Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vacation, Day One Continues

The day started out great (in the garden) and just got better.

Late morning, Dave, Sean and I headed out for Milwaukee. Our destination?: Growing Power, a 2-1/2 acre urban community farm. Having heard and read a lot about Growing Power and its founder Will Allen, I've wanted to visit for a very long time. GP lived up to my expectations.

We took the daily tour, given by the very knowledgeable and personable Mike. (I had secretly hope that this would be one of the days Will Allen was giving the tour, but because Mike was such an excellent guide, I quickly got over my disappointment.) Mike led us through greenhouses and hoophouses and fish tanks and worm bins all working together and laid out in a sensible and aesthetically pleasing way. Outside, he introduced us to goats and chickens and turkeys, and he showed off what appeared to be his pride and joy, the largest compost pile imaginable.

Whatever I write won't do Growing Power justice. I'm not a good enough writer* to describe how cleverly these folks use (and reuse) all the resources they have in order to grow enough food on this small piece of crappy urban land**, smack-dab in the middle of an economically depressed neighborhood, to feed 10,000 people. Even so, I've read about it and heard it described but couldn't quite envision how GP does what they do.

In a word: Skip Disneyland. Take the kids to Growing Power.

* Check My Dearest O's Drivel for a writeup. He's a much better (and more disciplined) writer than I am.
**They make ALL their own soil, so don't worry about the farm being on crappy land.

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