Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Urban Farming Steps to the Future

Good morning everyone,

So much of what comes my way lately has to do with gardens, food, agriculture and the interconnections. I feel dizzy sometimes over it all ... and with the big news items on radio and tv focusing on negative things, sometimes I feel pretty bad.

And then there's something like this, that lifts my spirits and reminds me of what's possible and that so many people near and worldwide are doing, good and amazing things.

Growing Power is a national nonprofit organization and land trust based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. With two acres and 6 greenhouses right in the middle of the City, it teaches young people to grow food and sells the healthy produce to the surrounding community. It's pretty amazing and the best thing is to check out its website at: www.growingpower.org where you can even see a video or two about the project.

Growing Power was just awarded $450,000 to build 150 hoop houses (a type of plastic tent greenhouse) on vacant land within the city. 150 people will be trained and employed to work in these neighbourhood farms over the next three years. Growing Power will have to raise even more to do the project right (I think it will have to match funds and more), but founder Will Allen is confident in the program and its precedent for green jobs: "“We can find this money. The low overall cost for the benefits the program will bring – both in terms of creating jobs and providing fresh, nutritious food for urban families – will hopefully be a powerful formula for success.”

Allen and his co-workers/volunteers have done something incredible by bringing back to life a complex of 6 greenhouses that remained in the middle of urban Milwaukee. They went on to develop markets, education programs, and job training; this project adds a step.

Great stuff Mr. Allen! Great stuff Growing Power people!

Very best regards to all,

Why's Woman

reference article: Growing Power Initiative to create 150 new jobs aimed at African American males
from: Milwaukee Courier newspaper, 16 April 2011

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