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Green Sprout

Watch us grow . . .

Green Sprout Urban Farm is a youth-run urban farm initiative in the food desert surrounding Warren-Sharpe Center. In addition to providing healthy food choices to neighborhood families, the farm creates opportunities for economic growth, and trains youth in organic farming, environmental science and culinary arts.


With land donated by the City of Joliet in 2014, we started growing vegetables in vacant lots, in order to:

  • Support healthier food choices and increased physical activity;

  • Provide workshops in healthy cooking and clean eating;

  • Provide training to parents about the connections between healthy food choices, cognitive development, and long-term health issues;

  • Use our outdoor classroom to teach our kids about plant life, science concepts and environmental stewardship;

  • Find avenues to reconnect our children to the earth and unplug them from video games, television and other electronics.



In 2016, the farm expanded to 5 vacant lots, and became part of Will County’s We WILL Grow School and Community Garden program. The farm produces vegetables and herbs from April through October, and every child in the Center’s programs spends time watering, harvesting, cooking -- and EATING!


Surplus produce is sold at the Downtown Joliet Farmer’s Market.




After a visit from U.S. Representative Bill Foster (photo) in 2015, the children received an invitation from First Lady Michelle Obama to visit the White House Kitchen Garden. They came back from the nation’s capital with new ideas and inspiration, including the publication of a vegetarian cookbook Veggie Casserole.

City of Joliet, Silver Cross Hospital, Community Foundation of Will County, Com Ed, First Midwest Bank

~ My kid came home from the Center and asked me to make him a salad. I wasn’t too sure about how to make one, except for iceberg lettuce and tomatoes. He worked in the garden all summer, and he taught me how to make a good salad, with dark greens and lots of vegetables.  ~ Green Sprout parent, 2015


What do we do?

We are urban farmers.

We grow microgreens in trays. We eat arugula. We play in the hoop house. We rescue worms. We name the bunnies who nibble our broccoli. We dig in the dirt. We plant corn like the Illiniwek used to. We build teepees out of pole beans. We climb trees. We dance on the compost bin. We put ugly fruit and veggies in the juicer and drink them up. We jump over the fence. We make bird feeders. We plant collard greens and okra like our grandmothers used to. We ride on the bobcat. We plant a World War II Victory Garden. We build raised beds out of cinder blocks. We eat peas right off the vine. We water the cucumbers again and again and again. They are always thirsty! We created a pizza patch with tomatoes and basil and peppers. We love our jalapenos, but we give away the habaneros. CALIENTE!  We make monster salads. We bake zucchini bread. We help each other. We pick up the trash. We give food to people who don't have any.

We are urban farmers!

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