2016 Godsil Pratt Images

50th Anniversary of SCLC Chicago Open Housing Marches Coming Up

August 5, 2016, will be the 50th anniversary of the stoning of Dr. Martin Luther King, in Marquette Park, Chicago, about a 20 minute drive from where the Sweet Water Foundation’s regenerative placemaking experiment at the Perry Ave District is taking place. Below is an image of myself directly behind Dr. King at the moment of the assault, there so close as a “field marshall” and temporary bodyguard not long after my 21st birthday. I was also a teacher in a SCLC Freedom School in a storefront on Roosevelt Ave. that summer.

James Godsil As Momentary Body Guard For Dr. King

Here is where picture came from


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Best “Texts” Of Sweet Water Foundation Scaling Up Aquaponics/Urban Ag As Community Development Resource On Chicago’s South Side

Co-Founders Sweet Water Foundation Emmanuel Pratt and James Godsil




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Sweet Water Foundation Workshop at Pratt’s and team’s School of the Art Institute show

James Godsil, Jesse Blom, Ben Koller, and Emmanuel Pratt at Sweet Water Foundation Workshop at Pratt’s and team’s School of the Art Institute show, “Outside Design” Aquaponocs Workshop.


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2008 Noosphere Exchange Chronicled

Sweet Water Foundation At Heart Haus May Day Celebration: Todd Leach, Emmanuel Pratt, Jesse Blom, and James Godsil

Derek Ware, James Godsil, Amanda Williams, and Emmanuel Pratt at Sweet Water Foundation Hyde Park Art Center.
Godsil and Pratt co-founded the Sweet Water Foundation, with Josh Fraundorf and Howard Hinterthuer providing foundational support.

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The Hidden City Is the Holy City

Placemaking Theme, Norquist

The iconic, monumental architectural marvels
From the highest, from the deepest,
With the widest possible perspective…

Are epiphenomenal to… the hidden city…

The hidden city is like vibrant soil,
Where diversity is strength,
And vast numbers effortlessly cooperate
With water, air, sun, and the smallest of creatures,
To give life to consciousness,
To conscious love…
To life beauty…increasingly, we must insist,

And small daily miracles, as Oh Ba Ma inspires!

Always moving toward the prize,
A myriad of quite unique eyes.

Viva, the hidden city!

Viva, the iconic charismatic built-marvels
Bringing the world to the edge of
Our hidden cities…

Of hospitality,
Of warmth,
Of charm.

Looking forwards to
Doing some good and sacred

February 3, 2008

Introducing Grace Lee Boggs To Sacramento

“Regenerative” Theme, Boggs et al “Redefining, Rebuilding, Respiriting”

Subject: Great Lakes Hopes for Brainstorming Strategies for Obama Platform On Urban Farming?

Dear Sacramento,

Does anyone have any thoughts as to the merits of inspiring an Obama Position Supporting Urban Faming and the Community Food Movement?

Grace Lee Boggs and Partners Re-Spiriting Detroit and Urban Farming

Recognizing the legitimacy of Young’s challenge, my late husband, Jimmy Boggs, made a speech entitled REBUILDING DETROIT; AN ALTERNATIVE TO CASINO GAMBLING (see boggscenter.org) in which he pointed out that our concerns were not only with the economy but with “how our city has been deteriorating socially, politically, morally and ethically.” Therefore we need to envision a new kind of city in which Detroit citizens “take responsibility for creating the local enterprises that would ensure our livelihoods, instead of continuing to depend on and beg corporations with no loyalty to the city or its residents to provide us with jobs.”

To give a sense of how that new kind of city could be built, in 1992 we founded Detroit Summer, a multicultural, intergenerational youth program to rebuild, redefine and respirit Detroit from the ground up. Since1992 Detroit Summer has been involving young people in a variety of activities: planting community gardens, painting public murals, rehabbing houses and creating Back Alley Bikes, while also expanding their minds and imaginations through workshops and intergenerational dialogues.

Detroit Summer’s community gardening brought us into immediate contact with the “Gardening Angels,” a loose network of elders, many of them born and raised in the South, who were already planting gardens on vacant lots. They were doing this, they explained, not only to produce food but to prevent crime and give youth born and raised in a pushbutton world a sense of process.

I cannot overstate the significance of this gardening. As we enter the 21st century the conviction is growing, especially in the generation born before World War II, that we must bring the country back into the city in order to heal ourselves from the psychological, ecological and philosophical effects of four centuries of Western industrialization and urbanization.

Thus, within walking distance of my house on the city’s east side, Brother Rick from the Capuchin Monastery has created Earthworks to produce food for WIC mothers. Approximately five miles west, the Catherine Ferguson Academy, a public high school for teenage mothers, not only provides a nursery for the students’ infants and toddlers but engages the mothers in life-affirming activities like gardening, growing a fruit orchard, building a barn and caring for farm animals. As a result, 80% of these students go on to college.

All kinds of people, urban planners, architects, journalists, filmmakers come from around the world to study how Detroit is grappling with deindustrialization. Hundreds of students from neighboring universities, especially the University of Michigan, participate in community-service learning programs in the city or spend a week or summer or their Alternative Spring break on our rebuilding projects. Every year a few students decide to settle in the city after graduation because it offers them a unique opportunity to participate in creating the future.

As a result, we now have a well-organized Detroit Agricultural Network which not only provides training in gardening and food preparation skills but organizes neighborhood cluster groups. Every August the Detroit Agricultural Network organizes a tour to visit community gardens. Three years ago we needed two buses to transport about 80 people on the tour. Last year we needed eight buses.

An increasing number of schools are also planting gardens to introduce children to life-affirming activities. For example, Rahiel Housey, a teacher at the Holbrook School in Hamtramck (a small municipality inside the boundaries of Detroit where immigrant families from the Mideast have settled) decided to build a school community garden because she was sick and tired of the children walking across a vacant lot full of dead cats, discarded tires and old mattresses to get to school. Her efforts were rewarded one day when a little girl. who was suspected of being a mute because she had never uttered a word, suddenly held up a radish and said, “Mrs. Housey, this is a radish.”

One of the most exciting aspects of our work in Detroit is the synergy that has developed between the community and the university. An example of this is the Adamah vision created by students in the Architectural Department of the University of Detroit Mercy, under the leadership of visiting architect Kyong Park and department head Steve Vogel. Adamah, which means “of the earth” in Hebrew, is a vision, inspired by what was already going on in Detroit, for rebuilding a 21/2 square mile area in one of the city’s most devastated on the east side of Detroit close to the Boggs Center. The vision begins with unearthing Bloody Run Creek which had been covered over and absorbed into the city’s sewer system around the turn of the century and turning it into a canal for both recreation and irrigation. It includes greenhouses, grazing land and a dairy, a tree farm and lumber mill, a community center, community gardens, a shrimp farm and windmills to generate electricity and living and work spaces in the former Packard auto plant.

The meaning of what we are doing in Detroit can be summed up in the slogan of the 1999 National Black Farmers Conference: “We can’t free ourselves until we feed ourselves.” Or as my friend Michelle Brown puts it: “It is only by providing for our most basic needs that we are empowered to make our own choices.”

I was reminded of these truths when two weeks ago Shea Howell and I participated in a two day training session of Growing Power, a two acre urban farm on the northwest side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

It was an unforgettable experience for us and the approximately seventy other participants who included youngsters and oldsters from all over the country and from many different backgrounds.

For example, I was in a project planning workshop with Wesley, a 13-year old African American middle schooler from the neighborhood, and Hank, a middle-aged Puerto Rican psychiatrist interested in organizing a similar urban farm in his Rochester, New York

Growing Power is the realization of the imagination of 6′7″ Will Allen, the first African American to play basketball with the University of Miami. Raised on a farm in Maryland, Will never forgot the sense of extended family and community that he experienced as a child because his family always had plenty of food and took it for
granted that they should share with those in need. So, after a pro basketball career and working in sales and sales technology with Proctor & Gamble, he decided in the early 1990s to buy a two acre plot in “Greenhouse Alley,” a stretch of small farms that fed Milwaukee in the early decades of the 20th century.

Will began with a Vision a Vision of Independence, independence from poverty, independence from chemicals, independence from far-off food sources, independence from farming techniques that are no longer viable given our ever dwindling supply of farmland and fossil fuels, and also independence from the illusion that community can exist without individuals accepting responsibility.

As a result, Growing Power has blossomed into a model food system concentrated in five greenhouses on two acres which now includes

An aquaphonic system in which mosquito size fishlings enter a tank at one end of the greenhouse and emerge as 21/2 pounders at the other.
10,000 pounds of compost, produced weekly through combining redworms with food waste, to remediate the soil of Growing Power and other gardens.
A Rainbow Coalition of African American, EuroAmerican and Hmong farmers who supply local restaurants and families with weekly Market Baskets.
A Youth Corps Farm program which starts kids out when they are eight or nine and works with them until they go to college. This program gives kids what the schools don’t but should provide. They work hard, learn how to think on their feet, and are challenged to solve problems instead of giving up and complaining when something doesn’t work out immediately. To save our public schools and our young people I am convinced (as I point out in this pamphlet “Freedom Schooling: Bringing the Neighbor back into the ‘hood”, compiled from my weekly columns in the Michigan Citizen) that this is the kind of education our children need from K-12. It is also the kind of self-and structure- transforming project education that in the last three years of his life Martin Luther King was advocating for young people “in our dying cities.”

We’re not just growing food, the folks at Growing Power say. We are growing community.

These examples from Detroit and Milwaukee are two glimpses of the future that are springing up in the United States.. As members of Beloved Communities Shea Howell, Nelson Johnson and I are seeking out and connecting other examples of people growing community. They are mostly local, small, unconnected, and unrecognized, but as organizational consultant Margaret Wheatley explains in her book LEADERSHIP AND MODERN SCIENCE (p.44):

“From a Newtonian perspective, our efforts often seem too small, and we doubt that our actions will contribute incrementally to large-scale change. Step by step, system by system we aspire to develop enough mass or force to alter the larger system.”

But a quantum view explains the success of small efforts quite differently.

Acting locally allows us to be inside the movement and flow of the system, participating in all those complex events occurring simultaneously. We are more likely to be sensitive to the dynamics of this system, and thus more effective. However, changes in small places also affect the global system, not through incrementalism, but because every small system participates in an unbroken wholeness. Activities in one part of the whole create effects that appear in distant places. Because of these unseen connections, there is potential value in working anywhere in the system. We never know how our small activities will affect others through the invisible fabric of our connectedness. I have learned that in this exquisitely connected world, it’s never a question of ‘critical mass.’ It’s always about critical connections.”

In Detroit and Milwaukee we are making these critical connections.

Growing Power Vision Statement


Growing Power inspires communities to build sustainable food systems that are equitable and ecologically sound, creating a just world, one food-secure community at a time.

Milwaukee Master Plan, Northeast Region

Support urban farming (small scale intensive farming, an updated modern version of “victory gardens”) in residential and mixed use neighborhoods as a way to:
Build self reliance for those who grow healthy, fresh food for themselves and their families.
Provide extra family income for those who create food for sale in neighborhood farmers markets.
Advance community building, as neighbors enjoy the beauty of urban farms and gardens, participate in growing community and food together, and provide gainful work for neighborhood residents, especially the young and the old.

Sweet Red Cherry Tomatoes From Your Harambee CSA Garden

Have you ever wished to venture forth beyond
Your primal ancestral circles
And see what’s up in the village
Across the river from your own?

Have you ever longed for sweet red cherry tomatoes
So fresh and juicy the old world
Protestant or Catholic in you worries that
Eating them might be some kind of carnal sin?

Have you ever felt the joy of sacred fatigue
At the end of a workout in rich soil
Hands in the dirt, good sweat, and
Joyous work laughter moments with friends?

Have you ever imagined that…

Your nation gave rise to a movement
With other nations you are learning to love,

With an eye, strong body, and heart
Fixed on the prize of
Ten thousand backyard city farms.

With 4 chickens (no rooster) each
(Roosters visit from the early rising towns)

Eyes on the prize of…

Ten Thousand community farms and gardens,
In old industrial city neighborhoods,

Transforming themselves into

Planetary villages of grace, beauty, and health?

And the nations chose leaders
Who could understand all this!

Too Much Snow and Rain to Roof 2008
February 4, 2008

Remus Shares Rom’s Cornell Urban Ag Resources To Milwaukee

Optimally Open Sourced Collaboration

Shared this with many in Milwaukee on Feb. 7, 2008: Great Cornell U. Web Site on Garden-based Learning


Example of responses then and forthcoming next 6 years:


What a great source of information!!!!

Kimberly K. Nerone
Elementary Teacher
414 773–4350
[email protected]

Thanks for your continuous thinking and planning….
Ps this site is great. Julilly

Blueberry Pancake Sharing Of Museum Platform for Urban Ag

Betting a Farm Would Work in Queens

Work Architecture Company

A model of the proposal by Work Architecture that won this year’s Young Architects Program at the P.S. 1 Contemporary Arts Center in Long Island City, Queens.
Published: February 7, 2008

One can only imagine how the judges reacted when the architects walked in lugging the kind of hulking concrete-pouring cardboard tubes used at construction sites filled with flowering heads of cabbage.

Jacob Silberberg for The New York Times

Dan Wood and Amale Andraos with elements of their design, which includes growing heads of lettuce and harvesting them.

The proposal by Dan Wood and Amale Andraos, the husband-and-wife duo behind Work Architecture, was clearly a departure from previous design proposals to transform the courtyard of the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City, Queens for a summer. But the urban farm concept including an abundance of fresh produce and a genuine harvesting plan was apparently just too darn offbeat to pass up.

“It’s just so unlike anything that’s been done before,” said Barry Bergdoll, the chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art, which jointly sponsors the annual Young Architects Program with P.S. 1. “It’s the first one that’s not canopies or party spaces. In some ways it’s almost in counterpoint to the program.”

The seven-year-old competition calls for creating an outdoor social space for dancing and drinking in the summer months. Ms. Andraos and Mr. Wood were chosen over four other finalists, all of them based in New York: Matter Architecture Practice; su11 architecture & design; Them; and Monad Architects, which also has an office in Miami.

The Work team’s presentation which included Mr. Wood’s donning of a pouffy green gardening skirt with specially designed pockets for his trowel and gardening gloves made an impression.

“The two of them looked like stock actors from the background of a Mozart troupe where they needed some rustic peasants,” Mr. Bergdoll said.

On Tuesday at Work’s East Village offices, Ms. Andraos, 34, and Mr. Wood, 40, and their staff raised a glass of Champagne to celebrate their winning design for a rural oasis in Queens. Mr. Wood described the project as “kind of a folded farm with a pool carved out of the middle.”

“We’re interested in the surrealistic object,” he explained.

Yet the architects’ creative process started with the more traditional P.S. 1 courtyard concept of an urban beach, focusing on themes like the striped bathing costumes of a 1928 photograph called “La Plage.” They moved from there to contemplating “Sous les pavs, la plage” (roughly, “under the paving stones, a better life”), a slogan dating from the 1968 student riots in Paris. Finally they arrived at the notion of “Sur les paves la ferme,” meaning, “Over the pavement, the farm.”

“We wanted to find what our generation’s symbol would be,” Ms. Andraos said, “embodying our preoccupations, our hopes for the world.”

In working out their design, the architects also kept in mind the movement from industrialization to postindustrialization, from global to local, from the free market to the farmer’s market, and from sand to hay.

“This is one of those designs that is both a homage to and a critique of the architecture of the ‘60s and ‘70s,” said Glenn D. Lowry, director of MoMA. “But it also has a playful and whimsical dimension.”

To organize the space they chose the heavy cardboard tubes the largest is a yard in height, and in diameter in part because of the shadows they would cast and because of their resilience. Columns will be bolted together to form a span that rises on either side of a pool like a large V.

Each tube will play its own role. Some will contain plantings on dirt shelves equipped with liner bags to prevent leakage.

There is a fabric tube that people can enter through a curtain “where you can hide from the party, if you’ve had enough,” Ms. Andraos said.

There will be two sound columns one that plays farm sounds when you sit down, another in which you can look upward, see stars and hear crickets. There is a phone-charging column, a children’s grotto of columns with swings, an herb-growing column with circulating fans dispersing scents like basil or lavender, and a juicer column where fresh juice will be made and sold.

“It kind of hits a tenor of the times,” Mr. Bergdoll said. “It’s both a real and humorous response to sustainability.”

The architects also threw in a stand-alone bundle of spiraling columns that they refer to as “a mini Tatlin’s Tower,” a tribute to a Constructivist building envisioned by the Russian architect Vladimir Tatlin for Petrograd that was conceived after the 1917 Revolution but was never built.

“For us it’s an opportunity to create an exciting structure,” Ms. Andraos said of the project, “but also to talk about issues and ideas to be engaged with the world.”

The couple met in 1998, when Mr. Wood was working at the Rotterdam headquarters of the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas; Ms. Andraos took a job there a year later. They started their firm in 2002, and their projects include the recently completed new headquarters for Diane von Furstenberg in Manhattan’s meatpacking district. The architects are also working on the master plan for the BAM Cultural District in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

As is typically the case with such projects, the architects will have to scale back their vision. They have imagined growing everything from mint to peas, fennel and pumpkins. Mr. Wood said he hoped to grow fresh tomatoes for bloody marys “and barley and hops, so we can make P.S. 1 beer by October.”

The ultimate result, of course, is likely to be more modest. The project budget is $85,000, although the architects said they hope to raise $60,000 more in funds and in-kind donations of materials to cover additional costs.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the plant palate changes a bit,” Mr. Bergdoll said. “But its conceptual infrastructure is so strong it’s such a radical and on some level outlandish idea that these modifications don’t fundamentally change it.”

The architects said they had consulted with the Horticultural Society of New York and with the Queens Botanical Garden and were open to adjusting their plans. “We’re talking about combining it with a real farmer’s market,” Mr. Wood said. “We’re not sure what’s going to grow.”

From http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/07/arts/design/07cour.html?ref=arts

To be uploaded soon to…


Janine Arseneau Cherry Tomatoe Poem To Bay View Matters

​!!! Delicious Revolution

dreaming of
a delicious revolution,
from the ground up

cherry tomatoes
in their sweet red summer glory
giving up flesh and nectar

leaving seeds behind
to find their way
back into the soil
to create more
sweet little tomato treasures

softening the earth
opening hearts
nurturing spirits

sustaining us
uniting us

the transformative power
of a tiny cherry tomato

this revolution should be
televised and broadcast widely


CSA Sweet Red Cherry Tomato Experiment $20 to subscribe 2008
[email protected]


On this page Poetry and Prose 2008

Growing Power Growing Food
Sweet Red Cherry Tomatoes From Your Harambee Garden
Janine Arseneau’s “Delicious Revolution” Starts Poetry Jam Session

Advancing Urban Ag and Neighborhood Rights To Obama Urban Policy Convener

Hey Rachel,

Do you have any people who would brainstorm with community activists and urban farming community toward the creation of a petition that might inspire a piece on urban ag in the 2008 platform?

If we had such a petition, to whom would you suggest we ask people to send it to?


I would suggest starting with a document
drafted over 15 years ago by the Dudley Street
Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) in Roxbury, MA in
response to neglect and subsequent redevelopment
efforts by Boston redevelopment practitioners in the
early ‘90s. While it is neighborhood-specific, it can
easily be adapted and applied to other issues. It was
called the DSNI Declaration of Community Rights.

We have the right to:

1- shape the development of all plans, programs and
policies likely to affect the quality of our lives…
2- quality, affordable health care that is both
accessible and culturally sensitive…
3- control the development of neighborhood land in
ways that insure adequate open space….
4- live in a hazard-free environment…
5- to celebrate the vibrant cultural diversity of the
neighborhood through all artistic forms….
6- education and training that will help us reach our
full potential.
7- share in the jobs and prosperity created by
economic development initiatives in metro Boston…
8- quality and affordable housing as both homeowner
and tenant.
9- quality, affordable child care responsive to needs
of child/family…
10- safe and accessible public transportation.
11- quality goods and services made available through
active neighborhood-based commercial district.
12- full spiritual and religious life in appropriate
places of worship.
13- safety and security in our homes and neighborhood.

From Medoff & Sklar, “Streets of Hope…” (South End
Press, 1994) p.202.

As a platform, I would add;
-access to the available wealth-building tools (such
as real estate AND capital) that are rarely accessible
to low-income families.
- access to affordable, local, healthy and safe food.
(options to “frankenfoods” or forklift cattle)

Vision of Weaving London “Farmers” Into Global Network

This was sent to Emmanuel and Megan Godsil Jeyifo Marcy 5, 2008, along with file on “Edible Cities” book Ben Reynolds and team developed and list of people who expressed interest.

Let us use this to start an international yahoo group with Megan and Emmanuel as founder/moderator(subject to approval of first 6 members already signed on). I can pay Megan $15 per hour for the first $1,000 devoted to this and other urban ag/edible playground social enterprise ventures/outreach/promoting/peddling, until grant money or paid jobs are forthcoming.

I’ll send some other news of this as it arrives, unless you

Growing The Perry Ave Commons Model

We are growing something fresh and vital!

At the Perry Ave Commons.

We’re growing food for our bodies.

We’re growing food for our souls.

Food security and sustainable design.
Multidimensional transformations.

From blight to light…to life!

Imagination spaces,
Imaginal cells.

Wastes to resources,
Blight to light…to life.

Blight to life!

Social praxis performance arts.
10 point feedback loops.

We’re growing data! Metrics! Money!

Meaning…and Fun!

New paradignms for 21st century planning.

We’re growing leaders who follow,
And followers who lead.

We’re growing ustainable design learning and production networks.

We’re growing safe places for art,
Safe places for science.

We’re growing artist artisan agrarians

Yeoman urban villagers.

We’re growing photo books.
Big theory book outlines.

We’re growing green healthy neighborhoods.

We’re growing safe places
For earth nation organic intellectuals

We’re growing New Stories!
We’re growing New Work!

We’re growing the leaders we’ve been waiting for…

We’re turning wastes to resources…

Wasted materials
Wasted land
Wasted time
Wasted possibilities!

We’re growing Eco-logical enterprises,
Networking and complexifying

On higher and subtler planes…

We’re growing coops and communions.
Radiating morphic resonance…

We’ve woven rich webs of
Tinkering and experimentation…

We’re redefining, remaking, respiriting
Our places and our purpose.

We’re growing and SHOWING
Transformative processes of
Community Development.

We’re growing constructivist methods
Of inquiry.

Building upon the best of the 1909 Burnham Plan

We are networking with the nation,
We are networking with the Earth nation,

For a New Plan of Chicago
Sparking New Paradigms of 21st Century

Participatory planning for

People, Planet, and Profit

There grows the neighborhood.

Last edited by Godsil.   Page last modified on June 08, 2016

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