The anarchist Chicory Center was founded in 2004 to attack food injustice while opening doors to constructive, radical social action, growing out of a do-it-yourself ethic. The project serves as a nucleus for acting upon local and regional food and social justice issues from an anarchist perspective, while fostering self-sufficiency and community well-being. In practice, the project's On-the-Fly Farm serves to model a kind of solidarity that works closely with individuals, poor people, activists, organizations, and communities of color overcoming economic, social, and political oppressions. We believe in sustainable, democratically run food systems not controlled by the state, food systems that function independent of wealth and privilege.
Recognizing that capitalism and corporations like Whole Foods exist to profit the few and have no interest in making quality healthy food available and affordable to all, we work to support a grassroots, class-conscious, people-powered food justice movement. The role of the United States government in generating and maintaining non-democratic, non-participatory, and corporate-controlled food supplies and agricultural policies puts us all at risk of radical food insecurity. The USDA's corporatism makes even the minute trickle of research and funding directed towards supporting sustainable, community-powered agriculture appear as little more than a sugar-coating to keep non-profit, progressive, radical, and revolutionary critics silent or at bay. The Chicory Center and On-the-Fly Farm support flying in the face of conventional wisdom in an effort to show that people acting creatively, on their own initiative, can not only feed themselves but in that effort further the struggle for a just and liberated society.
At present, the Chicory Center runs On-the-Fly Farm, a 15-member Community Powered Agriculture project delivering fresh organic produce to weekly paying subscribers, while donating around 20% of our crop to support community organizations working for systemic change in Chicago. Our Resistance Coffee roasting project raises funds for groups ranging from Chicago's Latino Union, West Town Bikes, Radios Populares, and the Chicago Women's Health Center. We are also in the slow but steady process of forming a small farmers confederation in Southwest Michigan called Just Farming to promote small-scale organics with a focus on justice in the production, distribution, and consumption of healthy organic food.
The Chicory Center also serves as a retreat available to poor people, activists, and artists. We are engaged in a unique process of experimenting with what a vital, coherent, healthy village might look like in these times - one that is inclusive, not exclusive.