Chicago Botanic Garden

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Windy City Harvest

Windy City Harvest trains adults in sustainable horticulture and urban agriculture. It is delivered by the Chicago Botanic Garden in partnership with Richard J. Daley College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago.

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Workshops in Sustainable Vegetable Production

Windy City Harvest offers a series of monthly short courses on organic vegetable production and post-harvest food preservation. The courses will be offered at the Arturo Valasquez Institute (2800 S. Western Avenue).

Buy our produce

Produce is available at these farmers' markets:

Dill Pickle Food Co-op

Edible Alchemy

Green Grocer Chicago

Midwest Foods

Pilsen Community Market

Chicago Botanic Garden Farmers Market

Windy City Harvest provides instruction in urban agriculture best practices, develops collaborations that benefit communities, and produces high-value, nutritious produce that is sold at retail outlets and made available and affordable for local residents.

PHOTO: working in the greenhouseWho participates in the Windy City Harvest Program?

Young adults from the city of Chicago.

What do the students learn?

Participants acquire hands-on experience with sustainable vegetable production and learn essential business skills, including planning, pricing, sales, and marketing.

Students receive six months of hands-on instruction in greenhouse and outdoor growing practices, followed by a three-month paid internship. Up to five graduates will be hired by the Chicago Botanic Garden into five-month paid apprenticeships and will work toward an additional certificate in cool-weather growing techniques in hoophouses and greenhouses.

After satisfactory completion of the curriculum and training requirements, students achieve certification in sustainable urban horticulture and urban agriculture. The certificate from the Richard J. Daley College readies participants for permanent employment in the new “green collar” jobs sector.

PHOTO: GreenhouseWhere does it take place?

Windy City Harvest participants study at the Richard J. Daley College's Arturo Velasquez Institute at 2800 S. Western Avenue in Chicago and other sites. The locations provide state-of-the-art greenhouses, fully equipped classrooms, and high-quality outdoor plant production spaces.

Instructors are certified and trained by Chicago Botanic Garden staff.

What is the future of windy city harvest?

The growing demand from individuals, commercial establishments, and educational and healthcare institutions for sustainably grown local produce holds the promise of a bright future for Windy City Harvest and its graduates.

PHOTO: strawberries
President and CEO Sophia Siskel gives Senator Dick Durbin a tour of Windy City Harvest

Who are the garden's partners in the initiative?

Support for Windy City Harvest has come from neighborhood, community, and civic organizations; educational institutions; governmental agencies; and charitable organizations throughout the Chicago area, the Midwest, and nationally. Leading funders include the Steans Family Foundation, the Searle Funds of the Chicago Community Trust, the USDA, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services. Additional support is provided by Grossinger Chevrolet, Harris Bank, Leo S. Guthman Fund, Polk Bros. Foundation, Sara Lee Foundation, the Siragusa Foundation, HSBC-North America, The Brinson Foundation, and the Kemper Educational and Charitable Fund.

Download Download the fact sheet about Windy City Harvest

For additional information contact Angela Mason, director of community gardening,
at , or by calling (847) 835-6970.