In news that gives me hope for the future, the city of Chicago—led by a rag-tag group of urban farmers—will break ground on an urban orchard later this year. The Chicago Rarities Orchard Project (CROP), which is the brainchild of Dave Snyder, will feature rare varieties of apples, cherries, plum and paw paws. The trees will grow together on a plot of land in the Logan Square neighborhood that’s been vacant for the past 65 years.
According to an article in The Architects Newspaper:
CROP started as a group of volunteers, but soon got the attention of Chicago’s department of Housing and Economic Development by teaming up with local urban farming and open space nonprofit NeighborSpace. In 2002, the Logan Square Open Space Project had called for the neighborhood farmers market to take over a lot surrounding the Chicago Transit Authority’s Blue Line, right where the train dives below ground between the California and Logan Square stations. The farmers market had become too big for that space, however, so the city bought the land from the CTA and transferred it to CROP.
Three cheers for teamwork, community spirit and urban farmers!