"Well over 50 percent of the world's population lives in urban communities," says Orrin Williams, the employment training coordinator for Growing Home, as he explains the importance of urban agriculture.
“Urban agriculture is, in my mind, critical to the rebirth of cities and communities that have fallen on hard times,” Williams says.
In this video, staff and interns at Growing Home’s Wood St. Urban Farm explain their part in ensuring the farm produces high-quality produce, and what working on the farm has meant to them.
In addition to cultivating, harvesting, and preparing food for market, Williams explains, "we think we’re growing better human beings" through the therapy of reconnecting with the Earth.
"Growing Home uses food as a tool for organizing people’s lives, basically," says LaDonna Redmond, CEO of Community Resource Development. "So, the opportunity to grow food connects them to themselves and to their community, and it also connects them to the larger community, because then they take that food and they sell it at various farmer’s markets around the city of Chicago."
From food access to climate change to job creation ("These jobs can’t be exported," Williams says), urban agriculture provides tools to address many of the environmental and economic problems that cities face.