NewsTheir Star Is Rising: Welcoming Star Farm to GCM

Posted May 10, 2021

Green City Market is growing — we're thrilled to welcome Star Farm to our Lincoln Park and West Loop markets this year!

Star Farm is an urban farm in 2016 in Back of the Yards working to increase access to local, organic produce. On the farm, they strive to create an inclusive space by providing local jobs, vocational training and horticultural therapy to people with disabilities and employment barriers, and engaging women and children recovering from domestic violence. 

We chatted with founder Stephanie Dunn about her journey to Green City Market, her relationship to local food and sustainability, and more. Find Star Farm on Wednesdays and Saturdays at GCM Lincoln Park (May through October) and on Saturdays at GCM West Loop (June through October). 

GCM: When did you start Star Farm? What was your inspiration for opening up the farm?

I founded Star Farm in 2016 in Back of the Yards to offer high-quality, local produce, landscaping services, and horticultural programming to Back of the Yards residents and beyond. We are opening up a brick and mortar local foods co-op here, which will include a licensed shared kitchen, community dining room housing weekly hot meals, and nutrition workshops.

In 2022, we plan to launch our Chicago Grown wholesale program to institutional and business partners. We want to amplify local growers while working to improve access to nutritious produce, job opportunities, and vocational training in neighborhoods labelled as food and transportation deserts. 

GCM: What attracted you to Green City Market? What do you hope to get out of your experience at Green City Market this season?

We are committed to bringing and sharing local produce all over the city as much as possible to make our local food system as robust as possible. We know that Green City Market is an established place that Chicagoans and farmers trust to share incredible produce with one another. By participating at a larger market like Green City Market with well-regarded high standards for produce safety and quality, this has allowed us to really hone in and improve our own internal practices — receiving our Naturally Grown certificate has already improved our operations.

GCM: What do you want Chicagoans to know about Star Farm?

Star Farm is committed to enhancing our local food system and amplifying local growers, especially BIPOC and women growers. We offer home-delivered, year-round CSAs, composting services, garden builds, pop-up markets, on-farm workshop and program opportunities, and more. Through our work, we hope to inspire the next generation of urban growers and food justice advocates while improving the long term health and mental health outcomes of our community.