A message from Growing Home’s Executive Director

“Growing Home uses organic agriculture to make a big impact on people’s lives.”


In 1992, Les Brown had the idea to develop an urban farming social enterprise that would serve as a vehicle to provide homeless people with hands-on job experience, with the aim to transform their lives. Though Les is no longer with us, twenty years later his vision lives on, not only through the nearly 300 people who have been trained directly by Growing Home, but also the many families and communities that have been impacted by our organization’s outreach and advocacy.


This year, Growing Home celebrates its 10th anniversary and the organization has grown faster than I ever dreamed. We produced more organic produce than ever before; we harvested our Honore St. Farm for the first time; we expanded our staff, enhanced our curriculum, and trained more interns than in any year so far. But we also have our eyes set on next year.


The end of the outdoor growing season doesn’t mean a break for us here at Growing Home. We’ll be harvesting our hoophouses through the end of December and are already planning next year’s crops, placing seed orders, preparing the grounds for winter, enhancing our curriculum, and raising funds to include more people like Allencia in next year’s program. That is why your financial support is so important right now.


Maintaining Chicago’s first USDA-Certified Organic, high-production urban farms is no small feat. Add our 10-acre farm in Marsailles, IL, our devotion to health and obesity issues, our job-training program, and our community involvement, and you’ll find an organization using organic agriculture to make a big impact on people’s lives. Giving now will help us to continue these quality programs and serve more people in the coming year.

We’re fortunate to have a dedicated, hard-working staff that is committed to this work. But behind the front lines, you’ll find donors and supporters like you that make this work possible and are willing to make financial commitments to our mission:  to operate, promote, and demonstrate the use of organic agriculture as a vehicle for job training, employment, and community development.


With many thanks, and best wishes for a beautiful autumn,

Harry Rhodes, Executive Director

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