Time: Urban agriculture in Chicagoland

Time: Urban agriculture in Chicagoland

Time's article and photoessay look at securing the food chain in an impoverished area around Chicago.

Chicago is one of those places where you can see recent U.S. history sprawled out before you, linear-timeline-style. From Industrialization to The Great Migration, to Redlining, to institutional segregation, to the refusal of banks to invest in black areas, to the departure of industry—the local economy, emotional empowerment, physical health and education have been stunted. Food security connects with the aforementioned issues, and is one way of examining the larger context.

The more time I spent in Chicago, the clearer it became that the solution to food security requires more than just food. At grocery stores, I saw shopping carts overflowing with processed products, regardless of whether the store sold fruit and vegetables.  Conversely, I visited community gardens and witnessed the profound power of gardening to inspire healthy living, reduce stress and connect those involved with a larger purpose.  Yet the reality is that not everyone in the community is interested in gardening or buying healthy food. Further, Chicago’s brutal winters limit the outdoor growing season to roughly three months.

 

 

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