Growing Solutions Farm
Working outdoors. Building a community of diverse learners. Gaining the identity of an employee. Harnessing the skills and talents of our young adult clients while acquiring expertise in a flourishing local food industry. These concepts are the genesis of our nationally recognized Growing Solutions Farm.
Our young adult participants learn skills in the agriculture space and how to follow structured employment tasks while also gaining soft skills. Our teachers, volunteers and agency staff engage in daily farm work with our farm interns while modeling and teaching the curriculum that will lead to future success in the workplace.
Young adult participants join us independently as well as from residential programs and city high schools that include the Easter Seals Therapeutic School for Autism Research, Al Raby High School, Westinghouse College Prep and South Side Occupational Academy.
In 2013, our 900-square foot pilot garden taught us that we could increase independence and productivity among young adults with ASD while teaching vocational and horticulture skills. The 2014 expansion allowed us to provide paid employment and more consistent, intensive vocational training opportunities to twice as many young adults, while harnessing the collective strength of our partners.
Since that time we launched our expanded 1.2-acre vocational garden in the Illinois Medical District. The farm includes a large growing space, a greenhouse, cooling shed, and an outdoor tented classroom.
Our weekly farm stand is every Wednesday beginning in June through the end of October from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Growing Solutions Farm is located at the corner of Leavitt Street and Campbell Drive (across the street from 2201 W. Campbell Park Drive).
Tours of the farm are available, but advance notice and coordination is requested. Contact us for more information.