About The Wormfarm

Donna Neuwirth and Jay Salinas



So, what’s the big idea? It is simply this: Connections.

In 1995, we founded Wormfarm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and began growing organic vegetables for a handful of Chicago families hungry for a connection to the source of their food.

Several years and hundreds of families later, it became apparent that there was more to nourishment than could be found in vegetables alone.

We began to explore the links between urban and rural communities beyond the food chain, creating a setting for artistic collaboration.

In 2000, we formed a non-profit organization, the Wormfarm Institute. The Wormfarm  expands the concept of the CSA, which helps reconnect consumers with the source of their food, by connecting urban and rural, people and land, culture and agriculture. It also expands the idea of ‘sustainability’ to include not just nourishment to live, but a vibrant creative community in which to thrive.

Where We Came From

We left a place (Chicago) that despite its crowds, crime, concrete and confusion seemed to incubate vital and diverse culture. We moved to a place that has open spaces, serenity and natural beauty, but because of the shift to agri-business and the corresponding decline of rural communities, seems to be only able to generate and support scattered cultural output.

Where We’re Going and How We’re Going to Get There

We harbor few illusions (but a precious few) about our ability to ignite the coming rural renaissance, but we would like to be able to host some of its events, fund its instigators and contribute in a small way to its development — to provide a format in which these activities can occur.

By enticing cityfolk to support a rural community, we serve as a conduit for resources and information to move in both directions. This trail has been blazed by the CSA Shareholders bearing bread, news and stories from the city and returning with vegetables and a deeper appreciation of the process by which food appears on their table. They have been followed by Resident Artists, those attending workshops and Festivals, and participants in the Cultureshed program that draws from both local and distant sources. If you’d like more information on our current programs or to learn how you can become part of the ‘coming rural renaissance’, please e-mail us.

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