Humbled, inspired, and ready for action! The Growing Power Urban Farming Conference was an amazing mix of farmers, revolutionaries, students, teachers, and forward thinkers trying to change our food system. I was able to network with people doing amazing projects all around the world. There were workshops, panels, and discussions by so many people dedicated to changing our relationships with food- for the better! The leader of this movement is Will Allen- former pro basketball player who re-dedicated his life to turning Milwaukee and other neighboring cities into urban farming meccas dedicated to sustainability and city food production.
Touring his farm/business in a poor area of Milwaukee, really opened my eyes to utilizing small spaces, energizing communities, and really putting a dent in our food system. His farm is a place to buy fresh organic vegetables in the middle of a food desert! His small business and social enterprise approach is a sustainable model for doing the kind of food & community work that needs to be done. Check his place out here: http://www.growingpower.org/
They are pioneers in aquaponics too- raising fish and using the fish waste to grow food. This is all done through some pretty simple recirculation and pump systems.
I took some amazing workshops on composting with mushrooms, utilizing greenhouse spaces, nutrition, and working to transform our school lunch programs. Having that many people in one place sharing ideas, is truly how movements move away from talk and into action- mutual inspiration.
This is a hoophouse they built on an abandoned elementary school parking lot. For a small amount of investment- a greenhouse can be constructed that could produce thousands of pounds of food. Plus- it can be deconstructed if need be, and moved somewhere else. Think of all the space we could use around our city!?
I got some incredible ideas for working with students too and Orca is sure to be enriched by all the ideas I tried to suck up like a sponge. Now, onward with the green revolution!