So, You Wanna Be an Urban Farmer?

Whenever I do my own taxes I always linger on the line that asks you to check it off if a certain percentage of your income came from farming. My mind drifts and I begin to wonder what it would be like to be a farmer, maybe owning a small rural farm or an urban farm consisting of growing on a number of empty lots in Chicago.

If you’ve found yourself having the same daydream then you’ve probably also abandoned the idea once you accepted the fact that you had no idea how to go about it.

Angelic Organics Learning Center is a nonprofit educational organization working with communities in Chicago and Rockford to develop community based projects and offer hand-on learning for sustainable agriculture practices.

On June 6th, 2009 from 10:00am to 2:00pm they are conducting a workshop for people who are interested in becoming farmers in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. The workshop, Urban Farm Dreams: Assessing Risks & Resources to Start a Small Farm or Market Garden, will guide participants through exercises to determine their dream is just a dream, or can become a reality. This workshop will be held at the Chicago office of Angelic Organics Learning Center at 6400 S Kimbark Avenue. For more information visit


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  • Awesome!!

    I love your newspaper blog. Congrats!!!

    I will stick to farming cherry tomatoes in pots on my deck unless... you want to plant a crop of corn over at Wigley field?? This would be better than ivy overtaking the ballpark!!!

  • In reply to Eileen:

    Hi Hit 40, glad you came over from the MrBrownThumb blog and created an account just to comment. I really appreciate it. I actually wouldn't mind the ivy all over Wrigley, to be honest.

    For those reading this Hit 40 is making a reference to a blog on the MrBrownThumb blog where I announced Chicago Garden going live.

  • I'd love to attend this workshop, although I probably can't find the time right now. It definitely speaks to my inner farm girl, and is something I also daydream about.

  • In reply to ssgardengirl:

    Hi SSGardenGirl, I know what you mean about time. The botanic garden also has a really awesome one coming up about urban agriculture and they're doing a bus tour of some urban agriculture project in Chicago. Maybe we should have had them plan CSF. :0)

    You can see the post here about the CBG that I'm talking about here: or look in the archives for the post titled "Urban Agriculture: Feeding the Movement"

  • In reply to ssgardengirl:

    MBT - of course I've dreamed of being a farmer. But not in the big-vast-land sort of way. More in the Urban Homesteading way like the Dervaes family from Little Homestead in the City blog. I wonder if it'd really be as glamorous as I think?

    I believe that Angelic Organics is also where the workshop on keeping chickens was held. I wanted to go really bad, even though my town has a law against it. Thanks for the heads-up on the urban farming workshop!

  • In reply to ssgardengirl:

    I definitely wish that i could make it on the 6th, but it's just not possible.
    Congrats on getting this started

  • In reply to ssgardengirl:

    I would love a small urban farm, but meanwhile I will have to be satisfied with my rooftop garden ... love your new blog! Congrats my friend :)

  • In reply to ssgardengirl:

    Thanks for letting people know about our workshop! The June 6th Farm Dreams will be the only offering in Chicago this year, but if you can't make the 6th, we offer the Farm Dreams workshop at other locations throughout Illinois -- the next sessions are June 13th and August 8th. See all our Farm Dreams workshops on our web site at

  • In reply to theamaria:


    No thanks necessary. I really admire what you all doing so anything I can do to help, I'll do. Thank you so much for signing up for an account to comment.


  • In reply to theamaria:

    I abandoned the idea of farming not because I didn't know how to do it (I don't), but because modern farming is riskier than letting it all ride on red 21 (unless you already own a large chunk of land free and clear). One should grow food because one loves growing food, just as you can enjoy playing an instrument even if you're not a professional musician. Making a living at it can always be an option down the road once you've determined that you're so good at it, you can earn a living doing it.
    Angelic Organics is awesome, and the farmer training program sounds intriguing, though.

  • In reply to breadmanorange:

    Hi Breadman Orange,

    First, thanks for signing up for an account at so you could comment. Second, thanks for leaving a comment on my blog and glad you added a different perspective than one I have about this "dream."

    Hope I give you reason to come back often and comment.

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