Believe in Better with Urban Canopy

What if you thought about your business like you thought about a tree? The roots as the vision, the root tips as the mission, the trunk as the leadership team, and the branches as the business segments. Simple, yet encompassing—as it’s been said “there’s no better designer than nature.”

Chicago’s Very Own Tree of Life

The tree framework was adopted by Chicago’s Urban Canopy, with a vision of creating a more sustainable and equitable food system in Chicago. Founded in 2011 by Alex Poltorak, Urban Canopy started as a pilot rooftop farm at The Plant. Since then, Urban Canopy has grown organically to include six branches touching Chicago’s food ecosystem.

In a world in which people are constantly asking themselves, “how can I make a difference?”, Urban Canopy facilitates multiple ways for you to make a difference in your local community from joining a CSA, supporting local businesses who support local agriculture like The Dill Pickle Food Co-Op and Lula Café, or starting to compost. All the while, proving a business model that is supportive of local people and the environment—a true Tree of Life in our own backyard.

Urban Canopy’s Six Branches Touching Chicago’s Food System

  1. Indoor Farm: Growing more than 5,000 trays of wheat grass, including supplying Here Foods, a producer of dip, salad dressing, and juice containing fresh produce ingredients.
  2. Outdoor Farm: Grows over 10,000 lbs of produce (e.g., tomatoes, collards, radishes, kale) supplying Urban Canopy’s CSA and farmer’s market, as well as utilizing its compost.
  3. Farmer’s Markets: Attending markets as far south as Beverly and as far north as Rogers Park, Urban Canopy supplies healthy, local, and organic fruits and vegetables all around the city, throughout the entire year.
  4. Distribution: Sourcing more than 100,000 lbs of organic and/or local produce to be distributed to Chicago staples supporting local businesses such as: Infiniteus Juice Bar, Original Soul Vegetarian, The Spoke & Bird Cafe, and Real Good Juice.
  5. Compost Club: Serving over 1,200 households and 50 commercial businesses, Urban Canopy’s composting diverted 500,000 lbs of food waste in 2018 alone!
  6. LUCSA (Local Unified Community Supported Agriculture): A network of local partner farms & food businesses to supply local food delivered to doors throughout the City of Chicago. LUCSA now serves ver 250 households.

Please visit for more info and consider signing up for their CSA program! Imagine a magical box that arrives with whole wheat sourdough from Baker Miller, 1 dozen free range, organic eggs from Finn’sRanch, Ariza Kombucha, fresh strawberries from Mick Klug Farm, and kale and cherry tomatoes from The Urban Canopy, among other fresh, local, delicious treats. It’s amazing and it’s delivered! - JT