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Urban Microfarming for the Greater Good

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Video by Joe O'Neill

Tal Rosen '04 takes on microfarming in urban landscape

Chicago is the third largest city in the United States, but that doesn’t mean it’s all steaming concrete and hardscaping. For Tal Rosen '04, in fact, the Windy City is the perfect spot for a new kind of farming.

”We started an initiative to make our facility more green and sustainable,” says Rosen, the executive director of KAM Isaiah Israel (KAMII), the oldest Jewish congregation west of the Ohio River. “So we decided to start planting gardens on our properties.”

KAMII has three microfarms on its own site and manages two other small farms at community churches. KAMII now grows more than 4,000 pounds of organic produce annually, all of which goes to hot-meal programs in the neighborhood, making KAMII the largest grower and donor in Chicago.

“The Dickinson experience has really helped me get to where I am today,” says Rosen, who majored in Judaic studies. “It’s given me the confidence in my leadership abilities and the interpersonal skills to really move ideas and communities forward.”

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Published June 18, 2014