In early December, the Healthy Food Hub—a Black-owned agricultural cooperative—announced that, after nearly three years in South Shore, it would be moving its operations to Englewood’s Barbara A. Sizemore Academy.
On a rainy and unseasonably cold October day, Sam Koentopp and others from the national nonprofit organization The Kitchen Community (TKC) was leading the kickoff for the Woodlawn Charter School’s new Learning Garden. Every twenty-minute class began in the cafeteria, with a discussion about gardening and the importance of winter crops—crops that are planted not to be harvested, but to keep the soil filled with nutrients over the winter—and continued out in the garden.
Murmurs and greetings circulated through the wood-paneled meeting room of Bryn Mawr Community Church as one hundred South Shore residents settled in for the monthly 5th Ward meeting on May 23.
Kung Fu Tea, Chinatown
Carol Moseley Braun was the first African-American woman appointed to the Senate, representing Illinois as a Democrat from 1993 to 1999. After a thirty-year career in politics and public service, serving, among other positions, as the Ambassador to New Zealand, Moseley Braun turned to the private sector. She founded her own USDA-certified organic and biodynamic company called Good Food Organics in 2002 and under its umbrella sells Ambassador Organics, a line of food products which currently includes teas, coffee, cocoa, and olive oil. Biodynamics is a holistic agricultural approach that involves crop diversification, the maintenance of on-farm biodiversity preserves such as marshes and forests, and the avoidance of chemicals and off-farm products. For Moseley Braun, biodynamics is a way “to heal our bodies and our farmland.” She grew up between Bronzeville, Park Manor, and Chatham, and currently resides in Hyde Park.
“You never know what you can make with this stuff, and I’m always trying to get creative with the park.” – Todd Agosto
Representatives of several South Side-based agricultural organizations agreed that one of the most important, and least often discussed, facets of sustainability is workers’ right to a fair wage.
Clytemnestra stands in the small foyer, laughing maniacally as she scrawls on walls that were once a pure white : Iphigenia. IPHIGENIA. IPHIGENIA.
“If we can inject food, quality food, into the area, then we’ll be able to feed people quality food, encourage people to come back [to Bronzeville], and bring jobs into the area as well.”