Farmer, founder and CEO, Will Allen and his non-profit Growing Power are leaders in the sustainable food movement. Based in Milwaukee, Growing Power transforms abandoned and unused lots into year-round organic food sources and inspires young people in the community to learn to grow food for themselves and their neighbors. Farmers, community groups and others are joining the fun and the results are outstanding.
Growing Power recently held the 2014 Urban & Small Farms Conference: Building a Fair Food Economy to Grow Healthy People in Milwaukee. The 3-day conference covered issues of our modern food system and how we can work together to change them. It focused on community and inter-community teamwork to tackle crucial issues our planet’s food and water systems face. The conference buzzed with palpable energy and a strong sense of community and global stewardship. Every farmer and educator involved was approachable and willing to give additional resources to those hungry for more information.
Workshops included Urban Farming, Urban Aquaculture, Food and Technology, Food Policy, International (Food and Farming Around the World), Land and Architecture. In addition to workshops, there were networking activities such as Makers Craft Bazaar, Growing Power Farm field trips, Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative (GFJI) and a chef’s gala. To top it all off, a once-in-a-lifetime talk where Michael Pollan and Will Allen, two giants of the sustainable food movement discussed current food issues, took questions from the guests and ended the evening with inspirational visions for the future.
As a farmer, father and lover of life I feel this kind of movement is essential to our survival. It was an absolute honor to work with so many passionate and involved members of our global community. The memories and knowledge taken from this conference will fuel those in attendance to go out and make our food systems better.