In the latest email from Alan Shannon, of the USDA who manages the Goodgreens.org group, that considers itself a network of networks, that meets once a month, downtown in the Loop, he noted:
- Information available for beginning farmers
- Grants available for farmers markets supported by the USDA
- How to sell food to the USDA
- Urban farming
- Community Food project grants
- Bee keeping, home canning
If any or all of these things sound kind of interesting, or if you are a supporter of local food in Chicago, all this information and more is provided by Goodgreens.org.
Goodgreen’s members are diverse: food growers, advocates, promoters, educators, community activists, public and private sector.
What is Good Greens.org.? Good Greens is a federation of organizations and individuals who come together, once a month, in the spirit of collaboration to affect positive change in the way we grow, harvest, process, distribute and consume food. Good Greens is a network of networks spearheaded by the USDA.
To me, there seems to be so many groups and people that care about promoting sustainable local food in Chicago but all the groups seems to be off on their own course and not necessarily collaborating with one another. The USDA through the Goodgreens group is seeking to promote collaboration by providing a forum that everyone and anyone who cares about sustainable local food is invited to.
I attended their September meeting. Good Greens meets on the third Thursday of every month. I found that the people there definitely swayed to the public sector but were full of information. The other theme for me with the meeting was business and economic development, part of our discussion was focused on how to help small, tiny businesses flourish that promote local, sustainable food and products. Finally, the USDA has many programs focused on the farmer throughout the Midwest region. For anyone who is looking to increase their knowledge of what programs are going on in the city to address healthy, local food and what resources are available this meeting and the website of Good Greens is abundant with information. Anyone interested in starting a neighborhood program, learning about what programs exist or what programs are going on in the city to address any or all of these issues, I found that this meeting is a great one to attend.
The next meeting for GoodGreens.org is Thursday October 27th. The best place to find out more information about the GoodGreens.org group is to go their website or, contact Alan Shannon of the USDA, his email address is on the website as well.