A question from Michael Carriere as raw material for his Milwaukee ag book.

How would you describe Will Allen’s influence on what you did with Sweet Water?

[I hope this inspires others to share stories of Will and Growing Power team with a widening conversation circle, culminating at the 2019 Grohmann Museum presentation on Milwaukee’s Urban agriculture story. My answer to the above question which Michael Carrier posed, and yours (!), may become part of an excellent book I can imagine Michael and all of us producing. I can also Imagine uploading your responses to The Growing Power page at the Milwaukee Renaissance.


Will Allen was the direct inspiration for my work at Sweetwater. In the four years prior to Sweetwater’s emergence in 2009 I was on the board of Growing Power and was committed to institutionalizing the Charisma of big Will Allen.

I harvested the power of my Milwaukee Renaissance Online Wiki magazine and movement resource to spread the good news about Will on the local, Regional, and National level.

Will used to call me Wiki man and he was very grateful for the large number of people my digital Outreach work brought to his tours, and the connections I helped with people who brought great resources to Growing Power, like Emmanuel Pratt and the State Department’s Michael Macy.

I told Will at the get-go that I would take a try at becoming his John Stockton if he would be my Karl Malone. And it worked!

Will’s composting brilliance enabled me to grow soil in a backyard compost experiment involving hundreds of pounds of fruit and vegetable and eggshell and carrot peelings harvested for about 3 years from Sendik’s on Downer, Beans & Barley on North Avenue, Lakefront beer, Alterra on Humboldt, and the Milwaukee Department of Public Works and my neighbors at the Gods Hill City farm , which was the first name 4325 East Euclid experiments.

When my partner at Community Roofing, Josh Fraundorf, learned about what I was doing he let me know that his wife Jamie was very interested in the concept of introducing composting and vermiculture like I was doing with Will’s inspiration at my house, into her school curriculum. We bought $75 worth of Wills compost material and made a small garden on a concrete slab right next to ghe Fraundorf backyard in place of a driveway there. Josh and Jamie then planted vegetables and tomatoes, with the tomatoes being judged the tastiest juiciest Tomatoes thdir large Clan which has Farm background had ever tasted.

This led to my arranging for Josh and one of his business partner Steve Linder to visit Growing Power and see the miracle. During that visit Steve Linder became the first person to really hear the implications of Wills stating that he got $5 per tilapia and
imagine starting an aquaponic project at a building he owned that had a sunken Railway bed that could be turned into three 10000 gallon underground fish tanks.

He and Josh also were impressed with people online stating that the real money in aquaponics comes from the plants the fish fertilizer produces.

To be continued

Last edited by Godsil.   Page last modified on February 10, 2018

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