Blackhawk Courts Farm and Garden is a ½-acre community-led organic farm and community garden on the grounds of Rockford Housing Authority (RHA) Blackhawk Courts public housing property in Rockford, IL. The farm program engages youth and adult apprentices in educational programming and on-site markets. At the community garden, Blackhawk Court residents are able to pick produce at any time for free. Their $4,100 grant allowed them to carry out soil testing while creating compost, cover crops, and planting perennials to help improve soil health and attract and support pollinators.
“We purchased cover crop seeds, perennial raspberry bushes, perennial herbs, asparagus, and strawberries. We planted a portion of the cover crops in some sections of the farm this spring, but planted a majority of the crops and plants this fall. We also purchased and applied a layer of compost to the farm and Hoop houses in the spring and fall. We submitted “3” soil test for different areas on the farm and in the hoophouse and we are awaiting the results. Overall, we managed approximately 17,300 square feet of active growing space, harvested approximately 2,500 pounds of produce (approximately 6,900 servings), and generated $10,510 in sales from the Roots & Wings CSA, market days and other business sales.” ~ Britney Stubbs, Grant Manager