Growing Solutions Farm

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2021: $3,905.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2023
Grant Recipient: Urban Autism Solutions
Region: North Central
State: Illinois
Project Manager:
Barbara McKillop
Urban Autism Solutions
Project Co-Managers:
Tucker Kelly
Urban Autism Solutions


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: mentoring, youth education
  • Sustainable Communities: community development, employment opportunities, local and regional food systems, quality of life, social psychological indicators, urban agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    Growing Solutions Farm is an urban agriculture and vocational training site, specifically designed to serve young adults who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or a similar disability, from Chicago’s underserved West Side neighborhoods. The farm provides a training environment where young adults with ASD gain transferable work readiness skills and  learn about how sustainable farming impacts urban community. While working on the farm, students gain skills and knowledge about sustainable farming including all phases of farming from soil preparation, planting, cultivating, harvesting and marketing. This experience includes the opportunity to expand our Community Supported Agriculture program which benefit local customers.


    Project objectives from proposal:

     Growing Solutions Farm works with school partners to implement an experience that demonstrates the contributions urban farming projects make on a community. There are four core objectives:

    1. Increase sustainable farming skills through combined classroom and hands-on experiences at the farm.
    2. Develop transferable job skills that will assist students from high school to adulthood in a safe environment that includes interventions by graduate students from Occupational and Speech Therapies.
    3. Give young adults marketing experiences through our farmers markets and our Community Supported Agriculture program.
    4. Share progress and photos via our social media sites and the UAS website.



    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.