Mason, associate vice president of Chicago Botanic Garden’s Windy City Harvest, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chicago Botanic Garden's Windy City Harvest