A crash course in changing the world.
I visited GrowingPower in Milwaukee Wisconsin recently and let me tell you: Will Allen is a badass. An ex-professional basketball player who grew up on a farm, Will Allen now buys land in urban inner city communities and creates urban farming ecosystems. What does that mean? Gardens filter water for fisheries. Goats and chickens create milk, eggs, and waste for composting Worm farms. Hydroponics, Aquaponics, Solar, Goats, Chickens, GrowingPower has it all. This is a model food solution, textbook Smart-Growth as Harvard Economist Umair Haque calls it, a start of The next industrial revolution.
In 2008, Will Allen received the in MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” of $500,000 USD because he revitalizes urban, desolate land into thriving farming, fishery, composting communities. He is making change, teaching the children, providing healthy food, and training a new generation of farmers.
I choose to shadow my Wisconsin neighbor Will Allen because I'd like to learn from him, and have him as an ally. Research I've found says 10-20 million additional farmers are needed to create self-reliant, energy independent, local city food economies. “New generations of farmers will not be created from rural communities. These communities have been destroyed by factory farming. 21st century farmers will come from the inner city.” - WIl Allen
Growing power has a Twitter account which I will follow. I’ll also reach out to Will Allen via email directly, encouraging him to use Twitter to share his efforts.
Looking forward to this growing season in Wisconsin, I’ve chosen to upgrade an urban park, 220 acres of underutilized forest and mowed grass. I’d like to implement a Will Allen strategy to involve community, then expand with my own vision of a recreational green-space ecosystem: (orchard, martial-arts grove, Disc Golf course, labyrinths, community earth oven, mosquito-free zone)
If you were in charge of a 220 acre park, what would you build to involve community? What would people do in your park?