Our Tour of The Plant

UNA Chicago

Our Tour of The Plant

Last Saturday a group of members and guests visited with us, the Global Goals Ambassadors, one of the best examples of circular economies and self-sustainability in Chicago: The Plant, located in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in the South Side, is a re-purposed 93,500 square foot building previously used for industrial space and pork processing facility. Thanks to the vision of John Edel and his company, Bubbly Dynamics LLC, today The Plant is the home of around 17 food-producing businesses that share their resources and their waste making it a closed loop where nothing goes to the trash. According to the website, “The facility will eventually divert over 10,000 tons of food waste from landfills each year, while providing enough electricity to power over 250 homes.” Talk about sustainable!

Our tour, leaded by the friendly Education and Outreach manager Kassandra (Kassie) Hinrichsen, started in the basement, where we took a look at how vegetables like Kale are grown using aquaponics and UV lamps. We took a look at the fish that provide nutrients to the water the vegetables grow in, an algae experiment designed to find out how much CO2 algae can take in, and even compressed bricks made out of the coffee grinds from the Coffee shop and pressed grains from the Plant’s Brewery, which also happen to be used to feed the chicken that provide eggs for the different businesses.

We visited the Bakery and had some awesome ginger-thyme lemonade to accompany some delicious pastries and quiches; we had some high quality coffee and even a scoop of vegan ice-cream! Kassie also took us outside to show us the huge digestor machine -which is in construction- that will collect food waste from numerous big places in Chicago to convert into energy. Our tour ended and most of us hung out for a drink at the bar that serves the Plant’s brewery beer, and as we left we were able to purchase organic vegetables, honey, candles and many more things at the outdoor space designated for a Farmers Market on weekends.

The Plant offers tours every Saturday at a super low cost and it’s a very fun and interesting experience to enjoy on a weekend. They also host several workshops where you can learn how to tie-dye, do aquaponics, and many more things.

The Global Goals Ambassadors are super grateful to The Plant and Kassie for hosting us and showing us this marvelous place where several of the Global Goals come under one roof thanks to their members’ amazing efforts to help the only planet we have. We will definitely be back another time!

 

 

Pic of the Bar: Guests can hang out at the “Whiner Beer” Bar and drink high quality, delicious drafts made on premises.
Pic of girl touching plants with a stick: In an interactive environment guests get to play to be a bee and pollinate plants.
Pic of “Chicago Patchwork Farms” stand: The farmers market outside of the plant sells produce and products from organic vegetables, honey, to hand made candles and clothing.
Pic of Kassie lifting the vegetable bed: Produce is grown via aquaponics and clay pellets so no soil is needed, and with the use of UV lights.
Pic of kid touching stuff inside barrel me holding lid: Excess waste from the coffee shop will be turned into compressed bricks along with used grain from the brewery.