Chicago’s landscaping will be spotted with fruits and vegetables soon as Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to turn the city’s vacant lots into urban farms.
The mayor announced the “Farmers for Chicago” initiative Friday, which will provide up to five acres of city-owned lots for urban farming activity and create a network of area farmers.
The lots will be available for local nonprofits to install food growing equipment and train people, especially those with limited work history, in urban farming skills.
“Once made available, these vacant lots will help stabilize communities by bringing productive activity to areas that need it around food deserts,” Mayor Emanuel said in a statement. “Farmers for Chicago will give local residents a chance to not only learn how to grow food in their communities, but also build their own food enterprise.”
The program, one of the first of its kind, will be implemented over a period of three years. Food from the farms will be distributed to up to 20 retailers, including farmer’s markets, local corner stores, grocery chains and restaurants.