Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Urban Farmer Wins $500k "Genius" Award

Now this is what I like to hear.

Many of the awards fell into the science or arts category but a couple did't fit into either. One of these was the non-profit Growing Power, Inc. http://www.growingpower.org/
It was started 15 years go by Will Allen a farmer in Millwarke who saw teens without work and a farm that needed help. What I think was creative is how he fashioned this partnership. Some would have just used the kids as cheap labor but not Will. He had vision.

Will's offer to Growing Power was that the teens would work at his store and renovate the greenhouses to grow food for their community. This simple idea has 15 years later, blossomed into a national and global commitment to sustainable food systems.

Since its inception, Growing Power has served as a ”living museum” or “idea factory” for the young, the elderly, farmers, producers, and other professionals ranging from USDA personnel to urban planners. Training areas include the following: acid-digestion, anaerobic digestion for food waste, bio-phyto remediation and soil health, aquaculture closed-loop systems, vermiculture, small and large scale composting, urban agriculture, perma-culture, food distribution, marketing, value-added product development, youth development, community engagement, participatory leadership development, and project planning. Here is picture of their headquarters

In 2005 Will Allen won a Leadership For A Changing World award from the Ford Foundation see what they had to say about his efforts at the website http://www.leadershipforchange.org/awardees/awardee.php3?ID=303
Their farms in urban Chicago

Congratulations to Will and all the folks at Growing Power, this is what it is all about.

Visit the MacArthur Foundaton http://www.macfound.org/site/c.lkLXJ8MQKrH/b.855229/k.CC2B/Home.htm