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Who Says All the Farms Are Downstate?

By JoshMogerman in News on Sep 25, 2011 7:00PM

New Crops at City Farm on Clybourn [Linda N.
Formerly empty properties suddenly hosting bumper crops of greens and vegetables are becoming a more common sight around town. Next to Feed near Grand and California. A full acre at City Farm by Division and Clybourn. At the edge of Jackson Park and the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park. Large community gardens and straight-up for-profit urban farms are popping up all over. And the City is doing what it can to help by loosening restrictions.

According to the Sun-Times:

“The City Council gave urban farms a boost when it voted this month to set no size limit, allow produce sales in residential areas and relax parking and fencing regulations for urban farms in business and commercial districts.

The city’s new rules “put urban agriculture on the map,” said Andy Rozendaal, urban agriculture director for Chicago’s Resource Center, a nonprofit group that sponsors City Farm.

“It’s a neat way to use a wasted resource the city has a lot of right now. About 20,000 acres are available in the city to be used as gardens that generate healthy food and create jobs.”

Anyone who has toured the far South Side, where we have lost the population of a medium-sized town, knows that the area offers all sorts of open land and opportunities to do some large scale farming. It is a popular concept all over the country, especially in hard luck towns like Detroit where some urban planners have suggested contracting the City and creating a ring of green space and urban farms to help rejuvenate the Motor City.