Date and Time

March 9th and 10th, 2013

We will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday the 9th, and end around 5 p.m. on Sunday the 10th.


We are super excited that this year’s summit will be held at The Plant, one of Chicago’s most ambitious and inspiring urban farming projects. Tours of the building will be offered during the summit.


We are asking for a donation of $10-20 per person, but no one will be turned away. This money will cover basic expenses, including use of the space.

Housing and Travel

If you’re coming from out of town and need a place to stay or a ride to the summit let us know.


Saturday, March 9

Registration, meet and greet, breakfast snacks
First tour of The Plant — Don’t be late!
Workshop I

  1. “Your Rights and Your Choices as an Urban Farmer” – Beth Kregor, Matt Olson, and Priyanko “Pranks” Paul from the Institute of Justice at The Unviersity of Chicago. — The presentation will focus on your business’ legal right as a tenant in the landlord-tenant relationship, as well as focusing on the type of legal entity you may want to choose when setting up your farm.
  2. “Utilizing Growing Degree Days on Your Urban Farm” -
    Breanne Heath, Growing Home. — Have you ever planted a crop that took much longer to mature than expected? Have you noticed pest problems much earlier than normal and weren’t prepared to deal with them? In this workshop we will introduce the use of growing degree days to plan for more accurately timed harvests for production farms, as well as for predicting pest emergence. Many plants and insects mature according to heat units accumulated during their development. Using local temperature data, we can calculate the accumulated heat units between specific dates to determine number of growing degree days. With this information, you can better estimate when flea beetles will emerge or if your tomato harvest is on track to ripen in time for a promised sale.
  3. “Urban Livestock – keeping, caring, and making some money, too!” – Michael Thompson, Chicago Honey Coop; Ed Hubbard, Nature’s Little Recyclers; Dan Hurowitz, City Farm; Molly Medhurst, Patchwork Farms — Do you have enough room for livestock in the city? What about the neighbors? Is it legal to raise animals in Chicago and does this matter? Come to this session and hear personal stories about livestock on farms in Chicago, find out if you are suited for this and when the right time of year might be to start thinking about doing this.
Lunch and Speaker –
“The State of Urban Agriculture in Chicago” -
Billy Burdett, Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA) Coordinator —
An overview of the diverse array of exciting projects happening across the city–from backyard veggies to community gardens to commercial farms–and a look at what’s on the horizon.
Breakout Session I – These breakout session topics will be proposed by participants at the summit during lunch. The discussions will be facilitated by summit organizers.
Recap group activity
Dinner Break
Party! with the Advocates for Urban Agriculture and the Young Aggies — Featuring boot kickin jams by the Kodiak Farm Boys, a documentary, beer, popcorn, and good people!!!

Sunday, March 10

Doors open, set up, networking, breakfast snacks
Workshop II
  1. “Mitigating a Royal Headache: Managing Multiple Urban Parcels for Farm Profitability” – Alex Liebman, Owner/Partner Stone’s Throw Urban Farm in The Twin Cities. — We will discuss strategies for increasing farm-able acreage inside of an urban area and becoming comfortable with managing several farm sites. Topics will include lease agreements, water contracts, and production logistics/strategies. We will also brainstorm ways in which managing urban farm land can be made more efficient and profitable.
  2. “Ways To Get Land” – Ben Helphand, Neighborspace; Katie Williams, Patchwork Farms Chicago. — Ben will discuss ways for Community Gardens to find and secure land that is both publicly and privately owned in Chicago. Katie will talk about how she and Molly navigated the City’s websites to find and lease land from a private land owner.
  3. “University Urban Ag Movements: Discussing Challenges, Accomplishments and Goals”
    Leaders from three urban based universities will be coming together to discuss their individual UA movements. In an open forum, students, summit attendees and community members will problems solve and share ideas on how to make University Urban Agriculture grow.
Lunch with “A Near Success Story: Diversified Sales Outlets for Urban Farm Profitability” – Dan Hurowitz of City Farm
Plant Tour — Don’t Be Late!
Breakout Session II
Tool Share! — Everyone is encouraged to bring their favorite farm and/or garden tool. We will pass them around and share why we like them so much! Shovels, gloves, spreadsheets, seeders, sprayers, chicken feed (maybe just an empty bag), everything is encouraged. If it is too big, bring a picture.
Final Gathering — reflect on this year’s summit, talk about next year’s
– network, clean up, group photo, group hug


We want this to be a sharing experience and encourage you to please bring any pictures, literature or other material about your garden and farm projects. We will be setting up an info-sharing area and hope that this will be one of the best tools for educating each other about best practices.

Saturday Night Mixer

AUA and the folks from the Midwest Urban Farmers Summit are hosting a party to kick off the growing season with anexclusive pre-release screening of Growing Cities (featuring Chicago farms like The Plant, Growing Home, City Farm and Growing Power!), a Q&A with the filmmakers, high-energy live music from the Kodiak Farm Boys (co-led by City Farm’s own Dave Henderson!), delicious local beer from Revolution Brewery, and popcorn!

All proceeds from the night will help to fund AUA’s outreach, educational and advocacy projects. More details will be up on AUA’s websitesoon, so keep your eyes peeled!

Saturday, March 9
@ ECO Collective, 2042 W 21st St

Doors open at 7:30PM
Film starts at 8PM
Music starts at 9:45PM

ALL AGES (21+ ID required for service of alcohol)
$7 admission (free for Midwest Urban Farmers Summit attendees, but donations encouraged!)