Food and community
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.
The three pillars of the Good Food movement are a healthier, a more environmentally sustainable, and more economically dynamic food system that puts Good Food on Every Table. This year’s Festival will put a special accent on that first pillar — Good Food’s massive contribution to building a society with healthier, happier people and lower health care costs — with panels on Good Food is Good Medicine and Food and Mood.
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.
With the average age of farmers in the United States pushing 60, growing a new generation of young farmers is a regional and national priority. One of the most encouraging recent developments in the Chicago area is the creation of Chillinois Young Farmers — the northern Illinois chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition — which is providing a much-needed voice to this important constituency. FamilyFarmed is pleased that “Chillinois,” representing the national organization, will be participating in our Good Food Festival on Saturday, March 18 at Chicago’s UIC Forum.
The Hatchery, a food business incubator in Chicago, started up just last year with a small space but big plans. Those plans are now taking a giant step toward fruition with $2 million in economic development funding that is being provided by the City of Chicago. The Hatchery also will participate in FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Festival & Conference March 17 and 18.
Chicago is home to some of the most innovative and inspiring urban agriculture projects in the United States. And FamilyFarmed is providing the opportunity to visit three of these sites on a curated Urban Ag Bus Tour — taking place on Saturday, March 18 during our Good Food Festival.
Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp of Chicago’s Honey Butter Fried Chicken will jointly receive FamilyFarmed’s 2017 Good Food Chef of the Year Award on March 18 at the Good Food Festival — not only for their delicious food, but because of their sustainable and local sourcing and their social conscience.
The promise of healthier snack food alone would have made Chicago’s Tea Squares an excellent candidate for FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator. But Tea Squares’ social mission — which includes creating jobs and stimulating economic growth in its challenged South Side community — was a clincher.
Those of us who are fully engaged in the Good Food movement get to work with a whole lot of bold people. But the co-founders of Rumi Spice, veterans of the Afghan war, are in a league of their own: They pay Afghan farmers a premium to grow flowers that produce saffron rather than the opium poppies that produce deadly heroin and finance terrorist organizations.
The spice mixes and recipes developed by the zen of slow cooking help busy people make easy slow cooker meals that enable them and their families to have delicious dinners waiting for them when they get home. And owners Meg Barnhart and Jane McKay continue their mission to provide employment and cooking lessons for developmentally challenged adults.
Nine competitively selected Fellows are participating in the third year of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator, and they represent a wide range of exciting entrepreneurial ventures: from unique pies and clean meals to tea-infused energy bites and indigenous wild rice cereal, and from locally sourced juices and sparkling fruit tonics to pickled produce and sippable soups.
The best Good Food news we’ve read this week: Midwest Good Food Trial run tests train travel for Chicago-bound farm products, Illinois Farmer Today Chatham Entrepreneur Just Got ‘Tea Squares’ In 6th Whole Foods, DNAInfo How a Mexican American Farmer Is Making Organic Food More Accessible, Takepart Ten Questions with Harry Rhodes, Executive Director […]
The best Good Food news we’ve read this week: Midwest Good Food Turning Detroit’s Abandoned Homes Into Greenhouses, The Atlantic Milwaukee County To Be Home To Largest Urban Organic Fruit Orchard In US, Wisconsin Public Radio National Good Food Conversation Why Washington’s First Lady is Growing Her Own Grains, Civil Eat A Sustainable Food […]
“Team Leverage,” a collaboration of three major Good Food entities in the Chicago region, faced serious competition from four other strong finalists in the Food to Market Challenge. The team won the $500,000 award because of a strong social purpose — bringing healthy, nutritious, affordable food to more school children and their families — plus a distribution model with strong potential to be expanded in Chicago and replicated elsewhere.
Chicago is a national leader in the urban agriculture movement, and FamilyFarmed recently conducted a bus tour of four of the leading sites that are growing food — and jobs — on the city’s South Side.
The best Good Food news we’ve read this week: Midwest Good Food City of the big food companies once more?, Crain’s Here’s How Scraps Can Help Grow The Food Of The Future, HuffPost Meet the Fruit: Aronia, a “Superfood” Native to the American Midwest, Modern Farmer Real Good Juice Co. Expands To Lakeview, Coming […]
The best Good Food news we’ve read this week: Midwest Good Food Rooftop wheat fields elevate Chicago’s urban farming scene to exciting new heights, Inhabitat In Englewood, Whole Foods opens to cheers, high hopes, Chicago Tribune Here Are 14 Local Products At The New Englewood Whole Foods, DNAInfo Will selling to ConAgra affect Bayless’ […]
There was an air of promise that surrounded Wednesday morning’s grand opening of the Whole Foods Market store in the troubled Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.
The best Good Food news we’ve read this week: Midwest Good Food How is it possible that bacon sausages didn’t exist until he invented them?, Crain’s Rumi Spice Founders Among ‘Most Innovative’ Women, Fortune Magazine Says, DNAInfo Kellogg Students Plant Edible Learning Garden, DNAInfo Urban farms bring free, local produce to area food deserts, […]
The best Good Food news we’ve read this week: FamilyFarmed in the News Kendall College Launches a Business Incubator for Food Entrepreneurs, ChicagoInno Midwest Good Food Can Whole Foods Lift Up New Englewood Plaza? Business Owners Have Faith, DNAInfo Midwest Farmers Brew Up Hops For Local Craft Beer, Earth Eats New Fulton Market Harvest […]