21st Century Milwaukee Helps the World Feed Itself

Not Vast Wheat Farms But Square Foot Backyard/Rooftop Worm Depositories & Food Gardens

19th century Milwaukee may have been the port
From which went forth more wheat to the wider world
From the Great Plains and Great Midwest
Than from any port heretofore in the history of humanity.

There is a lovely poster with a beautiful women
Casting wheat to the world entitled…
“Milwaukee Feeds the World.”

Perhaps the image for the 21st Century
Which may find Milwaukee helping the world’s cities
And their immediate water basins and bio-regions
Re-learning how to feed themselves…

With the help of worms and radiant waste,
Growing the finest soil for the healthiest plants,
Animals, and Humans,
Growing backyard mini-farms, community gardens,
City farmers, and liberating convivial communities.
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Strategies to Mobilize the Food Justice Communities

Hello all 2000 COMFOODers,

Next Tuesday, 20–30 of our county community leaders are convening in a half-day “think tank” on how to step up mobilization for food justice in our county (Tompkins County, NY, which includes Ithaca). I’m warming us up with a short presentation on strategies other communities have used.

I would love feedback on or additions to my short list of categories, below (drawn in large part from Winne’s Closing the Food Gap book). For some I’ve had to select from many examples, though some are ideas that I haven’t yet found fleshed out. (I’ve copied and pasted all the online references from my current presentation draft below, for those who want to follow links.) I welcome suggestions on examples too!

For those comments made in reply just to me, I’ll compile responses for this list.

  1. Community gardens (e.g, Rochester Roots, The Food Project, SF Victory Gardens 2008+)
  2. Farmers’ markets (e.g., traveling EBT machines - general availability/accessibility/appropriateness strategies)
  3. Foods at school and other child programs (e.g., Market Basket by Growing Power, New North Florida Cooperative for supplying schools)
  4. Re-storing food deserts (e.g., Capital District Community Gardens’ Veggie Mobile)
  5. Community supported agriculture (general availability/accessibility/appropriateness strategies)
  6. Food Policy Councils (e.g., Hartford Food Advisory Commission, Portland/Multnomah Food Policy Council)
  7. Local Networking & Knowledge (e.g., public awareness raising/education such as http://foodsys.cce.cornell.edu/ or our local food bank system’s Hunger 101 experience/course; traditional skills education; instructional gardens; neighborly cooking co-ops - though I don’t know of any models for that last one)
  8. “Glocal” Networking & Advocacy (e.g., Rooted in Community Network, Growing Food and Justice for All - whose first meeting is in Sept in Milwaukee)

Thank you!
Christine

[As a side note, this ‘food justice think tank’ happens to be the same day that SF breaks ground on their city hall victory garden. In a funny confluence, Raj Patel (author of Stuffed & Starved) mentioned this garden and the associated food policy council when a fellow audience member in a talk he gave here asked for beacons of hope, and this gave me the idea to organize this meeting in the first place. I just realized though I didn’t know it was going to be on the same day.]

Some of the Resources Mentioned
Rochester Roots: www.rochesterroots.org
The Food Project: www.thefoodproject.org
San Fran 2008+ Victory Gardens: www.sfvictorygardens.org
Growing Power’s market basket: www.growingpower.org click Market Basket
Cornell Farm to School: http://farmtoschool.cce.cornell.edu & www.farmtoschool.org
USDA Fruit and Veg Program: www.fns.usda.gov search on FFVP
NY Coalition for Healthy Lunch: www.healthylunches.org
Capital District Veggie Mobile: http://cdcg.org/VeggieMobile.html
Harford Food System and Food Advisory Commission: www.hartfordfood.org
Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council: www.portlandonline.com/OSD/index.cfm?c=eccja
NYState Food Policy Council: www.agmkt.state.ny.us/foodpolicycouncil.html
Key but casual info on food policy councils: www.goldenapplepress.com/node/59
Discovering the Food System curriculum: http://foodsys.cce.cornell.edu/
Rooted in Community National Network: www.rootedincommunity.org
Growing Power’s Food and Justice for All National: www.growingpower.org/new_page_6.htm
Global Communications Network For Justice: www.globalnetwork4justice.org
Tompkins County United Way Compass II Reports: www.uwtc.org/program_compass.htm
TC Roundtable on Hunger Report 2004: www.communityfoundationoftc.org/library/documents/10-26-04FINALExSumHUNGER.doc
Food Bank of the Southern Tier Hunger Report: www.foodbankst.org/usr/hunger%20study%20highlights.pdf
Tompkins County School and Community Garden listserv: email Shira to sign up wcproject@cornell.edu.
Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty book by Mark Winne, 2008
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The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart

of the City, Reviewed and discussed here:

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/06/23/the-urban-homestead.html

“a delightfully readable and very useful guide to front- and back-yard
vegetable gardening, food foraging, food preserving, chicken keeping,
and other useful skills for anyone interested in taking a more active
role in growing and preparing the food they eat. I learned a great
deal about composting, self-watering containers, mulching, raised bed
gardens, vermiculture (worm composting), and raising chickens by
reading this info-dense book.”
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Food Policy Councils for Cities *updated*

CFSC’s website on food policy councils: http://www.foodsecurity.org/FPC/.
San Francisco Food Systems group: http://www.sffoodsystems.org/
Oakland’s Food System Assessment: http://oaklandfoodsystem.pbwiki.com/
Oakland’s Food Policy Council: http://www.edibleeastbay.com/pages/articles/spring2007/pdfs/oakland.pdf
Emory University Sustainable Food Initiative: http://www.emory.edu/sustainability.cfm.
Sustainable Food Policy Project: http://www.sustainablefoodpolicy.org/
Community Farm Alliance in Kentucky: http://www.communityfarmalliance.org/
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T.V. Programs w. Celebrity Chefs Advancing Local and Organic

foodtv.com

Also…from Hilde Steffey

There was a recent article about celebrity chef Alton Brown from Good Eats on the Food Network bringing sustainability issues to the table in his show. (written by Roz Cummins, “Brown is the New Green”, Grist)… http://www.grist.org/advice/season/2008/06/19/

Also… from Marc Rumminger

Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill and Topalombamo in Chicago) talks a lot about his backyard garden on his multi-year PBS series “Mexico: One Plate at a Time.” On several shows he has given tips on growing tomatillos, chilies and other vegetables used in Mexican cooking. Over at the Epicurious blog last summer, he wrote a post about how he grows tomatoes on a rooftop (http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/blogs/editor/2007/08/frontera-grows-.html). He even gave a tour of his garden a few weeks ago (info is somewhere on the Time Out Chicago web site).

Also… from Scott Sawyer

http://www.grist.org/advice/season/2008/06/19/index.html
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Compost Tea Eliminates Need for Pesticides or Commecial Fertilizer

Thank you so much for your article “Genetic engineering – a crop of hyperbole” on June 18! I attended the biotech convention as I am working on a book about the food crises of the 21st century. I found the presenters of sessions on genetically modified crops mostly well-meaning but extremely short-sighted. As the article pointed out, they failed to consider the other tools we have to solve the problems farmers face (such as pests or drought) - tools that are time-tested, free, and already legal. For example, a farmer can use compost tea to protect crops from extreme temperatures, drought, pests, and disease while also enhancing a crop’s ability to obtain nutrients from the soil. By using compost tea, the farmer would not need to apply pesticide or commercial fertilizer, two major sources of pollution. This is no rejection of technology as it makes use of the most advanced microbiology available.

Jill Richardson
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Agroecological Strategies for Food Security

Folks – Agroecological strategies are extremely important for reducing poverty, eliminating food insecurity, and enhancing rural livelihoods – according to the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology, available at www.agassessment.org. This was a report by 400 scientists from around the world. Mary


Mary Hendrickson, Ph.D.

Extension Associate Professor

Department of Rural Sociology

Director, Food Circles Networking Project

Associate Director, Community Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture Program

200 Gentry Hall

University of Missouri

Columbia, MO 65211

Tele: 573–882–7463

Fax: 573–882–5127

Web: www.foodcircles.missouri.edu and www.foodandsocietyfellows.org
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The New Trophy Home, Small and Ecological

By FELICITY BARRINGER
Published: June 22, 2008

For the high-profile crowd that turned out to celebrate a new home in Venice, Calif., the attraction wasn’t just the company and the architectural detail. The house boasted the builders’ equivalent of a three-star Michelin rating: a LEED platinum certificate.

The actors John Cusack and Pierce Brosnan, with his wife, Keely Shaye Smith, a journalist, came last fall to see a house that the builders promised would “emit no harmful gases into the atmosphere,” “produce its own energy” and incorporate recycled materials, from concrete to countertops.

Behind the scenes were Tom Schey, a homebuilder in Santa Monica, and his business partner, Kelly Meyer, an environmentalist whose husband, Ron, is the president of Universal Studios. Ms. Meyer said their goal was to show that something energy-conscious “doesn’t have to look as if you got it off the bottom shelf of a health-food store.”

“It doesn’t have to smell like hemp,” she said.

That was probably a good thing. The four-bedroom house was for sale, with a $2.8 million asking price.

Its rating was built into that price. LEED — an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the hot designer label, and platinum is the badge of honor — the top classification given by the U.S. Green Building Council. “There’s kind of a green pride, like driving a Prius,” said Brenden McEneaney, a green building adviser to the city of Santa Monica, adding, “It’s spreading all over the place.”

Devised eight years ago for the commercial arena, the ratings now cover many things, including schools and retail interiors. But homes are the new frontier.

While other ratings are widely recognized, like the federal Energy Star for appliances, the LEED brand stands apart because of its four-level rankings — certified, silver, gold and platinum — and third-party verification. So far this year, 10,250 new home projects have registered for the council’s consideration, compared with 3,100 in 2006, the first year of the pilot home-rating system. Custom-built homes dominate the first batch of certified dwellings. Today, dinner-party bragging rights are likely to include: “Let me tell you about my tankless hot water heater.” Or “what’s the R value of your insulation?”

But if a platinum ranking is a Prada label for some, for others, it is a prickly hair shirt. Try asking buyers used to conspicuous consumption (a 12,000-square-foot house) to embrace conspicuous nonconsumption (say, 2,400 square feet for a small family). Or to earn points by recycling and weighing all their construction debris (be warned: a bathroom scale probably won’t cut it). The imperatives of comfort and eco-friendliness are not always in sync.

For instance, the Brosnans, environmental advocates who admired Ms. Meyer’s house, are now building a home of their own and “really want to do it green,” said David Hertz, their architect. Mr. Brosnan may adopt many environmentally sound building techniques, but he “is not going to live in a 2,400-square-foot home,” the architect said.

Mr. Hertz’s complaint goes beyond size. He says the rating system is rigid and cumbersome, something that has been heard across the country as green building slowly ceases to be a do-gooder’s hobby. The ratings are now woven into building codes in Los Angeles, Boston and Dallas. The federal government and many states and cities use LEED standards or the equivalent for their own buildings. The system is based on points earned for a variety of eco-friendly practices; builders choose among them, balancing the goals of cost control, design and high point totals.

Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia, not to mention Chicago, Cincinnati and Bar Harbor, Me., give tax incentives or other concessions, like expedited permitting or utility hookups, for construction that is up to the nonprofit council’s standards.

And “LEED-accredited professional” is a new occupational status.

Worries about climate change and rising energy costs are part of the equation: roughly 21 percent of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions come from homes; nearly 40 percent come from residential and commercial structures combined. As energy prices rise, the long-range economic value and short-range social cachet of green building are converging.

More than 1,500 commercial buildings and 684 homes have been certified but just 48 homes have received the platinum ranking, among them a four-bedroom home in Freeport, Me., as well as homes in Minneapolis; Callaway, Fla.; Dexter, Mich.; and Paterson, N.J. The checklist for certification can be more daunting than a private-school application, which prompts many to abandon the quest. Mr. Schey is not seeking LEED certification on his next home (though the project’s architect, Melinda Gray, is seeking it for hers).

Randy Udall, a builder in Colorado who wrote a piece critical of the process after building two accredited ski resort additions, said, “You’re happy when you’re released from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Abu Ghraib,” though he added, “You typically end up with a delightful building.”

One requirement for getting a home certified is hiring an on-site inspector approved by the council to test the new systems and help fill out the huge amount of paperwork, which is reviewed by the nonprofit council. The organization charges from $400 for a home to $22,500 for the largest buildings to register and certify costs.

Joel McKellar, a researcher with LS3P Associates, an architecture firm in Charleston, S.C., said that to earn credit for adequate natural light, “you have to calculate the area of the room, the area of the windows, how much visible transmittance of light there is.”

Michael Lehrer, who designed the platinum-rated Water + Life Museum complex in Hemet, outside Los Angeles, said, “They have mundane things in there that are pretty nonsensical and others things that are pretty profound.” He added, “At a time when everybody and their sister and brother are saying ‘We are green,’ it’s very important that these things be vetted in a credible way.”

To cope with the growing appetite for accreditation, the council this spring asked other agencies to help make LEED certifications. A new code, which addresses some of the criticisms, is at www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=1849.

Is LEED a useful selling tool? Offered with great fanfare last fall on eBay for $2.8 million, the Meyer/Schey home in Venice, which can be seen on their Web site, www.Project7ten.com got no bids at the time; it recently found a potential buyer, for $2.5 million.

But Maria Chao, an architect in Amherst, Mass., said her new home’s certification rating had meant instant recognition. “This is a small town,” Ms. Chao said. “When I mention I live in the house on Snell St., people say, ‘Oh, the green home.’ ”

Frances Anderton, a KCRW radio host and Los Angeles editor of Dwell magazine, longs for the day when LEED recognition is irrelevant. “Architects should be offering a green building service,” Ms. Anderton said, “without needing a badge of pride.”

Click here for original article complete with links.
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Home Neighborhood Where Kids Dramatically Safer

One time I designed a home neighborhood that had streets that were all dead end. In the Grand Commons were playgrounds, swimming pool, meeting rooms, reading room, volley ball, tennis and basketball courts, flower gardens, vegetable gardens, etc. In the front of all homes was the streets and behind all homes was the “commons” which connected to the “Grand Commons” connecting all the “commons”. No outlets so children could walk out their back door and be in the commons and meet other kids or go to the Grand Commons. Perfect safety. People walked, rode bikes, tricycles, etc. The only entrance to the commons was service vehicle gates which were locked at all times. Along one side of the development, facing the major road, would be offices, grocery, stores, etc [strip mall]. Entrance to them from the Grand Commons as well as the street side. Could not get anyone interested.

Ken Hargesheimer
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Milwaukee Inspires London International Food Conference

This is a letter by Ben Reynolds, organizer of the Growing Food For London international conference, inspired by visits to Growing Power sites in the U.S.A. and the Milwaukee International Urban Agriculture Conference to a NYT reporter…

Dear Tracie,

Suported by the US Embassy, we recently organised an exchange trip with Will Allen from Milwaukee, and took a group of parks, and food growing people from the UK to look at urban agriculture projects in the states. From this we’ve produced a report showcasing some of these US projects and how they compare with the work in the UK, identifying opportunities for moving this work forward. I attach a PDF of the report - which is also available here: http://www.sustainweb.org/page.php?id=431

The response to this report has been phenomenal, with interest all across the world, particularly from the states and Canada, but also Australia, Europe, and obviously the UK. We’re organising a conference on the 30th June (http://www.sustainweb.org/page.php?id=433), bringing together a line-up of interenational speakers, and we see it as a follow up to one that was organised in Milwaukee 2 months ago. Interestingly we’ve getting a lot of interest from architects and landscape designers (the conference is part of the London Festival of Architecture) - which means that the urban food growing movement is moving beyond just the socially-environmentally aware folk (beardy-weirdy’s we call them here!) and getting out to those who are drawing up the plans of the future.

This whole issue is really high up the media agenda in the UK at the moment, with rising fuel prices and rising food prices, many people see urban ag as part of the solution. We have 10 year waiting lists for some allotment sites in London, with thousands across the capital waiting for a plot, inspired by recent TV programmes by people like celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. One of the largest seed manufacturers in the UK has stated that sales of veg seed have overtaken flowers seed for the first time.

I’m not sure it will do loads to combat climate change (which is another motivation here amongst many), but I do think that it’s inevitable that we will see urban ag having a much higher profile in cities in the UK (and probably beyond) as a way of (particularly low income communities) coping with higher food prices particularly. But with no land, we’re going to have to think outside the box for growing spaces.

Let me know if you want to discuss this in any more detail.

Ben
____________________
Ben Reynolds
Network Director
Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming
94 White Lion Street
London, N1 9PF
Tel: 020 7837 1228
Fax: 020 7837 1141
Email: ben@sustainweb.org
Web: www.londonfoodlink.org
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London Conference Agenda

Chair - Kath Dalmeny, Sustain

9.30 – 9.40 Chair’s introduction

9.40 – 11.10 Session 1 – Setting the scene

  • Edible Cities: A report on visit to US Urban Agriculture projects – Colin Buttery, Royal Parks & Tony Leach, London Parks and Green Spaces Forum
  • Overview on urban agriculture - Dr Joe Nasr and Dr June Komisar, Ryerson University
  • Overview of urban agriculture issues in London’s urban fringe - Mark Holmes, ADAS a
  • Training talk - Jonathan Pettit, LANTRA
  • Panel with: Marielle Dubelling, RUAF; Andre Viljoen, Bohn & Viljoen Architects and Ben Reynolds, London Food Link

11.10 – 11.30 Tea break

11.30 – 13.00 Session 2 – Making growing economically viable

  • Overview on issues for farms in the green belt; recommendations to support fringe farmers - Terry Jones, NFU
  • Experiences of a fringe farmer - Peter Clarke, Kingcup Farm
  • Social enterprise as a way forward - Julie Brown, Growing Communities
  • Training talk - Jonathan Pettit, LANTRA
  • Panel with: Tully Wakeman, EAFL and Cheryl Cohen, LFM

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.30 Session 3 – Expanding growing to new spaces

  • Growing food in cities and food security - Tim Lang, City University
  • Growing food in parks - Ian Collingwood, Councils Regeneration Consultant on the Urban Farming project
  • Edible Estates, focus on Brookwood Edible Triangle - Fritz Haeg & Carole Wright, BOST
  • Training talk - Jonathan Pettit, LANTRA
  • Panel with: Christine Haigh, WEN (also launching joint LFL –WEN briefing on food growing and social housing)

15.30 – 15.50 Tea break

15.50 – 17.20 Session 4 - The future of community gardens, city farms & roof tops

  • Roof gardens – Dave Richards, RISC
  • City farms as productive land – TBC
  • Funding for the future – Kelvin De Sena, Local Food fund
  • Training talk - Jonathan Pettit, LANTRA
  • Panel with: Tony Leach, London Parks and Green Spaces Forum; Richard Wiltshire, Kings College London and Catherine Miller, FCFCG

17.20 – 17.30 Chair’s close

Move to nearby pub for follow-up drinks and talking.
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Outpost Natural Foods Thrilled w. Rooftop Farm of Artisan Turning Urban Farmer

This comes from an organizer at Milwaukee’s Outpost Natural Foods, recently connected with Community Growers(inspired by Will Allen’s Growing Power), which connects urban artisans with urban farming. Erik Lindberg has been astonished at the yield Growing Power’s compost affords.

From Diana Sieger of Outpost:

You’re going to flip when you hear this-

146 steps across Capitol drive…then up a ladder is Outpost’s next source for sustainably raised produce.

Thursday we met Erik Lindberg from Community Growers when he brought Keith and his staff a sample of what he’s growing over there on his roof top garden.

We practically did cartwheels back to the store to tell everyone about it! (I wonder how many cartwheels it is if it’s 146 steps?)

Anyways, a million thank yous to Keith for hooking us up right away with a video interview - and photos for the signs that we’ll have in the store featuring their produce.

Erik has a little of this, a little of that as he figures out what grows best up there…we’re just feeling pretty lucky we get to help him get the word out!

Walkin’ the talk yo.
Diana

watch the video interview:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLsAUS86J7E

Growing Urban Farming Movement With Urban Artisans

The arrival in Milwaukee of the Community Growers network of artisans, artists, urban agrarians, and sustainability theorists/activists in Milwaukee suggests serious consideration be given to projects that aim to connect the urban agriculture movement with the restoration artisans and their informal guilds in our big cities.

See the front page story of this welcome development at…
http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/Main/HomePage


Urban Restoration Carpenter’s “Victory Garden” Atop Commercial Building

Complementarity of “Talented 10%” of Restoration Trades and Urban Agriculture Movement

The “talented 10%” of our big city restoration carpenters, roofers, metal smiths, masons, and painters are predisposed to seriously consider and succeed in urban agriculture these days for many reasons.

Resources Already Possessed by Restoration Trades

  • trucks and other equipment able to move lots of material, e.g. soil, composting leaves and wood chips from dumps, mountains of veggie wastes, etc.

  • time-lots of down time in the restoration trades throughout the year and even during the weeks and days of the normal work season, e.g. rain days

  • prodigious work ethic and quite often enormous physical stamina and power

  • competence in “small is beautiful” technological innovations and “yankee ingenuity”

  • backyards, empty neighborhood lots, and roof tops available for intensive growing,e .g. Milwaukee is ready to give 220 lots away gratis if our movement can demonstrate capacity

  • high tolerance for handling “yucky stuff” like compost breaking down

  • recent farming backgrounds in many artisanal extended families

Opportunities for “Mighty Collaborations” Right At Your Front Door!

Many of the key theorists and practitioners of the urban agriculture movement own old houses that will require them to connect with members of the restoration trades. Consider spending some time with your roofer, carpenter, mason, painter, etc., explaining and showing them the possibilities of intensive soil development with composting and worms and the high yields for use and market such rich soil in small places will afford.

Many members of the artisan class these days are migrants from rural backgrounds with farm skills yet in extended families from down south, Mexico and other Latin American countries, eastern European and Eurasian migration streams. Urban farming has great promise to fill otherwise empty time as well as offer family members of your artisan classes a means of new use and exchange value.

Connect Your Tradesmen w. Joe Jenkins, Josh Fraundorf, and Erik Lindberg

Joe Jenkins, author of “Humanure,” is the nation’s foremost authority on slate roofs, i.e. also author of “Slate Roof Bible.” Two of the founders of Milwaukee’s Community Growers, Josh Fraundorf and Erik Lindberg, will combine for a couple of million of restoration projects in 2008. All three of these leaders of the trades are deeply committed to connecting their fellow artisans with the urban and organic family farm movements.

Consider suggesting your favorite artisans send an e-mail to UrbanArtisanFarmExperiments@milwaukeerenaissance.com? to initiate a conversation that might serve them and your community greatly.

Also consider developing some grant proposals aimed directly at doing what is needed to marry the urban restoration trades with the food security movement. A number of Milwaukeeans in this effort would very much enjoy brainstorming this vision with you!

The Marriage That Made Your City Some Kind of Holy Place

Your city will start feeling like some kind of Holy City, when
On cold winter or rainy spring or hot summer days
Laid off construction workers
And retired young elders will gather veggie wastes
From every neighborhood’s food and cafe co-ops,
Brewers yeast from the finest micro breweries,
Wood chips from the city yard,
Coffee grounds from Alterra roasters all over town.

They’ll deliver this precious cargo of potency
To neighborhood gardens, edible school yards,
And emerging at-home city farms and kitchen gardens,
For composting food for a myriad of city worm ranches
And neighborhood year round food growers.

The kids in the hood will gather buckets of compost material
From just about all the neighbors,
And simultaneously deliver their block’s newsletters
Filled with images and information to promote and defend
Their increasingly connected neighbors,
On higher and higher planes.
Viva, the marriage of urban restoration artisans and the urban agrarian movement!

Godsil
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Will Allen Says “Don’t Let the Floods Get You Down!”

Pictures of Will’s Farm Before and After the Flood

A Call to All Growers:

DO NOT LOSE HOPE! GO BACK TO YOUR FIELDS AND REPLANT!

That’s what I’m going to do. Our communities need our GOOD FOOD.

Before the Flood After the Flood

My Best,
“Big” Will Allen, Chief Executive Officer

Growing Power
5500 W. Silver Spring Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53218
Voice: 414–527–1546
Fax:414–527–1908
www.growingpower.org
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Square Inch City Farms To Change the Way We Live: Permaculture Cities!

Will Allen rightly booms forth during most of his glorious Growing Power tours…

It’s not how green is your thumb!
It’s how fertile is your soil!

And then…

Just start growing something, anything,
In any kind of pot. See what good will happen!

Community Growers Recruiting Square Inch City Farmer Apprentices

With Will Allen compost or homemade compost following Will’s methods,
A network of artist/artisan/urban farmers is giving people small hanging pots
To grow arugula for their family and friends, and, if they are ambitious,
For one of Milwaukee’s most revered family grocers, e.g. Seneks on Downer,
Which put out the call for “local organic arugula” this week.

From Pots to Plots

The hypothesis is that 100 such pots will yield one or two
Apprentice city farmers,
Once the magic is experienced.

It will also yield returns for those offering the pots,
Intrinsic and otherwise. And…

Hastening the Emergence of 10,000 Mini City Farms & Roof Top Gardens

In each of our venerable industrial cities
Becoming, by necessity, something new…

Say…

Permaculture Cities!

What say?

Godsil
Apprentice Urban Farmer
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Will Allen Personal Tour of Growing Power

This coming Tuesday, June 24, at the Growing Power City Farm at 55th and Silver Spring, 4 p.m.

Please send an e-mail to GrowingPower@milwaukeerenaissance.com if you wish to attend.

Kitchen Gardeners International Newsletter June 2008

Enjoy: http://www.kitchengardeners.org/newsletterjune08.html

KGI Newsletter: June 2008

Contents:

Spotlight on Africa:
-Organic Agriculture Center of Kenya
-The view from Mali
-Keyhole gardens: part of the key to global food security (video)

Gardening:
-Too late to dig a garden? Think again.
-Keeping track of planting dates and times -To defeat weeds, show no mercy -Adding organic matter to your garden -Sizing up your first garden -Beans get stubborn with age -Understanding lettuce types

Food and cooking
-Kenyan-style sauteed greens
-Tomato arugula sandwich
-Frozen spinach cubes

Food systems change
-Attack of the tomatoes
-Banking on gardening
-The end of food (as we know it)?

Just for fun:
-Creative mole control (video)

Community blog posts:
-My Cretan Diet
-Why bother with a kitchen garden?

Forum discussions:
-Oil and food - the crucial link
-Intensive or not intensive?
-Does the world really need a few billion locavores?
-Blue potatoes
-Gardening laments

Featured Network Members:
-Megan, CA, USA
-Marcela & Juan, Denmark
-Barbara Ann, NY, NY

Popular videos:
-Build a self-watering container
-Making compost
-Beauty food
-History of gastronomy
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E.F. Schumacher Society and Rodale Institute’s “New Farm” Offer Insight Into How to Develop Local Food Movement

One group that has developed community programs that address some of this is the E.F. Schumacher Society in Great Barrington, MA. Check out their website. Their work is stunning. http://www.smallisbeautiful.org/

Another great source is the Rodale Institute’s publication New Farm. Under Greg Bowman’s editorship, New Farm has become a valuable resource for all of us in this movement. http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/new_farm

We need to have a conversation about what it means to “grow our movement”. In particular, I believe we need to work on ways consumers and farmers can work together to help transition existing, nearby farms into participants in emerging local food systems. This transition work, in my opinion, should extend to transitioning to organic farming practices, as well.
Again, Rodale is the leader here.

Christopher Bedford offered the above information.

CENTER FOR ECONOMIC SECURITY

  1. 6543 Hancock Road

Montague, MI 49437
chrisbedford@charter.net
231–893–3937
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Small Farms Most Productive Throughout the World

“These objects of contempt are now our best chance of feeding the world”

Peasants are detested by both communists and capitalists - but when it comes to productivity a small farm is unbeatable
Read more at…http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jun/10/food.globaleconomy
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Last edited by tyler schuster.   Page last modified on August 03, 2008

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