The Talking Farm

Everything about The Talking Farm feels just right. It cultivates healthy communities nutritionally, socially and intellectually.

Following successful efforts on smaller plots at an Evanston community garden, Oakton Community College, and Evanston Township High School, the nonprofit is now transforming long-unused land on Howard Street in Skokie into an urban farm that will bring together students, families and others to work, play and learn about sustainable farming practices. It’s growing sustainable connections well beyond Evanston and Skokie, too.

Farm Operations Director Linda Kruhmin exuded energy and passion for the Howard Street Farm during a recent tour of the property. “We’re planning to showcase a vibrant, diverse farm with vegetables in fields, raised beds and hoop houses; native perennials for pollination; fruit and nut orchards; and edibles grown in semi-shade or rain gardens,” she says.

Board President Karen Terry explains fundraising goals. “The fun thing about raising money for an effort like this is watching peoples’ eyes light up when we describe the farm. Folks get it immediately. Our job now is to translate that enthusiasm into underwriting for our initial projects, including a 10,000-square-foot ethnic heritage demonstration garden.”

A recent lively open house—the first annual “Howard Street Farm Hullabaloo”—introduced more than 350 visitors to the farm’s development plans while also featuring music, food, demonstrations of apple cider making, nut and oil seed pressing, an observation bee hive, and scarecrow building. In addition, visitors enjoyed tours of the land and displays useful  to home gardens.

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