Growing Power on Milwaukee Renaissance

City Farms & Fisheries, Anaerobic Digestion, Redemption Gardens

Dear Mr. Hammonds,

I very much enjoyed your piece on Bill Drayton and Ashoka’s search for social entrepreneurs with enormous ideas.

Milwaukee’s ex-professional basketball player self-transformed into an urban organic crop and fish farmer, rainbow farmer’s marketing co-op founder, anaerobic digester experimenter, international urban farming trainer, “redemption garden” creator, lecturer to Heifer international conference on food in Nairobi next week, and much more, is one for you to consider.

Here are some links that present a piece of the Will Allen Growing Power story:

Ford Foundation Leadership for Change Award:

Official Web Site:

One of Better of Many Magazine Articles on Will Allen and his Growing Power Team:

Letter on Enormous Health and Job Benefits of Tilapia Fish Farms in Old Brewery Tanks

Anaerobic Digestion Project

A Local Family Creates On Line Diarty of Inside Farming w. Growing Power Methodologies

Combining Fish Farm at Historic Brewery w. Headquarters for Emerging Community Based Food Systems in North America

Will Allen was quick in his vision of the transformation of Building #3: is “fish”)

  • Aqua Farming

	-In giant tanks that once stored the beer that made Milwaukee Famous

	-Tilapia Fish of High Protein to replace Pabst Blew Ribbon

	-“Loaves and Fishes from Milwaukee to the World”(there are some great bakers
	to be located in the New Pabst City)

  • Anarobic Digesters

	-Giant portion of the cost of heating the water and the air through the new miracle of 

	-Urban food wastes for heating energy rather than landfills

  • Greenhouses & Vermiculture Demonstrations

	-Transformations of good waste, coffee ground, brewery yeast, and wood chipes to “Black 

  • Community Food System Demonstration Projects

	-Local, healthy, tasty food production, distribution, and training Institutes in 

	*Market Basket Programs for the People of the Great Lakes Cities

	*Hands on and distant learning programs in community organic food systems

  • Experimental Project Partnerships

	-Growing Power already has project partnerships in the works or planned with
	Habitat for Humanity, WE Energies, 16th St. Health Clinic, Urban Ecology Center,
	Outpost Natural Foods, MATC

Letter Inviting Milwaukeeans to Tour Growing Power City Farm

There is a farmer in Milwaukee, Will Allen of Growing Power, who wants to connect with neighborhood organizations,schools, and spiritual communities, with hopes of sparking 1,000 neighborhood gardens and 5,000 new family gardens over the next 10 or 15 years in our oldest neighborhoods.

I’m hoping the training grounds for some of this might be at the Soldiers Home, assisted by the NAACP, the National Association of Black Veterans(NABVETS), the Wisconsin Academy, and more.

I very much hope you will consider looking into this great man and his emerging organization, which I think could be key to the issue of jobs and non-violence in our neighborhoods.

Growing Power Tour, August 22nd, Monday, at 4:00 PM. ,

Good Food for the Body and the Soul

Have you yet met Will Allen of Growing Power? This is a man with a mission that can help connect self-sufficiency with community, science with art, passion with wisdom. He is a compelling tour presenter, with a little help from his 6 ft. 7 in. solid muscled 56 year old frame and a renaissance mind supporting his personal and intense hands-on relationship with worms, fish, plants, animals, and the young and old his work inspires and supports. The tour is at 55th and Silver Sp. Please let me know if you and yours might make this one or other monthly tours. 232 1336, Godsil.

Short Bio Sketch of Will Allen

Will Allen, an ex pro ball player, is also a farmer and community worker, dedicated to teaching the people to create great home and neighborhood gardens, worm and fish farms, and high end spices and produce for some extra family income.

Will Allen, is the founder and president of the Rainbow Farmer’s Cooperative.

One of the only African American farmers in the State of Wisconsin, Allen has struggled vigorously to alleviate the plight of the small farmer.

He works a 100-acre farm in Oak Creek, WI.

He is responsible for organizing most of the farmers markets in Milwaukee and developing Milwaukee’s first indoor/outdoor year-round Fondy Market.

Will Allen is also the Director of Growing Power, a national not for profit organization supporting the development of community food systems

He has over twenty years experience in marketing and distributing food and has shared this knowledge with youth and adults for over ten years.

Short Summary Sketch of Growing Power

Growing Power is a nonprofit organization focusing on environmentally sustainable agriculture and on strategies for addressing urban food insecurity.

At its two-acre farm on the north side of the city of Milwaukee, Growing Power has developed aquaculture gardens, vermiculture systems, a beekeeping operation, organic composting areas, and animal husbandry demonstrations.

 It also produces and sells plants and vegetables, sponsors a farmers’ cooperative, and operates a community-supported agriculture project - the Farm City Market Basket Program.

 As Growing Power has developed and maintained these systems and projects, it has shared its growing knowledge and experience with others throughout the city, state, and country through tours, workshops and hands-on trainings for all ages. 

Harvey Taylor Reactions to Will Allen’s Tour

Local poet Harvey Taylor was so moved by Will et al’s creations that he wrote this song. Please check the web site and let me know if you would like to attend one of Will’s great monthly tours in 2005 or 2006.

Growing Power

Will Allen is a down-home visionary,
working with soil, sunshine, water, and seeds
to grow quality food for the community:
remember, we are what we eat!

Growing Power, growing by the hour…
uh-huh, growing vegetables and flowers…
I say, Hooray! for Growing Power:
www.growingpower­dot org

Will used to play pro basketball…
now he keeps busy feeding us all,
organic vegetables free from pesticides,
food you can serve your family with pride!

Growing Power, growing by the hour…
uh-huh, growing vegetables and flowers…
I say, Hooray! for Growing Power:
www.growingpower­dot org.

Area restaurants donate kitchen waste,
and likewise, so do some breweries…
it’s all fed to worms in compost bins,
who turn it into the best soil you’ve ever seen!

You can spread that compost on vacant lots,
‘til it’s a foot and a half deep, then stop,
and put the plants directly in:
presto! instant Garden of Eden!

There’s much more to say about various things,
for example, aquaculture is amazing,
so come on out to 55th and Silver Spring,
on the Northwest side of beautiful Milwaukee.

Growing Power, growing by the hour…
uh-huh, growing vegetables and flowers…
I say, Hooray! for Growing Power:
www.growingpower­dot org.

Copyright © Harvey Taylor 2005. All rights reserved.

yes, Growing Power represents an alternative universe---
& Goddess knows we need alternatives to bizness-as-usual!
the song (recorded version) apparently will soon be added to
the Growing Power website (, &
may also become a music video---
in the meantime, the lyric, & both dial-up (‘lo-fi’) & broadband (‘hi-fi)
mp3s can be accessed on my website:

keep your earthworms happy
mantenga sus gusanos felices,

Last edited by g.   Page last modified on February 15, 2006

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