Growing Home's Not-For-Profit Organic Urban Farm In Englewood

A once-abandoned lot is the city's first organic urban farm

If there's truth to the adage "you are what you eat," supporters of Wood Street Urban Farm are getting a dose of good karma with their salad.

The year-round farm (pictured), one of three by the nonprofit organization Growing Home, occupies a petite, 2/3-acre plot in Englewood, a neighborhood once considered a "food desert" because of the lack of access to fresh produce.

Now in its second year, the Wood Street site gained official organic status in August, making it Chicago's first certified organic urban farm.

Growing Home provides a seven-month agricultural job-training program for those with barriers, be it homelessness, substance abuse or past incarceration. Students learn horticultural science and nutrition while turning out beets, tomatoes, zucchini, turnips and greens to sell at local markets–nearly 10,000 pounds of produce is expected in 2009.

Buy the goods at the farm on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon, on Saturdays at the Green City Market, at the Englewood Farmers' Market or through the farm's CSA program.

Look for mixed salad greens and arugula on market tables now, to be joined by collard greens, spinach and early root vegetables soon.

Tour the farm on Tuesdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m, or head out to their sister property in Marseilles, Illinois, on September 12 to celebrate good deeds–and good produce–at the annual harvest festival.

Wood Street Urban Farm, 5814 S. Wood St. (at 58th St.); 773-434-7144 or