Our History

The Talking Farm: A Chronology

2012

  • Howard Street Farm sees many improvements via 2,000 volunteer hours: 10,000 sq. ft. Demonstration garden is complete with fencing, 15 raised beds, 2 hoop houses, and many container gardening demonstrations. Production Rows are installed in one of 9 fields that will yield locally grown produce to feed the community in years to come. 
  • 2nd Annual Hullabaloo at the Howard Street Farm was held on a chilly October Saturday.
  • Educational Mission continues with 64 groups, events, presentations, tours, etc. in addition to our annual presence at garden fairs, farmer’s markets, and other community events.

2011

  • Educational mission continues.   Garden fairs, farmers markets, green events, classes, seedling sales, etc.
  • Faculty development workshops at Oakton Community College (repeat of fall 2010 series).  English, chemistry and economics students participate in community projects.
  • Negotiations with Skokie Park District to establish our “land home” succeed. Use agreement signed June 21, 2011 (the summer solstice), giving The Talking Farm access to a site at 3701 Howard Street in Skokie.
  • Howard Street Farm established. Work begins on clearing the land in Phase 1 of development process, focused on creating a 10,000-square-foot raised bed demonstration garden.
  • First Annual Hullabaloo at the Howard Street Farm draws over 300 local attendees!
  • Edible Acre continued collaboration with SYEP (Summer Youth Employment Program) including a mini farmers market on Wednesdays.

2010

  • Edible Acre Pilot Project fully operational.  Classes, ETHS food service using produce in cafeteria, neighbors using community garden plots, Summer Youth Employment Program maintaining garden during the summer.
  • Faculty development workshops on food systems.  A series of four lectures at Oakton Community College for the purpose of helping faculty create service learning projects.
  • Land acquisition strategy for main TTF site re-assessed.  MWRD site removed from consideration.
  • Negotiation for permission to farm on two acres of land held by the Skokie Park District begins.

2009

  • Twiggs Park Mini-farm transferred to elementary school PTA “farmer in residence” program and is now known as Kingsley Green Acres.
  • Technical assistance provided to numerous local groups creating edible gardens:  Boocoo Cultural Center, Washington Elementary School, Northwestern University/SEED, Oakton Community College.
  • Educational mission.  Partnering with garden clubs, service clubs, schools, religious groups, etc.
  • Edible Acre Pilot Project designed, then installed by ETHS students.  Ready for spring planting.

2008

  • Demonstration mini-farm created. 4,000 square feet at Twiggs Park Community Gardens growing diversified fruit, vegetables, herbs, using various growing techniques.   Engaged 125+ volunteers, sold produce at local cafes.
  • Educational mission continues.  Intensive public presence and educational programs.
  • Edible Acre Pilot Project at Evanston Township High School initiated.

2007

  • Educational mission begun.  Classes, fundraiser (with Midwest Permaculture), visioning charrette with local architect (Studio Talo), speaking engagements, information tables at local events.
  • Negotiation for permission to farm on three acres of public land held by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District begins.


2006  

  • The Talking Farm 501(c)3 non-profit organization was born! The Talking Farm grew out of the efforts of the Evanston Food Policy Council (now the Evanston Food Council).