Local governments have enormous influence over our access to good, healthy fresh food and how we might use local land to produce food in our own communities. The Skokie Park District has granted The Talking Farm, a 501(c)(3) organization, a Use Agreement to set up our Howard Street Farm, an educational and production farm near the Skokie/Evanston/Chicago border.
The Howard Street Farm provides local, fresh food, educational and volunteering opportunities, and a place for community gatherings.
- Our sustainably grown produce will be distributed through farmers markets, food pantries, and local restaurants.
- Our educational offerings include hands-on classes for adults and children, training in urban agricultural techniques, and research.
- Volunteers are involved in all aspects of designing, building, maintaining, and enjoying our site.
- We celebrate our culturally diverse communities with events such as seed/plant exchanges, harvest festivals, potlucks, and ethnic food fests.
Our farm also embodies the long-term commitment to sustainable green development and preservation of open spaces in an urban environment.
Collaborations within our community are crucial to achieving our vision. Some of the partnerships The Talking Farm has cultivated include local governments, park districts, libraries, public and private schools, university and college departments, the interfaith community, businesses, local restaurants, civic organizations, not to mention the many dedicated individuals who have supported our work.
The first phase, a 9,000 sq. ft. Demonstration Garden, has raised beds, display gardens, hoop houses, a compost area, an education tent and native Illinois plants. The remaining 2 acres of the Howard Street Farm will be fields of vegetables, berry patches, and fruit and nut trees. And excitedly, we are farming these fields in-ground, as the land has not previously been developed and no toxic soil remediation is necessary.
Howard Street Farm offers a rich opportunity for community cohesion through a shared fundamental community asset. We are grateful to have experienced several years of citizen passion, commitment, and elbow-grease to bring this most basic human need for food back to our community. Through education and example, our urban farm will help make sustainable agriculture a way of life for all our citizens now and into future generations.