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Bowen Harvest: Fresh Produce for Altgeld Gardens


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Bowen Harvest: fresh produce! This weekend marks a significant milestone for Far South Side students in Altgeld Gardens as they unveil their pioneering hydroponic farm to the community, challenging the longstanding issues of food injustice and underinvestment that have plagued the area for years.

Bowen Harvest: Fresh Produce

The students, who are part of the By the Hand Club for Kids at Altgeld-Murray, have worked diligently to bring the Bowen Harvest project to life. This 500-square-foot hydroponic container farm represents not just an advancement in urban agriculture but also a beacon of hope and change for the local community.


The grand opening, scheduled for Saturday at 13015 S. Ellis Ave., is more than just a celebration; it’s an invitation to the neighbours to explore and engage with this innovative form of farming. Starting at 11:30 a.m., the event will feature a community market, an array of food trucks, and the distribution of free fruits and vegetables courtesy of Top Box Foods. Moreover, students and program leaders are set to provide insightful tours of the hydroponic farm, offering a first-hand look at this sustainable agricultural practice.


In a mere six weeks, these industrious students have successfully cultivated 2,000 heads of pesticide-free lettuce, a testament to their hard work and the efficiency of hydroponic farming. Andraya Yousfi, the chief of partnership and development at By the Hand Club, highlighted the significance of this achievement. The inaugural harvest not only symbolizes the students’ dedication but also underscores the farm’s role in supplying fresh, environmentally friendly produce to the Altgeld Gardens community.


The hydroponic method, which allows plants to grow in a water-based, nutrient-rich solution without soil, has several advantages. It uses significantly less water than traditional farming, reduces the need for pesticides, and can yield crops faster. By embracing this technology, the students are not only learning valuable agricultural skills but also contributing to a more sustainable and just food system in their neighbourhood.


The Bowen Harvest project is a remarkable example of how community-driven initiatives can address complex issues like food insecurity and economic disinvestment. It empowers the young participants by involving them in tangible solutions that benefit their community, fostering a sense of pride and accomplishment.


This initiative goes beyond providing access to fresh produce; it’s about nurturing a generation of informed, engaged, and empowered individuals who are capable of catalyzing positive change in their communities. As these students distribute their first harvest of greens, they are planting seeds of hope and resilience in Altgeld Gardens, demonstrating that even in the face of adversity, growth and renewal are possible.


In conclusion, the Bowen Harvest hydroponic farm is not just a testament to the student’s hard work and innovation; it’s a symbol of community strength, unity, and the potential for transformation. As the residents of Altgeld Gardens come together to celebrate this achievement, they are also laying the groundwork for a healthier, more equitable future.


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