project support community resources


In these early stages, we're very lucky to have received glowing support from a host of individuals and organizations. Currently we are collaborating with NeighborSpace, the City of Chicago, and Altamanu to design, acquire land, and build our first orchard in Logan Square. We're fortunate enough to benefit from the invaluable expertise and advise of organizations such as MidFex, RAFT, Earth First Farms, the Chicago Botanic Gardens, Seed Savers Exchange and Ginkgo Organic Gardens. With groups like Slow Food Chicago, Slow Food USA, Virtue Cider, and Uncommon Ground we have already started to develop partnerships that will support us for years to come. As our project matures we'll be reaching out to more people and organizations to get involved and lend a hand.

We are also committed to giving back to our community. Once our orchard is bearing fruit, half our harvest will be distributed back to the community. The nature of this distribution will depend on where our orchard finds a home, but possible partnerships include food pantries, nearby schools, or open-picking days for the neighborhood.

Alex Enarson is the Construction Manager at the Plant, a former meat packing plant in the Back of the Yards neighborhood re-purposed into a collaborative community of food producing businesses all committed to materials reuse and closed loop systems. He is a self-professed "wood nerd" who owns and operates a sawmill in Chicago and builds adventure playgrounds from reclaimed urban trees.

Garrett Hohimer is an attorney in Chicago and fortunate to be a resident of Logan Square, the site of CROP's first orchard.

Megan Larmer is committed to eating as an agricultural act. She is currently Director of Strategy and Community Engagement for Slow Food USA. She served as co-president on Slow Food Chicago's Board of Directors from 2010-2013. During a decade as a restaurant professional, she roasted coffee on the side of a volcano, baked pies, poured wine older than her parents, planted radishes on rooftops, and much more. Megan is an experienced theater artist and marks her apprenticeship at the Bread and Puppet Theater Farm as the catalytic time when she realized that her passions for storytelling, community building, and beautiful food were inseparable. She recently completed course work for an MA in the Anthropology of Food at SOAS, Univ. of London.

Doug Lynch is currently a PhD candidate in ecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where his research activities include understanding environmental controls on plant productivity and particularly impacts of human activities on terrestrial ecosystems. He received a masters degree in plant biology from Northwestern University. Doug also serves on the steering team committee at Ginkgo Organic Gardens.

Erin McMillan has interned and worked in urban agriculture and nutrition education for multiple organizations in Chicago. Having resided in Logan Square, Chicago for almost 8 years she has a vested interest in seeing the neighborhood have public access to both of these areas that she holds so dearly. Her area of interest within CROP is in education and public outreach.

Vanessa Smith is dedicated to learning the craft and science of growing fruit trees through her volunteer work with CROP, Midwest Fruit Explorers and Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse and Orchard. She is currently training fruit trees on an espaliered fence at her employer's metal working studio in the Hermosa neighborhood of Chicago.

Dave Snyder has been working in community-based agriculture in Chicago for nine years. In addition to CROP he's volunteered or worked at Ginkgo Organic Gardens, The Rooftop Farm At Uncommon Ground, and Chicago FarmWorks. Previously, Dave has worked as an academic administrator, radio producer and cartographer.

In 2012, CROP organized our first lecture series.

Speakers included Jennifer Jordan from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Josh Ellis from Metropolitan Planning Council; Melissa Tobias and Dan Schnitzer from the Academy for Global Citizenship; Greg Hall from Virtue Cider and Dan Bussey from Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah, Iowa.

Oriana from the Midwest Fruit Explorers peels a pawpaw. Photo by Erin Foley.


We are always looking for ideas, input, and partners. Get on our mailing list and make sure to visit our support page to find out how you can get involved.

  For more information contact: [email protected]         ©2009 - 2016 Chicago Rarities Orchard Project