I first came across Will Allen and Growing Power in a 2009 article about urban farming in the NYTimes Sunday Magazine. A former basketball player and marketing guy for P&G, Allen found his passion in urban agriculture early on and his organization, Growing Power, has been a leader in the urban farming movement. Not only have they been able to cultivate sustainable growing practices on the farm, but have been able to successfully integrate the surrounding community into the larger movement of local food. Local schools in Milwaukee buy produce from Growing Power and theyve been able to roll out their business model to other locations including school and community farms in Detroit, Chicago, and other urban centers across the country.
Growing Power will be hosting their first ever Urban Agriculture conference this September 10th-12th in Milwaukee. Besides a keynote address from Allen himself, one of my heroes, Grace Lee Boggs, will also be speaking (via video conference) from her home in Detroit. Tracks for the conference range from aquaculture to social justice + food, and renewable energy. Anyone else down to join me for a weekend in the midwest?