Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sweetwater Growers, Inc.

Hello all,

Just doing a little research on the Urban Farm idea and came across Sweetwater Growers, Inc. They hydroponically produce basil and microgreens, which they then sell to Whole Foods. It sounds as though they can't grow it quick enough, with Whole Foods taking it all off their hands as soon as it harvested. I may have to discuss with this guy and see how viable it has been for him cost wise.

Also, it looks like off the bat, it is going to be a minimum $50k to get the set up for the farm. That is not counting the cost of a location, which could be subsidized if we did it in the right place of the city.

Will keep you all posted as to what I find out.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Long Overdue

Hello all,

Sorry it has been so long since I have updated this blog. I do appreciate all the comments and interest in this endeavor. As stated in my previous posts, there was a chance that I would get extremely busy and have to put it off for a time. Well that current business is growing, I got married, moved...etc. However, I do believe in this for profit concept of an Urban Farm in Chicagoland. As these coming months approach, I will be spending some additional time researching types of systems and their cost. Please continue to comment and email me with ideas for this. If anyone has any information on government subsidies or tax breaks, that would be a huge help off the start.

Talk to you all soon.


Ryan Jaskiewicz

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Local, Local, Local.....

So, I was at Whole Foods the other day to buy a couple things and as I was perusing, I found some signs that emphasized the idea that "Local Food" is en vogue. Those that have talked to me about this have heard me say that I think "Local" is the new "Organic". As I walked the aisles of Whole Foods, on either side of the aisle you could see something produced locally or a vegetable that was grown nearby. I did not spend a ton of time there, but closest grown vegetable I saw that day was a cippolini onion from Wisconsin. Call me crazy, but I think we can get closer to home.

Take a look at these pictures and feel free to comment with other places you have seen this, as these will only strengthen my position of wanting to start this farm.

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


So, I have spent the past few evenings trying to narrow down systems that are worth researching more in depth. I have seemed to find a few that make sense. The big question is how much a lighting system will cost, as we want to be able to grow year round. I am guessing that this is going to be one of our bigger costs. We shall see.

I also started perusing vacant properties in the city, trying to see if the city might subsidize something like that. This kind of idea seems to take a lot due diligence, much like anything else. That's all the updates for now, will keep you posted as to any ideas.

Comment with any ideas or suggestions!


Monday, January 26, 2009

It begins...

I have decided to try and tackle my next entrepreneurial activity. I wanted my next business to be successful, but also sustainable and socially conscious to the environment. Those that know me know that this has become a small passion of mine. While I am not the "greenest" person I know, I am trying to create a more sustainable life for my business(es?) and my family. In this effort, I am introducing Urban Farms Chicago. Go ahead and's at least a little funny.

I know there a few things everybody(the 2 or 3 people that actually read this) are thinking to themselves.

1. Ryan has no idea how to farm. (True)
2. Ryan is not "blue-collar" by any means. (Very True, just ask Justine's dad)
3. Why does Ryan think he can go from knowing absolutely nothing about farming to creating a sustainable farm inside the city limits of Chicago? (He's out of his mind)

All these are very relevant concerns and I appreciate your thoughtfulness. However, I have done some extensive research and believe that this can be a viable business venture. This may take a year, 2 years, or even 10 years if I get sidetracked. However, I will keep everyone posted, as to the developments, throughout the process. Mind you, I am at SQUARE ONE and this may never come fruition, but lets all hope for the best. (Those of you that get the Pun in the previous sentence get a free head of lettuce.)

I'm not going to release all my ideas right now, but let's just say that Urban Farm is not just a clever name. We will be starting a year round, sustainable farm in the city limits of Chicago. If anybody wants to participate, feel free to comment with any ideas or concerns.

Wish me luck!

Be Good,

Ryan Jaskiewicz