COMMUNITY GARDENING

allotment plot

An allotment plot at the Urban Farm

Want to have your own plot at the Farm?
Be a community gardener!

Community plots are full for the 2017 season, but you can still register to be put on the wait list. See below for details!

The Urban Farm includes a traditional community garden for individual and small-group gardeners. Gardeners choose the foods they want to grow and harvest produce from their own plots, although sometimes agreements are made to share or barter with others.

Plots are available to community members living or organizations operating within a five-block radius of the Farm (east to LaSalle St., south to Ohio St., west to Halsted Ave., north to Division St.).


How does it work?

Community gardening takes place annually, May through November. As a community gardener, you will have access to the Urban Farm as often or as little as you want to appropriately tend to your plot. Gardeners are expected to become part of the Chicago Lights Urban Farm community and contribute to the life of the Farm. This includes mandatory volunteer hours and helping maintain communal plots. If you are simply looking to “rent” a space, this probably isn’t the community garden for you.

Community Bed Memberships are available for $100 (additional donations are always welcome!), plus a mandatory five hours of Saturday volunteer work throughout the growing season. This includes a 3-foot by 9-foot plot (27 square feet of growing area) filled with organic soil, communal garden supplies (tools, compost), water access, and technical support.

Gardeners are responsible for their own seeds, plants, and personal garden tools. This is a communal space, so outside soil and fertilizers are prohibited without express permission from Farm staff.

We want everyone to be able to garden! Gardeners who are unable to pay the entire membership fee can supplement by volunteering additional hours at the Farm (12 volunteer hours = $100).


When can I garden?

Gardeners and volunteers will help build the beds beginning in early April (depending on weather). Once the garden is built, all new and returning gardeners must attend a mandatory orientation (1.5 hours) on Saturday, May 13. Additional education is provided for gardeners who are unfamiliar with small-space, urban gardening.

Once all gardeners have been through the orientation, they will receive a key that allows them access the Farm. The 2017 growing season is from May 13 through November 11.


How do I register for a plot?

Community plots are full for the 2017 season, but you can still register to be put on the wait list.

Complete the online registration form.

If you have any questions, please contact Natasha Holbert at nholbert@chicagolights.org


I’m not eligible for a community gardening plot. How can I be involved?

There are many other ways to get involved in the Farm! Check out our Community-Supported Agriculture and volunteer opportunities.