Going Full Circle at The Plant

There’s something about living in the urban playground that is Chicago that makes you forget about all the wonderful things that bring tourists each week. Too busy with work, too busy with life, and often just overcome with a sense of laziness. The only time I’ve ever been to the top of the Sears Tower, or took pictures under the Bean, or roamed the grand halls of the Art Institute was when I’ve had out of town visitors. Being a tourist in my own town is not something I’ve often done.

But now that we’re officially unemployed, we’ve really got nothing else to do besides wander the streets of Chicago.

First stop: A 93,000 square foot vertical farm and food business incubator located on the city’s south side. Along the sidewalks of the Gallagher family, John Edel and his staff are converting an old meatpacking plant into a no waste, fully sustainable center for food in a food desert. This guy’s got big plans. An aquaponic farm, an outdoor farm, a mushroom farm, and even some worms. A brewery, a kombucha brewery, a shared kitchen, event space, and permanent tenant space for local food businesses. And the coolest thing about the Plant? It’s completely closed loop. The outputs and waste of one project are the inputs of another. Check out the master plan:

theplantdiagram
Waste, Energy, and Food Flow at The Plant

This place is still very much in the works, but they’re making good progress. The main cog in the wheel (an Anaerobic Digester) is targeted to be installed by the end of the year; the brewery is coming soon, the aquaponic farm is up and running, and construction is underway in the kitchen space.

We took a tour on a Friday afternoon and left excited for what the Plant will soon bring to the city. Check out a few pictures from our visit:

Aquaponic Garden - The Plant Chicago
Future Homes for Herbs and Greens in the Aquaponic Garden
Aquaponic Fish Tanks - The Plant Chicago
Fish Tanks Part of the Aquaponic Garden
Brewery Space - The Plant Chicago
View into the Outdoor Garden From the Future Brewery Space

Brewery Space View to Outdoor Garden - The Plant Chicago

The Plant Chicago

The Plant Chicago

Leftover from the Meatpacking Operations: A Ham Dryer or Smoker Maybe?
Leftover from the Meatpacking Operations: A Ham Dryer or Smoker Maybe?
Reuseable Materials - The Plant Chicago
Reusable Materials Found in the Future Kitchen Space

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