Kristen Dimas standing in the humming bird habitat at Southside Occupational Academy

Kristen Dimas, a life-long gardener, used 2020 to invest in her education by completing two University of Illinois Extension training programs in Cook County— the Master Gardener program and the Master Urban Farmer Training Program (MUFTP). Over the past two years, she’s put her new knowledge to work.

garlic growing in a raised bed in March 2022

On a warm spring day with four varieties of garlic just beginning to poke out of the ground, Natasha Nicholes, urban farmer and Chicago native, describes her vision for the corner of 120th and Union. “The original site here on northwest corner will be a community gathering and learning space which will extend west to the bike path with a children’s nature play area. Over there on the SE corner will be the full working farm, with a farm stand located on the SW corner.