Help Grow Our Good Food Mission: Donate to FamilyFarmed

Everyone eats, and what you eat matters — which is why we at FamilyFarmed are proud of our work growing the availability of Good Food. In the coming weeks, we’ll share stories of the local food and farm entrepreneurs whose mission to produce Good Food has been served by FamilyFarmed, thanks to contributions from Good Foodies like you. We ask for your support so these programs thrive and we can continue to develop new and innovative Good Food initiatives in 2018.

Paul Virant

Paul Virant: A Good Food Chef Who Keeps On Giving

“Farm to table” dining may have become commonplace on Chicago’s restaurant menus. But Chef Paul Virant was in the vanguard of the movement just 13 years when he opened Vie restaurant in the suburb of Western Springs. And he is all about giving back to the community. Within a recent three-day span, Paul did a cooking demo with the Gardeneers audience for schoolchildren in Englewood, then was the honoree for Angelic Organics Learning Center at their annual dinner.

FamilyFarmed at Play

FamilyFarmed At Play: Growing Home’s Social Mission Is Good Food and Good Jobs

Visiting Growing Home’s urban farm would be a great field trip for FamilyFarmed wherever it was located. But Growing Home’s location, at 5814 S. Wood Street, and the social mission that it entails is what makes this nonprofit organization truly amazing: It is in the heart of West Englewood, a neighborhood of about 35,000 residents — nearly all African American — that has suffered from decades of job and population loss, economic decline and high crime rates.

Westside Bee Boyz

Westside Bee Boyz: Sweet Community — And Personal — Revival in Chicago

We often highlight the potential for Good Food businesses to revitalize economically challenged communities and improve the lives of those who live there. Few businesses combine both of those elements in one person as much as Chicago’s Westside Bee Boyz. Founder Thad Smith’s beekeeping and honey company is still quite small, but he has big dreams for the company. He views it as a platform for community and young entrepreneur development in North Lawndale and other troubled communities in Chicago.

Windy City Harvest: Growing Good Food and Good Food Jobs

Windy City Harvest operates four training programs on 13 farm sites that, according to Director of Operations Kelly Larsen, “all aim to create a pathway of opportunity within local food” for urban farmers, including youths from economically challenging circumstances. Larsen will share her experiences and expertise in growing Good Food and Good Food jobs in urban communities tomorrow (Thursday, March 16) as a panelist at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference at Chicago’s UIC Forum.

Urban Farm to Table is Grower Jen Rosenthal’s Tomato Jam

Urban agriculture in on the rise, in many cases providing jobs, opportunities and access to Good Food for residents of underserved communities. But the farm Jen Rosenthal manages on Chicago’s South Side has particular social significance: It is on a site once occupied by apartment towers of The Robert Taylor Homes, which had grown so troubled-plagued that its residents were relocated and the buildings torn down.

FamilyFarmed's Wholesale Success manual

FamilyFarmed To Expand Farmer Training in Agreements With USDA, Whole Foods Market

Chicago nonprofit FamilyFarmed will greatly expand its efforts to train farmers across the United States through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and a partnership with Whole Foods Market. These developments also sync up with FamilyFarmed’s own new Direct Market Success program — aimed at “growing young farmers” — supported by an IndieGoGo crowd-funding campaign.

Donate to FamilyFarmed’s IndieGoGo Drive — And Help Us #GrowYoungFarmers

FamilyFarmed has launched a fundraising campaign — titled “Help Us Grow Young Farmers!” — to support the latest expansion of its extensive efforts to train farmers across the United States so they can achieve sustainable success. The campaign, staged on the IndieGoGo crowd-funding site, is titled “Help Us Grow Young Farmers!”

Chicago’s Darius Jones, Farm Aid Hero: The Life-Changing Power of Urban Farming

Farm Aid publishes a series of profiles on its website of “Farmer Heroes.” Their most recent profile is of Darius Jones, a young Chicagoan and friend of FamilyFarmed, for whom the “hero” title is apt. A troubled youth that resulted in him being incarcerated also set him on the path to the cutting edge of urban agriculture in his hometown.

Farm Aid Week in Chicago: Join the Fun, Film Festival and Good Food Revolution

Chicago will host the 30th anniversary Farm Aid concert this Saturday (Sept. 19). Residents of the nation’s third most-populous city will have the opportunity to reacquaint with issues concerning family farmers, through the highest-profile — and most star-powered — event that benefits them and their causes. Farm Aid is not just about the music, though.

Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences students
Chef Rick Bayless
FamilyFarmed's Wholesale Success manual

Wholesale Success and You: Building the Supply of Local Food

Retail outlets, restaurants, schools, and other wholesale buyers have a difficult time finding enough local food to meet the fast-rising consumer demand. FamilyFarmed is addressing that issue through its Wholesale Success program, which has scheduled workshops around the country over the course of this year.

Atina Diffley is an organic farmer, author, and food safety trainer

First Person: Abundant Clean Water and Optimism

Organic farmer Atina Diffley’s trip to provide food safety training to small farmers in West Virginia underscored the fact that water quality and quantity is a difficult challenge.

Tell Us About Your New Farmer Training Program

Consumer interest in Good Food is growing fast — so fast that it will be impossible to meet demand unless the supply of sustainably and locally produced food expands. One requirement for that expansion is assisting a new generation of young farmers to get established, and giving them the tools they need to succeed. If you are part of one or want to bring one to the world’s attention, please click the link and post a comment.