The World of Wood: The Sweet Water Way

Conveyor of Food for We People

Intersectional Self Reliance Skills Development

Container for Building Materials

For Soups of Goodness

Chairs & Decks for South Side’s Backstreet Harvard

Tables, Chairs and Shelving for Thought Barns

For First Suppers

Bringing Comfort To Elder Talk and Youth Noosphere Exploration

For Use, Exhibitions, and Performances Beyond Perry: U of Chicago’s Smart Museum

Teachers Are Students, Students Are Teachers at The Thought Barn

21st Century Sweet Water Community Wood Apprentices Follow Safety Rules!

Multi Using My Bench of 1,000 Names

The World of Wood is part of a series Emmanuel Pratt inspired called

To be continued

Indispensable prop and tool for your various performance arts and enterprise experiments

Making them and using them is good for your mental and physical health

Teaches Us How To Drill and Fasten

Fits In A Car

Strong and Comfortable

Workbench and play bench

Infinite do-it-yourself refinements

You can teach your friends to make them

Might even make and sell them to your family and friends for some pocket money or more

We’ll help

Somos una universidad, granja, taller, ágora … y un Tulpa de la Madre Tierra.

Table of Contents

l. Visions

Our Daughters Working In The SWF World of Wood?

2. Theories

3. Experiments

4. Feedback Loops

5. Partnerships

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On this page…

  1. Blom’s and Pratt’s Sweet Water Foundation Milwaukee Experiments 2014
    1. 1.1  Seeding An Old City Rainbow Restoration Guild in Lexington, Chicago, and Milwaukee
    2. 1.2  Toward An Olde City Restoration Guild
    3. 1.3  Possible Successors To Dr. Subra Mukherjee of Kolkata, West Bengal
    4. 1.4  Honoring Those Who Gave The Last Full Measure of Devotion by Building Bridges In Our Divided Cities
    1. 2.1  Dr. Gay Reinartz’ Boy Friday and Pope Francis’ Favorite Ask of Georgetown U. China Scholars
    2. 2.2  SLUH Alum Response to Fr. Arturo Sosa’s Call to “Build Bridges Across A Divided City”
    3. 2.3  Head of the world’s Jesuits, Fr. Arturo Sosa, Message To St. Louis U. Night’s 200th Birthday Celebration
    4. 2.4  SWF Note To Professor Michael Hamm, Keynote Speaker and Laudato Si Promoter at the 200th Anniversary of St. Louis U. HIgh
    5. 2.5  Que El-Amin YouTubes explain Young Enterprise Society (Yes!) and Lots More
    6. 2.6  Apprentice Olde Yoda’s Beneath Learning Trees With Olympian Mensch Younges
  3. Amaranth & MECCA Park Village Ventures
  4. Orrin Williams’Vision
    1. 4.1  Growing Convergence, inspired by
    2. 4.2  Pratt of SWF Keynote Speaker at Harvard et al 6th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference
  5. Radical [Re]Constructions: Revaluing Food, Farming, Family and Future
  6. Conference Closing Panel: The State of Urban Farming : Where Are We and What’s Next?
  7. Track 1: Youth and Urban Farming (youth only)
  8. A.M.Keynote: “An Agroecological Paradigm”
    1. 8.1  Visiting the President of Ireland
    2. 8.2  Community Guild Network Building Possibilities
    3. 8.3 
    4. 8.4  Parkside School for the Arts, Medical College of Wisconsin, Brookfield School(s), & Sweet Water Foundation Collaboration Experiments
    5. 8.5  Edible Classrooms Growing VIRTU
  9. Virtu
    1. 9.1  Nation Building Is A Multigenerational Process With Regressions Along The Way
    2. 9.2  Community Roofing and Restoration is elevating the status and competency of the artisanal trades.
    3. 9.3  FIELDTRIP: Monday’s WI Urban Farming Legislation!
    4. 9.4  City’s 1st Timber-Frame Barn Since Chicago Fire Going Up In Washington Park
    5. 9.5  Timber Framed Barn Raising at Sweet Water Chicago
    6. 9.6  Grant Concept For Saint-Gobain & Certainteed Foundations
    7. 9.7  Inseparable Cities by the Love of Comrades
    8. 9.8  Sweetwater Community Aquaponics Network
    9. 9.9  Obama Foundation 60 Second Film Features Micheal Reynolds of Sweet Water Foundation
  10. Centers & Hubs for Growing, Making, Fixing, and Sharing at Obama Presidential Library
    1. 10.1  Godsil and Fraundorf Community Guild School Experiments
  11. Community Roofing’s Guild Network Healthy Food Experiments
  12. Community Sweet Water Regenerative Placemaking
    1. 12.1  Co-Create Mind Sharing Conversation Circles Among Progressive Catholics by Culture
    2. 12.2  ​​Professor Merlin Donale Letter to Father Sean McDonagh re Catholics by Culture
    3. 12.3  Jesse Blom Provides Essays Re Aquaponics for STEM Education

Blom’s and Pratt’s Sweet Water Foundation Milwaukee Experiments 2014

We have worked on 11 other school aquaponics systems in Milwaukee and 3 systems in community centers in Milwaukee. We have trained over 20 teachers in Milwaukee through funding from USDA, through fees paid by schools, and through our own time invested in the development of this practice.

La Causa Charter School
Centro Hispano High School (now closed)
Escuela Verde
Fernwood Montessori School
Milwaukee Environmental Sciences
Glenwood Elementary School
Rufus King High School
Bradley Tech High School
South Division High School
Texas Bufkin Christian Academy
Bay View Middle School/High School

Community Projects

Center for Veterans Issues
Urban Ecology Center - Washington Park
Guest House of Milwaukee

Seeding An Old City Rainbow Restoration Guild in Lexington, Chicago, and Milwaukee

Dear Professor,

I hope you will join in a conversation advancing collaboration experiments with engaged professors, urban agrarians, restoration artisans, and artists, connecting the South Side of Chicago, North Sides of Milwaukee and Lexington.

Diverse Restoration “Guild” of Roofers, Carpenters, and Urban Farmers

“Wastes to resources” is the motto of the Sweet Water Foundation I, Josh Fraundorf, and Emmanuel Pratt co-founded in 2010.

Our old city housing stock, empty lots, and young and old lifetime learners are resources we hope to harvest with you and yours.

The Greenhouse Is A Carpentry Workshop

This 2 minute film which features our “partner” Danny Glover provides evidence of the possibilities of our hoped for collaboration with you and yours.


Executive Director Emmanuel Pratt Is A Harvard GSD Leob Fellow

Board President James Godsil Is a Fulbright Scholar & Restoration Roofer

Godsil Was a Nanosecond Body Guard for MLK Chicago 1966

Josh Fraundorf’s Restoration Firm Envisions
Adding African American Artisans to German
And Hispanic Custom Shops

Why not?

We are not afraid.
We shall overcome.

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Toward An Olde City Restoration Guild?

South Side Chicago/North Side Milwaukee Initial Focus


Milwaukee Chicago Mondregon As One

Restoration Transformation
Radical [Re]Construction


Dissertations Alive

New Schooling America

Why Not?

Possible Successors To Dr. Subra Mukherjee of Kolkata, West Bengal

Yash Kumbhat?’s Stopwatch Group? First Candidates.

Honoring Those Who Gave The Last Full Measure of Devotion by Building Bridges In Our Divided Cities


Asset Based “Chaordic” Development Sequencing, Social Learning Networks for Science, Technology, Engneering, Art, Agriculture, Agriculture, and Math, For the greater glory of God.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam(AMDG)

Jesuit Mantra

At the 200th anniversary celebration of St. Louis University High, my storied secondary school, Father Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Jesuits, directly addressed, on a massive screen, the hundreds of people assembled. His basic message called upon us to build bridges in our divided cities.

Anyone interested in responding to this in a new way, please read this interview about the Sweet Water Foundation with Director Emmanuel Pratt, featured in the ​ARPA Journal* and consider joining in…not by offering money but by offering some time and outreach in whatever city you reside in. There are all kinds of young people across the nation(and even world) doing things like Sweet Water who could use some mentoring from young elders with high spirits.


Sweet Water Director Emmanuel Pratt re Building Bridges In Our Divided Cities

Emmanuel Pratt and Sweet Water team with eco priest Sean McDonnagh, key draft writer of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, at Dublin’s Irish Museum of Modern Art Sweet Water workshop.

Columbia University Journal of Applied Research Practices in Architecture interview with Emmanuel Pratt, with whom I co-founded the Sweet Water Foundation, harvesting the composted forms of value the transcended Sweet Water Organics.

​​ARPA Journal - Applied Research Practices in Architecture Journal is a public forum for debate based at the Columbia University Graduate School of … ​

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Dr. Gay Reinartz’ Boy Friday and Pope Francis’ Favorite Ask of Georgetown U. China Scholars

Dear Judith and James,

Wow! You two are on the spot. I hope you don’t judge me importunate for barging into your mind with tales of how important Dr. Gay’s work is and how and why I judge myself, with you and yours, equipped with resources to make a bit of history pulling together intellectuals and activists across the world to

Save the Bonobos!

“Madame Gay” is methinks a painfully shy Jean d’Arc of the species we now call Bonobo. During my Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan periods, my life was a series, often interrelated, of common good obsessions. The bonobos’ survival for the common good!

In my apprentice Yoda phase, my job is simply to connect complimentary young(anyone under 50) Olympian menschen with peers and worthy elders. “The organizational form of the 21st century is the network!” And cultural evolution involves “distributed cognitive networks” or “mind sharing” for common causes.

So…I am here in hopes of inspiring a tiny fraction of “woke ecopreneurs” from the Chinese/Vatican/Belgian/Japanese
communities to give some attention to the survival of the bonobos, building upon Gay’s work since 1993 in the Congo Solanga Forest, where she has been researching the bonobos’ presence, while also groping along in efforts to develop a coherent “park guard” force.


Gay and her team will be working with AWF to survey a corridor of this landscape for bonobo presence and distribution. The process will involve training local Congolese in bio-monitoring and data collection – this training will also serve as a capacity building tool so that the local Congolese can continue this work after the ZSM has finished in this area.

Here’s one of Gay’s reports from Spring 2008 that inspires and informs, as do four others from the same period which still greatly inform.


Why Should We Care About Saving The Species Called Bonobo?

Bonobos are the real deal. They share more than 98% of our DNA. They are so much like us that some of us actually cry when we meet them for the first time. I think it’s a powerful primal response to their “like us-ness,” or a tangible reminder that “we are not alone.”

Bonobos look like chimps but they stand-up straighter. Whereas chimps are mesomorphic like a football running back, for example, bonobos are ectomorphic like a long-distance runner or wide receiver. In the wild they spend a great deal of time hanging out in the jungle canopy, eighty-feet above the ground/swamp/most of us.

The nature of bonobo society speaks directly to the question of “why should I care (about bonobos).” They have a complex society that is maternal centric. The alpha female is the dominant personality in the family/clan. She gets to be the alpha female based upon her skill at and propensity to groom others. Imagine a society in which leadership is bestowed as a result of one’s record of service to others.

Another part of it is they resolve disputes by using affection and sex. Admittedly this is a very simplistic explanation of a social order replete with complexity and nuance, but it is at the heart of why we need to save the bonobos from extinction. Loss of the bonobos in the wild would be tragic in that they represent a portal into understanding ourselves.

Bonobos are endangered in the wild primarily because of habitat loss and poaching, victims of ignorance and third world poverty. If we lose the world’s wild poplulations, we will no longer be able to study them in their natural environment. They are only found in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa, in one relatively small location in a very troubled part of the world.

Godsil’s Ask

So I am hoping you might introduce the concept of a Chinese/Vatican/Belgian/Japanese/American collaboration experiment over the next 10 years to support Gay’s work, even if the results are only a documentary shared by tiny fractions in each country(and the Vatican’s network).

I am so astonished at how often I have wound up on the stage of history because of simple notes like this..
I have deep ties with the Jesuits across the world and can’t help but imagine a Laudato Si Celebration in Vatican Square with one giant screen sharing the story of, and our story with, the glorious bonobos!

Godsil As A Jesuit Trained Forest Gump

I am the circles image at Marquette Park, Chicago Open Housing Marches, in which I was a nanosecond bodyguard for Dr. King and teacher in a Freedom School.

My entrance on the stage of history has inspired me to imagine myself not justg as an Apprentice Yoda, but also as a Jesuit Trained Forest Gump. The Jesuits, for example, gave me $8,000 in 1966 for the St. Louis U. Great Issues Series, which had a huge impact on bringing the talented 10% of the Catholics of St. Louis into the modern age.

I introduced the South Side Chicago Sweet Water Foundation team to whom Naomi Klein identified as a key draft writer and Pope Francis’ ecological advisor.

Sweet Water Team At Irish Museum of Modern Art w. Fr. Sean McDonagh

The State Department sent me to India to share the Growing Power and Sweet Water Urban Ag and Aquaponics stories.

With Jimmy Carter during Habitat building project…

I could go on and on with the miracles of my life related to notes like this.

I hope this is the first of many with you and yours to

Save the Bonobos!

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SLUH Alum Response to Fr. Arturo Sosa’s Call to “Build Bridges Across A Divided City”

Dear _______;

I am from the class of 1963 and was profoundly moved by Fr. Sosa’s address to our 200th birthday party.

I had the high honor and deep pleasure of being among the alumni who shared our life stories with about 90 students regarding our quest for the common good. I was invited because of my work in civil rights, old city renaissance, urban agriculture, and the diffusion of Laudato Si.


It is my aspiration to help spark conversations that build bridges not only within a divided city like St. Louis, but also between” divided cities” like St. Louis, Chicago, and Milwaukee, for the same cause of social and ecological justice expressed in Pope Francis’ Laudato Si. I raised a family of 4 children in Milwaukee, and am Board President of Chicago’s Sweet Water Foundation, blessed with collaborations with Loyola of Chicago and Marquette of Milwaukee.

St. Augustin Church on North St. Louis, Scene of My First Holy Communion 1951

The class of 1963 has an email list of about 125 alums who have been in conversation responding to an “Ignatian Response to the Ferguson Tragedy.” I would like to include you and yours, perhaps even some of your students and their family members, in a 10 year conversation about building bridges in divided cities with the help of guidance offered by Laudato Si.

Please let me know if you would rather NOT receive these notes. And know that if you do, you will be participating in an experiment that only a world blessed with

the vision of Pope Francis and Fr. Sosa

connected by the internet

and paving the way for some kind of Ignatian Renaissance

leading up to the 500th anniversary of the Jesuits, 2040, only 22 years away!


James J. Godsil, SLUH 1963

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Head of the world’s Jesuits, Fr. Arturo Sosa, Message To St. Louis U. Night’s 200th Birthday Celebration

“Build bridges across a divided city.”

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SWF Note To Professor Michael Hamm, Keynote Speaker and Laudato Si Promoter at the 200th Anniversary of St. Louis U. HIgh

Dear Michael,

I very much enjoyed your keynote at the 200th and hope you and some of your students and colleagues might judge favorably an effort to weave the Jesuit trained communities of the USA into the urban ag and Laudato Si movements.

We have ongoing relations with Fr. Sean McDonagh, who Naomi Klein identified as key to Laudato Si.

Fr. Sean With Sweet Water Team at Irish Museum of Modern Art Exhibition

Our Urban Farm and emerging “agora” 10 minutes from Obama Presidential Center(OPC) has become an eco tourist destination.

We have turned a greenhouse into a woodworking shop, some of which products have become part of the OPC artifacts.

We’ve been working with Detroit activists of the Boggs Center since 2008.

We have energized the good cause with arresting art displays.

The State Department arranged for our introducing urban ag to India.

At U. of Calcutta, In Mumbai

We have woven building and fixing workshops into our micro farm.

Scaling up aquaponics by scaling it out into the classrooms of USA for starters (about 20 installations, teacher training, administrative guidelines, etc.).

Please let me know if you have some time, say an hour per year, to look in on our work. Or, if you have some MA or PhD students who might harvest our experience for academy credentials.

AMDG Laudato Si!


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Que El-Amin YouTubes explain Young Enterprise Society (Yes!) and Lots More

Que is critical to the Milwaukee Chicago collaboration experiments for neighborhood development.

Our Issues Milwaukee - March 25, 2017

Time Management Workshop - Young Enterprising Society at Bay View High School

3rd Annual Use Your Words Back 2 School Field Day

And perhaps Baltimore with John Hopkins’ & SWF’s Jesse Blom

STEAM Workshop - Young Enterprising Society - Washington High School

Movement Peddler
I’m a reporter.
On the ground.
In the trenches.

A movement peddler,
An impresario.

A child of the
Great Lakes culture.

An awakening one.

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Apprentice Olde Yoda’s Beneath Learning Trees With Olympian Mensch Younges

Perry Ave Commons is a pathway to some kind of heaven in this earthly realm.

Growing energy waves igniting visions of

  • Olde School Backstreet Harvards

  • New School Sweet Water Academies

Harvard Walden Apprentice Yodas and Young Hero Questors

Must have, for Urban Villages and Pratt’s Regenerative Neighborhood Development

Apprentice Yoda’s and Heroes of One Thousandfaced Younges

The Spirit Energy of this

Communion of Young and Old,

Finding some kind of God through Nature

Or at least experiencing an astonishing Mysteria

Zen Christo Genesis Spirit Capital…

Mysteria, Imminent and Transcendent Aspects of the Cosmic WTF!

Amaranth & MECCA Park Village Ventures

The Amaranth and MECCA Park on Milwaukee’s near North near West side neighborhoods are poised for a project that would unite Sweet Water’s Chicago and Milwaukee ventures with the experiments each of you have been orchestrating over the years. I can imagine guests from Chicago’s Sweet Water teams and partners at this integral urban airbnb home experiment within a few years. And guests from the Milwaukee movements spending time at the Perry Commons airbnb integral home experiments.

Orrin Williams’Vision

regarding the Chicago side of things, which has played a part in the Milwaukee side of things, shared from the Sweet Water Foundation’s newsletter.


If you had unlimited resources, what project would you dedicate yourself to on the Perry Ave Commons?

One of the things me and Emmanuel connected on was a book call the Integral Urban House. It’s a book I read years ago. I always wondered why housing wasn’t that way. Why isn’t it normal to generate your own energy? Why isn’t it normal to be careful about how you use water? Why isn’t it normal to create at least some of your own food? I always thought, how can we expand these concepts so that it’s an integral urban community? With housing, commercial buildings, empty spaces, generating energy, producing food, having water wells…all those things. I think a lot of the work going on at the Perry Ave Commons now is related to that vision and a lot of the discussions I’ve had with Emmanuel over the years. How do we make urban space more productive and more efficient, particularly in terms of feeding people and generating energy?

If I had the resources, I would also develop the State Street corridor, not only in terms of commercial and live-work spaces for artists, but also the commercial vision would include a lot of the arts and cultural programming. One thing I would be interested in doing in those spaces and in the community would be to engage art and art practice in a way that brought back and maintained certain traditions. For example, I’d love to bring quilters from Mississippi and Alabama to do quilting classes, and to have spaces to present their work. I would love to bring in weavers from different traditions and teach people that may not know about those traditions. I’d love to bring in a series of potters and folks dealing with ceramics to do their work, whether it’s someone from Japan or Minnesota or Africa. And of course, food-related businesses, like small groceries. A variety of restaurants, whether they are vegan or not vegan, whatever the case they may be. How would you integrate that with the farming that occurs here? What opportunity does that present for the expansion of agriculture in the community? And, how to make it commercially viable and available to people who have businesses and households?

What say?

Why not?


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Growing Convergence, inspired by

George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln,Fr. Teilhard de Chardin,
Dr. Martin Luther King and Grace Lee Boggs, Schumach & Alexander..we could name 100s!

Whitman and W.E.B. Du Bois…

Let’s converge our networks.

Why not grow Networked Satyagraha Systems?

With our flesh, blood, and tears,

Our growing Faith.

Converging rainbow green

Radical reConstruction Networks

Growing New Worlds

Mycelia like…

Stewarding the Earth

Grounding visions

Economics As If People Mattered

Pratt of SWF Keynote Speaker at Harvard et al 6th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference

Mar 16 6th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference Presented by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and merck family fund

Lunchtime Keynote: Emmanuel Pratt, Sweet Water Foundation, Chicago Il.

Radical [Re]Constructions: Revaluing Food, Farming, Family and Future

The talk will unpack the creative practices of the Sweet Water Foundation, highlighting how locally deployed creative interventions that blend education, art, architecture, citizen science, and community-scale production are cultivating innovative models for community-conscious neighborhood development in the Southside of Chicago and beyond.

At Irish Museum of Modern Art With Pope’s Ecological Advisor Fr. Sean McDonagh

Awakening Obama Foundation Network To On the Ground South Side Renaissance

Conference Closing Panel: The State of Urban Farming : Where Are We and What’s Next?

Facilitated by Greg Watson, Director For Policy and Systems Design, Schumacher Center for a New Economics and Panelists:

Track 1: Youth and Urban Farming (youth only)

Opening Session: “Paving Your Own Pathways”

A.M.Keynote: “An Agroecological Paradigm”

Presenter: Isis Salcines, Havana, Cuba, Outreach Director, Organopónico Vivero Alamar.The Organoponico Vivero Alamar is one of Havana, Cuba’s largest and oldest urban farms. Isis Salcines will share their experiences implementing agroecology, addressing food security, and discuss the social, economic and environmental impacts of the farm

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Visiting the President of Ireland


Myself and the 10 contributors to the book Laudato Si’ An Irish Response were invited to visit the President of Ireland, Michael C. Higgins at Aras An Uachtarain, today, January 18th 2018.

For one hour we discussed many of theme on justice, ecology and spirituality which feature some prominently in the papal document Laudato Si’. The President was thoroughly familiar with the encyclical and highlighted the place it should have in challenging the economic, social and ecological policies which are doing such damage both to planet earth and human well-being.

He felt that every teacher in Ireland should be given a copy of the book Laudato Si’ An Irish Response.

Kind regards,
Sean McDonagh, SSC,
St. Columban’s, Dalgan Park, Navan, Co. Meath.
tel 00353872367612
visit my blog at http://earthcaremission.wordpress.com

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Community Guild Network Building Possibilities

So Josh has given me a 600 square foot space in this 19,000 square foot Community Guild Network building(pending final appraisal)

aside the Milwaukee River at North Ave. and UWM dorms

to experiment with enterprises like yours, for some kind of Milwaukee Renaissance.


Here are some links that suggest some order in the chaos of my life.



Dee Hock’s chaordic organizing is my recipe.


Here’s a Harvard Business Review study of Josh’s and my experiment with hybrid and networked enterprise experiments.


And web page of the Sweetwater Foundation we helped launch, along with future MacArthur genius winner Emmanuel Pratt.


Sunvest Solar and USGBC Green Veterans Growing Power Collaboration?

I have cc’d Brian Soles, who is leading this Green Veterans project, and his partner David Laack.


Let The Old City bloom,


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Journal Sentinel photo

Leiser, Laacke,Sales, Allen, & Godsil Discussing Growing Power 2.0 Transition

Parkside School for the Arts, Medical College of Wisconsin, Brookfield School(s), & Sweet Water Foundation Collaboration Experiments

Dear All,

Here is Parkside School for the Art’s Erin Dentice’s Power Point on their path finding experiment blending art with edible playground/aquaponics science/ecology projects.

The document ​​to me is a clear exposition of what has already been achieved in one school that can help in the designing and modeling for the next school venture. The Milwaukee Sweet Water Foundation Director, Jesse Blom, now also director of the Johns Hopkins Food System Lab of the Bloomberg School of Public Health.​​ was the designer and consultant to the wonderful aquaponics demo at the school. Jesse is poised to bring his knowledge base and institutional resources to a Brookfield School Experiment that would be supported by the Medical College of Wisconsin, Parkside School for the Arts, the Sweet Water Foundation, and perhaps Johns Hopkins.

Erin, her students, and their families offer tours of their work. I would very much enjoy helping catalyze as much.

There are many senior and MA theses in our work, on up through doctoral dissertation.

We moved the main Sweetwater aquaponic commercial-size experiment to the south side of Chicago at Chicago State University. You might be able to get a tour of that, although it’s best to call before going. The Sweet Water Foundation web page inspires!


Power model these days focuses on networks of aquaponic demos in schools and larger systems as much destinations and training sites as growing places. While growing food in urban places is a vital response to the needs of our time, growing information, STEAM skills, ecological, emotional, and social intelligence, i.e. growing our souls!, is equally important in this multi-dimensional, multi-generational networked experiments.

Commercial Size Destination/Training Lab


Pat Wilborn

Classroom Model Integrating Art, Aquaponics, and Intergenerational Life Long Learning Models

And Erin dentise in her students offer tours at the trailblazing Parkside School for the Arts edible classroom and aquaponics demonstration project


UW Urban Ag Extension Into Soil Based Community Gardening and “Agora”


I have been deeply involved in these matters since 2005, and no one has done any better than the leaders of these three models anywhere in the nation.

Clear sailing,


Here is a link to a Harvard Business School essay on the work of the Sweet Water Foundation, supported at the outset by the fine teams of Sweet Water Organics.

There are many garden growers and engineers in Brookfield poised to advance the vision of a replication of the Parkside/Medical College edible classroom project with new waves of partnering co-creators.

Why not?


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Edible Classrooms Growing VIRTU

You and yours are cultivating a new generation of high virtu.


“Virtu” chez Erica Benner’s “Be Like The Fox: Machiavelli In His World”


  • Can mean-spiritedness, especially in battle. But the highest quality virtu includes

  • an aptitude for organization,

  • industry,

  • and far-sighted prudence.

It further includes

  • an unclouded knowledge of one’s own limits,

  • the wisdom and self-discipline not to over reach them,

  • and the Ingenuity to use whatever opportunities and resources one has, however scarce they might be.

Virtu doesn’t need good luck, are even much freedom, to work wonders. On the contrary,

it is most admirable, even most effective,

  • where there are obstacles to overcome.

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Nation Building Is A Multigenerational Process With Regressions Along The Way

Momentary Body Guard For Dr. King

This image of Dr. King’s stoning in Marquette Park during SCLC’s Freedom Summer Open Housing Marches finds me directly behind Dr. King and near Andy Young, to my right. The Nazi Party incited a murderous crowd to torch our cars. I lost a 1957 Chevy the engine of which my father had completely overhauled. Were it not for Chicago Irish police walking in great numbers between us and the stone and bottle throwing mob, we would literally have been lynched or beaten. This summer I was on a green line bus with a group of Whitefish Bay students shouting build the wall build the wall Trump Trump trump and then to an immigrant family f*** you go home f*** you go home. In the way that I pray I pray that the level of hatred I witnessed at 21, 50 years ago, is kept at bay by the vast majority of patriotic and compassionate citizens. As much as we we’re disappointed buy mirror Richard Daley, he never did try to incite the European Americans to heightened levels of enmity and possible violence. It’s bizarre to have a president so Brazen in his contempt for the best of Americas heritage.

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Community Roofing and Restoration is elevating the status and competency of the artisanal trades.

Community is now the nucleus of an emerging Guild network of restoration artisans.

If you have had work done by Community please go to this link and let us know what you think about our efforts.


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FIELDTRIP: Monday’s WI Urban Farming Legislation!

This Monday at 10AM Senator Johnson and Representative Goyke are unveiling proposed legislation titled Wisconsin Urban Farming Futures which holds tremendous potential for bringing a new level of support and credibility to urban and sustainable farming in Milwaukee and across our great State. To support this critical piece of legislation, amplify the media’s attention, and witness a perhaps historic moment, we’d like to gather a band of like-minds to attend the grand unveiling at Kaleidoscope Gardens!

Sandy Syburg has graciously offered the SoilMobile (a bio-diesel bus) to transport our band to the event – offering a pickup stop out west near Oconomowoc (attn. Madison folks) and a second stop in Milwaukee.

Here are the tentative pickup times and locations:

1. Summit Park & Ride (leaving @ 8:50 AM)

36337 Delafield Rd, Summit, WI

2. Walmart on Miller Parkway (leaving @ 9:20 AM)

4140 W Greenfield Ave, West Milwaukee, WI

Please email me directly if you would like to join the group at either location (Ryan.Schone@ces.uwex.edu). Also let me know if you wish to join the caravan by following in your own vehicle.

More details for those who sign-up will be sent Sunday.

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City’s 1st Timber-Frame Barn Since Chicago Fire Going Up In Washington Park

WASHINGTON PARK — As buildings are being torn down in Washington Park, a barn is being raised.

The Sweet Water Foundation has erected likely the only barn of its kind in the city on a lot where Moseley Elementary School once stood and that is now a farm. The barn appears to be the first since the Chicago Fire in 1871.

“This is the first timber-frame barn in the city of Chicago since the fire that we know of,” said Emmanuel Pratt, founder of the Sweet Water Foundation, which is running the Perry Avenue Community Farm at 57th Street and Perry Avenue.



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Timber Framed Barn Raising at Sweet Water Chicago

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Dear All,

I can remember reading CW Mills’ “Power Elite” in 1966 and feeling utterly powerless to make a difference re the Vietnam War and civil rights. A professor raged at me that we had many resources to push back, especially, for students, the power to demonstrate.

Reading the essay on Brazil’s junk food intrusion can evoke the same feeling of despair in the face of the global junk food juggernaut.


No one said the good food ®Evolution would be easy, nor quick victoried. And those who will be steadfast and mindful, know that our work is not a lifetime’s challenge. It will be a challenge up through the 7th generation and beyond.

Obama and Sweet Water Foundations Help to Connect Teachers, Urban Ag Activist Farmers, and Artisinal Mentors Across National Boundaries

The multidimensional aspect of our struggle methinks could profit from integrating artisinal training and urban ag training, with programs connecting schools with community groups.

This is what Emmanuel Pratt’s Sweet Water Foundation teams have been doing in Chicago, and Jesse Blom’s in Milwaukee. The Obama Foundation has highlighted one inspiring example of this approach with a 60 second video of
Big Mike Reynolds, a retired union/master carpenter who has been providing artisinal training at the Sweet Water Foundation Urban Farm and Perry Ave Commons, on the South Side of Chicago.


And it’s not just us and alliances with Obama Foundation and other progressive, secular institutions. The faith communities of the world have many groups within and between advancing the good fight. Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, has brilliantly married social with ecological justice for the next generation of Catholic educators.

When I began promoting Big Will Allen’s urban ag vision back in 2005, my most progressive friends were extremely unimpressed. Since then, urban ag has mainstreamed and the Mayor of Milwaukee considers his teaming up with our movement one of his most important acts as mayor.

We shall overcome!

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Grant Concept For Saint-Gobain & Certainteed Foundations

Goal: Green Workforce Development, Lifelong STEM Learning, Public Health Pilot Experiment: Beginning With Healthy Snacks

Re-imagining green workforce development with an “integral” focus on existing artisinal crews and networks, sparking healthier diets, starting with workplace snacks, and healthier life-styles enhanced with life-long STEM training, starting with off season urban agriculture and aquaponics experimentation.

Roberto Alba Of Superior Roofing Solutions With Community Guild Network Healthy Snack #2

Roberto Alba Of Superior Roofing Solutions With
Community Guild Network Healthy Snack #2

Means: Providing building crews with tasty, healthy snacks as alternatives to fast food, Red Bull, and cigarettes throughout the workday, with low keyed conversations and reading materials in support.

Arthur Camberon and Armon Of Juice Kitchen Preparing Snack #3

Arthur Camberon and Armon Of Juice Kitchen Preparing Snack #3

In the off season, introducing crews to STEM skills development via partnerships with local schools with edible classroom and aquaponics projects underway.

Healthy Snack #1.  Apples & Almonds

Healthy Snack #1. Apples & Almonds

Proposed Pilot Project Partners: Community Roofing & Restoration, Sweet Water Foundation, University of Wisconsin Urban Agriculture Extension, Parkside School for the Arts, UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Milwaukee School of Engineers, Green Schools Alliance, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Food Systems Lab, Artist Muneer Bahauddeen

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Inseparable Cities by the Love of Comrades

“I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America,/and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,/I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each other’s necks,/By the love of comrades.”

Whitman text

Let us wrap Milwaukee Chicago Arms
Around each other’s necks…

From Milwaukee

With help from UW Extension, UW Madison Young Doctors TRIUMPH Project, Wisconsin Organic Valley Wormfarm Institute, Purple Cow Sweet Water VGI Heart Haus SEED Garden Agora UEC Community Guild Network and Milwaukee’s Urban Ag Grand Alliance Milwaukee Renaissance from the Sister City Where the Sweet Waters gather.


SWF Perru Ave Commons

Emmanuel and Jia?

St. Louis

Miss Betty’s Boys

Norm and Paulette?

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Sweetwater Community Aquaponics Network

Dear Stacy and All,

Stacy… I am so happy that you and yours are interested in an aquaponics encounter!

I have included Aquapons who may have the time and be moved by the spirit to begin a conversation with you, leading up to a tour, and, from my point of view, a loose collaborative knowledge sharing, to bring forth the day when 5% of the schools of the world are graced with aquaponic models and edible classrooms.

Allow me to introduce you to people who are quite literally among the worlds most competent aquaponic experimenters, growing fish, plants, knowledge, and, to me, mysteriously, Polymath Rainbow Greening Souls…And sharing networked conversations, encounters, experiments, and projects, probably forshadowing some kind of Aquaponics Guilds, with a variety of expressions.

One World Aquaponics

Of, by, and for the healing of the people and the planet, with all of God’s children, in Milwaukee, Chicago, Organic Valley Wisconsin, St Louis, and a number of cities in Europe, Central and South America, and Africa.

Every city should grow aquaponics innovation centers and greening hubs in our integral schools!

In the way that I pray, I pray that 5% of the world’s schools will have small to large aquaponic Innovation centers by the year 2040

I hope this conversation will lead to mighty or modest collaborations with you and yours, toward that goal.


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Obama Foundation 60 Second Film Features Micheal Reynolds of Sweet Water Foundation

Centers & Hubs for Growing, Making, Fixing, and Sharing at Obama Presidential Library

It’s beginning to look like Emmanuel Pratt and teams are winning a place for the marriage of urban agriculture, restoration artisanship, and the blending of art, architecture, city planning, and science with the community engagement wing of the Obama Presidential Library.

And Milwaukee Region grew 10,000 community garden plots and a Community Greenhouse in every neighborhood!. And young Milwaukee Chicago videographers made a documentary featured in the opening week of the Obama Presidential Library. Our movement has a relationship with the folks designing community engagement of what will be a South Side Chicago wonder. https://twitter.com/Oba…/status/898678019165790208/video/1

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Godsil and Fraundorf Community Guild School Experiments

Community Roofing and Restoration is considering the purchase of the Robert Koch “complex” on Fratney and Auer, aspiring to transform the property into a Community Guild School and perhaps Residencies.

Community Roofing’s Guild Network Healthy Food Experiments

The Koch complex would be an ideal innovation center for the Guild’s health food experiments. Here’s a conversation fleshing out this concept.

Godsil. While taking pictures and interviewing members of the Community Network I imagined showing up at the job site with some almonds, peanuts, broccoli and really good dip, and experimenting with different mixes of good and healthy food as an alternative to potato chips candy bars and fast food stuff.

I think this would be appreciated by our Artisans and would make a great story for social media and the history books.

What say?

Fraundorf. I think it would be amazing to get them off of the red bull and garbage food. Chicken salads, water, wraps, fruit, vegetables, etc…happy to put $500 a month into a trial base or more if needed.

G: Let’s team up with the UW Extension nutritionist and the MATC Culinary Arts students to make this brilliance

F: I think it’s a brilliant idea for the artisans of Community’s networks.

G: Good Food and Beauty at the community Guild Houses in every community might change the world.

Every city deserves a community Guild House with good food and Beauty to elevate the spirits, nourish and heal the body, and enhances our artisans’ quest for excellence, at the job, with the family, in the community.

G: May I share this thread at the Milwaukee Renaissance and on my Facebook page?


F: Sure

Community Sweet Water Regenerative Placemaking

Since 1975 Community has demonstrated the merit of developing networks of custom artisinal shops for roof system restoration, with some key members of the network happy, even eager, to develop workshops on copper smithing, restoration carpentry and masonry, paining, roofing, plumbing, and more. Self reliance through the trades!

From 2005 on up through today, Community has advanced visions of harvesting the urban agriculture movement of Milwaukee in service to a new “biophilic” and STEAM pedagogy(“A” for art and architecture). If our kids grow it, they’ll eat it! The most important manifestation of this is the Sweet Water Foundation, directed by Emmanuel Pratt?, who has been a global trailblazer in the theory and the practice of regenerative placemaking.

And from 1975 to our times, Community has supported neighborhood economic development experiments in Riverwest. Local, shared economics “as if people mattered.”

The Koch Complex would be a perfect place to pull these strands together!

But we are hesitant to enter into this story without an understanding of the challenges of water and soil remediation at this site. We can imagine pulling together a series of engineering, architecture, and landscape design teams to use the Koch Complex transformation into a Community Guild School and Residence as a case study of what “green grand alliances” can accomplish.

We would be working with people in the Community Sweet Water Foundation and Harvard GSD networks if we can enter into a collaboration with state of the art understanding of the challenges of the Koch Complex regarding soil and water “healing.”

I am hoping such a venture might advance the personal and commonwealth work of many good people, as well as the good cause of healing people and planet.

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Co-Create Mind Sharing Conversation Circles Among Progressive Catholics by Culture

Like this note to one of my classmates from St. Louis University High(SLUH).

Dear Michael,

I have enjoyed and been “struck by” the intensity and clarity of your expression regarding the great issues of our time, and the embarrassing debasement of the Office of the Presidency, United States of America of late. I am in friendly competition with Big Apple Jewish intellectuals of the 20th century and West Coast Pragmatic Mystics around “culture.”

I want to help co-create a progressive wing of “Catholics by Culture” in my remaining years, with a focus on Jesuit trained boomers from across the globe.​ Connecting progressive “Catholics by Culture” is one of my chores, and I hope you might join in! Below are links to the dawn of TomCoffin and [DavidGrant essays “Where The Sweet Waters Waters Meet.,” i.e. Milwaukee’s(metaphorically conceived) Renaissance, followed by a letter by Jesuit schooled polymath elder, Merlin Donald, to an Irish missionary turned Pope Francis’ ecological advisor.

I would be profoundly grateful if you would spend the time and make the effort to craft a Michael Britt Essay, either a response to the ideas of this note, or about whatever issue inspires you to share your thoughts.

​​Professor Merlin Donale Letter to Father Sean McDonagh re Catholics by Culture

Dear Fr. McDonagh,

I am a big fan of Laudato Si, which I understand you co-authored. Thank you for that enormous contribution to humanity. The text strikes the right balance between scientifically rigorous fact and that special tone, so crucial to Christianity at its best, of altruism and community and selflessness, of giving over to something much bigger than yourself. In an age such as ours, where selfishness has run rampant and greed and narcissism are actively held up as ideals, it is refreshing to read a major world document couched in truly human terms, and not wasted due to Legalese and bureaucratic pomp. Having written a few things myself, I know how tough it is to craft and maintain such a tone.

I am what I prefer to call a “cultural Catholic” — that is, someone who respects and largely adheres to the best ideas the Church can offer, without being able to say I “believe” in such things as papal infallibility. Having studied with the Jesuits for eight years, I find the public stance of Pope Francis both reassuringly tolerant, and familiar — my Jesuit teachers were like that — open-minded, wise, and tolerant.

Here is a question that has bugged me for years: what does the Church not do what the Jews do so well — retain the identity and loyalty of “cultural Catholics,” instead of casting them aside on doctrinal picky points, or insistence on a crushing subservience to symbols of priestly authority? The same might be said on so many issues — and especially, on why are there no women priests, given the crisis in replacing the aging priesthood, etc. The argument from a literal reading of scripture holds no water at all, given the history of how the New Testament was edited and assembled. But the slide of the priesthood, and the stubbornness of the Curia, continues.

The Church has so many who admire it, especially at this moment, with a such a progressive and articulate Pope. But the conservatives and literalists among the Curia are destroying the Western Church, in my view. Especially in the USA and Canada, I am often amazed that our bishops sound more like fundamentalist preachers than like the highly educated Jesuit teachers I was taught by, so many years ago.

I have been working on a theoretical level on the nature of deep cognitive and technological changes the world is experiencing at the moment. i think human nature itself is on the table. The church is exactly the kind of institution the world needs as we become inexorably wired closer and closer together, if only it can put some of those ultra-conservative values behind it and focus on coping with the world as it is now (and as it once did, on an heroic scale, back in Counter- Reformation times). We human beings are in very deep trouble and in need of moral leadership. But it won’t come if the Curia keeps sailing on a course of blatant retrograde self-interest.

Pope Francis obviously understands this, but I understand he is running into some pretty vicious resistance. I sincerely hope he can prevail, and implement reform.

Meanwhile, I am trying to fight the pessimistic mood that currently prevails in the English-speaking world, as we see all our empires fade. Our minds need to be clear, above all, to cope with climate change. Unfortunately, technological change is causing a major shift in the way we think and remember — to the point where I am now convinced there is a fourth “cognitive transition” underway. We will increasingly find ourselves at the mercy of forces we have not managed to control, and this time those forces are acting directly on the mind — that is, on the very heart of human nature.

The problem is, our minds are not clear at the moment, because we are hurtling into a new cognitive ecology without any guidance. Just as we are fighting ecological wars on a physical level, we are confronted with the need to battle a changing cognitive ecology as well. Our history suggests that this is a dangerous situation, and possibly a fatal one.

In any case, I am going on too long, and I know you are a very busy person. But do we all have work to do!

My very best regards, in appreciation for your contribution,

Professor Emeritus,
Department of Psychology,
Queen’s University,
Kingston, Ontario,
Canada K7L 3N6​

​So there you have it!

What say?

Why not?


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Jesse Blom Provides Essays Re Aquaponics for STEM Education

“Implementation of Aquaponics in Education: An Assessment of Challenges, Solutions and Success”

“Managing Expectations for Aquaponics in the Classroom: Enhancing Academic Learning and Teaching an Appreciation for Aquatic Resources”


“Fish in the Classroom: A Survey of the Use of Aquaponics in Education”


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Last edited by Godsil.   Page last modified on November 08, 2018

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