Growing Good Eats, Cultivating Strong Communities
Chi City Foods LLC is a farm and eco-campus driven by the passion to provide poor and marginalized groups in Chicago with access to fresh produce and training opportunities in urban agriculture.
CCF is dedicated to cultivating great organic produce and honey, while promoting urban agriculture skills and food justice.
The current incubator farm is located in Altgeld Gardens, a predominantly black community with about 900 occupied units spread across 190 acres. It is one of the most isolated housing developments in Chicago located just west of the Bishop Ford expressway. This community is in a food desert with only one convenience store located within two miles. Between the local housing complex and the local high school there will be enough customers within walking distance to support a semi-monthly farm stand. As we grow, it will be priority to train and hire people directly from the neighborhood, especially youth who are already developing a passion and skill set for agriculture.
Chi City Foods LLC is also the home of Mystic Bee Hive Honey.
CCF seeks to be a local source of free fresh produce and hands on training in urban agriculture. We aim to create spaces for environmental stewardship for marginalized groups to restore the knowledge and skills that were lost due to colonization and oppression.
At Chi City Foods, we hope to teach people how to feed themselves on the path towards healthy, self-determined and sustaining communities.
What to expect in 2019
> Pop-Up LGBTQ Markets
> What's Growing?
> Market Schedule
> Mystic Beehive Honey
> Volunteer Opportunities
About Xavier Maatra
Xavier Maatra is a nonprofit consultant, community educator, activist, and urban farmer from Southern New Jersey currently thriving in Chicago, IL. For over a decade, he has traveled the country as a labor organizer, social justice workshop facilitator, and youth advocate. Throughout his career as a grassroots community educator, Xavier has worked with thousands of people from across the United States, including students from the UK, Iraq, and various countries across South America. In 2016, Xavier launched DAB of Consulting. A DAB of Consulting specializes in innovative and interactive sessions in the areas of nonprofit management, youth development, organizing skills and social justice issues.
X has also been active in Chicagoland Urban Agriculture for over 6 years. They have worked as market assistant in south and northside neighborhoods. In his work with Chicago Freedom School, he developed a Food Justice curricula for the Healthy Communities cohort of the Summer Leadership Institute and supported youth in the Humboldt Park neighborhood to develop the Ridgeway Community Garden. In partnership with After School Matters at the Altgeld Gardens Community Farm, Xavier trained youth as a farm instructors with Urban Grower's Collective.
They spent a brief time as a farmer in training and lived on an off-the-grid farm and renovated a cabin to help build part of the farm’s infrastructure. It was also during this time when he had the opportunity to travel throughout Central Illinois to visit farmers and learn about their business models. Xavier is currently thriving as a part of the Urban Growers Collective's farmer incubator program where he runs Chi City Foods LLC.
About Mika Nava Muñoz
Mika Nava Muñoz is CCF’s 2019 Building Fellow. She is a union trained welder with 3+ years experience in the professional building trades and recently returned from the first ever Soulfire Builders Immersion training in New York. Mika helped build tiny homes out of pallets and donated materials for the MLK Park Housing and Dignity Village in Oakland, CA. She also welded the shelves in the repurposed CTA bus into a mobile grocery store called the Fresh Moves Mobile Market for Growing Power, now Urban Growers Collective in Chicago. Mika is tool-in-hand ready to contribute to projects that create food sovereignty for Black, brown and queer communities.
In the Media
05/22/19, Windy City Times, Xavier MaatRa on produce company, consulting, other pursuits
06/26/19, Vocalo, Urban Farmer Xavier Maatra is Building Trust