GOOD FOOD REVOLUTION

GROWING POWER

 

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In Milwaukee, Will Allen uses a novel approach to create integrated food systems for local communities.  He produces multiple food sources, including fish and produce, by ingeniously mixing a variety of farming practices, ranging from vermiculture to aquaponics.  His “Growing Power” model provides a measurable level of food security for his community and has been adopted by food activists around the country.

Good Food Revolution 

Growing Power
Milwaukee, WI
24 August 2010

 

GOOD FOOD REVOLUTION

Food resilience means the creation of a community food system that can reliably produce adequate good food that’s safe, wholesome, and affordable to all.

OTHER RELATED TERMS

VERMICULTURE
Red wiggler worms enrich + remediate soil with their castings. This worm poop is the best organic fertilizer available. Worms can even decontaminate soil: the beneficial bacteria in their gut breaks down heavy organic compounds and actually destroys harmful E. coli bacteria.
 
AQUAPONICS
Aquaculture (fish farming) + hydroponics (growing plants in nutrient-enriched water instead of soil).  GP raises about 100,000 fish per year. These include tilapia, a warm-water fish native to Africa, and lake perch, a cool-water fish native to North America.
 
FOOD DESERT
Places where supermarkets are nonexistent, leaving residents to subsist on food  found at corner stores, gas stations, liquor stores and fast food restaurants.  Food deserts predominate in low income urban communities.
 
COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE
The delivery of fresh vegetable from farms, can be local and also far from you, to your home.
 
FOOD DEMOCRACY
“The right of all people to an adequate, safe, nutritious, sustainable food supply.”- Food Democracy Vandana Shiva 
 
FOOD JUSTICE
The belief that good healthy food should be natural right worth fighting for and can be achieved through the restructuring of the social, agricultural, environmental and economic spheres.

 

ADDITIONAL TEXT TAKEN FROM THE PHOTOGRAPH

PRODUCE
While tomatoes only grow in the summer months, over 150 varieties of produce, including spinach, arugula, chard, turnip and collard greens, lettuces, and peppers grow throughout the year.
 
GROWING POWER PLAYS A VITAL ROLE IN THE MILWAUKEE FOODSHED, PROVIDING PEOPLE FROM DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS EQUAL ACCESS TO HEALTHY, HIGH-QUALITY, SAFE, AND AFFORDABLE FOOD. Their national outreach programs teach community leaders across America how to grow, process, market and distribute food in a sustainable manner. Training today covers such topics as anaerobic digestion for food waste, bio/phyto remediation, aquaculture, vermiculture, small + large scale composting, urban agriculture, permaculture, food distribution, marketing, youth and leadership development, community engagement and project planning.

 

ABOUT WILL ALLEN

Will Allen is an urban farmer and the Director and Co-Founder of Growing Power. In 1995, while he was assisting neighborhood children with a gardening project, he began developing the farming methods and educational programs that are now a legacy of this non-profit organization. His recognized early on that those living in low-income communities have limited access to safe and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables and therefore unhealthy diets which in turn generate such health problems as obesity and diabetes.  His solution incorporates both the cultivation of food as well as the design of food distribution networks in urban settings.  Through a unique fusion of choice low-cost farming methods, including the use of raised beds, aquaculture, vermiculture, and heating greenhouses through composting, Growing Power produces vast amounts of food year-round at its main farming site: two acres of land located within Milwaukee’s city limits

ADDITIONAL WEBSITES OF INTEREST

Growing Power

Growing Power on Aquaponics

Growing Power on Vermicompost

Worm Farm Institute

site by Lyra Designs

Farm Fairies

As speculators keep driving the price of available farmland higher, new farmers like Kasey and Jeff from Lonesome Whistle Farm in Eugene, Oregon are priced out of the market. Socially responsible "slow money" investors help small farmers buy farmland ... keeping food local and affordable.