Will Allen is an urban farmer based in Milwaukee. My family and I had the pleasure of visiting his space several years back. It was impressive. What I liked most was the way it seemed very organized and well staffed.
Will Allen grew up on a farm. (His wife is also a product of a family farm). He went on to play professional basketball in the European league for a team in Belgium. While in Belgium he observed the intensive methods of farming they used to produce a lot in small spaces. He began to apply some of the techniques to grow food using these methods.
What I like about Growing Power (the non-profit he started) is that it seemed to evolve or come into existence organically.
- He took over his wife’s family farm. Needed a place to distribute the goods so he purchased a vacant garden center. He began to grow food at this location. Pretty soon the youth in the area began to question/help/congregate there. Voila… Growing Power.
Now Growing Power is involved in more than 70 projects worldwide and Will Allen has received all kinds of awards and accolades.
Growing Power offers training if you are interested. You can learn about composting, vermicomposting, aquaponics, bees, chickens, goats, and better energy use. Check out their website. Or you can follow them on FB. He also has a book. You can also support the youth program that makes products from beeswax at their etsy shop.
HMMM my final thoughts on Growing Power:
- When I visited I was already doing SMALL scale vermicomposting (lol I used to tease my children that they were their first pets), we had 4 chickens, and composting. Our space was very small but we were making the best of it. Oh I was also interested in aquaponics when we went. Their operation was nice but after examining and asking numerous questions I realized that aquaponics was not for me. I am thankful for that. After reading their site for this blog post I am really impressed with their composting program. I don’t envision being on their level but I hope to up my knowledge, skills and abilities as I need compost… a lot of it right about now.