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Bay View Food Guild

The owners of Alterra, Svens, Wild Flower Bakery, Honey Pie,
for starters, have signed on to explore the concept of a
Bay View Food Guild.

A Bay View Food Guild would afford the participants in this
increasingly important community industry a chance to
meet one another and explore “mighty collaborations” to
advance our common aims and community commerce.

Anyone thinking about growing food in their community gardens,
backyard farms, edible playgrounds, faith community or company plots
would be eligible to partipate.

Anyone with organizing without organizations skills, or people
in the food industries, restaurants, grocedry stores, and pubs of Bay View,

 are eligible as well.

I wonder if we should make anyone who eats a possible member
and contributor of a Bay View Food Guild.

Improving Our Social Practice

We can all do better by our neighbors, community…our family…
Our selves!

Bay View is on the road to become one of the most participatory
and possibly prosperous communities in Milwaukee and beyond.

The food industry will become an even more vital part of our lives,
both in our “industry, i.e. work” that creates “use value,” i.e.
good stuff the tax man don’t grab any of…the barter or informal economy,
as well as in the formal economy of commodities, taxes, and “exchange value.”

Sign on up and let’s explore even better collaborations than over the past 8 years,
which have been stunning!

Godsil

“Wall Street Journal” Features Sweet Water Story

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703950804575242594125593702.html

Sweet Water Fish: Fine Food For Our Beautiful Brains

The Claim: Fish Is Brain Food

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/03/health/03real.html

Fish Oil Supplementation and Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome: A New Study

http://www.naturalnews.com/008003.html

“Huffington Post’s” Kerry Trueman On Milwaukee’s Arugula as Birthright Project

Entire article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kerry-trueman/rachael-rays-radical-evoo_b_573374.html.

But we live in such a bizarrely partisan era that a humble salad green like arugula has become shorthand for supposed liberal lunacy. James Godsil, the Milwaukee mover and shaker behind the awesome urban ag project Sweet Water Organics and [former] Growing Power board member, is on a mission to rescue arugula, aka “rocket,” as it’s known in Europe, from its current status as a symbol of all things socialist and restore it to its rightful place on our plates, regardless of region or social status. As he wrote on the Milwaukee Renaissance website:

It is a stupefying fact that our president was mocked for sharing his love of arugula.

Godsil’s “Arugula as Birthright” campaign seeks to get kids all over the country psyched about growing, and savoring, fresh salad greens, while also learning invaluable lessons:

Imagine a school with a principal and one teacher committed to affording each and every student a taste, for starters, regular tastes eventually, and growing classes, ultimately, of arugula and spinach.

Then imagine a school with a composting and vermiculture program that gave our students a chance to learn about turning urban waste streams into the world’s most nutrient-rich soil, and then some hands on experience in science, math, biology, chemistry, and construction, creating raised bed gardens, even hoop houses, for their school edible playgrounds.

We need grassroots activists with Godsil’s vision and passion, we need celebrities like Ray who is willing to use her star wattage to turn up the heat on Congress, and we need politicians like Gillibrand, a mother of young children who appears willing to challenge our long-entrenched Iowa-based cornarchy.

To to see Ray bounding through the Beltway demanding that our politicians start showing true family values by allocating more money to give our kids better food is a dream come true for me.

Will Agribiz astroturfers accuse her of treason for conspiring in a a terroirist plot—with a Brit, no less—to foist fresh, healthy foods on America’s youth?

When Oliver appeared on Ray’s show recently to talk about ‘his’ Food Revolution and his desire to support Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, Ray told Oliver:

No matter where your representatives or your congress people are from, this is something we all care about as a country, and we’re not asking, we’re demanding change!

I was duly impressed by her genuine enthusiasm for the First Lady’s endeavor, and I also applauded her for enlisting the resources of her non-profit Yum-O! and the powerful platform of the Rachael Ray show to reward one of my own personal heroes, Pressure Cooker star Wilma Stephenson.

But I had no idea Ray would put her money where her self-proclaimed “big Sicilian mouth” is. Will wonders never cease? Let’s give Ray a shout-out, and while we’re at it, let’s let Senator Gillibrand know we’re thankful for her efforts as a member of the Ag Committee to bring “specialty crops” out of left field. And speaking of bringing greens out of left field, won’t you please join James Godsil in his quest to stop shameless partisans from soiling arugula’s reputation? Please email him at godsil.james@gmail.com if you share his conviction that arugula should be a uniter, not a divider.

Entire article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kerry-trueman/rachael-rays-radical-evoo_b_573374.html.

Follow Kerry Trueman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kerrytrueman

The Rise of Company Gardens

By KIM SEVERSON
Published: May 11, 2010 New York Times

HERE at the world headquarters of PepsiCo, the masterminds behind $60 billion worth of Mountain Dew, Cheetos and Rice-A-Roni roam polished hallways.

But a five-minute walk away is the organic corporate vegetable garden, where spreadsheets and performance reviews give way to basil starts and black peppermint plants. Employees can sneak out for a quick lunchtime weeding session and cart home the harvest.

As companies have less to spend on raises, health benefits and passes to the water park, a fashionable new perk is emerging: all the carrots and zucchini employees can grow.
Read the rest at the New York Times
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Jan Christensen’s Mother’s Day Proclamation Milwaukee 2010

An Updating of Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870.’‘

You may remember Julia Ward Howe as the author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. She was also a major force behind the creation of Mother’s Day. Her 1870 Proclamation addressed the horrors of the Franco-Prussian War, and envisioned a Mother’s Day of Peace – a long way from the Hallmark holiday we celebrate today.

However, her Proclamation might also address the “Gang War” mentality we are facing in our city today. With a few minor changes that I have humbly undertaken with all apologies to Mrs. Howe, let me present an updated…

Mother’s Day Proclamation – Milwaukee, 2010
Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears!

Say firmly: “We will not have questions of life or death decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands and lovers shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one neighborhood will be too tender of those of another to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the devastated earth herself, a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Disarm, Disarm!”

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood will not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken their work and their homes to take to violence in the streets, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let us meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let us solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Gang but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of race or social class may be appointed. Let it be held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of all people in our land, the amicable settlement of questions of wealth and education, guns and crime and violence, the great and general interests of peace.
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Cooperativas

I would be happy to cultivate an entrepreneurial perspective for the black gold circles the Worm Man could set up with the people. For example, we create 500 dollar bags of black gold while talking about

  • turning wastes into resources

  • protecting our waters from the methane gas caused by fruit veggie wastes in anaerobic land fills

  • talking about the power and elegance of nature’s ways, wherein compost becomes food for worms which become food for fish which become food for people

  • talking about self reliance and community crafting with various Sweet Water projects

  • talking about enlisting the black gold packagers into the entrepreneurial challenge of selling our product, with them getting some appropriate percentage of the gross sales, depending the “value of their labor power contribution embodied in the fruits of the labor.”

  • talking about helping schools help families learn to compost, raise worms, develop raised bed gardens, and, for the most talented 10 per cent, creating basement, garage, or backyard hoop house aquaponic systems for family and neighborhood protein and green sourcing

  • little red hen principles, e.g. you bag the gold, sell it, and competently handle the money, and you get an appropriate percentage of it, according to the value you have given the process. If you bag the gold you get this, if you bag the gold but also sell it, you get that. If you organize a family team to help you, the SWF gets this for providing the materials and the training and the good will embodied in the brand, and you and your team or family get that for processing the gold from large wholesale bags into attractive, inspiring packets that include face to face and label instruction we develop as we go.

  • Muneer and his youth team and the Ladies Radulovich develop glorious containers for the worms who are happy to be to new homes through our work along little red hen principles as well.

Mother Nature loves enterprising sons and daughters!

Independence with community!

Gardening Angels of Detroit Sparked a New American Dream

Requiem for Detroit?
By Grace Lee Boggs

Requiem for Detroit? aired March 13 on BBC2. But I didn’t view it until last week when I received the DVD (with a thank you note) from Julien Temple, the director, and George Hencken, the Films of Record producer.

In 1960 Edward R. Murrow’s Harvest of Shame was a turning point in American consciousness because it forced us to recognize that the food we enjoy is picked by migrant agricultural workers living and working under unspeakable conditions.

Requiem for Detroit? can play a similar role in this period of transition from an increasingly destructive industrial culture. The documentary makes very clear that Detroit’s notorious devastation is not a natural disaster but a man-made Katrina, the inevitable result of illusions and contradictions in our insane 20th century pursuit of unlimited economic growth. We witness autoworkers reduced to robots to produce Henry Ford’s Model Ts, and then struggling to reclaim their humanity by sitdown strikes and battling Ford’s goons at the overpass. We meet southern blacks who relish the “freedom” of Northern cities but also experience the racial tensions that exploded in 1943 and 1967. Cars that grow the profits of the auto industry speed by on freeways which destroy neighborhoods to provide escape routes to the suburbs. Neighborhoods are turned into war zones as the drug trade replaces jobs that have been exported overseas.

This documentary is the Odyssey of how a mode of production and transportation, once celebrated as the height of human creativity, morphed into a dehumanizing consumerism at the expense of human beings and other living things.

A number of Detroiters, black and white, comment throughout. But the only named cast members are white-bearded John Sinclair, poet, former MC5 manager and White Panther Party leader; Martha Reeves, Motown’s earthy, gospel-infused singing star; Heidelberg Project community artist Tyree Guyton; and me.

John Sinclair recalls the glories of the last century as he drives through disintegrating neighborhoods. An exuberant Martha Reeves helps us understand how the distinctive Motown sound emerged from the “this is my country” euphoria of blacks who had left behind them the sharecropping and lynching culture of the South. Tyree Guyton explains that he created the Heidelberg Project to depict the destruction of his neighborhood. He also describes today’s rising hope as neither a white or black thing but “I” becoming “We.”

My closing comments make clear that the new American Dream emerging in Detroit is a deeply-rooted spiritual and practical response to the devastation and dehumanization created by the old dream. We yearn to live more simply so that all of us and the Earth can simply live. This more human dream began with African American elders, calling themselves the Gardening Angels. Detroit’s vacant lots, they decided, were not blight but heaven-sent spaces to plant community gardens, both to grow our own food and to give urban youth the sense of process, self-reliance and evolution that everyone needs to be human.

That’s why growing numbers of artists and young people are coming to Detroit. They want to be part of building a Detroit-City of Hope that grows our souls rather than our cars.

I hope ¿Requiem for Detroit? will be shown at the 2nd USSF meeting in Detroit June 22–26. It is the story behind the USSF mantra: Another World is Necessary. Another World is Possible. Another World is happening in Detroit!

Viewing it can help Detroit’s mainstream media become less shallow. It can deepen the imagination of the new generation of media makers attending the annual Allied Media Conference which precedes the USSF. These young people need this deepened imagination to do justice to the present escalating struggle between the Bings and Bobbs, scheming to gentrify Detroit by closing down neighborhood schools, and grassroots Detroiters who are organizing not only to save our schools but to bring the neighbor back into the ‘hood by inventing new forms of education that motivate schoolchildren to learn through community-building activities.

For more about ¿Requiem for Detroit?

www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/mar/10/detroit-motor-city-urban-decline
www.filmsofrecord.com/content.php?id=138
www.imdb.com/title/tt1572190/

=======

Guardian Angels of Detroit Sparked a New American Dream

Requiem for Detroit?
By Grace Lee Boggs

Requiem for Detroit? aired March 13 on BBC2. But I didn’t view it until last week when I received the DVD (with a thank you note) from Julien Temple, the director, and George Hencken, the Films of Record producer.

In 1960 Edward R. Murrow’s Harvest of Shame was a turning point in American consciousness because it forced us to recognize that the food we enjoy is picked by migrant agricultural workers living and working under unspeakable conditions.

Requiem for Detroit? can play a similar role in this period of transition from an increasingly destructive industrial culture. The documentary makes very clear that Detroit’s notorious devastation is not a natural disaster but a man-made Katrina, the inevitable result of illusions and contradictions in our insane 20th century pursuit of unlimited economic growth. We witness autoworkers reduced to robots to produce Henry Ford’s Model Ts, and then struggling to reclaim their humanity by sitdown strikes and battling Ford’s goons at the overpass. We meet southern blacks who relish the “freedom” of Northern cities but also experience the racial tensions that exploded in 1943 and 1967. Cars that grow the profits of the auto industry speed by on freeways which destroy neighborhoods to provide escape routes to the suburbs. Neighborhoods are turned into war zones as the drug trade replaces jobs that have been exported overseas.

This documentary is the Odyssey of how a mode of production and transportation, once celebrated as the height of human creativity, morphed into a dehumanizing consumerism at the expense of human beings and other living things.

A number of Detroiters, black and white, comment throughout. But the only named cast members are white-bearded John Sinclair, poet, former MC5 manager and White Panther Party leader; Martha Reeves, Motown’s earthy, gospel-infused singing star; Heidelberg Project community artist Tyree Guyton; and me.

John Sinclair recalls the glories of the last century as he drives through disintegrating neighborhoods. An exuberant Martha Reeves helps us understand how the distinctive Motown sound emerged from the “this is my country” euphoria of blacks who had left behind them the sharecropping and lynching culture of the South. Tyree Guyton explains that he created the Heidelberg Project to depict the destruction of his neighborhood. He also describes today’s rising hope as neither a white or black thing but “I” becoming “We.”

My closing comments make clear that the new American Dream emerging in Detroit is a deeply-rooted spiritual and practical response to the devastation and dehumanization created by the old dream. We yearn to live more simply so that all of us and the Earth can simply live. This more human dream began with African American elders, calling themselves the Gardening Angels. Detroit’s vacant lots, they decided, were not blight but heaven-sent spaces to plant community gardens, both to grow our own food and to give urban youth the sense of process, self-reliance and evolution that everyone needs to be human.

That’s why growing numbers of artists and young people are coming to Detroit. They want to be part of building a Detroit-City of Hope that grows our souls rather than our cars.

I hope ¿Requiem for Detroit? will be shown at the 2nd USSF meeting in Detroit June 22–26. It is the story behind the USSF mantra: Another World is Necessary. Another World is Possible. Another World is happening in Detroit!

Viewing it can help Detroit’s mainstream media become less shallow. It can deepen the imagination of the new generation of media makers attending the annual Allied Media Conference which precedes the USSF. These young people need this deepened imagination to do justice to the present escalating struggle between the Bings and Bobbs, scheming to gentrify Detroit by closing down neighborhood schools, and grassroots Detroiters who are organizing not only to save our schools but to bring the neighbor back into the ‘hood by inventing new forms of education that motivate schoolchildren to learn through community-building activities.

For more about ¿Requiem for Detroit?

www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/mar/10/detroit-motor-city-urban-decline
www.filmsofrecord.com/content.php?id=138
www.imdb.com/title/tt1572190/

>>>>>>>

Most Recent Pictures of Sweet Water Organics

by Allen Washatko AIA
Co-Founder
The Kubala Washatko Architects

Become a Neighborhood Worm Store

Sweet Water Organics provides you with $50 of red wriggler worms, you retail them for $100, return $50. Or, you assemble arugula pot ingredients worth $50, and sell for $125. A nice family project or fund raising project for schools, faith communities, and associations! To brainstorm write godsil.james@gmail.com.


Share Your Project As Soap Box Orator At May Day Hide House Event

Along with

  • Sufi Poetry Performances by Karen Kolberg and Sky Schultz

  • Remix! Hip House Dance company

  • Embedded Reporter Music

  • Youth Haiti Presentation

Dear All,

Part of the May Day Bay View Hide House Community Garden Work Celebrations in the evening will be…

Soap Box Moments at the Hide House

This will occur during the Haiti Benefit part of the evening, from 5:30 to 7:30, which will also include music, dance, and Sufi poetry(more on that to come)

I have been given 15 minutes to devote to the Soap Box Moments piece.

If you would like to give a 2 minute soap box oration about your project, practice, or family business, send me a line. Godsil.james@gmail.com

Godsil

Tasting Rocket Vegetables: A Birthright For Our Students

Dear All,

Does it not make sense to advance the vision of each and every one of our students
experiencing the taste and healthy power available were some potted arugula, lettuce,
and spinach plants somehow available to them through a classroom experience?

It is a stupefying fact that our president was mocked for sharing his love of arugula.

It is a sad fact that most of the nation to date has not had the benefit of tasting fresh grown “rocket vegetables” like arugula, spinach, and lettuces of the kind grown by our local farmers and, increasingly, urban gardeners.

Imagine a school with a principal and one teacher committed to affording each and every student a taste, for starters, regular tastes eventually, and growing classes, ultimately,of arugula and spinach.

Then imagine a school with a composting and vermiculture program that gave our students a chance to learn about turning urban waste streams into the world’s most nutrient rich soil, and then some hands on experience in science, math, biology, chemistry, and construction, creating raised bed gardens, even hoop houses, for their school edible playgrounds.

Please send me a note if you would be up for brainstorming the concepts. godsil.james@gmail.com

  • Rocket vegetables as birthright

  • Veggies, jobs, health care, and hands-on education

Olde

Seek Households for Arugula Experiment

I have 25 pots of arugula to deliver to households that are in my Bay View, River West, Brewers Hill, Harambee, or Eastside travel rounds.

Or, you can pick them up at some Riverwest drop off point.

For barter or a fair price.

Barter could include a certain amount of entries into Milwaukee’s arugula journal or a certain amount of effort inspiring neighbors, especially young people, to try a taste of arugula direct from your potted arugula plant.

Were you to inspire a school teacher to develop a worm bin, raspberry patch, and arugula garden at a local school, I am frightened by how much bounty would come your way from the Sweet Water sweet ones.

Life is very different when one can go out into the backyard and pick some arugula for a sandwich or salad.

What a nation we will become when arugula and/or wheat grass are substituted for cigarettes and potato chips.

WANTED:

Children who would like to share the stage as fluttering butterflies, or as prairie habitat prop movers, as part of a short musical interlude honoring the Monarch Trail during Sierra Club’s Earth Day Celebration on Thursday, April 22nd at the lakefront. Music will be primarily from an excerpt of the opera overture of Madam Butterfly, about two minutes in length.

If interested, contact Janine Arseneau at: janinea@execpc.com — no later than April 12th. The butterfly movement piece requires no experience. This is an excellent way for a child—relative or friend—to actively participate in a nature-centered event in a community setting.

For more information, go to greatwatersgroup.org or contact Dianne Dagelen at: dagelen@sbcglobal.net

Thanks, Dianne

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Consider Volunteering With the Sweet Water Foundation

The newly established Sweet Water Foundation, God willing, aims to work with…

  • the Inland Seas School for Expeditionary Learning
  • the Wisconsin African American Women’s Association
  • the National Association of Black Veterans
  • Journey House
  • The Scooter Foundation
  • Honey Creek School
  • The “Nigella Commons” Community Garden Project In Harambe
  • more to come

to advance…

  • community gardens
  • family backyard and front yard gardens
  • vermiculture soil growing projects
  • edible playgrounds, i.e. a worm bin and raspberry patch in each and every school!
  • small scale aquaponic projects

Sweet Water Foundation’s(SWF) mission is committed to the rebirth of sustainable living by transforming waste into resources for self-reliance, healthy families, and environmentally conscious communities. The foundation’s goals are to enhance the quality of life in the area by:

  1. Advancement of urban farming, aquaculture, and vermiculture principles through education.

  2. Turning waste into resources and increasing the use of sustainable farming practices.

  3. Strengthening the community and environment

Milwaukee is becoming a top urban agriculture/aquaponics city of the nation.

These projects advance self reliance and community development.

Volunteers will learn many new skills, meet good people, and please Mother Nature.

Send me an e-mail if interested in applying for a volunteer position.

 “James Godsil” <godsil.james@gmail.com>,

Grateful,

Godsil, co-founder
Sweet Water Foundation

Restoring Urban Economies Through Urban Agriculture Micro Loans

We in Wisconsin have a chance to influence the agenda for our upcoming gubernatorial elections. I would very much appreciate responses to this first draft on micro loans, as well as other positions we might suggest our candidates develop to advance our movement.

Urban agriculture contains important seeds for the renewal of local urban economies.
A small amount of financial support can spark a considerable amount of wealth, including:

  • nutritious, delicious food to replace processed food of less quality and adverse health implications
  • reduced health care costs via physical exercise and outdoor experience for young and old
  • the acquisition of skills and understandings of value for other work situations, e.g. self reliance
  • entrepreneurial experience for that percentage of gardeners who trade or market their product
  • occasions of neighborliness and association building that sparks exchanges of

a wide variety, e.g. child care, errand runs, community building information exchange,
handyman connections

  • neighborhood beauty, reduced crime and vandalism, and increased property values

Micro Loans for Green Work, Jobs, Careers, and Family Enterprise

Small start-up loans for home and community gardening would be far reaching for the generation of a variety of “capital,” e.g. healthier, happier, and more vigorous people, money from the sale of food and gardening services, social connections that advance career development, family businesses, and neighborhood safety, cultural capital from hard won
insights into the bounty of nature for those who steward the land and husband resources.

Loans as small as $300 could provide the start-up capital for the “hardware” required, e.g. compost, seeds, water, and tools for persons and/or families already equipped with gardening know-how. For those in need of training, $500 could cover the cost of the hardware and the “software,” including workshops and courses, as well as on-site visits by professional urban agriculture educators. A considerable amount of the cost of software could be avoided by the growing number of “victory gardeners” eager to be of service to their fellow citizens.

A Recruitment Process to Enhance Prospects for Success

The Little Red Hen Principle Applied. The limited funds for urban agriculture micro loans would go further if great care is given in choosing who merits such loans. Persons and families with track records of hard work and community service should be the initial recipients. The numerous garden and vermilculture demonstrations recently initiated in a number of our schools, spiritual communities, day care centers, and associations could become partners in the selection process. Loans could be offered to those who have shown interest and aptitude in their volunteer work in these projects, and perhaps in other public interest projects of their respective organizations.

Urban Agriculture Micro Loans for Contributing Parents and Teachers

Would it not be right and proper to encourage the providers of
urban agriculture micro loans from $300 to $600 to place at the
front of the line parents and teachers at our schools who blaze
trails developing edible schoolgrounds and hands-on science,
math, biology, and homemaking urban agriculture/aquaponic
projects?

Outcome Analysis for Upscaling the Enterprise. Micro loans from $300 to $500 for the first year could be considerably increased for years 2 and 3 by simple measures of outcomes, that would include not only the amount of produce grown per dollar spent, but also the amount of enterprise sparked by the initial loan, e.g. recipients whose work stimulated a number of other successful participants.

to be continued

Grateful,

James Godsil, co-founder
Sweet Water Organics
Sweet Water Organics Foundation
http://sweetwater-organic.com/blog/



Community Scaled Manufacturing and ®Evolutionary Urban Farming

In Defense Of Manufacturing

By Grace Lee Boggs

In this article Michelle Lin projects an unconventional approach to manufacturing that can help revive our cities. A graduate student in Landscape Architecture and City Planning at the University of Pennsylvania, Michelle plans to return to Detroit after she completes her studies. --- Grace Lee Boggs

Manufacturing can save our cities. We should not view it only as dying. Instead, we must rethink it within a “community-scaled” framework that produces products, jobs, skills, relationships, and stronger neighborhoods.

The familiar narrative about manufacturing in the U.S. begins at the turn of the 20th century. Manufacturing gave us prosperity. It gave us global economic power. It created a robust middle class. It ramped up at unprecedented scales to meet the demands of mass consumption, particularly in the automobile industry. Cities like Detroit (“Arsenal of Democracy”) and Philadelphia (“Workshop of the World”) were hailed as success stories of the Industrial Revolution.

This revolution did not last forever. Deindustrialization began in the post World War II years. With automation the number of workers required on the line declined significantly. As the labor movement grew in strength, companies left for the suburbs. Today corporate urban flight extends overseas, and the bastions of American industry struggle with the devastating effects of disinvestment and rising unemployment rates.

Economic development solutions for de-industrialized cities often fall into two categories. The first looks at the physical conditions of thousands of derelict buildings sitting idly across the landscape and devises programs that rehabilitate neglected industrial buildings for commercial or residential uses. e.g. former factories are converted into luxury condos. The second approach focuses on job creation by building a “knowledge-based” economy. Advances in digital technologies have sped up globalization, placing a premium on jobs in this sector. To become a “knowledge city,” cities invest in research institutions that develop technological innovations in science and engineering. Advocates believe that cities with a strong knowledge economy will increase their global competitive edge.

These prevailing approaches do not leave much room for viewing manufacturing as part of the equation for urban revitalization. Should every abandoned factory become high-end residential lofts? Is the knowledge economy the panacea for all de-industrialized cities? Only if manufacturing is caricatured as an industry encumbered with union lobbyists or associated with a dying era, one that should step aside for the Information Age.

A Brooklyn-based non-profit is demonstrating the viability of community-scaled manufacturing. Through the acquisition, rehabilitation, and management of neglected industrial spaces, Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center has transformed six properties into top-rate facilities. These buildings mainly house custom-made artisanal operations, like woodworkers, upholsterers, and fabricators. Over 100 businesses reside in GMDC’s buildings, supporting over 500 workers. The majority of employees are residents from the surrounding neighborhood, showing that community-scaled manufacturing can deter fears of gentrification and displacement.

Economist E.F. Schumacher said, “If you get too many useful machines, you will get too many useless people.” By encouraging the reuse of supposedly obsolete industrial infrastructure, community-scaled manufacturing is a place-based strategy that roots manufacturers in their local areas. It addresses workforce development concerns about the lack of skilled workers. The apprentice-style education provides a way for people to discover and develop their own abilities.

Thus manufacturing becomes a step towards broadening hands-on opportunities for many people. Jobs in trade and craft are good skills; community-scaled manufacturing recovers the societal value of jobs in which people make things. Its inherent small-scale demands a localized economy and has the capacity to advance craftsmanship, promote education, and build stronger communities.

Manufacturing can, should, and is taking place in our cities. More communities are recognizing the need to localize goods and services. The local food security movement reflects this understanding. Community-scaled manufacturing can realize similar outcomes. It has the ability to bring the consumer closer to the producer, decrease the ecological footprint of manufacturing, improve local economies, and encourage self-sufficiency. We can let go of the old way of manufacturing – its polluting factories and menial labor – and embrace the future of community-scaled manufacturing. Which will be the city that gives its children…

®Evolutionary Urban Farming and Community Scaled Manufacturing

The day after this article appeared in the Midwest Airline in-flight magazine…

http://www.mymidwestmagazine.com/2010/03/01/projected-growth/

A congressman from Kansas City called inspired by the piece to seek a visit
in hopes that we would help him replicate SW in his home city.

And he will probably be even more inspired if community scaled manufacturing is coupled with urban revolutionary farms in old factory complexes.

One Worm Bin and 3 Raspberry Bushes for Each and Every School

The White Fish Bay Earth Club is reaching out to the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” coordinatorsin every D.C. federal office involved, hoping they will help connect us with the local federal offices “Let’s Move” coordinators.

How about we see how long it takes to install one worm bin and 3 raspberry bushes
for each and every school.

I suspect I could convince the Sweet Water Foundation to provide the funds necessary for, say, 250 worms per school for starters.

The Inland Seas School for Expeditionary Learning is working with Julia Swanson and Anushka Peck to develop worm bins that are attractice and functional, i.e. the Ladies Radulovich Worm Spas.

Bohdan’s Nedlisky’s New Horizon School in Shorewood has students already helping grow worms at Sweet Water Organics.

Sharing the Transaction Costs

It’s connecting with the schools with these offerings that’s the big ticket item.

Might anyone be up for helping find one teacher at each and every school who would
help oversea these worms and these raspberry bushes?

Grateful,

Godsil, co-founder
Sweet Water Organics(SWO)
SWO Worm Man

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Roadside Culture Stands

The concept intrigued me, but when I finally saw the first Roadside Culture Stand its appeal was clear. It looked cute from a distance and downright magnetic when stocked with veggies and cool art. Hook it up to your trusty steed and go. (A pick-up truck works well, too.) Set it up at a festival in the city of near a state park in the countryside. It looked…..well………..fun!

In southwest Wisconsin we get into discussions about locally-produced food, art and the like appealing to the same folks. It’s not all academic, these deliberations happen at tourism and economic development meetings. If we want folks to visit, what are those “clusters” of things they might enjoy?

The folks at the Wormfarm Institute have been on to elements of this dialogue for some time, as their mission is dedicated to integrating culture and agriculture. Their website notes that they are “….an evolving laboratory of the arts and ecology and fertile ground for creative work. Planting a seed, cultivating, reaping what you sow . . . both farmer and artist have these activities in common”. So it’s a natch that they would come up with the culture stand idea.

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on September 23, 2010, at 11:32 AM

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