Urban Growers Collective (UGC) was founded by Laurell Sims and Erika Allen in the fall of 2017. Our approach is to demonstrate and support development of community-based food systems where produce is grown, prepared, and distributed within neighborhoods. In this way, communities help themselves by learning how to provide for their own needs in a sustainable manner.
In addition to farming on 11-acres in Chicago, Urban Growers Collective focuses on two key areas: food access and education. To address food access, we operate the Fresh Moves Mobile Markets, a program that transformed three buses into farmers’ markets on wheels and sells fresh, culturally appropriate food on the West and Southside of Chicago. Our eduction programs include youth employment, farmer incubation and training, job-readiness for hard-to-employ adults, a head-start preschool farm, as well as urban agriculture and equity building workshops and events. To learn more about our story and programs, visit the ‘About Us’ section of the website.
Our core values as an organization honor shared leadership and collective decision making; racial, economic, gender and LGBTQ equity; as well as employee well being: we have witnessed how these values lead to thoughtful, holistic programming and yield environments that nourish and create prosperity.