Sweet Water News: Volume 1, Issue 4

Sweet Water Foundation News: Volume 1, Issue 4  
October 2017
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Sweet Water News
"Make New History" is the theme of this year's Chicago Architecture Biennial, with exhibits that seek to "reflect on the ongoing significance of the past, and the myriad of ways that history is invoked in the production of new forms of architectural thought." 

Make New History is exactly what Sweet Water Foundation accomplished on Saturday, September 23, 2017 with the raising of Sweet Water Foundation's Thought Barn, which, upon completion, will bring a visual and performing arts, reflection, and community gathering space to the heart of the Perry Ave Commons.  The Thought Barn i
s believed to be City of Chicago's first timber frame barn raised in more than a century.  More than 300 community members, partners, and supporters attended our Harvest Celebration + Barn Raising event, which is the featured story in this edition of Sweet Water News.

The Sweet Water Foundation team is beginning to wind down farm operations for the year, but we continue to harvest collards, kale , tomatoes, potatoes, and more! Come out to the Perry Ave Community Farmers' Market on Friday's from 11am to 1pm through October 27th. Bring a bag and a friend!


Sweet Water Stories


A Historic Barn Raising on Chicago’s South Side
What happens when you bring together creative people who are committed to rebuilding their neighborhood by hand and from the ground up?


While one could easily argue that the Humans of Sweet Water make new history every single day, on an unseasonably hot Saturday this September, something more deliberate and, undeniably, historic took place.

On Saturday, September 23, 2017, a timber frame barn was raised on the Perry Ave Community Farm, a once ‘blighted’ city block in the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South side. The barn, known as the Thought Barn, is the first, ground-up architectural building developed by Sweet Water Foundation that, upon completion, will bring a visual and performing arts, reflection, and community gathering space to the heart of the Perry Ave Commons.

Despite record-breaking heat of 95 degrees, more than 300 community members, partners, and supporters attended Sweet Water Foundation’s Annual Harvest Celebration + Barn Raising to witness what is is believed to be the first timber frame barn raised in the City of Chicago in more than a century. In the spirit of a traditional barn raising, more than 50 volunteers, including local community members and supporters from across the city and country, joined staff from Sweet Water Foundation and expert tradesmen from Trillium Dell Timberworks to manually raise the timber frame of the barn.

Click here to read more and view a photo gallery.


Humans of Sweet Water
Meet Rudy...In 2016, Rudy Taylor was introduced to Sweet Water Foundation through a long-time, mutual colleague and mentor. Intrigued by the organization’s work and camaraderie, Rudy began to practice his craft - furniture design - out of a small area at Sweet Water Foundation’s workshop. Slowly, but surely, he became more engaged with the carpentry program and began supporting young apprentices. Rudy is now on board full-time as Mentor and Industrial Designer working to share his passion for furniture design with SWF apprentices.

Click here to learn more about Rudy.

What's Happening at the Commons?
SWF produces a wide range of designer furniture and home goods via our carpentry program using reclaimed, recycled and repurposed wood and materials. This November, the work of our apprentices will be featured in a storefront at the Chicago Design Market.  Shop for the holidays or place a custom order for patio furniture for the spring.  

Shop SWF @ the Chicago Design Market

Tuesday - Saturday, 11:00am until 7:00pm
Block Thirty Seven
108 N State St, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

The Radical [Re]Constructions exhibit will connect the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago to Sweet Water Foundation's Perry Avenue Commons. The installation features a large, three-dimensional representation of a house, set against the Museum’s central lobby wall and constructed from salvaged materials including wood that SWF apprentices finished with the traditional Japanese shou sugi ban charring technique. The Smart Museum is free and open to the public. For museum hours and directions, click here.
NOTE: Reduced Hours in October, 11am-1pm.

Harvest season is waning, but we will continue our weekly farmers' market at Perry Ave Commons through the end of October with REDUCED HOURS on Fridays from 11am until 1pm. Come get fresh, local and community-grown produce. Bring a friend and a bag.

Quinoa with Kale, Sweet Potato and Pesto
Harvest season is waning, but there continues to be an abundance of kale and collards at the Perry Ave Community Farm that make for hearty fall meals. A favorite vegetarian option for our team features leafy greens (kale or collards work well) and sweet potatoes over protein-rich quinoa.  Fresh basil from the garden or our aquaponic systems bring great flavor with pesto sauce.  

  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 small sweet potatoes (about 11/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 2 bunches kale (1 1/4 pounds), thick stems removed and leaves cut into bite-size pieces (about 14 cups)
  • pesto and toasted walnuts, for serving

To try this recipe, click here

Harvest Celebration + Barn Raising
@ The Commons
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Jia Li Pratt