You can grow your own food. We can help.

Cooperation Operation

The Cooperation Operation is a non-profit community organization that transforms urban land into sustainable gardens and spaces for educational and economic empowerment. We began our mission in January 2013 as a collaboration of friends, activists, neighbors and family to create an organization that would provide access to organic produce and educational tools to the community. We aim to spread knowledge and share the skills necessary to create community-driven spaces that slowly re-shape immediate surroundings within the larger structures that systematically disenfranchise people. We envision a city where all people have access to affordable healthy food, education, housing, employment, and critical social services, and we hope to put this vision into practice piece by piece.

Located in the Pullman neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, we find ourselves in a food desert where healthy, organic options for nourishment are rare and inaccessible to most. In exchange for their volunteered time, many of the people who work with us do so to supplement their groceries with some of our delicious, organically-grown vegetables. In the past year, we have expanded our food outreach to over 200 individuals through gardening with neighbors, students, other volunteers as well as unemployed individuals through our workforce development program and by participating in local farmers markets.

We often repurpose materials that would otherwise be thrown away in order to recycle and save money. By repurposing materials, we prevent them from entering the nearby landfill and provide neighbors with a place to donate their extra tools, materials and time. From the ground up, we have infused new life into a former brownfield by creating a critical community resource- an organic garden- in a food desert.

Where it's at:

11339 S. St. Lawrence
Chicago, IL 60628
United States

Garden type:

community garden

Garden size (in square feet):


Garden beneficiaries:

food insecure people and at-risk youth

Number of people reached:


What this project needs:

expert technical assistance
volunteer labor
fruit trees
irrigation system
chicken coop
outdoor oven

Project leaders:

Viviana Gentry
Elizabeth Nerat

About us:

KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.  

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Contact us:

Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA
(207) 956-0606