Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

March 23, 2018

Free Soil Testing, Urban Ag Workshops & More at the Good Food EXPO!

Floor Shot OnlyThe Good Food EXPO is here! AUA is delighted to be a part of the largest gathering in the Midwest focused on locally and sustainably produced food, March 23-24th.

Be sure not to miss Saturday’s Organic Valley Good Food Commons – a day of FREE soil testing and FREE urban agriculture workshops!

That’s right, the scientists of University of Illinois-Extension will be on hand to analyze your soil on-site and in the moment. Take a look at the soil sampling instructions here, and share the word widely on this much needed resource for urban growers. Multiple samples welcome from your garden, urban farm, yard, or park!

Meanwhile on Saturday, from 10:30am-4pm, enjoy free workshops on growing food in urban settings, raising urban livestock, composting practices, and culinary skills! Topics range from raising yeast to raising llamas, and the day’s star-studded line up of presenters include local leaders from none other than:

Christy Webber Landscapes Farm & Garden, Peterson Garden Project, Big Green, Nisse Farm, Loveren Collections, Bike a Bee, GlennArt Farm, Fresh Curds, Big Rock Organics at Lamb of God Farm, Wakeup to Wellness, Windy City Harvest, GrowAsis Urban Garden Consulting, Urban Growers Collective, Green Generations, Inc., Garfield Park Conservatory, In the Gardens, Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy, The Deep Roots Project, Chicago Lights Urban Farm, Westside Bee Boyz, LLC, Edible Alchemy Foods, Growing Home Inc, The Organic Gardener, Ltd., Dirt Doll, Home to Roost, The Contented Squirrel Trading Company, Pyrite Sun, Sobrevillas Urban Farm, Academy for Global Citizenship, and Cultured Love!

Get the full workshop schedule and more here!

In addition to all that, the majority of Chicago’s Good Food economy will be hosting resource tables and leading dynamic panels on every topic under the sun. Don’t miss AUA’s very own Executive Director Laura Calvert moderating the panel “Local Food is Good Policy: 2018 City & State Legislative Initiatives,” and Programs Manager Nick Lucas moderating “Innovative Tools in Chicago’s Fields: Initiatives & Technology Advancing Local Food, Soil Health and Compost.”

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All this and so much more – we hope to see you there!

Good Food Expo Event Details:
March 23 & 24
University of Illinois-Chicago
725 W. Roosevelt Road

What a packed program – don’t miss this dynamic, two day Good Food event!

February 2, 2018

The Latest Urban Ag News & Community Events: AUA’s Winter Newsletter is Here!

Dear Advocates,

As growers, we know that winter is the perfect time to reflect and plan for the future season. I imagine many of you are nestled in with crop plans and seed catalogs. We wish you much growth and possibility this coming season! At Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA), we are reflecting on our history and direction through strategic planning, and making exciting plans for the year ahead.

Seeds 565We look forward to so many opportunities to collaborate. From a developing partnership to make free soil testing available to Chicagoland farmers and gardeners, to on-site group volunteering events across the city, to unique festivities like our 6th annual Urban Livestock Expo this Saturday, February 3, there are so many ways to get involved!

Speaking of which, we are excited to co-host this fun event for the first time at Southside Occupational Academy in Englewood, as well as offer workshops in Spanish. Come for free, family-friendly workshops on raising bees, goats, chickens, and more in your own yard!

As always, thank you for your contributions of resources, time, energy, and creativity to AUA and the urban ag community. We are grateful to participate in this thriving community with you.

Read on for this winter’s newsletter, where inside you’ll find:

  • A call to join AUA’s newly forming Associate Board
  • Your invitation for Saturday’s Urban Livestock Expo
  • Details on the Midwest’s largest Good Food gathering, including free soil testing, engaging panels, and more
  • Important legislative action alert to support the Good Food Purchase Policy
  • A chance to bring group volunteers to your farm or garden this year
  • AUA at the One Earth Film Festival, upcoming community and partner events, and more!

Together we grow,

Laura Calvert
AUA Executive Director

January 10, 2018

Request for Urban Ag Workshop Proposals at the Good Food EXPO

gffc_mccarthy_img_1093Calling all urban growers, composters, keepers of livestock, and chefs! Share your urban agriculture knowledge and passion by leading a 30 minute workshop at the Organic Valley Good Food Commons at this year’s Good Food EXPO March 24th!

Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA) is delighted to take the lead in organizing this year’s workshops, which aim to encourage Festival-goers to cultivate their curiosity by attending multiple informal 30 minute micro-workshops throughout the day. Workshops are organized thematically by learning tracks, each focusing on important topics within the Good Food movement. Submit your proposal here for these Good Food learning tracks:

  • GROW YOUR OWN: includes urban growing, container gardening, season extension, harvesting & handling, and other DIY gardening skills.
  • COMPOST IT: includes soil topics, vermiculture, compost teas, troubleshooting, best practices, or anything else related to composting practices.
  • RAISE YOUR OWN: includes livestock, raising urban animals, bees, chickens, goats, or anything else of interest to backyard livestock enthusiasts.
  • MAKE YOUR OWN: includes kitchen skills, keeping cultures (kombucha and sourdough), culinary curiosities, special diets, preserving, fermenting and other creative cooking topics.

In addition to the great exposure of presenting at this fun event, if your proposal is selected you will be listed in the Show Directory as a Good Food Commons presenter (name, affiliation and workshop title), and have the opportunity to sell your own book (or similar product) onsite.

Good Food Expo LogoDeadline to apply to share your knowledge and expertise with your fellow Chicagoans is Feb. 2nd, 2018. Submit your proposal and learn more here, and contact AUA with questions at!

Organic Valley Good Food Commons Event Details:

Saturday, March 24, 2018
UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL
Length of Workshops: 30 minutes
Workshops Hours: 10:30am – 4:00pm


December 28, 2017

AUA’s 2017 Year and Impact Review

Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA) is delighted to share our Year in Review with you! It’s been a milestone year for our coalition as we mark our first year of organizational independence. In 2017, our work focused on strengthening our organizational and financial infrastructure, developing new collaborations, and enhancing our value to the urban agriculture community.

Thanks to members and supporters like you, we were able to organize over 75 educational workshops, host or participate in 65 community events, and directly reach over 175 growers in underserved neighborhoods, to name a few highlights from a big year!

As we prepare for an even bigger 2018, we’re over half way to our year-end drive to raise $5,000 for essential AUA programs. Can you help us grow next year’s impact even further with a contribution of $75, $50, or $35? Even a recurring monthly $3 –the cost of a cup of coffee– makes a difference. What’s most impactful is the involvement at any level of our 2,000+ members. Thank you for being a vital part of this coalition, and for all that you do to support a flourishing, local, equitable food system!


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