Chicago Patchwork Farms is a no-till, organic, and bio-intensive ½ acre urban farm in Chicago, IL. They produce mainly vegetables, eggs, medicinal herbs, preserved foods, honey, cut flowers, and a compost drop-off program. Their $5,000 grant funded the purchase of an ice freezer, solar panels, a lean-to structure as well as, extra coolers and compost to support their new “Neighborhood Greens Program.”

“Yields are up because of our new 750 sq ft growing space. Since we started freezing our own ice, we have reduced our weekly expenditures by $60. By reusing ice packs that are cooled using solar electricity instead of buying bags of ice, we have been able to both cut down on our energy usage as well as eliminate the waste of plastic bags. We also save staff time by having ice ready on the farm. Having a permanent lean-to structure has also allowed us to eliminate the staff time we used to setup and breakdown shade structures on harvest days Customers to our farmstand have doubled this year and we have enough ice to keep our expanded production and market days fresh and cool!”

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