A Few Words from Edible Chicago
Know your food, know your farmer, know your alderman. What could these three entities possibly have in common? Many of us city dwellers seek out farm-fresh choices at the markets or in a weekly box from a community-supported agriculture (CSA) harvest subscription program. But there is another concept to incorporate into your food choices: urban agriculture. And your alderman could be a key to the growth of this industry.
In this issue we bring a new discussion to the table: What is going on in your neighborhood and how can it be improved? At the recent Good Food conference sponsored by FamilyFarmed, we moderated a discussion about the current state of urban agriculture in Chicago. It was illuminating. We heard from next-gen farm operators-one employing year-round agriculture In Chicago's Pullman neighborhood to grow vibrant greens and also an Ogle County hydroponic producer supplying plump, juicy tomatoes to city grocery stores in the middle of winter. But these operations would not be possible if it were not for the local food/ agriculture advocacy of people like Billy Burdett, who helped the City of Chicago develop regulations and resources for the blossoming urban agriculture industry. He is spearheading an effort to build a team of grassroots ambassadors who serve as a liaison between Chicago ward leaders and local food advocates to increase opportunities for growing crops and jobs in every neighborhood.
There might even be growing opportunities right in your own backyard. We offer tips to become the master of your mulch, a guide to choosing the right stuff from a celebrity master gardener. As strawberry season comes upon us, we reach back to a classic memory from a pick-your-own patch downstate and tell you about a new U-pick option right here in Chicago.
We often go with our gut when choosing stories and we took it literally in this Issue. Read about kombucha, a bubbling bottle of bacteria in the form of a fermented tea, and its healing properties. Drink up!
Read on ...