Sweet Water Foundation cofounder and executive director Emmanuel Pratt It’s late afternoon and the rush-hour commuter trains streak north and south through a battered stretch of Chicago’s South Side. Passengers gazing out the window do double takes as a swath of verdant green farm dotted with workers comes into view, rising among the scarred vacant lots and boarded-up houses. Sprouting from the very center of the two acres of kale, beans, tomatoes, and fading sunflowers, are the wooden bones of an open-air barn. On its sliding door, a black star. And then it’s gone in a blur. The trains hurtle onward. What they are seeing, says Emmanuel Pratt, is the future. Pratt, 42, is the executive director and cofounder of the Sweet Water Foundation , which oversees this site, known as the Perry Avenue Commons . Pratt was named to the Grist 50 in 2018. Late last month, he was awarded a 2019 MacArthur “genius award,” which comes with a 5-year, $625,000 grant to support his work. That work begins with growing and sharing food, but it goes far beyond that. Pratt says that, done right, urban farming can be a healing tool for cities. “We have all been […]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.