On this page…

  1. 8th Annual St. Patrick Brigid All City Celebration and Soap Box Moment
    1. 1.1  With a green theme
  2. The Spotless Garden
  3. Grace Lee Boggs on Economics & Solidarity in the 21st Century: Haiti Lessons
  4. Will Allen at the White House With Michele Obama
  5. Buy Your Honey a Sweet Water Perch for Valentines Day
  6. Bankrolling the Rosa Parks of Hens
  7. Students to Make Milwaukee the Vermiculture City of America?
  8. Milwaukee as Urban Vermiculture City of America
  9. Sweet Water Organics First Perch Harvest Sale This Wednesday
  10. You Are Buying More Than a Fish
  11. Tastier, smaller meals for a new day!
  12. $5 to $10 Worm/Compost Advances Mother Nature’s Biomicry Experiment in Milwaukee
  13. Sweet Water Organics India Connections
  14. Biomimicry—the conscious emulation of life’s genius.
  15. Anyone Interested in Radical Homemaking?
  16. Sweet Water’s 3rd Perch Auction Party Wed. Jan. 20th, 5 to 8 p.m.
  17. Order Your Wild Flour Bread for Monday Sweet Water Pick Up
  18. Renaissance Memes and Methodologies
  19. Seek Partners for Digital Outpost and Internet Cafe at Sweet Water
  20. Tuesday’s 5 to 7 p.m. Night School Focus: Worms and Hybrid Small Business and Social Enterprise Models
  21. Sweet Water Kick-off Perch Auction and Holiday Gathering, Dec. 30, 5 to 9 p.m., auction starts at 7 p.m.
  22. 2151 S. Robinson(one block west of KK, one block south of Becher,
  23. three blocks north of Lincoln, close to Lulu’s: 414 232 1336).
  24. Complimentary Lakefront Beer(donated)
  25. Howard Lewis of Embedded Reporter making music
  26. Sweet Water Corners
  27. Sweet Water Historic Perch Redemption Coupon Provided Winning Bidders
    1. 27.1  by Howard Lewis
  28. Project overview:
  29. Project timeline:
  30. Project Budget:
  31. Submission must include:
  32. Things to consider
  33. Selected artists
  34. Questions?
  37. by Patricia Obletz
  38. Mighty Collaborations
  39. The Bio Diversity City of America?
  40. Juicy Tomatoes For All?
  41. A Small Fish Farm in My Garage?
  42. My Child Working in a Rain Forest?
  43. Why not?
    1. 43.1  You are invited to a special presentation:
  44. By Peter Bradford, former NRC Commissioner
  45. CBS 58, This Sunday 10:30 a.m.
  46. A Nobel Prize for the Good Food ®Evolution!
  47. Milwaukee’s internationally famous urban farm has secured a $1.95 million grant from a group founded by former President Bill Clinton.
  48. Magnificent Opportunity to Set City and UWM on course for a Beautiful City
  49. First Lady Says “Yea for vegetables”
    1. 49.1  When Will Our First Family Visit Growing Power?
  50. Edupunks Combat Bourgeois Cultural Hegemony
  51. Veggie Trader
  52. U.S. Department of Agriculture: “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Initiative
  53. Art Not Apathy!
    1. 53.1  A Gathering to promote Ecological awareness!
  54. By Michael Pollan
  55. The New York TImes 2009-09-10
  56. By Patricia Obletz
  57. Dear Public Radio Listener,
  58. By Patricia Obletz
  59. “Down on the farm in Bay View: Fish, sprouts, and veggies”
  60. Wednesday Early Evenings: Come visit us at Sweet Water Guild School!
  61. “Wheat Grass Moments” with Dr. Dave.
  63. by George F. Sanders
  64. A Letter to Joe Biden about Stimulus Assistance - April 07, 2009
    1. 64.1  by George F. Sanders
  65. A Letter to Tom Barrett about the Community Development Block Grant - April 20, 2009
    1. 65.1  by George F. Sanders
  66. The Cleanest Perch on the Planet
  67. 1,000 Great Lakes Water Institute Perch Arrive at Sweet Water Organics!
  68. The President and the Street Farmer Teach the Troops:
    1. 68.1  Street Smart Troops Can Grow Own Healthy Food and Spread
    2. 68.2  the Knowledge for Food Self-Sufficiency
  69. “Time” Magazine Cover July 2010: Grace Lee Boggs, Michael Moore, and Will Allen
    1. 69.1  In front of an empty Ford and GM factory, about to be transformed
    2. 69.2  Into an aquaponics fish vegetable farm and community food center!
  70. The Marriage of Artists, Artisans, & Agrarians:
  71. Zoo Freeway versus Monarch.
  72. Great New Resource for Urban Agriculture
  73. City Hall RALLY to Keep Public Our Water(KPOW
  74. Water privatization press release!
  75. Wall Street To Become Custodian of Great Lakes and Mississippi River Waters?
  76. Keep Public Our Waters
  77. Mayor Barrett Can Inspire a Change In State Law to Keep Public Our Waters
  78. We Need Gwen Moore To Keep Public Our Waters(KPOW
  79. Water Panel Weak On Specifics
    1. 79.1  The Politics of Water. Thursday, May 21.
  80. Keep Public Our Water
  81. KPOW!
  82. Call the Alders!
  83. Keep Our Water Public
  84. A Good Food Manifesto for America

8th Annual St. Patrick Brigid All City Celebration and Soap Box Moment

With a green theme

If you would like to be part of the work team organizing this event, or,
if you would like to be considered for a part in the one or two minute soap box orations integral to this celebration, or if you have a demonstrations and performances with a green theme, send an e-mail to [email protected]

St. Brigid prevailed upon St. Patrick to bring more to the celebration than

Bring your visions!

Stand forth and share them!

Amidst music, song, food, and dance!

Celebrate our movements!

Celebrate The Movement!

The Spotless Garden

Published: February 17, 2010

THERES a Beyond Thunderdome quality to Rob Torcellinis greenhouse. The 10-by-12-foot structure is undistinguished on the outside: he built it from a $700 kit, alongside his familys Victorian-style farmhouse in Eastford, Conn., a former farming town 35 miles east of Hartford. What is going on inside, however, is either a glimpse at the future of food growing or a very strange hobby possibly both.

There are fish here, for one thing, shivering through the winter, and a jerry-built system of tanks, heaters, pumps, pipes and gravel beds. The greenhouse vents run on a $20 pair of recycled windshield wiper motors, and a thermostat system sends Mr. Torcellini e-mail alerts when the temperature drops below 36 degrees. Some 500 gallons of water fill a pair of food-grade polyethylene drums that he scavenged from a light-industry park.

Read the rest at the NEW York Times

Sweet Water Foundation

The Sweet Water Foundation has been set up in hopes of advancing backyard, school yard, church synagogue mosque temple grounds, corporate and your yard fish vegetable farming in our fair city.
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Grace Lee Boggs on Economics & Solidarity in the 21st Century: Haiti Lessons

We can learn a lot about economics and solidarity from Haitis past and present.

Historically, Haiti is so poor because ever since the 1791–1803 revolution that freed the slaves, the United States has helped bleed the country economically.and politically. In the 19th century the U.S. backed Frances demand that Haiti pay reparations for the freed slaves and refused to recognize the Republic of Haiti for fear that its own slaves would rebel. In the 20th century we repeatedly invaded the country militarily, supported despots like Papa Doc, toppled popularly elected officials like Aristide.

In the last few years misery has increased in Haiti because food self-sufficiency was destroyed in a move known locally as the Plan of Death. Haiti once grew its own rice. But in 1994 the IMF came in and ordered the government to cut its rice tariff from 35 per cent to 3 per cent. Suddenly the market was flooded with rice grown in the U.S. by hugely subsidized farmers. Haiti’s hundreds of thousands of rice farmers went bust and were driven to Port-au-Prince to provide cheap labor for foreign-owned sweatshops. It was an externally-engineered, political-economic earthquake that made the natural earthquake of 2010 far more deadly.

Yet Bill Clinton, who is the UN special adviser for Haiti relief efforts, cant wait to bring foreign investors back to Port-au-Prince to open sweatshops producing t-shirts and baseballs for export.

Local economies are especially needed world-wide at this time because they:

  • require less transportation over long distances and therefore slow down pollution and global warming.

  • combat the consumerism that is concerned only with gratifying our wants and not with the well-being of the producers.

  • encourage small businesses that need more workers.

  • create communities

  • help us live more simply so that others can simply live.

  • improve our health and quality of life by reducing stress and giving us more control over our lives.

Since the early 1990s the U.S. labor movement has opposed Bill Clintons NAFTA because free trade means exporting U.S. jobs to low wage countries. But it needs to do more to help American workers recognize the many benefits of the local economies that are now needed for our health and the Earths.

Since NAFTA was launched on January 1, 1994, more American jobs have gone overseas to cheap wage countries and the decline in private sector jobs has meant declining tax revenues and layoffs of public service workers.

Moreover, because U.S. corn could be sold more cheaply than it could be produced in Mexico, millions of Mexican farmers have been put out of business and driven north to seek work.

That is why the time has come to redefine Globalization as Localization. According to Michael Shuman, author of The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition.

If we really want to help poor countries, Shuman explains, it’s far smarter to help them achieve the same level of local self-reliance we seek for ourselves.

Instead of exporting jobs and goods, we can create long-term partnerships between our communities, North and South, in which we help one another reorganize every element of our economies. As we in the North create community food systems, we might help partners in the South transform their food systems, away from the plantations and export crops and toward the cultivation of enough healthy fruits, vegetables, rice and beans to feed their own families. As we strengthen and spread our own local banks, credit unions, stock markets and mutual funds, we can help partners create these institutions as well, so that local savings everywhere increasingly support local housing, local education and local entrepreneurship. As we deploy new technologies to become more energy efficient, we can share our know-how with renewable resource innovators in the South. The Capital Times (Wisconsin), Nov. 5, 2009.

This is the form that Solidarity needs to and can take in the 21st century!

Will Allen at the White House With Michele Obama

Growing Power’s Will Allen let the world know that urban agriculture was a vital piece in the First Lady’s project to reduce childhood obesity. Will praised Milwaukee for developing green houses and farms in abandoned buildings that grow healthy, tasty, food year round.


Buy Your Honey a Sweet Water Perch for Valentines Day

Dear All,

I have received enough training as to feel ok
about selling Sweet Water Perch at the
Sweet Water Night School Store and Agora

Doors open 6 days a week,
5 p.m. and close at 7 p.m.

2151 S. Robinson in Bay View

(one block west of KK,
one block south of Becher)

  • whole
  • bagged in ice
  • for you to fillet
  • fresh net from the tanks

Every night of the week.
But not Friday.

$5 per fish

And, God willing, we’re buying a lot more than a fish


Bankrolling the Rosa Parks of Hens

“If Harvard can have chickens” was the subject line in response to this news:

Cambridge Zoning Meeting to Determine the Legality of Backyard Chickens
Thursday, February 11th
Central Square Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue,

There will be a hearing to determine the legality of having chickens and ducks in Cambridge. Up to this point there has been a “thin gray line” and the animals have been allowed because no one complained. Late last year a group of neighbors complained about chickens and ducks at 220 Putnam and so the legality of issue is being raised with the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Here’s a link to a website about the 220 Putnam animals (www.savetheducks.org) and a petition to change/modify the zoning to allow chickens and ducks in the city. If you care about people responsibly raising chickens in an urban environment, please consider signing the petition or even attending the BZA meeting on Thursday evening.

I just heard about this incident and hope that we can support the housing coop that is involved! Do you have any stories, successful or otherwise, about legality issues around keeping backyard chickens and ducks in your town?

Helaine Alon
Master’s Candidate, Environmental Science and Policy
Clark University

Which inspired this note:

to note, there was a complaint that made this a news issue, but I know there are complaints about dogs in my neighborhood often and they don’t outlaw them. And they don’t help anyone get fed. Come on, who will be our Rosa Parks of hens….. decide to do it, ask us to stand behind you and then break this law and then we all help you fight it. It is a rights issue.


To this:

So how about we seek $20 pledges for legal fees for
The Rosa Park of Hens.

See if we can raise $1,000.

I’ve got $20 for this.

And this:

I think we only need a few brave ones to start, more will be willing to support than lead and lots will follow once it is legal. I would chip into the fund too….I guess we need a lawyer on board, and a fund raiser for Rosa and the Rosa…. There has to be someone out there who has some energy for this and loves the idea of hens. The Rosa should have rather nice clean yard and into doing things in a tidy way so the pictures the media gets will be very favorable. Maybe that would be part of the benefit of being the Rosa, People would help you set up and make it look really cute

Students to Make Milwaukee the Vermiculture City of America?

Yo Heroes!

Check out this letter from one of the students of the White Fish Bay Earth Club who brought a group of 10 one Saturday night around Christmas, when the temperature was 0, to save the worms at Sweet Water, by taking them from their cold worm bins and placing them into the hot giant compost pile outside.

If anyone would like to join some students from the White Fish Bay Earth Club, Shorewood’s New Horizon High School, and the Inland Seas School for Expeditionary Learning, to make Milwaukee the Urban Vermiculture City of America, there’s a meeting this Thursday night I’ll provide details about if you e-mail or call me at 414 232 1336.


From: Micah Leinbach <[email protected]>
Subject: Connecting on the vermiculture vision
To: James Godsil <[email protected]>

The sense I have gotten (correct me if I am wrong) of the vision is that Whitefish Bay would serve largely as a research base for vermiculture on a variety of scales (probably focusing, simply by our resources, on smaller, home-based “basement” worm farms, but perhaps in the future by setting up one or two larger “industrial sized piles” of at least a couple feet in width, length, and height - though the community probably would throw a fit - in the future) to be shared with the city.

As I see it, Whitefish Bay and the science department could set up a long-term, research-based laboratory science system engaging various classes where vermiculture relates to them. As well as providing a valuable opportunity for students to get a sense of actual scientific work (since, with all due respect, a lot of the labs we do know seem like a mimicry of science, not the actual process) and the resulting discovery, students would be able to see how the various sciences connect as they progress through the science curriculum at Bay. The common project for the entire department would make those connections clear. What Whitefish Bay could also do through this is serve as an example to other schools who may want to take up similar projects themselves. Whitefish Bay could provide them with the advice, experiences, and materials to do so. This would allow the research process to expand throughout the community, and help make vermiculture an integral part of education in the local area. That’s the vision at least, as I see it.

This is my interpretation of the vision in the long-term, and while I will be graduating well before its into its maturity (as the project is a large one) it does seem like something feasible on at least some scale, and like something we could begin to establish a groundwork for this year - on paper if nothing else.

Thoughts and opinions are, of course, welcome. I can only provide the perspective of students on this issue, which is neither a terribly influential nor long-term position, so I would welcome opposing views.

Hope this can go somewhere!


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Milwaukee as Urban Vermiculture City of America

How about fixing our eyes on the prize, not only of making Milwaukee the urban agriculture city of America(Will Allen), and the urban aquaponics city of America(Fred Binkowski), but also the

Harnessing our urban waste streams of fruit, veggie, coffee, leafe, cardboard, lawn leavings, and wood chips into compost

Feeding the compost to the worms, making black gold

Using the compost and black gold for raised bed gardens for family, school, spiritual community, neighborhood, and business

Growing tasty, local food and teaching ourselves how to cook again

Self reliance with community, in service to Mother Earth, i.e. Mater

Matriotism, the highest form of patriotism!

Sweet Water Organics First Perch Harvest Sale This Wednesday

Feb. 10
5 to 7 p.m.
2151 S. Robinson in Bay View, block west of KK

$5 per fish, whole, unprocessed, “in the round”(bring a cooler)

414 232 1336

You Are Buying More Than a Fish

Our perch cost more than industrial agriculture products of the Western diet.

Your purchase is supporting a vital experiment in nature based agriculture, without bad chemicals, toward a circulating, renewable economy

TheVictoryGardenInitiative} picky little people loved the perch

On Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 9:31 PM, Fireball Communications <[email protected]> wrote:


Sweet Water’s perch are fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is nutritional hope for my kids yet!

YEA Sweet Water!

Tastier, smaller meals for a new day!

Two fundamental facts provide the impetus Americans and other Westerners need to make dietary changes. One, as Mr. Pollan points out, is that populations who rely on the so-called Western diet lots of processed foods, meat, added fat, sugar and refined grains invariably suffer from high rates of the so-called Western diseases: obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Indeed, 4 of the top 10 killers of Americans are linked to this diet.

As people in Asian and Mediterranean countries have become more Westernized (affluent, citified and exposed to the fast foods exported from the United States), they have become increasingly prone to the same afflictions.

The second fact is that people who consume traditional diets, free of the ersatz foods that line our supermarket shelves, experience these diseases at much lower rates. And those who, for reasons of ill health or dietary philosophy, have abandoned Western eating habits often experience a rapid and significant improvement in their health indicators.

I will add a third reason: our economy cannot afford to continue to patch up the millions of people who each year develop a diet-related ailment, and our planetary resources simply cannot sustain our eating style and continue to support its ever-growing population.

In his last book, Mr. Pollan summarized his approach in just seven words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. The new book provides the practical steps, starting with advice to avoid processed concoctions, no matter what the label may claim (no trans fats, low cholesterol, less sugar, reduced sodium, high in antioxidants and so forth).

Food Rules: An Eaters Manual

Published: NYT, February 1, 2010

$5 to $10 Worm/Compost Advances Mother Nature’s Biomicry Experiment in Milwaukee

Dear All,

Sweet Water Organics is a world’s first experiment transforming a vintage golden thread factory building into the nucleus of a fish vegetable enterprise, that, in my mind’s eye, will only be sustainable with multiple income streams and community support of the kind that created the St. Josephat miracle, i.e. volunteer labor, loans, grants, and donations, galore.

Multiple Income Streams to Support the Sweet Water Experiment in

  • $5 to $10 red wriggler worm purchases, available now!

  • $5 donations to attend the Sweet Water Night School Store and Agora

(be on the lookout for free writing seminar with Amy Lou Jenkins to help launch
her new book “Every Natural Fact”

  • development of green furniture project with area high school students inspired by

the Green Furniture Exhibit the Chipstone Foundation has at the Museum, i.e. visually
appealing very funky furniture made of newspapers, value village belts, card board, bike tires
and old inner tubes

to be continued

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Sweet Water Organics India Connections

Dear James,

Hope things are going great at your end.

While I was surfing net for Aquaponics, I landed on your below webpage which prompted me to mail you.

http://www.mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg09215.html

I am eager to start an aquaponic-system, at a small level, in my village, southern part of India. The idea is to study the pros/cons of the system and also teach the local population to take up the project for food sustainability. There are lot of farmers who are committing suicides due to investments in the traditional crops and lac of returns, while few are migrating to desert land (Middle Eastern countries) in search of mean jobs, just to support their families back home.

However, the major hinderences to go ahead with it are:
1) lac of continuous power supply to run the motor for pumping effluent to water beds.
2) lack of availabiliy of info to rear which variety of fish that suits the aquaponic-system, I understand Tilapia is most suited, but I am sure it is not there already in the place where I am planning.

I also managed to get a good amount of info on the subject and feel comfortable to work on it. However, I need some expert guidance on it.

I would appreciate if you can reply back with more info and details that could be of further help to take this project forward.

The idea of cooperative of fish, vegetable and herb producers is good though.

BTW, I presently live in Dubai and planning to visit my place during May on vacation, when I can do the ground work and plan to shift completely in next 2–3 yrs.

Have a Nice & Cheerful Day

Rajpal Rao M

Mobile: +971–50–3836619

Sweet Water forwarded this note to some of the world’s top aquaponics scientists and practioners. To read their welcome responeses, go to this link:
Sweet Water Organics India Connections
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Biomimicry—the conscious emulation of life’s genius.

“Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature”
by Janine M. Benyus

My guess is that Homo industrialis, having reached the limits of nature’s tolerance, is seeing the shadow on the wall, along with the shadows of rhinos, condors,m manatees, lady’s slippers, and other species he is taking down with him. Shaken by the sight, he, we, are hungry for instructions about how to live sanely and sustainably on the Earth. Page One of this great book, a gift from D.E. Sellers, a green furniture designer and creator of the “emergency chair.”


Sweet Water Organics, a fish vegetable farm in Bay View, Milwaukee, has eyes on the prize of “conscious emulation of life’s genius,” i.e. “biomimicry!”

Viva, biomimicry!

Here’s a nice story about the Sweet Water experiment by fine writer, Sarah Biondich, who grew up on a farm.

With the heavy residue of industry still tattooed on its landscape, Milwaukee might not seem like a window into the future of American farming. But it is.

Demand for food is growing with the swelling world population, while natural fish populations diminish and farmland disappears under the tread of development, making it necessary to adjust the way we grow our food. Milwaukee is the headquarters for several visionaries in todays urban agricultural movement who are using a system of cultivation called aquaponics to raise fish and grow vegetables.

Step over the threshold of Sweet Water Organics in Bay View, and a massive manufacturing plant that once produced heavy machinery for Harnischfeger Industries reveals its new purpose as an experimental commercial urban fish and vegetable farm.

If the Sweet Water experiment can prove commercially viable, says James Godsil, who co-owns the business with Josh Fraundorf and Steve Lindner, that would be cause for great hope for our Great Lakes Heartland cities of 10,000 under-used or unused vintage factory buildings.

Visit the shepherd for the rest!
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Extended through February 15, 2010

Anyone Interested in Radical Homemaking?

As I tooled away on my presentation, the final requirement was the most troubling. I could come up with lots and lots of reasons why we should be willing to pay more for our food. Social justice. Ecological benefits. Stronger local economies. Superior nutrition. Animal welfare. Saving farmland. Reversing global warming. Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. But I realized then, that why was never going to matter if Americans couldnt figure out how to afford it. Up until then, the grass-fed movement had been pegged as a niche farming vocation that appealed to the wealthy folks who were in search of higher-quality foods. It was not regarded as an option for the rest of America.

But truth be told, when I crunched the numbers, a farmers market meal made of a roasted local pasture-raised chicken, baked potatoes and steamed broccoli cost less than four meals at Burger King, even when two of the meals came off the kiddie menu. The Burger King meal had negligible nutritional value and was damaging to our health and planet. The farmers market menu cost less, healed the earth, helped the local economy, was a source of bountiful nutrients for a family of four, and would leave ample leftovers for both a chicken salad and a rich chicken stock, which could then be the base for a wonderful soup. But when push came to shove, I knew that Burger King would win out. The reason? Many people dont even know how to roast a chicken, let alone make a chicken salad from the leftovers or use the carcass to make a stock. Mainstream Americans have lost the simple domestic skills that would enable them to live an ecologically sensible life with a modest or low income.

Ordinarily a calm public speaker, my hands shook when I stood in September of 2007 before an audience of 600 professional registered dieticians, many of whom were women. I had a painful message to deliver, one that I considered leaving out every time I rehearsed my speech. Eating local, organic, sustainably raised, nutrient-dense food was possible for every American, not just for wealthy gourmets or self-reliant organic farmers. But to do it, we needed to bring back INTRODUCTION / RADICAL HOMEMAKING: Politics, Ecology and Domestic arts the homemaker. As I made this claim, my toes curled in the tips of my shoes. The room was completely still. And then, before I could continue on, the crowd burst into spontaneous applause. I learned in conversations afterward that I had called attention to the elephant in the room, a simple truth that was felt by so many dieticians who were trying to help families reclaim good nutrition and a balanced life. As I looked more closely at the role homemaking could play in revitalizing our local food system, I saw that the position was a linchpin for more than just making use of garden produce and chicken carcasses. Individuals who had taken this path in life were building a great bridge from our existing extractive economy where corporate wealth was regarded as the foundation of economic health, where mining our earths resources and exploiting our international neighbors was accepted as simply the cost of doing business to a life-serving economy, where the goal is, in the words of David Korten, to generate a living for all, rather than a killing for a few1, where our resources are sustained, our waters are kept clean, our air pure, and families can lead meaningful and joyful lives. More than simply soccer moms, Radical Homemakers are men and women who have chosen to make family, community, social justice and the health of the planet the governing principles of their lives.

From an electronic copy of “Radical Homemaker”

For introduction to the author, write [email protected]
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Sweet Water’s 3rd Perch Auction Party Wed. Jan. 20th, 5 to 8 p.m.

A great time has been had by all who have attended the first two Sweet Water Perch Auction Parties.

Good food, Lakefront beer, wine, Howard Lewis’ uplifting lyrics and music, warmth from flowing heated water, beautiful lettuces, basil, water cress, tilapia, and perch!

Michael Timm of the “Bay View Compass” wrote a wonderful piece on the second auction held a few weeks back:


New Feature for the Event: Check Out the Tulip Complex for Rental

Artists, Artisans, Agrarians, Professionals, Merchants, and others are invited to take a look at a huge complex of offices and warehouses that are now open for rental in the adjoining “Tulip Building” just to the north of and attached to Sweet Water.

Front page www.milwaukeerenaissance.com story on the first two auctions has details explaining the basics of this the 3rd auction party.

Call me at 414 232 1336 or e-mail me to let me know if you plan on attending.



Order Your Wild Flour Bread for Monday Sweet Water Pick Up

Picture courtesy of Sweet Water Organics

Dear All,

The Sweet Water Night School Store will be open tomorrow night,
to present the first array of Wild Flour breads at the Sweet Water Store, i.e. “The Store.”

If you would like to place a special order and pick it up while you check out Sweet Water, call me at 414 232 1336.

Wild Flour bread is all natural, mostly vegan, but also cheese, artisan, hand crafted, no preservatives, and baked in a brick oven.

We will be “pre-selling” the first 2,500 perch “in the round” as well,
and might have some books from the People’s Book Co-op and Broad Vocabulary Co-op as well, if the first vision of growing local Milwaukee economies through sister neighborhood exchange takes root tonight at the Coffee House Benefit for these two great relatively new co-operative ventures in our fair city.

Why not?


“Come feed the fish! It’s very, very romantic with your honey, and inspirational for your kids!”

P.S. Also for discussion will be the orchestration of brainstormers to develop a 5 year 100 job proposal for golden thread sweet water projects toward urban eco village evolutions.

Renaissance Memes and Methodologies

  • 5 year 100 Job Up-scaling
  • of Golden Thread
  • vermiculture based
  • internet empowered
  • re-circulating
  • bio-filtration
  • energy harvesting
  • 3 or 4 tier
  • fish vegetable
  • intensive natural urban farms
  • community food centers
  • artists artisans agrarians professionnals work stations
  • researcher organizer enterpriser connecting
  • night school store and agora

Seek Partners for Digital Outpost and Internet Cafe at Sweet Water

Dear All,

David Johnson was my guest at “The Night School” to talk about internet empowerment of Milwaukee’s fledgling aquaponic industry and food movement, as well as further our conversations regarding Sweet Water Foundation’s commitment to developing “healing gardens” in our fair city.

The Digital Outpost and an Internet Cafe?

David is ready to install a few computers at Sweet Water, and perhaps the Green Room as well, as a first step toward quite possibly setting up the Digital Outpost and an Internet Cafe at the Sweet Water complex.

Here is the story of the Digital Outpost, when it was located at Bucketworks:

The Digital Outpost is a place where you can come to use a computer to accomplish a wide variety of tasks. Located inside Bucketworks, Milwaukee’s one and only community center for the mind, we have ten workstations available for group or individual use where you can:

  • Access the Internet via a high speed broadband connection
  • Create a resume or write a letter
  • Manage your finances
  • Engage in graphic and website design
  • Edit and print photos
  • Mix music and edit video
  • Burn CD’s and DVD’s
  • Create multimedia presentations and flash movies
  • Learn to type and gain other basic computer knowledge

We also provide computer training. We offer classes for basic skill development, as well as intermediate, advanced and expert classes. The whole lab is also available for private rental. Come in and check us out. Regardless of your skill level assistance is always available.

From www.tdocafe.net

Send an e-mail or call me at 414 232 1336 if interested.

Tuesday’s 5 to 7 p.m. Night School Focus: Worms and Hybrid Small Business and Social Enterprise Models

Remember…you gotta buy a fish to get in the door.

Dear All,

The Sweet Water Night School Store had its quite opening Dec. 31. 2009.

Colin Kelly, Greg Bird, and Pat Van Dyke were the first student teachers in attendance.

Each were able to pay tuition fees, i.e. they each bought a $5 yellow perch or tilapia “in the round,” i.e. we bag they carry home and filet. Perhaps they might share with you what they learned if you ask them(Colin and Greg are cc’d in this report. Tom part of Bay_Vew_Matters group).

At Saturday’s second Night School day, $90 of fish were pre-purchased, by attendees whose names I will share if they say I can.

Ideas emerged of 260 “courses” for each of the 5 days per week “The Night School” will, God willing, be open in 2010. Here are some of them:

  • worms

(hands on sifting of worms, wood chips, and castings, with worms and wood chips taken to giant compost piles with plenty of heat behind the building; review of literature regarding power of worms to make healthy soil and tasty plants. The Sweet Water Night Store, i.e. “The Store,” will be selling worms, worm castings and compost as soon as the Sweet Water Younges figure out a proper price.

Micah Leinbach of White Fish Bay’s Earth Club brought about 10 friends and fellow members to the Sweet Water Saturday Night School who gave this garrulous closet professor’s complex Sweet Water stories and lectures so much attention that it was “as if a dream.” They learned a lot, I learned a lot, and they gave about 15 or 20 hours to the task of saving the worms from the winter cold by sifting them out of their “finished” bins, i.e. they have turned their compost food to castings, and delivering them outside to the heat of the giant compost hill. They were amazed at the heat emanating from the hill, as were the worms grateful for all of that nutritious, moist, and warm nitrogen carbon “dance of Shiva.”

  • aquaponics internet empowerment projects

David Johnson, director of Frieden’s Food Pantry and Bucketworks’ Internet Wizard back in the day, is gearing up to share his visions of computer work stations at Sweet Water and Jeff Redmon’s Green Room in the rear, quite likely, God willing, tonight at “The School,” 5 to 7 p.m. Remember that unclaimed fish from pre-purchases will go to Frieden’s Food Pantry next December. Or, you can donate you fish purchase to Frieden’s from the get go.

I am hoping that some communications people will show up to film and you tube some the The Night School’s offerings, as part of our internet empowerment project.

  • Explorations, Readings, and Performances of Rumi and Hafiz

12th and 13th century Afghan Persian Sufi poets Rumi and Hafiz will be part of The School’s curriculum, with major performances quite likely by Karen Kolberg and Sky Schultz.

Those tender words we said to one another
Are stored in the secret heart of heaven;
One day like rain, they will fall and spread,
And our mystery will grow green over the world.

  • Aquaponic Systems, with Henry Hebert(guest lecturer)

Henry Hebert is an astonishingly gifted scientist artisan mechanic aquaponics professional, the first full time employee of Sweet Water. He introduced Sweet Water president Josh Fraundorf to Jesse Hull, and the two of them have elevated Sweet Water to a cutting edge model of classic factory fish vegetable farm conversions. Henry knows a lot about every element of the Sweet Water system, and loves to share his knowledge. He is a graduate of St. Pius H.S., which included studying religion and philosophy with my old friend Gary Giambi, a legendary teacher of great mind and heart. Following graduation, Henry embarked on a course of study where you earn while you learn, which included electrical, carpentry, sheet metal, machine operation, heating, and on and on. More on Henry when promoting his lectures.

  • Light and Plants, with Jesse Hull(guest lecturer)

Jesse Hull has been full time Sweet Water Manager of the plants piece. Our first sale of Jesse’s incredible lettuce, picture featured at the Sweet Water Organics web site, to Beans and Barley, is coming up soon! He is the son of North Carolina Farmer, learned hydroponics while helping Hurricane Andrew victims while a college student back in 1992, has been working at refining his practice ever since, including employment at Brew and Grow of late, is a sculptor with a degree in the chemistry of clay, and reads research reports on the science of aquaponics for fun and, hopefully, for the career of it!

  • New Concepts for New Times for Hybrid Careers, Family Businesses, and Enterprise

We live in dizzying and transformative times, a world where skill sets thought sufficient to raise families and have a life are often enough becoming obsolete, where old patterns of work world, family, neighborhood, and community are breaking down or transforming and challenging the best of us to quickly and imaginatively adapt.

The Night School will involve conversations and research to provide new language and visions for these times. Key concepts to explore include the concepts…chaordic, mixed model enterprises, Mondragon worker coops, American co-ops, for profit and non-profit enterprise, Kropotkin’s mutual aid, Richard Wright’s “reciprocal altruism,” and Father Teillhard de Chardin’s “geosphere, biosphere, and noosphere.”

(to be continued)

Remember…you gotta buy a fish to get in the door.

And…at The School, it is intended that the teachers be also students, and the students be also teachers.

Tonight’s 5 to 7 p.m. Focus: The Worms and Internet Empowerment

Sweet Water Night School Conversations About African and Rain Forest Projects

Picture above is Howard Lewis of Embedded Reporter and the Sweet Water Foundaiton, Diane Degelan, Janine, and Father Ntege of Uganda’s Grandmothers Beyond Borders, a project supported by the Milwaukee Renaissance.

There will be some time at the Sweet Water “Night School” devoted to conversations advancing collaborations between Milwaukee, Africa, and rain forest peoples, e.g. contextually appropriate aquaponic projects, God willing, with Uganda, the Congo,
South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana. Will Allen and Charlie Price have lots of wisdom germane to this vision. Perhaps we will study some of their on-line sources of their knowledge base.
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Senator Kohl’s Chief of Staff Phil Karsting, Alice Water Trained Epicurean Chef Important Ally of Good Food Movement


“He (Karsting) worries about the elitism factor - that only the well-off can afford to buy at farmers markets. “I hope we are moving away from that Will Allen quote that it shouldn’t be easier to buy a gun than a good tomato in a poor neighborhood,” he says, speaking of the urban farmer and MacArthur grant winner, who teaches young people how to grow food in Milwaukee’s inner city.

“Interest in local, sustainable and healthy food is not going to take hold unless it gets sexy. It can’t be just a policy thing,” Karsting says. “Chefs have a lot to do with how popular culture evolves, how they make food fashion.”,

Enjoy Feeding 45,000 Tilapia and 3,000 Perch This Saturday and Sunday

Picture courtesy of Sweet Water Organics

It’s romantic with your honey, inspirational with your kids!

4 to 6 p.m.

At the Sweet Water Fish and Vegetable Farm, 2151 S. Robinson
(one block west of KK)

‘’‘ Part of Godsil’s Sweet Water Night School,Store, and Agora, i.e. The Night School

Start-up Schedule:

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays: 5 to 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 4 to 6 p.m.

You must call 414 232 1336 at least one hour before starting time
To insure I and other teachers/vendors/poets/orators will show up!

You Gotta Buy a $5 Fish to Get in the Door!

One $5 pre-purchase of Sweet Water products is the price of
admission, starting with our fish!

No charge for kids!

School of Chaordic Astounding Lucid Confusion

The School is open for students and teachers.
First two teachers signed on are artists…

Muneer Bahauddeen and Jeff Redmon

But, God willing, the students will also teach the teachers!

Initial Classes

  • Hands On Vermiculture

For the next few weeks, time will be spent
in hands-on vermiculture study, including the gentle sifting
out of thousands of red wriggler worms from 23 worm condos.

  • Rumi and Hafiz As Background Music for Worm Sifting

James Nardi’s “Life in the Soil” will be read aloud during
our worm sifting moments.

But also selected poems by Rumi and Hafiz.

Invites to Karen Kolberg and Sky Schultz

Performance artists and Rumi/Hafiz “channelers”
Karen Kolberg and Sky Schultz will be invited to
join in for a session of two.

  • Tai Chi and Yoga Classes

I am hoping that Kt Rusch and Stephanie Sandy will
be our first teachers of the body movement arts of
Tai Chi(Kt) and Yoga(Stephanie).

  • Internet Empowerment

Once we get wi fi set up I am hoping to hold some
classes in wiki web site platforms, offering students
a place on the wiki movement magazine

  • Exploring Contextually Appropriate Aquaponic

Systems With Rain Forest Peoples

I am in internet conversation with people from
all over the world eyes on the prize of accelerating
the installation of contextually appropriate aquaponic
systems with rain forest peoples, starting with the Congo
and Uganda. Charlie Price of the UK and our own
Thomas Knoll working in India are key to this project.

It’s Going to Be Chaordic

“Godsil’s” school will be an experiment of a
chaordic nature, i.e. blending chaos and lots of
unknowns with order and pattern.

The order manifests in the incredibly subtle
and breathtaking creation that is Sweet Water
Organics, Inc.

“Almost dreamlike,” says Dr. Gay.

I have no doubt that the magical mix of…

warm flowing water with thousands of
perch and tilapia feeding billions of bacteria
and thousands of water cress, basil, and lettuce
plants which clean the water for the fish
will warm your heart and elevate your spirit.

But there are a myriad of unknowns!

The classes, teachers, configurations will
be works in progress. And…

I hope some of you might pull together
your own school at Sweet Water!

  • Crafting the Sweet Water Agrarian Guild School

I hope one of the projects of this start-up school
will be pulling together the unusual board of
the embryonic Sweet Water Agrarian Guild School,
which has yet to meet in time and space, but
which has shown great possibilities in internet
conversations “in the noosphere.”

The Store: Loaves and Fishes For Sale

The store will start with the pre-sale tonight of
perch and tilapia “in the round,” i.e. we bag em
for your ice chest and you fillet them at home
(we can show you how to do it!).

Other products will eventually include

  • fine plants from Sweet Water’s aquaponic systems,

i.e. this winter’s basil, water cress, and lettuce

  • red wriggler worms

  • worm castings and compost

  • raised bed and small aquaponic installations

  • finest breads from finest bakers

And the store will be a chaordic drama too!

Lots of interesting products will arrive no doubt.

The Agora

The Sweet Water Agora will be a place of congregation,
as occured in the ancient Greek marketplaces.
On cold winter nights, when some of us are bored to
death or depressed from lack of sun, exercise, or
convivial experience, a visit to Sweet Water will be
of great value. It’s very romantic to feed the fish!

Soap Box Moments at the Sweet Water Agora

Inspired by the St. Patrick Brigid Soap Box Moments at
Timbuktu, the Sweet Water Agora will have a soap box
for 2 minute orations by all whose performance is in
accordance with The Way.

Hopefully students will emerge with videos to record
and you tube many of these orations.

Price of Admission to Godsil’s Sweet Water Night School,
Store, and Agora?

You Gotta Buy a $5 Fish to Get in the Door!

One $5 pre-purchase of Sweet Water products is the price of
admission, starting with our fish!

Ninety percent of the proceeds will go the Sweet Water Organics
to pay the many bills and increase the possibility that the
transformation of classic golden thread factory buildings into
aquaponic fish vegetable farms in the Heartland and Great Lakes
cities can be commercially viable.

We need urban farmers!

Tithe for the Sweet Water Foundation

Ten percent of the proceeds will go to pay the bills at the
newly forming Sweet Water Foundation, aiming to turn wastes
into resources for raised bed “healing gardens” for special needs
families, starting with the autistic and ptss veterans community,
and, down the line, for contextually appropriate aquaponic
systems for rain forest people, starting, if my visions manifest,
in the Congo and Uganda.

If You Pre-Purchase a Fish You Will Never Pick Up?

That fish will be donated to the Friedens Food Pantry.

More to come.

Call me at 414 232 1336 or e-mail if you have questions
or to let me know at least one hour before night school time
that you are going to show!



P.S. Happy New Year!

Classic Milwaukee Friday Perch Fish Fry Revival

Sweet Water Kick-off Perch Auction and Holiday Gathering, Dec. 30, 5 to 9 p.m., auction starts at 7 p.m.

2151 S. Robinson(one block west of KK, one block south of Becher,

three blocks north of Lincoln, close to Lulu’s: 414 232 1336).

Complimentary Lakefront Beer(donated)

Howard Lewis of Embedded Reporter making music

Guests, fish and plants will be treated to the melodic stories of singer/songwriter Howard Lewis. Most know Lewis as the venerable leader of local folk icon Embedded Reporter (“Lowbrow Music for Smart People”). On Wednesday evening, however, expect Lewis to focus on the rich and varied story-telling of a lifetime on the road.

Says Lewis, “The fish are like teenagers. Expect them to display indifference, but they are really filled with curiosity and struggle not to smile.”

Dear All,

It is my honor and pleasure to announce the return of the classic Milwaukee Friday perch fish fry!

Sweet Water Organics will have, God willing, 20,000 yellow perch for sale in 2010, expect 100,000 for 2011, and 250,000, if things work out as our optimistic scenario projects, for 2012.

  • 2010 20,000 yellow perch for sale
  • 2011 100,000
  • 2012 250,000

The first 1,000 perch will be available at an auction tomorrow night at Sweet Water, with bids starting at $5 per “fish in the round” up to 50, and $4 per for advance purchases over 50.

In 2010 we are hoping householders will stop over at Sweet Water while returning home from the work week and pick up 2 or 3 of our fresh perch or, from April l through the next 6 months, some of our 45,000 tilapia.

We expect some local Bay View, Third Ward, Walkers Point, Riverwest, and/or Eastside restaurants to compliment the Sweet Water fish: in Bay View perhaps Wild Flower with rye bread, Lulu’s for slaw, Cafe Central, Svens, Outpost, for example, with potato pancakes.

We hope some of these householders will pre-purchase some of next year’s fish, kind of like a CSA, with minimum purchases of 50 fish at $4 per fish(wholesale rate).

For restaurants or grocery stores, we are hoping as many of our 20,000 perch and 45,000 tilapia will be pre-purchased at a wholesale rate of $4 per fish.

Todd Leach of Beans and Barley has suggested a “Sweet Water Plate” concept, with some of our glorious lettuce, water cress, or basil added in various kinds of complimentary dishes.

Fish will be available for pick-up at Sweet Water in February for those with coupons purchased at this Wednesday’s auction, the 23rd, or the second auction on the 30th.

Call me at 414 232 1336 for further details.

Fresh perch bagged whole for your ice filled cooler starting in February.

Invitation to Sweet Water Holiday Gatherings & Perch Auction

Sweet Water Holiday Gatherings and Yellow Perch Auction of First 1,000 7 inch Harvest,

December 30th, 5 to 9 p.m.

2151 S. Robinson
(one block west of KK, block south of Becher, 3 blocks north of Lincoln)

“Highest quality yellow perch on the planet”

  • 1,000 of our 2,300 Sweet Water raised yellow perch will be auctioned December 23 at 7 p.m.

  • Yellow Perch for Sale “in the round” by Way of Auction, minimum bid $5 per 7 inch fish

  • Sweet Water Redemption Coupon Provided for February Fish Pick Up “in the round,” i.e. bagged whole for your ice filled cooler.

  • Suggested Starting Donation to Attend the Event: $5(you are welcome to offer more! Send me a note if you can’t afford the $5.)

  • Complimentary Lake Front Beer!(donated by Lake Front)

  • Please Consider Bringing Some Finger Food Potluck or Non-alcoholic Liquid Refreshment Offerings(we need all the help you can offer!)

  • Starting Time for Gathering: 5 p.m.

  • Starting Time for Auction: 7 p.m.

“Highest quality yellow perch on the planet”

Sweet Water Corners

Different members of the Sweet Water team will be available from 5 to 7 p.m. to justify our hypothesis that our yellow perch are the highest quality available today on the planet and offer their perspective on the Sweet Water project.

  • Josh Fraundorf, Sweet Water Organics President: “Sweet Water’s Visions and Fish/Plant/Worm/Compost Projections 2010

  • Andy Meier Facility Tour

  • Henry Hebert Sweet Water Stories With Focus on Aquaponic Mechanicals and Energy Innovations

  • Jesse Hull Stories on Sweet Water Plants and Aquaponics

  • James Godsil Poetry and Soap Box Moment Corner(you can read your poetry for 2 minutes and/or offer your soap box oration for 2 minutes).

(other Sweet Water Corner “Presenters” will come in next invitation and more detail on the above will be provided)

Sweet Water Historic Perch Redemption Coupon Provided Winning Bidders

We hope Sweet Water resident artist Jeff Redman will create a redemption coupon for the winning bidders. It is quite possible that these coupons will find their way to post cards, t-shirts, wall posters, and the like, perhaps in the Smithsonian Sweet Water exhibit during the 21st century, thereafter, God willing, moved during the 22nd century to the Soldiers Home.

Send me an e-mail and Theresa Kopec will send you an e-vite

Send me an e-mail to let us get a sense of how many will be showing.

You can attend the events whether or not you send me an e-mail and whether or not you receive an e-vite!

If the Sweet Water experiment can prove commercially viable, that would be cause for great hope for our Great Lakes Heartland cities of 10,000 underused or unused vintage factory buildings. Many are “golden thread” buildings with walls and walls of windows, now boarded up, but available, like the Sweet Water facility, of renewal with new polygal windows that will once again let the sun back in!




Here’s the official web site:


I have taken about 3,000 pictures of the Sweet Water experiment since January 31, 2009. They are semi-organized here:



Heres a nice Wisconsin Foodie show on Sweet Water:



Heres a good Outpost Natural Foods you tube clip:


Great Susan Bence Radio Show on Sweet Water


Excellent Casey Twano Piece in “Bay View Currents”


Godsil Chronicling Sweet Water



by Howard Lewis

(444 Recycled Words)

McPerch had suffered a major setback. As a hedge fund manager, he was caught in the 2008 financial collapse. McPerch despaired at the ineptitude of the Bush Administration, grew cynical and depressed, recognized that there was no possible way Bush would get him out of the mess, and committed suicide by crashing his Porche against a bridge abutment. It was just the beginning of Franks fortuitous reincarnation.

Frank, said St. Peter. Thou hast committed a series of serious sins against humanity and sullied thy immortal soul with the filth and dross of selfishness and excess. However, God, in His infinite mercy, hath granted thee an opportunity to wash thyself clean. Thou are hereby reincarnated as a Lake Perch. Dont screw it up!

In an instant Frank was transformed into a fingerling. In the blink of an eye would be an accurate characterization but, lacking eyelids, perch dont blink. Lets just say it was quickand a bit disorienting. Fortunately, Frank was carried forward by many thousands of others like him, all swimming in a mystically coordinated fashion, measuring the dimensions of their new home, an aquaponic tank in Bayview, Wisconsin.

Cooperation and respect for personal space characterized life in the tank, interrupted only by the periodic frenzy associated with feeding time. God would gaze down from above, saying words of kindness and encouragement, then casting down food pellets as if manna from heaven. There followed a riotous competition among the fish for the aforementioned food until such time as all appetites were satiated. Relative quiet and what became known as the cruise then ruled the day. Frank and the others swam lazily in the intervening hours.

One would assume that with fifteen thousand perch living in one confined space the water quality would become rather funky, but not in this instance. Frank soon learned that the water in which he lived circulated through a veritable Eden of luscious plants in a rooftop garden above; plants that extracted his waste materials and thrived on the nutrients contained therein. As a result, Frank always enjoyed pristine water. He thrived under these conditions, although at times he felt a bit bored. None-the-less, reasoned Frank, if I live a clean life and fulfill the obligations of my perch-ness, I will be rewarded with a higher calling in my next life.

So Frank McPerch kept the faith, lived a contented life in the aquaponic tank( contributed his waste to the benefit of others, got along with the other perch, and ultimately met his destiny on the plate of Godsil, becoming one therewith for the next thirty-five years. Who knows what is in store for them on the next go-round?
Picture from Here
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Macho Guy Asks Sissy Roofer

Macho Guy. At Christmas gatherings I feel like a total jerk.
I always wind up buying my Christmas presents
At the last minute at the Mall or a big box store.

The rest of my family quite obviously spends time
Thinking about gifts that are pitch perfect for the
Person receiving them.

My shame at my presents then finds me drinking too much
And I wind up saying something stupid pisses everybody off.

Do you have any advice?

Sissy Roofer. Check out the Riverwest Co-op, Outpost, or Future Green
and ask the people there about ideas for presents that
keep on giving throughout the year. You might want to buy
some compost and worm castings from Growing Power, Sweet Water,
and probably this year Future Green or Pic ‘n Save. Write a nice note
with your gifts of sweet rich growing soil and promise to plant juicy red
cherry tomatoes come May Day. Or, you might buy a tray of wheat grass
from Dr. Dave and do your best to addict your family to wheat grass
as an alternative to greasy, salty, or sugary foods. Top European soccer
players do wheat grass! Also, read Mark Twain’s book on St. Joan of Arc.

P.S. Sweet Water has a menu of great gifts ranging from a 5 dollar fresh perch or
tilapia right out of the “river bed in the golden thread classic factory building”
or their 88.9 dollar specials you’ll have to send me an e-mail about or ask me at the December 30th Sweet Water Perch Auction, starting at 7 p.m. at
2151 S. Robinson(food and Lakefront Brew starts at 5.

Confessions of a Sissy Roofer


Sweet Water Poems by the Worm Bins

Dear All,

Would it not be a good thing to hear some Earth Poets
or some “earth poets” by the Sweet Water worm bins
at the Sweet Water Holiday Gathering and Perch Auction
coming up(see below)?

If they cannot be personally present, might any good readers arrive
And take their place in presenting their poems?

Or, perhaps “earth poets” who not not official Earth Poets
Might arrive and spread some beauty and some light.

Here’s the start of this notion:

Dear Earth Poets,

If you can’t make it to the Sweet Water Poets Corner by the Worm Bins,
Please consider sending a poem to mark the event that I or another Sweet One
Would be honored to present this Wednesday or next.

What say?

Why not?


Sweet Water Poems By the Worm Bins

As if carried
By the water.

By the soil.

Nourished by
The plants.

The fish.

Awakening with
The brothers and the sisters.

Worm Bins

Aquaponic system: small scale

Walden III in Racine has an aquaponic system

Call for Proposals:

Opportunity for Artists, Artisans, and Builders

The Roadside Culture Stand tangibly unites art and farming reminding us that culture surrounds our food and food imbues our culture. This project is open to artists, architects, mechanics, farmers, visionaries and handy folk throughout the upper Midwest.

Project overview:

Roadside Culture Stands are artist-designed and built mobile farm stands that will be used to display and sell fresh local produce as well as the work of local artists (where allowed). Each will be built on a 5×10 foot steel flatbed trailer (provided) and should be visually compelling when in use as well as when closed. Each stand will incorporate an informational display component (kiosk, signage, etc.) that will highlight area food and cultural offerings (restaurants, galleries, bookstores, etc.). Each Culture Stand will have a home base but may also travel to local festivals, county fairs etc. Culture stands will be in use during a Wisconsin growing season (mid June mid October), will be stored for the winter and be in use for at least 5 years. There will be both rural and urban stands with separate juries who will consider the following:

-Artistic excellence
-Spirit of community collaboration

The proposed sites for 2010 are in southern Wisconsin: rural Sauk County, rural Iowa County, rural Dane County and inner city Milwaukee. All stands will remain the property of Wormfarm Institute, a non profit 501© 3 organization that works to re-integrate culture and agriculture.

When in use:

  • Rural Culture Stands will be located within scenic working lands to reinforce the message to Eat the View - a concept that makes the point: if you want to preserve those views, then eat from the food chain that created them
  • Urban Culture Stands will be located within an inner city Food Desert - defined as an area with little or no access to fresh, healthy food, but often served by plenty of processed food or fast food restaurants

Project timeline:

  • Application deadline: Dec 31, 2009
  • Notification of finalists: January 18, 2010
  • Trailers available: February 15, 2010
  • Target completion date: May 31, 2010

Project Budget:

$3,500. This is expected to cover all design, fabrication expenses and artists fee for each stand with the exception of flatbed trailer that will be provided.

Submission must include:

  • One page cover letter including: contact information; preference for rural or urban stand. Address why this project interests you *note- if applying as a team, list all team members and designate one as lead applicant.
  • At least two drawings of proposed Culture Stand design, including one view of stand closed and empty of produce, and one view of stand open for business. The words Home Grown should be featured prominently
  • A statement, not to exceed one page, describing your Culture Stand and its function in detail.
  • Current resume, not to exceed 2 pages with 3 professional references who can address your capacity to realize such a project.
  • Up to 10 images of past work. Preferred format CD or DVD. Each image must be jpg not to exceed 1MB. Your name must be on CD. High quality photos or slides are also acceptable. Images must be sent through regular mail and will be returned only with self-addressed stamped mailer. IMAGES MUST NOT BE E-MAILED

Note: your past work should communicate:
  • Artistic excellence
  • Evidence of technical capacity (work may be that of a builder partner)
  • An interest in the intersection of culture and agriculture

Submissions must be received by December 31 2009 and mailed to:

Selection Committee
Wormfarm Institute
E7904 Briar Bluff Rd
Reedsburg WI 53959

Things to consider

  • Roadworthiness pulled by pick-up truck
  • Ease of set up (1 person)
  • Vegetables like shade
  • Grower/seller-people like shade
  • Weather - rain, wind, heat
  • Looks great open - Abundance pile it high - watch it fly
  • Looks great closed and empty
  • Visible at night (rural especially)
  • Durable, low maintenance materials (recycled encouraged)
  • Interior appearance and function
  • Security (especially urban)
  • Info area accessible whether open or closed

Selected artists

  • Will be asked to do more formal measured drawings or scale model - initial design submissions may be more conceptual

  • 5×10 foot flatbed trailer will be delivered to selected artists within a 150 mile radius of Reedsburg (50 miles north of Madison). Those selected who live farther are responsible for picking up trailer.


Email Donna Neuwirth, project director Wormfarm Institute
[email protected]
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midwestern urban farming in the cold, cold winter

December 9, 2009

The last time we visited Gods Hill City Farm, it was the last warm day of fall and the plants in the backyard were resplendent in their glory and ready to harvest. Would you believe that they are still picking fresh greens every day, now, in the first week of severe winter weather?

With a new hot house and lots of TLC, Gods Hill City Farm will be able to keep up their growing throughout the season. If you have questions or want to learn more about urban farming, email [email protected]

Thanks to Megan Jeyifo at
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Roadside Culture Stands

Wormfarm Institute

*note this is from a WI Arts Board grant

Project summary

Roadside Culture Stands are a lively reinvention of the much beloved rural icon the roadside farm-stand designed and built by artists. They will vend local produce during the height of the Wisconsin growing season June - October, will be stored for the winter and come back annually to host community for up to five years. The stands will also serve as an informational kiosk that will attract and direct passersby to other area cultural and agricultural attractions. (i.e. other farm stands, local concerts in the park, school plays, summer theater, folk art sites, area galleries, on farm sales, restaurants that feature local farm products, cheese factories, etc.) They will each have a home base, but will be built on flatbed trailers to allow the stand to travel easily to area festivals or the County Fair. They will be located in 3 southern Wisconsin communities. Sites have been selected in rural Sauk County, Iowa County and a low-income neighborhood within the city of Milwaukee. Roadside culture stands will remain the property of Wormfarm Institute and will be loaned to host communities in exchange for agreeing to staff and stock them through the season and gather data useful for evaluation and proposed replication in other areas.

Sited in the midst of beautiful agricultural landscapes, two Roadside Culture Stands will reinforce the message to Eat the View- a concept that makes the point- if you want to preserve those views, then eat from the food chain that created them. These artist designed and built stands may serve as key elements in the development of current and future farm/culture tours. This hybrid project broadens and deepens the audience for public art by building a larger audience for both art and local farm products.

Farm stands play a vital role in urban settings as well a common site in most cities in the world - sidewalk markets are everywhere, reflecting and celebrating the culture of neighborhoods. In American cities they are rare and yet the stand addresses a timely contemporary need as sole provider of fresh produce in a food dessert and an opportunity to rekindle cultural expression around food. The Milwaukee stand wil;l be located in a vacant lot turned community garden next door to Amaranth Caf on Milwaukees west side.

The proposed project is part of a larger initiative of the Wormfarm Institute.
The Re-enchantment of Agriculture - explores the places where human imagination, experiments in sustainability, community well being, and creative excitement, all converge. The Roadside Culture Stands are such a convergence

A pilot stand is in development as I write this proposal. It is being designed and built by Mineral Point sculptor Peter Flanary and scheduled for installation in June 2009. We will monitor its use under real world conditions before finalizing guidelines to prospective artists. Though the pilot stand construction is not part of this proposal, the use, evaluation and development of guidelines will be based on the functionality and audience interaction with this first stand. Input from organizational partners will be valuable in determining how best to engage and involve the community in a meaningful way

The pilot stand will be located in Iowa County near the town of Hollandale. This is a rural scenic area near Grandview folk art site and a tourist destination. The location was chosen for its scenic beauty, agricultural landscapes, vibrant nearby arts community (Mineral Point, Shake Rag Alley), diverse farming economy and enthusiastic partners who share our view that there are unexplored collaborative possibilities between art and agriculture.

This area of Wisconsin also features in a new bike trail map. As part of a recent SW Wisconsin JEM grant there will be a blogger riding the trails with up-to-the-minute reports of interesting stops. This will be a great opportunity to piggyback on the bike trail blog as an interesting stop along a beautiful ride and a great way to expand promotion to the internet

This project is timely. In addition to Northwest Heritage Passage tour in northern WI there are several other farm/art tours in the planning stages modeled after North Carolinas very successful Handmade and Homegrown, which also combines the work of both artists and farmers. SW Wisconsin is working on one called Artisans of the Land and Hand. Wormfarm has begun planning a D-Tour that expands on the Fall Art Tour in Sauk County to include site-specific sculpture, installation and performance along with farms, cheese factories and other local cultural workers. The Kohler Foundation is working on a tour of folk art sites. The Iowa County Bike Tour and Madisons Bike to the Barns all indicate a serious and growing interest in this intersection and one that has a strong economic development/tourism component.

To support Wisconsin artists and farmers
To reconnect agriculture and art to peoples lives
To realize 3 unique and functional roadside stands
To share imaginative creations with a broad range of the general public
To develop new successful working partnerships across disciplines in 3 Wisconsin neighborhoods
To be invited by 3 communities to come back next year
To draw increased attention/ attendance to area cultural attractions
To inspire new cultural activities across disciplines
To see art featured in farming publications and agriculture in art publications

Call for Artists

There are a growing number of artists who share the view that the separation of the creative impulse from the quotidian has been to the detriment of both art should be able to leave the gallery and the museum and be free to rejoin the messy world of commerce, traffic, scenic beauty, farming. These Roadside Culture Stands can help to end the estrangement of both art and farming from the everyday and highlight the commonplace miracles and mysteries that are intrinsic to agriculture.

Coordinators from each site will meet late summer with participants in the pilot project to observe and discuss submission guidelines. Entry criteria will be finalized with a panel of experts including: artist, architect, and farmer, roadside stand vendor, county extension agent, and marketing specialist. Urban stand will have a separate call with unique criteria to be determined.

Criteria will include but not be limited to: design must include views both open (in use) and closed, elements must not present a barrier to commerce; stand must include informational kiosk with 24 hr access; must be modular to be dis- and re-assembled to travel safely and be stored for the winter; must last for at least five years; must have a roof; must be built to withstand summer storms. Size limitations will be established (pilot stand is on a 5×10 foot trailer) and extra consideration given for using recycled, local materials. The stands will comply with all local legal, zoning and permit requirements.

In winter of 2009 two invited juries (one for Milwaukee, 1 for Sauk and Iowa Counties) will select the artists based on finalized entry criteria.

Guidelines will include a stipulation of community engagement. The specifics of this important component will be determined with knowledge gained during pilot year. Artists may submit particular plans for this element or work with community partner after selection to work out best arrangement, as this will vary considerably among the 3 communities.

Selected artists will meet with community partners, tour the selected site and have from Feb May 2010 to complete the stand. Upon completion all will be documented and last minute adjustments made for specific travel requirements, Stands will be installed in mid June.
NOTE Kiosk is used to refer to part of the stand that will promote local culture and should not imply a certain shape or design.
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To add your organisations signature, send email with subject line: Look Before You Leap to [email protected].

Background: Technology transfer is one of the four key topics being discussed under negotiations on Long-Term Cooperative Actions in Copenhagen (the others are mitigation,adaptation and financing). The inter-governmental negotiating text that is under discussion contemplates various measures for accelerating the diffusion of technologies. It will most likely create an ‘Action Plan’ as well as a ‘Technology Body’ and various technical panels or innovation centres that will prove influential in the coming years in deciding which technologies get financial and political backing. We need to make sure the right technologies get the support they need and the wrong ones are discarded. That won’t happen without a comprehensive social and environmental assessment process.

We, civil society groups and social movements from around the world, understand the urgent need for real and lasting solutions to climate change. We recognise the deadly consequences that we all face if these are not achieved. We must urgently strengthen our resilience to meet the climate change challenge while dramatically reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

Some corporations, individuals and even governments are fostering panic and helplessness to push for untested and unproven technologies, as our only option. However we do not wish to see a proliferation of unproven technologies without due consideration of their ecological and social consequences. Some technologies being promoted for their capacity to store carbon or to manipulate natural systems may have disastrous ecological or social consequences. Technologies that may be beneficial in certain contexts could be harmful in others.

In many cases, action to address climate change is within our reach already and does not involve complex new technologies but rather conscious decisions and public policies to reduce our ecological footprint. For example, many indigenous peoples and peasants have sound endogenous technologies that already help them cope with the impacts of climate change, and to overlook these existing practices in favour of new, proprietary technologies from elsewhere is senseless.

Technologies assessed as both environmentally and socially sound need to be exchanged. Intellectual property rules should not be allowed to stand in the way. But some technologies that are being promoted as environmentally sound have foreseeable and serious negative social or environmental impacts. For example:

  • Nuclear power carries known environmental and health dangers, as well as a strong potential for nuclear weapons proliferation.
  • Crop and tree plantations for bioenergy and biofuels can lead to large-scale displacement of farmers and indigenous peoples, and destruction of existing carbon-dense ecosystems, thus accelerating climate change.
  • Agricultural practices involving genetically modified crops and trees, use of agrochemicals and synthetic fertilisers, large-scale monocultures and industrial livestock rearing present dangers to climate, human health and biodiversity.

Intentional, large-scale, technological interventions in the oceans, atmosphere, and land (geoengineering) could further destabilise the climate system and have devastating consequences for countries far away from those who will make the decisions.

  • Ocean fertilisation could disrupt marine ecosystems and disturb the food chain.
  • Injecting sulphates into the stratosphere could cause widespread drought in equatorial zones, causing crop failures and worsening hunger.
  • Biochar is unproven for sequestering carbon or improving soils, yet strongly promoted by certain commercial interests.

In Copenhagen, a new international body responsible for climate-related technologies is likely to be created and new funds will be made available to it. But so far, the negotiating texts make no mention of the need for this new body to assess the socio-economic and environmental impacts of these technologies (which are frequently trans-boundary), or to consider the perspectives of populations likely to be affected, including women, indigenous peoples, peasants, fisher folk and others.

Precaution demands the careful assessment of technologies before, not after, governments and inter-governmental bodies start funding their development and aiding their deployment around the globe. There is already a precedent in international law: the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, ratified by 157 countries, gives effect to this principle on genetically modified organisms. National and international programs of public consultation, with the participation of the people who are directly affected, are critical. People must have the ability to decide which technologies they want, and to reject technologies that are neither environmentally sound nor socially equitable.

We therefore demand that a clear and consistent approach be followed internationally for all new technologies on climate change: States at COP 15 must ensure that strict precautionary mechanisms for technology assessment are enacted and are made legally binding, so that the risks and likely impacts, and appropriateness, of these new technologies, can be properly and democratically evaluated before they are rolled out. Any new body dealing with technology assessment and transfer must have equitable gender and regional representation, in addition to facilitating the full consultation and participation of peasants, indigenous peoples and potentially affected local communities.

This document is signed by:
Asian Women’s Indigenous Network, InternationalAdvocates of Science and Technology for the People, Philippines
Biofuelwatch, UK
Centro ecologico, BrazilCentre for Food Safety, USA
Eco Nexus, UK
ETC Group, International
Eco Pax Mundi, International
Food Secure Canada
CESTA -Friends of the Earth- El Salvador
Friends of the Earth -USA
Friends of the Earth (HABURAS FOUNDATION),Timor-Leste
Gaia Foundation, UKGender CC- Women for Climate Justice, GermanyInternational Centre for Technology Assessment, USA
National Farmers Union, CanadaNGO Working Group on the Asian Development Bank, International
SEARICE, PhilippinesSmartmeme, USA
Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, USA
Tebtebba, Philippines
Third World Network, International

To add your organisations signature, send email with subject line: Look Before You Leap to [email protected].
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Through Hell and Into Heaven: An Interview with Activist Brenda Wesley

by Patricia Obletz

Brenda Wesleys father and her boyfriend/husband/ex shaped her view of herself, until she learned how to understand herself, and thus protect herself, and then find her way into the best years of her life. Brenda Wesley’s personal journey through hell and on into heaven paints a portrait of the beauty of the human spirit.

Click Here for the complete interview
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Viva, Mary Anne McNulty

Mary Anne McNulty was a brilliant and passionate community organizer and alderman who returned to God last week after a rich life well lived in service to the people in Milwaukee since about 1969. Hundreds of people from many social groups and walks of life mourned and celebrated her passing last night at a glorious old Polish now Latino Church on 14th and Becher.

Here is Thomas Donegan’s lovely prayer to mark this moment:

The McNulty family has kindly asked me to lead this gathering in prayers that mightexpress the hopes and prayers of our friend, Mary Ann. While I would never presume to be able to match Marry Anne’s sharpness of wit, nor the depth of her character, nor the richness of her loving heart, I ask you, Mary Anne’s faithful friends, to join in these prayers of the faithful by responding with the words, “Lord, Hear Our Prayer.”

For Mary Ann’s neighborhood,
Whose Shepard has left them,
May they honor her passing,
By following her example,
By acting with love, and working for peace.


And may all of us gathered here this evening
Re-pledge ourselves
To always speak and livfe the truthy, however tought that truth may be,
In the manner Mary Anne has shown us,


May our leaders, secular and religious,
Regardless of congregation, lable, or party,
Bring the passion for justice,
That was the staple of Mary Anne’s life,
To all the work they do,


May we continue to work
To wipe out every last vestige
Of racism and bigotry
From this world of ours,
As our friend, Mary Anne,
Would expect us to do


May all of us gathered here tonight
To say farewell to our friend
Pledge in her honor
to care for our neighbors,
Be loyal to our friends,
And to show those we lvoe
How much they mean to us,
As Mary ‘Anne would want us to.


And, finally,
May all the McNulty clan,
Know how much you are in our hearts,
And how much the rest of us
Appreciate the Mary Anne,
You shared with us,


Now, let us take a few moments to offer our own silent prayers.

Loving God,
Hear the prayers
We have offered here today.

May our lives reflect Mary Anne’s life
To your community in need,
As well as to you, O Lord,

Thomas Donegan


We will be making a platform at the Milwaukee Renaissance to honor Mary Anne’s life. Send any stories or pictures to [email protected] for inclusion.

Viva, Mary Anne McNulty!
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Bringing Bioneers to Wisconsin

November 13th and 14th

Click image for larger picture

REGISTER NOW for Bringing Bioneers to Wisconsin: From Here to There.
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Panelist from Milwaukee: Bill Sell, Public Transportation Advocate, Writer Bioneers2009 (handout)

North Avenue: What Unites and What Divides Our Community?

A panel discussion Thursday Nov. 12, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Inova/Kenilworth Gallery, 2155 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee.

The panel discussion is held in conjunction with Barbara J. Miners photo essay about North,Anatomy of an Avenue, currently on exhibit at the gallery.

Panelists include:
Emcees: Joel McNally and Cassandra Cassandra, co-hosts of Morning Magazine on AM 1290 WMCS
Margaret Henningsen, co-founder of Legacy Bank at Fond du Lac and North
Roy Evans, an attorney and community advocate who lives at 42nd and North
Kurt Chandler, a Milwaukee Magazine senior editor who lives in Wauwatosa
Rev. Richard Strait from Peace United Methodist Church in Brookfield.

Barbara J. Miner

1247 East Burleigh Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212 USA
P: 414–264–3600 C: 414–534–3535
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Shall the People Make Money from County Park Outings?

Is it polite to imagine the people making money from family County Park Outings?

Would it be untoward to find 1 per cent of the land now called County Park Land
Turned into schools and guilds for skill development in urban agriculture urban aquaculture bio diversity?

Am I daft in having visions of my children and my grand children being taught by zoo keepers
How to raise a goat and a chicken at our county parks?

Can parks become university class rooms and training centers?
Places where people are given occasions to earn while they learn!

Mighty Collaborations

The Milwaukee County Zoo, the Zoological Society, UW School of Fresh Water Sciences,
Growing Power, MPS, Johnson Control, Rockwell International, the Brady Company, Roundys,
Sweet Water Organics, and on and one…

Collaborations aiming to make Milwaukee the urban agriculture, the urban aquaculture…and

The Bio Diversity City of America?

The people would go to the parks to learn how to grow soil
That would enable grandma or grandpa to help the family
grow the sweetest juiciest tomatoes possible.

Juicy Tomatoes For All?

They would go to the parks closest to their homes to learn how to turn leaves and veggie/fruit residuals
into compost, food for the worms, who would then create the richest natural soil on the planet.

A Small Fish Farm in My Garage?

Some families would go to their local county park to learn how to erect and maintain a
fish vegetable farm in their garage or backyard hoop house.

My Child Working in a Rain Forest?

And some would go to their local county park to learn about the Zoological Society’s
Bonobo work and Congo Bio diversity work, inspiring them to acquire the skills of use
in helping people protect their rain forests and the planet’s glorious pageant of life!

What say?

Why not?

Anticipating Kolberg’s Hafiz in Milwaukee

You are invited to a special presentation:

Can Wisconsin Afford New Nuclear Reactors?

By Peter Bradford, former NRC Commissioner

Thursday, November 5, 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Urban Ecology Center
(1500 E. Park Place, Milwaukee)

Wisconsin urgently needs to reduce its carbon footprint while providing safe, secure, dependable and affordable energy. One proposed solution is to build new nuclear reactors to boil water to produce electricity. But can Wisconsin afford new nuclear reactors?

With over 40 years of experience in the fields of energy and utility regulation, Mr. Peter Bradford is particularly well suited to answer this question. He served on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and is the former chair of the New York and Maine utility commissions.

Mr. Bradford will address the unfavorable economics of new nuclear reactors and debunk the myths that prop up the nuclear renaissance idea. He will show that nuclear power is more expensive than alternative ways of combating climate change and how new nuclear reactors can only be built with taxpayer subsidies. Mr. Bradford will illustrate how investing in nuclear reactors will cost Wisconsin jobs, not create them as claimed by the nuclear industry. And he will explain why Wisconsins state statute regulating the construction of new reactors is still a good law.

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Wisconsin is member of the Carbon‐Free, Nuclear‐Free Wisconsin coalition. This 14 member coalition works to keep common‐sense limits on nuclear power plant construction and supports the development of a truly renewable energy grid by 2050.

For more information contact Alfred Meyer, Program Director at cell phone 202/215‐8208 or email [email protected] Mr. Bradfords complete tour schedule can be found at the PSR Wisconsin website, www.psrwisconsin.org.
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Wisconsin Foodie Sweet Water Organics Show

CBS 58, This Sunday 10:30 a.m.

Wisconsin Foodie Season 3
August 24, 2009

by: Arthur Ircink

If you havent heard yet, let me be the first to tell youWisconsin Foodie is back!

As of a few weeks ago (coinciding with the return of our famous expat L.A. director Mark Escribano), production has begun on the newest installment of Wisconsin Foodie. With a new season comes a new station and time - CBS 58 Sundays @ 10:30 a.m beginning September 13th.

Last season on Wisconsin Foodie, we featured a ton of great chefs and restaurants that support the local food movement. This year, we continue that tradition by featuring the people who are responsible for the food you eat. Some of the highlights for Season Three include: Urban Agriculture, Milwaukees Cafe Culture with Scott Johnson, Shopping the Dane County Farmers Market with Chef Tory Miller, Jim Godsil of Sweet Water Organics, Lotfotl Farm, Virtues of Wisconsin Cheese, and the list goes on. Also back this season are our wonderful and talented hosts: Kyle Cherek, Brian Moran and Jessica Bell.

For our more socially inclined friends, fans and family, we are planning an event to celebrate the return Wisconsin Foodie. Youll be able to meet, touch and talk to the cast and crew of the show as well as feed and drink on all the local products we can muster up. Check back for more details!

If you are one of those people that just cant get enough, you can find us on facebook (www.facebook.com/WisconsinFoodie) and Twitter (@wisconsinfoodie) and of course, the coolest website out there: www.wisconsinfoodie.com.

If you see us around town - say hi- we do not bite (other than if its a terrific meal) and are always interested in hearing from you. (Actually, Kyle might bite..)

Watch What You Eat - Watch Wisconsin Foodie!

Keep Our World Class Zoo Safe From Privatization

Dear Honorable Board Members,

I would like to take the time to share with you an event that happened today at the zoo. I hope you take the time to listen to me. I had a 15 year old student fly in from Boston to interview me. I am a zookeeper and take care of the bonobos, a very rare endangered great ape found only in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This student and his father flew to our zoo for 2 hours to directly experience the bonobos. I was stunned to say the least. When I asked them why they would do this the response was simply “because everyone knows Milwaukee has one of the best zoos in the world”. The father of the boy went on to inform me how amazing it was that here in Milwaukee we had one of the largest populations of this endangered species. “You must be so proud of your institution! The fact that Milwaukee County values these animals is such a sign of quality”. Having the bonobos at our zoo is equivalent to having a huge chunk of all the Rembrandt’s in the world. The value is priceless. I spent much time with this family skipping my lunch and answering questions. They thanked me for my time and went on to inform me that a sizeable donation would be made to the zoo.

Our zoo is world class. We have many endangered species which require meticulous care from dedicated zoo professionals. The bonobos are just one of the many high profile animals that make out zoo famous all over the world. I have heard the same words over and over from our visitors for the past 20 years. All our guests inform us they appreciate our clean, well run zoo with an incredible animal collection.

I can only speak on behalf of the bonobos under my constant care. If you consider privatizing the zoo you will seriously impact the level of care given to not only the bonobos, but to all the species at our zoo. Zoo keepers work long and hard to maintain the health of all our animals. We often times sleep at the zoo when an animal is sick, or stop in after hours to check on on of our charges. The bonobos need care for the following medical problems: cardiac issues, epilepsy, paralysis of the rear legs, a pregnancy, blindness, old age (one of our bonobos is 60 years old), psychiatric disorders, social problems, breathing problems, and various battle wounds that occur from time to time. Add on top of this the fact that we recently discovered that hypertension is killing many great apes globally. Milwaukee has been asked to try and solve this problem. Why? Because we are a world class zoo with excellent keepers who hold advanced degrees. Our veterinary staff is top notch and together we have solved many health problems in our captive population of apes. If our wages are cut and hours reduced our animals will suffer. Care will be cut to a minimum, health problems will increase, breeding animals will be neglected, and quality keepers will be lost, injury rate will escalate exponentially. How much will actually be saved? Nothing. Remember, we are in cold and flu season. Our bonobos are prone to pneumonia and need constant watching this time of year. Yet, I am told we are non essential employees and our hours will be cut. I guarantee this will cause me to miss a subtle symptom of illness in one of the apes. I guarantee we will have sick animals in the next few months. All of this only costs more in the long run.

To think for a minute that more donations will come rolling in to the zoo under privatization is so far fetched I can barely comprehend the fact that Scott Walker suggested this. Those private donations come rolling into the zoo because of people like myself who talk to the families, give the private tours, and stay late to “schmooze” with the public when asked. Those private donations are directly related to the brilliant keeper staff, many who have given their lives to the zoo. Without us giving the time, knowledge, and years of experience to the potential donor I am afraid most of those donated dollars will turn in to a slow trickle or cease. I speak from experience. When I take a potential donor into the bonobo holding area and allow them to experience the warmth, intelligence, humor, and love from the bonobo troop they are hooked. We have secured many donors this way. These people never would have given without the direct animal contact the keeper can give to the potential donor. This ability to take a stranger into a wild animal’s living quarters is only due to the extremely advanced training the bonobos have received over the years. The bonobos respect and accept a stranger because they trust their keeper of 20 years.

If you privatize our world class zoo, you will take away your talented keeper staff, you will take away your endangered species, you will abruptly stop much of your donations. Why you ask? We can’t afford to do the very dangerous and physically challenging work for less pay. None of us keepers in good conscience would ever recommend that the endangered species (the Rembrandt’s of our collection) stay in Milwaukee. Governing organizations such as the Species Survival Plan listen to the keeper staff and usually follow our suggestions. Our animals deserve world class care, not interns or part time help, or a transient work force. Those zoos have terrible collections, problems securing donations, and a high incident of injury. The donors visit because of what we have in our zoo collection. The donors come to see those Rembrandt’s and DA Vinci’s. The donors come to see the rare species, much like they line up to see the Hope diamond at the Smithsonian. I currently am working with several scientists who have the ability to bring in grant money. Without the talented keepers and rare animals you have nothing. No donors, no grants, nothing.

We take care of ourselves at the zoo. We are not broken and don’t need fixing. We don’t ask for much and historically have run a tight ship. We are the biggest tourist attraction in Wisconsin and northern Illinois. This isn’t by chance. It is because of those dedicated zoo employees who have given their heart and soul to the zoo. You don’t need to do a feasibility study for $60,000 to see what would happen if we went private. Come out and visit us, we will do your feasibility study for free. If we had more PR promoting the zoo we could be doing even better financially. I encourage all of you to stand up for what is ethically and morally the right thing to do. Keep our world class zoo from becoming nothing more than a small road side attraction.

I look forward to having all of you visit the zoo.

Respectfully yours,

Barbara K. Bell
Bonobo caregiver

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Milwaukee’s World Leadership Role in Urban Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Bio-diversity Initiatives

The links b/t food security, sustainable development, and bio-diversity suggest collaborations b/t the new School of Fresh Water Sciences, sustainability and urban ag enterprises and partnerships, and the Milwaukee’s Zoological Society, the source of funding for Dr. Gay Reinartz’s Bonobo Congro Biodiversity Initiative project in the Congo.

The availability of fish based protein in Africa reduces pressures for poaching endangered species.

Would anyone like to start with some on-line conversations eyes on the prize of fostering partnerships and building upon Milwaukee’s world leadership role in bonobo/biodiversity survival, urban agriculture, and quite soon, with the opening of the School of Fresh Water Sciences, urban aquaculture?

Contact: [email protected]
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Milwaukee Area Time Exchange

Milwaukee Area Time Exchange is a network of neighbors building safe and vibrant communities through the exchange of our greatest natural resources: our time, skills and spirit. embers might provide a music lesson, take care of someone’s pet, do a home repair, volunteer at a community center, or help someone get to a doctor’s appointment. We can have everything we need when we use all that we have. Let us cultivate our safe and vibrant communities, one hour at a time.

Link to Time Exchange here on Milwaukee Renaissance
The Milwaukee Time Exchange main link
Link to Community Weaver - the software that runs the exchange.

Sunday Sweet Water News

A Nobel Prize for the Good Food ®Evolution!

Bill Clinton’s declaration of Growing Power’s Will Allen as “my hero,”
And commitment of $2,000,000 for Big Will’s contextually appropriate,
cost efficient, high yield, sustainable, local food system models
for South Africa and Zimbabwe


The Milwaukee Zoological Society’s Congo Bio Diversity project’s
possibly linking their work with the aquaculture initiatives
of the new Wisconsin School of Fresh Water Sciences and
Growing Power

suggests our movement may not be far from a Nobel Prize for
our work, properly accorded to Will Allen, whose Growing Power team
and its widening web of partners throughout the world are firmly establishing
the linkage of food security and world security, as Will is constantly reminding us.

Bill Clinton
Will Allen
Food Security

Benign globalization!

As Grace Lee Boggs expresses it…


Or Big Will’s “good food revolution!”

A richly deserved Nobel Prize for our Big Guy,
Whose collaborative methodologies translate into…

a Nobel Prize for

The good food workers of the world.

Milwaukee’s internationally famous urban farm has secured a $1.95 million grant from a group founded by former President Bill Clinton.

In announcing the grant at the Fifth Annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting last week in New York City, Clinton referred to Will Allen, founder of Growing Power at 5500 W. Silver Spring Drive, as his “hero.” Allen was in New York City, attending the Clinton Global Initiative, when he learned of the grant on Friday.

The $1.925 million commitment aims to build a new model of local food systems in South Africa and Zimbabwe, focusing on the food security of school children and their caregivers. The grant, to be awarded over four years, will help Growing Power establish food centers to combat malnutrition. It was among 32 financial commitments announced Friday by the Clinton Global Initiative.

Allen tvavels extensively across the country, promoting his model of sustainable food to make fresh vegetables affordable to populations that don’t have easy access. He also travels internationally, and conducts workshops on setting up local food systems.
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Magnificent Opportunity to Set City and UWM on course for a Beautiful City

Sept 29, Sept. 30 - read on

Dear friends, neighbors

I am a member of RiverKeeper and wish to call this opportunity to your attention. This is a Singular Moment in Milwaukee’s History. Don’t miss it. Play your “Let’s get it right” card to UWM officials who seem to want to know what we want. They were hammered by many of us about using the Lakefront; they dropped that proposal. They lost Michael Cudahy’s money for the County Grounds location - giving the Monarch Butterfly a better future in Milwaukee County.

They have not lost us. And we need to make them listen.


This public hearing is such a big opportunity for city and campus officials to do the right thing, I cannot resist telling you as much as I can in a “few” words. The prospect is that a good UWM decision will benefit the entire city in a way most developments do only piecemeal.


6:30 pm 8 pm, Tuesday, September 29, UWM Union, Wisconsin Room.
8:30 am 10 am, Wednesday, September 30, UWM Union, Wisconsin Room.

The UWM Union is located at 2200 E. Kenilworth Blvd.

UWM master planners are re-thinking the placement of their new engineering campus. It was originally slated to go on the County Grounds in Wauwatosa, a natural area Milwaukee Riverkeeper has long fought to protect. This area is an asset to the County and needs to be protected for its long-term benefits to our environment and the beauty of our County. To read its past history:



an essay by Eddee Daniel, and

photographs on FLICKR

Please show up with your ideas and to support those at UWM who want to keep the campus in the city.

A writer with deep roots in Milwaukee, about UWM plans: Jim Rowen encourages the use of the Great Lakes Water Institute area of town (not far from Bay View) as ideal in many respects — on E. Greenfield Ave., abutting the harbor waters.


I believe the location is good because it will very likely trigger large, appropriate development in a part of town that is ripe for massive investment. UWM could send a signal that its school is more than an iconic location (pretty lakeshore) but a worker bee, a working part of the larger city. Being near the KRM commuter rail line sends the word out that Milwaukee wants visitors and development in and around this years-vacant industrial site. In one decision UWM could do a great thing for the future of Milwaukee.

Locating the campus closer to the central city will serve as an added boost to rebuilding transit in Milwaukee. Just now the stars are aligned for the building of a streetcar [open house October 8, 2009 from 3–7 p.m. on the first floor of the Zeidler Municipal Building, 841 N. Broadway], If you attend this open house you will see that one likely expansion direction will be from downtown to Walkers Point and Bay View. Many of us hope UWM will see its role as a catalyst for strategic development appropriate to the central city. Moving their plans away from the natural beauty of the County Grounds would protect this natural setting, well known as a resting spot for the migrating Monarchs.

Bill Sell

Can’t Attend? write your best email to your State Rep and Senator, to your County Supervisor, and
to UWM Chancellor Carlos E. Santiago at:

“Let us put our minds together, and see what life we will make for our children.” ---Tatanka-Iyotanka (Sitting Bull) --- Hunkpapa Lakota chief

photo by Jay Warner, County Grounds

First Lady Says “Yea for vegetables”

When Will Our First Family Visit Growing Power?

ABC News Karen Travers reports:

As part of her continuing efforts to promote healthy eating and living habits, First Lady Michelle Obama dropped by the grand opening of the FRESHFARM Farmers Market, just a block away from the White House

I have never seen so many people so excited about fruits and vegetables, she said to a couple hundred people who gathered in the rain at the market. Yay for vegetables!

Earlier this year Mrs. Obama started a garden on the White House grounds as a way to educate kids across the nation about healthy eating. Today she said she the garden has grown beyond what she could have imagined and is even a hot topic outside of Washington.

When I travel around the world, no matter where I’ve gone so far, the first thing world leaders, prime ministers, kings, queens ask me about is the White House garden. And then they ask about Bo, the first lady said, referring to the First Familys pet dog. Everybody, it’s the garden and Bo, or Bo and the garden, one or the other.

Farmers markets and the White House garden play a key role in larger discussions about the nations health problems, Mrs. Obama said.

They make us think about these issues in a way that maybe sometimes the policy conversations don’t allow us to think.

Tomorrow Mrs. Obama will jump into the health care policy conversation when she holds an event featuring women and their families who have had problems with their health care.

But at the farmers market Mrs. Obama spoke as a working mom who in the past found it hard to put together healthy meals.

Takeout food was a primary part of our diet. It was quick. It was easy, she said to knowing laughter. We did what was easiest and what kids liked, because you didn’t want to hear them whiningWe’re just trying to end the whining.

Mrs. Obama said that farmers markets can be an important, valuable resource for families who want to eat well, have limited time and may not have access to fresh food.

The first lady said she wanted to make it clear that fresh produce is not just something for wealthy people, noting that farmers markets in Washington participate in several government programs that provide aid to low income families like the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). She said every WIC and SNAP dollar equals two dollars at a farmers market.

So if you know people who have access to these benefits, they should understand that these farmers’ markets are there for them as well, she said. And there is an incentive for them to use and buy their fruits and vegetables here. So we want to get that word out.

After addressing the crowd of several hundred, the first lady did a little shopping, perusing the rows of vegetables and fruits that came mainly from local Virginia and Maryland farms and putting her items into a straw shopping bag.

What might end up on the family dinner table tonight at the White House? Mrs. Obama purchased black kale, eggs, cherry tomatoes, mixed hot peppers, fingerling potatoes, cheese and chocolate milk.

Someone in the crowd urged Mrs. Obama Dont forget the brussel sprouts!

I dont know if the president likes brussel sprouts, she replied.

President Obama spoke about the plans for a farmers market near the White House when he went to the DNC to talk about health care last month.

One of the things that we’re trying to do now is to figure out, can we get a little farmer’s market outside of the White House — I’m not going to have all y’all just tromping around - but right outside the White House so that we can — and that is a win-win situation, the president said to laughter.

Obama said the farmers market would give Washington more access to good, fresh food and could be an enormous potential revenue maker for local farmers in the area.

-Karen Travers
Click here for original story including video
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Edupunks Combat Bourgeois Cultural Hegemony


How Web-Savvy Edupunks Are Transforming American Higher Education
By: Anya KamenetzTue Sep 1, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Free online courses, Wiki universities, Facebook-style tutoring networks — American higher education is changing.

Veggie Trader

By John Chappell, Green Options

How great would it be if there were want ads in your local newspaper or on Craigslist for organic fruits and vegetables, grown in your town, by your neighbors? A new website - Veggie Trader has sprung up that offers exactly such a servicea purchasing and bartering clearinghouse for locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Veggie Trader describes itself as the place to trade, buy or sell local homegrown produce. The idea is simple: you register on the website and then offer to purchase, sell, or trade any manner of surplus fruits or vegetables. If you have too many tomatoes and want to see if anyone nearby has a surplus of peaches or peppers, you can log on, run a search, and find out who in the neighborhood may be willing to exchange with you.

Its a great way to offload additional produce and exchange it for something that you might be unable to grow in your own yard, but that another gardener may specialize in growing. Its totally free to join, and costs nothing to post an offering, or place a wanted listing.

The website only started four months ago, and is definitely still in its infancy. Despite that, they have over 6,000 people signed up so far. The folks who have registered thus far are concentrated on the U.S. West Coast in California and Oregon, but since the website is still starting out, it could very well extend to your neighborhood. You can help make the website grow by registering and offering to buy, sell, or trade for whatever produce you have or may want.

Veggie Trader has ambitions to expand to include dairy, eggs, and meat, all items that are heavily regulated. The future may hold great things for Veggie Trader, only time will tell if the site can attract enough members to gain enough momentum to make a difference in the local food movement, but we’re certainly rooting for them.

I’ve registered and there doesn’t seem to be any activity in this area yet but it certainly makes sense to “trade the wealth” during harvest time. Fruit trees are a perfect example of a glut of produce and then nothing for the rest of the year.

Here is another link: http://www.veggietrader.com/
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U.S. Department of Agriculture: “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Initiative

This just in from todays National Sustainable Ag Coalition e-newsletter.

“Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Unveiled: As mentioned in last week’s Update, USDA will be unveiling the “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Initiative this week-a new campaign that emphasizes vibrant local and regional food systems. Starting on Monday, September 14, each day will have a different theme underscoring the importance of regional food system development: Monday will focus on “Rural Revitalization” and economic development, Tuesday will focus on “Farm to Institution” (including Farm to School programs), on Wednesday the focus is “Healthy Eating” and will include a celebrity chef cooking at USDA, Thursday will focus on “Direct Marketing” and will be the day the White House launches its own farmers market in downtown D.C., and Friday the theme is “Ag is Back!” and will be the launch for the new USDA website and a live facebook chat with Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.
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Art Not Apathy!

A Gathering to promote Ecological awareness!

Organization for Inspiration is a newly founded Non Profit Organization in Milwaukee Wisconsin for Visual Artists, Poets, Musicians, and other creative people in the Milwaukee area. They will be holding their second “Art Not Apathy” Gathering This November 29th to support ecological awareness. This show will feature film, live musical performances, poetry readings, and speeches to promote ecological awareness. Some artists who will be performing include, Louisa Loveridge, Jacob Green, Jacob Hey, Harvey Taylor, Holly Haebig, Jeff Poniewaz, Suzanne Rosenblatt, Jahmes Tony Finlayson, and more! The show will be taking place at The Miramar Theater on Oakland and Locust street in downtown Milwaukee.
One of Organization for Inspiration’s long-term goals is to buil a space for local artists, filmakers, musicians and other artists both visual and non-visual to use as a public studio.
This location will also house a place for Performances, theatrical, film and otherwise, a cafe, an art gallery and more!
They hope after creating this space to inspire others to create similar spaces to encourage positive growth and community in the city of Milwaukee and elsewhere!
Please visit their website for more information! http://www.O4I.weebly.com

Art Not Apathy, a Gathering to Promote Ecological Awareness
November 29th, 2009 at 7:00 pm
at The Miramar Theater
2844 North Oakland Ave and Locust
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 967–0302

Grace Lee Boggs On “Social Forces” Critical to the Next American (R)evolution

At Jane Adams’ Hull House, Sept. 10, 2009

  • artists

  • women

  • youth

Pioneering a new world…

  • women

  • queers

  • disabled

A revolution of love vital for transformation of our

  • selves

  • institutions

Pay attention to Dr. King’s “Break the Silence Speech,”
inspired in part by questioning Chicago youthful militants
of the Black Power movement, in which he calls for

A Radical Revolution of Values vs

  • Racism

  • Militarism

  • Materialism

“Let us live more simply, so others
May simply live.”

We are overcoming age segregation!

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Big Food vs. Big Insurance

By Michael Pollan

The New York TImes 2009–09–10

Read the full story

TO listen to President Obamas speech on Wednesday night, or to just about anyone else in the health care debate, you would think that the biggest problem with health care in America is the system itself perverse incentives, inefficiencies, unnecessary tests and procedures, lack of competition, and greed.

No one disputes that the $2.3 trillion we devote to the health care industry is often spent unwisely, but the fact that the United States spends twice as much per person as most European countries on health care can be substantially explained, as a study released last month says, by our being fatter. Even the most efficient health care system that the administration could hope to devise would still confront a rising tide of chronic disease linked to diet.

Click here to read the full story
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This Is Not Just About Milwaukee’s Renaissance!

It’s about your city’s renaissance too!

With this wiki site, Milwaukee renaissance moments are presented.

We’re happy to share what we’ve learned about
Chronicling our advances with picures and prose…

For your city’s renaissance!

Send a note to [email protected] to brainstorm
setting up an on-line renaissance magazine in your city!

If hope gives rise to that which it contemplates,
And if we create wiki web sites chronicling and advancing
The renaissance of each of our old cities…


Why not?

Gregory Stanford: Profile of Success

By Patricia Obletz

Of all the subjects Milwaukees award-winning journalist, Gregory Stanford, covered, from the Civil Rights Movement to education, housing, welfare, and much more, he neither spoke about nor wrote about his childhood struggle in a racist society.
Click here to see the rest!
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Dear Public Radio Listener,

WPR = Wisconsin Public Radio
WCIJ = Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Wisconsin Public Radio. My companion? Aiding a fraud?

an Open Letter to WPR
Open Letter to WPR (“how could you do such a thing?”)

…Why, I asked myself, would principals and students of the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism do this to the citizens of our State? And why is WPR involved with WCIJ at all? …

Part 1
…egregious misquoting from the UW School of Journalism, a revision of an official report, blatant denial of the report’s conclusions, omissions of fact, and a Cato Institute jury of “authorities”….
Part 1. The Fraud (the plain evidence)

…WCIJ (in partnership with WPR) launched mendacious media virus, a “feathers-to-the-wind” media fabrication that the U.S. Government Accountability Office is opposed to rail projects. Since late July this virus has been spreading through the nation’s newspapers and talk radio shows. …

This blog series continues:

Open Letter to WPR

Part 1. The Fraud

Part 2. The Virus

Part 3. The “Correction”

Your COMMENTS at the bottom of each Blog, please - they help to get the attention of our officials - write your thoughts at the bottom of the two blogs

Your CONCERNS, please email WPR at
listener @ wpr.org

Bill Sell, my email

The author is a life-long Milwaukee resident. Founder and principal of a 33 year old downtown Milwaukee business serving editors and authors nationwide. Founding Member Bay View Neighborhood Association. Founder of Transit Matters. Steering Committee Coalition for Advancing Transit. Member Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin. Shepherd Express Community Activist of the Year, 2007. Member, Public Policy Forum. Associate Member, Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Lessons for Humans From The Geese

We are at the beginning of the end of summer. Somewhere up in the Arctic a snowflake is being readied to head our way.
Mother Nature is sending the geese aloft, their honking formations already overflying where I live.
Sooo… from making many rounds on the Internet, here is an old one:

A Lesson From Geese

Have you ever wondered why migrating geese fly in V formation ?
As with most animal behavior, there is a good reason which we can learn, a valuable principle of mutual aid.

As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the bird following.
By flying in their V group formation, the whole flock adds 71% more flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Whenever a goose falls out of the group formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone,
and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the “lifting power” of the bird immediately in front.

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into formation and another goose flies at the point position.
The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep their speed.

When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him.
They stay with him until he is either able to fly again or dies.
Then they launch out on their own, with another group, or catch up with the flock.

                          Author Unknown

[My thought: Nature is the handwriting of God.]

For interesting items and video clip, visit:

$5 Learning Fun at Sweet Water Every Wednesday

Come to Sweet Water Organics every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m.
To meet the fish, the worms, the water cress, basil, and other plants,
The compost piles, the artists “Green Room,” and more…

To learn how to grow sprouts, micro-greens, and wheat grass from Dr. Dave…

To talk about developing an Urban Agrarian Guild with Jan Christensen…

To talk about organizing without organizations with Godsil.

$5 donations requested
(put in a basket at the door when you walk in)
Unless you are flat out broke,
In which case $5 worth of labor requested.

Send an e-mail to [email protected] if interested.


2151 S. Robinson
One block west of KK
Three blocks north of Lincoln

Get Your M.A. or Ph.D. at Wisconsin’s New School of Freshwater Sciences

Sweet Water Organics Fish Vegetable Farm in an old factory has been inspired and guided by Will Allen of Growing Power and Fred Binkowski of the Great Lakes Water Institute, soon to become a graduate program called The School for Fresh Water Sciences, opening this Fall!

Come to Milwaukee, study at Growing Power and the School for Fresh Water Sciences, while building our movement!

Here’s a piece about all of this:

When they were ready for plants and fish, the Sweet Water owners looked to Allen and UWM Great Lakes WATER Institute scientist Fred Binkowski for guidance.

Allen shared lessons from designing and tweaking his aquaponic system at Growing Power as well as his expertise in composting and worm culture. At Sweet Water on July 8 Allen remarked, indicating the old factory building, A total transformation-its beautiful. He looked over the system, and gave casual advice. You might want to lower those grow lights, he said as he looked at plant bed.

Binkowski offered research results from raising yellow perch in a commercial-size recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) at WATER. He coordinates aquaculture outreach programs through WATERs Great Lakes Aquaculture Center and the UW Sea Grant Advisory Program (Wisconsin Sea Grant is a statewide research and education program focused on the Great Lakes). Binkowski has also studied perch in Growing Powers aquaponic system for the past two years and has visited Sweet Water weekly to monitor water quality and teach the owners testing procedures.

Binkowski is providing the 5,000 perch as part of a cooperative research agreement between Sweet Water and WATERs Aquaculture Center. Were adding them in smaller batches to make sure we dont overload the system.

Milwaukee Leads the World

Milwaukee is emerging as a leader in the urban farming revolution, especially in aquaculture. We are absolutely the leader of urban agriculture in the nation if not the world, said Allen. Local organizations are recruiting more urban agrarians through education. Growing Power has regular workshops, and a nonprofit Urban Aquaculture Center (featured in a February Compass H20 column) that will include an education center as well as a production facility that is in development. This winter, Wisconsin Sea Grant will launch an Urban Aquaculture Initiative to help fish farmers in cities. What we want to do is give them the tools they need, said Binkowski, who is helping develop a work plan. The program will not offer direct funding for farmers, but will bolster the regional urban aquaculture industry by providing education and technical support. I see it as a huge step in the right direction, Binkowski said.

Aquaculture has been increasing around the country, and urban fish farms like Sweet Water are on the cutting edge. Purdue Universitys Kwamena Quagrainie, who specializes in aquaculture marketing, does not know of any other commercial urban fish farms. Brooklyn College professor Martin Schreibman, who has developed a model RAS for urban fish farms, has noticed a sudden surge of energy, interest, and activity related to urban aquaculture. Schreibman, who cannot sell his fish because of academic rules at his college, donates them to homeless shelters.

So far, U.S. aquaculture doesnt come close to meeting domestic demand for fish. According to the Department of Agriculture, in 2005 the United States imported 300 million pounds of tilapia but produced only 17 million. The North Central Regional Aquaculture Center estimates that the yellow perch market could absorb at least 50 million more pounds per year.

Urban fish farms may help fill these gaps, with Milwaukee and other cities reaping economic, health, and environmental benefits. Urban agriculture and aquaculture provide jobs near a ready workforce, fresh foods for underserved populations, reductions in fossil fuels for food transport, and a use for empty industrial buildings.

If Sweet Water succeeds, it will provide a valuable business model for entrepreneurs in Milwaukee and other cities. It will also strengthen the current of change that is reshaping how we grow our food. Were not only growing fish but growing knowledge, said Godsil.

More on this story at http://bayviewcompass.com/archives/1205
Send an e-mail to [email protected] if you want to learn more!

Raising Children Out of Poverty

By Patricia Obletz

Pastor Lee Shaw unexpectedly ended his lucrative career in finance to minister to at-risk kids in his childhood Milwaukee neighborhood. In 2002, he left his home in Cleveland, Ohio, to help his father move his store-front ministry into a big church and realize his dream. After father and son bought the old Lutheran church at 5375 N. 37th Street with 20,000 square feet, two large halls and a gym, Shaw learned why Wisconsin has the highest rate in America of black kids in prison, most of who drop out of school. Wisconsin has the highest rate of African-American youths in prison, most of whom dropped out of school.

Click here to see the rest!
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Hot off the “Bay View Compass” Press

“Down on the farm in Bay View: Fish, sprouts, and veggies”

July 30, 2009
By Casey Twanow


Written by Casey Twanow, a reporter who has studied
aquaculture at the Great Lakes Water Institute and
Is planning on developing her own systems for teaching our kids!

Wednesday Early Evenings: Come visit us at Sweet Water Guild School!

On every Wednesday evenings from 5 to 6
Over the next season…

The Sweet Water “Agrarian” Guild School

“Wheat Grass Moments” with Dr. Dave.


We ask for donations from $1 to $10 for the Guild School’s Agrarian Division.

For those who have already been to a “Wheat Grass Moment”
We will develop break out sessions on other themes
Pertaining to urban agriculture and healthy living.

Come join us!



P.S. Sweet Water Guild School can be…

Your classroom…

Your stage.

Your workshop…

Your work station…

Your special place for special events.

Write for more details: [email protected]


Dates: Aug 11, 12, 13 - see below

Friends and Neighbors:

In order for your Zoo Interchange Comment to count, you need to identify which DOT (Dept of Transportation) plan you prefer. Voicing only your concerns will not count toward the plan that DOT selects. If you did not specify a plan in a prior Comment, you may do so with an additional Comment form. You may send in more than one form. Only Comments received after the June 24th Environmental Impact Statement draft will be counted. Earlier Comments have been discarded.

See below for Comment mailing address, fax or email address. Form is attached. The deadline for Comments on the Zoo Interchange is August 10th.

In addition to identifying specific issues that you believe DOT inadequately or incorrectly dealt with (e.g., rail, wetlands, noise, ponds), you need to specify which of the five alternatives you prefer: No-Build, 6 lane N1, 6 lane N3, or 8 lane (N1 or N3). Go to http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/projects/sefreeways/zoomap.htm for maps and descriptions of each.

Summary of DOT draft Environmental Impact Statement:

Cost: $960 Million. Retains current concrete footprint, with some safety improvements and additions made. Bridges will be re-built; roads rebuilt and maintained.

Impact: No additional concrete/impermeable space to the current 9 mile interchange. All 7.1 acres of wetlands untouched. No loss of natural areas. No retention / detention ponds. Honey Creek and Underwood Parkways remain intact (no clear-cutting). Zoo and Chippewa Park remain intact. Oak Leaf bike trail remains intact. Monarch Trail, including south berm, whole nectaring area and oak savanna, remain intact. No Texas U-Turns at 84th St. All exits and exit locations remain. No effect to floodplain. No loss of private residences or their tax base.

Six Lane (N1 or N3):
Cost: $2.16 Billion. Interchange is modernized. All exits moved to right side of expressway. Wider, longer ramps; Texas U-Turns at 84th St.; N&S exits at Bluemound removed. Up to 61 electrical transmission towers to be relocated. Six to 31 residences (depending on DOT sub-plan chosen) will be removed. Milwaukee, Wauwatosa and West Allis will experience loss of property tax revenue.

Impact: 32% increase in concrete space. Approximately 3.3 acres wetlands lost, including .3 acres (N1) or all .42 acres (N3) of wetlands surrounding south berm of Monarch Trail. Floodplain increased by 0.1 acre, but no deemed adverse effect, The Zoo loses 15 acres, and .1 acre from Chippewa Park. Three to 4 acres of the Zoo’s vegetative buffer zone would be clear cut for a utility easement to relocate transmission towers. Swan Blvd moves 3 feet south into drip line (tree roots) of the Monarch Trail’s oak savanna. 92nd St. is extended from Watertown Plank through Co. Grounds to north Swan Blvd.

Additional concrete and reduced wetlands require detention ponds: 4 acres clear cut at Honey Creek Pkwy—stream bed may be completely removed from west of 84th St.; 5 acre pond at Underwood Pkwy—Oak Leaf bike trail “relocated”; 3 acre pond at Monarch Trail’s south berm—wetlands filled in east of former south berm and between south and north berm. Honey Creek east of 84th St. to have concrete lining removed, along with trees. Underwood to have bottom lining removed, but side concrete lining to remain.

Eight Lane (N1 or N3):
Cost: $2.31 Billion. Same modernization as for Six Lane, but a lane is added in each direction.

Impact: 43.25% increase in concrete space. 3.4 acres of wetland lost, including entire .42 acres surrounding south berm at Monarch Trail. Floodplain fill increased by 0.2 acre, but no deemed adverse effect. The Zoo loses 15.3 acres, and .2 acre natural space from Chippewa Park. Swan Blvd is moved south 6 feet into drip line (tree roots) of Monarch Trail oak savanna; 87 feet closer (with N3) on west to Eschweiler Bldgs. Additional concrete and reduced wetlands require detention ponds as described for Six Lane plan, but a building would be removed near Honey Creek for the increased size pond required.

Safety and Congestion: Although DOT is promoting expansion of the zoo interchange to reduce congestion and thereby increase safety, research*(google “induced congestion”) indicates that highway expansion increases congestion. (If you build it, they will come.) We have only to drive the Marquette interchange to know that traffic still comes to a standstill at rush hour. The travel time from downtown to the zoo interchange has been reduced by about 3 minutes. In addition, highway expansion furthers urban sprawl, leading to even more congestion, at the expense of those living in and near the city. With more congestion, comes more noise and air pollution as well, even though DOT insists that the highway expansion will make traffic continually move faster.

Rail Ignored: The draft Environmental Impact Statement does not include accommodation for rail right-or-way. Nor does it include rail when considering reduction of traffic, congestion, air or noise pollution, or the loss of green space. The money saved by the No-Build option instead of the 8-lane expansion ($1.35 Billion), could be spent on high speed rail to Madison/Chicago; metra rail to Waukesha, Green Bay and Oshkosh; road/bridge repair within Milwaukee Co.; returning inter-city buses and routes. “Forward 45″ planning contractors for the zoo interchange are thinking backwards by not including mass transit. Milwaukee Common Council recently posted opposition to this neglect.

Detention Ponds: Clear-cutting of trees for detention ponds is an eye-sore. It means a loss of green space that reduces air and noise pollution, while softening the concrete that surrounds us. Ponds collect grease, oil, rock salt and heavy metals from highway run-off, which is so foul that it requires fencing. They stink, collect geese, algae and mosquitoes. Ponds present a safety and liability risk to children who would climb their fences. The ponds will reduce property values of surrounding neighborhoods. They would permanently degrade Parkways which DOT confirms as eligible for the National Register.

Monarch Trail: The loss of the south berm and the filling in of its surrounding wetlands will substantially remove nectaring plants to sustain the monarchs and other butterflies. The fill will drastically change the topography so as to alter or remove the windbreak of the north berm. This could ultimately affect the monarch’s migration. In addition, the Swan Blvd expansion will likely cut into the tree roots of the oak savanna where the monarchs roost, causing the trees’ eventual death, as occurred at the Research Park. The extension of 92nd St. through the County Grounds will further its dissection.

Send your Comments as follows. It’s helpful to bolden your plan choice. Be sure to cc your local officials: mayor, city alderperson(s), county supervisor, state senator and representative. Request that they convey these concerns to DOT directly.

Mail to:
James Liptack, P.E., Wis DOT, SE Transportation Region,
P.O. Box 798 Waukesha, WI 53187–0798
Fax to:
262–548–5662 Be sure to put James liptack’s name on the fax.
Email to:
[email protected]
Be sure to include your identifying information as requested on the Comment form: full name, address and phone number.

Dianne Dagelen
Wauwatosa, WI

PS. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions: 414–771–1505.

  • Google “induced traffic”. E.g., “Analysis of Metropolitan Highway Capacity and the Growth in Vehicle Miles of Travel,”: Report to National Academies of Science Transportation research Board. Review of Texas Transportation Institute’s data of 70 American urban areas for 1982–1996 found that highway widening and expansion increased (not reduced) traffic congestion, the national average being 15–45%. Within three years, congestion bounded again from the urban sprawl that the expansion encouraged.

Look ahead to the DOT 2030 public hearing for Milwaukee at Harbor Lights room (4–7pm) on August 11th. There you can talk to the DOT planners directly how you would like a different alternative for the zoo interchange to meet our environmental, residential and transportation needs. Last time free parking across the street was provided.

Connections 2030 - Public hearings

WisDOT has completed the final draft of Connections 2030. This is Wisconsin’s statewide long-range multimodal transportation plan. The plan has been updated to reflect feedback received during the draft plan public comment period. WisDOT will be holding five public hearings in August for additional public comments. All meetings will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. The public comment period begins July 24 and ends August 31, 2009.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Milwaukee County Downtown Transit Center
Harbor Lights Room - 2nd floor
909 E. Michigan Ave., Milwaukee, WI

August 12

August 13

See http://www.wiconnections2030.gov website for more details.

Sweet Water Organics and the Sweet Water Guild School Have Set Up in Bay View

Sweet Water Organics, Bay View’s new fish vegetable farm at 2151 S. Robinson(one block west of KK), is now home to 2,500 yellow perch from the Great Lakes Water Institute, “the cleanest perch” in the world, according to Dr. Fred Binkowski.

There are also now 33,000 tiny tilapia, just arrived last week.

Sweet Water will be raising and selling tilapia and perch in a Will Allen inspired re-circulating, bio-filtration fish vegetable aquaponics system, as well marketing micro greens, wheat grass, sprouts, worms, “black gold” castings, compost, and tours.

Sweet Water Organics is also the catalyst for the Sweet Water Guild School, aiming to bring together artists, artisans, and agrarians,
To learn and teach about increasing our access to, and ability to create, good food and beauty.

The Sweet Water Guild School invites artists, artisans, and agrarians
Who would like to brainstorm about this project to weekly gatherings
Every Wednesday from 5 to 6 p.m.

This Wednesday the Sweet Water Agrarians will be hosting Dr. Dave Schemberger’s “Wheat Grass Moments.”

Read more about this at Sweet Water Fish Farming

Wheat Grass Co-conspirators Jan Christensen and Dr. Dave SchembergerDr. Dave sowing seeds

Thick, rich, green wheat grass ready for the juicer!


A Watch on the Stimulus Watch? - July 19, 2009

by George F. Sanders

A Letter to Joe Biden about Stimulus Assistance - April 07, 2009

by George F. Sanders

To: The Hon. Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States

The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500, FAX: 202–456–2461

From: Milwaukee Area Taxpayers Group: Joe Bova, Robert Durrah, Sue Frank, Elmer

C. Anderson, George F. Sanders
PO Box 71094 , Milwaukee, WI 53211, Tele. 414–372–4934, Fax: 414–755–1791, Email: [email protected]

Dear Sir:

We respectfully submit our concerns about any upcoming Stimulus Assistance, targeted for the City of Milwaukee, and that its record of handling and dispersing federal and state funds ought to be closely examined.

Under the administration of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Common Council President Willie Hines, and the Commissioner of the Department of City Development (DCD), Rocky Marcoux, Milwaukees quality of life has been crippled by the conditions of its deteriorated Inner City. Therefore, we call your attention to the likelihood that the city will treat any such Stimulus Assistance in the same manner used in administering the US Department of Housing and Urban Developments (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

Barretts administration uses over 50% of CDBG funds for purposes not intended by HUD regulations, and which do not benefit low and moderate income people, nor provide decent housing or expand economic opportunities.

Instead, the funds pay for general services and capital improvements, which benefit powerful builders of almost empty condominiums. The condo boom represents the most massive construction program in the citys history, yet employs few Blacks who have unemployment rates over 50%. (The Crisis Continues: Black Male Joblessness in Milwaukee 2007 by: Marc V. Levine University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Economic Development −10/08) - http://www4.uwm.edu/ced/

In addition, the city has ignored over 10 years of residency hiring and subcontracting requirements related to unemployed Black and white residents who live within CDBG targeted areas.

In spite of complaints filed by Milwaukee Legal Services, in 9/2003, to HUD concerning Milwaukees non-compliance with CDBG regulations, the city continued to use HUD funds to pay for general services. This violates HUDs 42 U.S.C. Sec. 5301©, in addition, 24 CFR SEC. 570.201(e). CDBG funds were used to pay firefighter salaries, and finance existing services, such as the Milwaukee Health Departments Communicable Disease Reduction Initiative, and finance library positions. http://archive.wispolitics.com/freeser/pr/pr0211/nov13/pr02111301.html

If Milwaukee is allowed to continue with these policies, poverty and crime will escalate, no matter any Stimulus Assistance, including unnecessarily driving out people to the suburbs because of an unsafe central city.

We strongly recommend that the Stimulus granting staff investigate the level of the City of Milwaukee contracts that are awarded to companies not located in the city, and which employ no Milwaukee citizens.

We urge that efforts be used to ensure that the Milwaukee community stakeholders are active participants in discussing how the stimulus dollars will be managed. This should include members of Milwaukee’s wide diversity of community organization that actually reside in the very neighborhoods that are in need.

Mayor Tom Barretts claim about a national need for policies to bring about equity in jobs, housing, contracting procedures, lending practices and education flies in the face of an atrocious record that while under his watch increased the citys poverty rate in spite of millions of state and federal dollars. Poverty, inequality still pervade after 40 years, U.S. report says. According to U.S. Census figures, Milwaukee’s poverty rate now ranks in the top 10 cities, and 1 out of 3 children in Milwaukee Public Schools is living in poverty.

Barrett has referred to Blacks as having no moral compass, and has impeded legislation to improve hiring parity and has publically stated his opposition against the mandatory sick pay leave ordinance for the City.

Lastly, Milwaukees environment causes young Black professionals to leave the city. Therefore, minority leadership is bypassed, even when new demands require the self-help approaches to new challenges. In a Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, article, Up and coming Just not here. Milwaukee ranked well behind Washington, the No. 1 city for African-Americans, and Atlanta, the No. 2 pick. Both can claim higher-than-average annual earnings for African-Americans, a higher percentage of black college graduates and a solid base of black-owned businesses. Also, Racial divide hurts Milwaukee. Appeared in the The Business Journal

We are in desperate need of change, thus feel it imperative that efforts to provide Stimulus assistance be done to assure proper placement in a manner that benefits all Milwaukee citizens. Thank you for reading this.

cc: Gov. Jim Doyle, Sen. Russ Feingold, Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.

A Letter to Tom Barrett about the Community Development Block Grant - April 20, 2009

by George F. Sanders

The Honorable Tom Barrett
Mayor of the City of Milwaukee
600 East Wells St
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Dear Mayor Barrett:
SUBJECT: Use of Community Development Block Grant

Enclosed is a copy of a letter our office received from the Milwaukee Area Taxpayers Group regarding the City of Milwaukee’s use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. We arc transmitting the correspondence to you so that your staff may respond directly to the Milwaukee Area Taxpayers Group and provide a copy to our office

Read the rest Here?!
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Offer Your Front Yard for Service Learning/Continuing Education Experiment

Would you like to find a 10 x 10 foot raised bed
Food garden of great beauty

Developed in your front lawn

By very inspiring and mindful young and old adults

As part of a service learning and continuing education project?

What say?

Why not?


Yellow Perch Arrive at Sweetwater!

these images courtesy of Bill Sell’s Flickr page

On Wednesday, July 8, a mass movement of 1000 new residents occurred in the northern area of Bay View. Ironically this event transpired a stone’s throw from UrbanView, a troubled condo project that continues with vacancies after several years of for sale signs.

Sweet Water Organics has launched the fish farm so many months into the planning. Some of the faces you see in these photos are men and women from the Great Lakes Water Institute and the men and women who built Sweet Water Organics in our neighborhood. I was along for the ride and “helped” them pack up the baby perch into four multi-gallon pails. A canister of oxygen was part of the load “just in case.” The point of the transfer was to make the ride as fast and smooth as possible. Lacking a fast and smooth light rail system, the fish were hustled into a truck.

The fact that they took food the very next day was scored as a major victory: to the best of our knowledge Fred (GL Water Institute) says this means they like the new digs.

Here’s some nice picutures:


Welcome, I say
Bill Sell

Susan Bence of public radio fame in Milwaukee offers these pics:


Here’s an audio of Susan’s Sweet Water coverage, which captures the “essence” of the place and project:


Renaissance Workers

Sending forth and creating news and images from the “renaissance moments” of our days.

Chronicling and hoping to spark…

“Renaissance News!”

Starting from Milwaukee and the Great Lakes,
Opening to the wider world.

Bracing news that makes you happy enough
To be a human.

More gracefully handling the tragedies,
Aiming to “better ourselves.”

Expecting considerable improvement
By the year 3009!

And glorious improvement
By 4009!

Permanent revolutions
Of a peaceful nature.

Eyes on the prize of accelerating that improvement,
Those revolutions,
With humility, increasing courage, irony, and
Mindful exuberance!

Send an e-mail to

[email protected] to sign up to witness this news.
Free tour of Sweet Water Organics during September if you do!

If you would like to be a writer of “Renaissance News”
send an e-mail to [email protected]

If you would like to be an entrepreneurial grant writer for this project,
send an e-mail to infopeddler @ milwaukeerenaissance.com
There’s a Knight Foundation Grant suggesting a Green Media Consortium
Project along these lines.

The Cleanest Perch on the Planet

The cleanest perch on the planet at the Great Lakes Water Institute hatcheries, transferred to Sweet Water 8 a.m. July 8, 2009.

Will Allen(Growing Power), Josh Fraundorf and Steve Lindner(Sweet Water), Fred Binkowski(Great Lakes Water Institute), and Rick Mueller(Growing Power) install and provide for the fish and their food at Sweet Water’s 10,000 gallon A Raceway.

The humans who gathered at Sweet Water were as excited as the fish, who were happy eating by early evening in their new home!

For more pictures of the Sweetwater Fishery go to our flicker site:
Sweetwater Outside
Sweetwater Inside
YellowPerch Arrive at Sweetwater
more photos
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Renaissance Moment

1,000 Great Lakes Water Institute Perch Arrive at Sweet Water Organics!

Here’s nice “Outpost” article about Sweet Water:


Here’s Sweet Water’s Web Site:


Lots of pictures of Sweet Water’s evolution at:


Pictures of the fish at the Great Lakes Water Institute being transferred and placed in one of Sweet Water’s 10,000 gallon raceways will soon grace the web site and the flickr site. Look for “Lake Effect” and “Bay View Compass” coverage of this “renaissance moment!”

Renaissance Visions

The President and the Street Farmer Teach the Troops:

Street Smart Troops Can Grow Own Healthy Food and Spread

the Knowledge for Food Self-Sufficiency

  • Vermiculture and aquaponics as a step toward self-reliance at home

  • Vermiculture and aquaponics as a step toward self-reliance for “host” countries


“Time” Magazine Cover July 2010: Grace Lee Boggs, Michael Moore, and Will Allen

In front of an empty Ford and GM factory, about to be transformed

Into an aquaponics fish vegetable farm and community food center!

Visit the Sweet Water Guild School:

The Marriage of Artists, Artisans, & Agrarians:

Involves the students and the teachers co-creating
And trading places.

Google “Mondragon Worker Owned Cooperatives”
For some inspiration about how a self-managed
Guild School might be constructed and operated.

I will teach you woodworking.
What might you teach me?

Who is expert in their craft
Can stand before the ancestors.

Self reliance and community development
Are advanced by on-line conversations
Punctuated by real life visits
Where good food and beauty
Are presented or envisioned.

Especially good food,
Locally grown, by farmers
You know…

How about yourself!

At the KK River Village Complex?

The Sweet Water Guild School

involves the marriage of novice,
Aspiring, and/or accomplished


Exploring pragmatic utopian visions
And earning while we learn.

Our earnings involve, first,

  • cultural capital
  • social capital
  • spiritual capital…

And, if we make history,
The money will take care of itself.

Perhaps some of the history you make
Will be in larger or smaller replications
Of the Sweet Water Aquaculture Systems,
Built upon the foundation of Will Allen’s
Growing Power and Heifer International,
With the support of the Great Lakes Water Institute.

Here’s some nice pics of Sweet Water’s evolution:


This may be the world’s first industrial building
Transformed into a fish vegetable farm.

A vision is spreading like wildfire across the land
Of Will Allen, Grace Lee Boggs, and Michael Moore,
Standing before an empty Ford Factory in Detroit,
Joining the Obama family to a harvest celebration,
Marking a project to re-use that Ford building,
And turn it into a community food center along the lines
Of the 2 acre Growing Power miracle in Milwaukee.

Back to Sweet Water Guild School:

Students are expected to pay mentors
$10 per hour if no barter arrangements develop.

The cultivation of the Sweet Water Guild School

Will not occur with the rushed and the hurried.

Planning time increases the probability of accomplishment.

Call one of the founding Sweet Water Olde’s at 414 232 1336
If you would like to visit Sweet Water and
Do some vision questing, including the creation of the

Sweet Water Guild School

If you’re a potential Sweet Water Younge,
The Sweet Water Guild School might be an alternative
To Harvard, UWM, MATC.

If you’re a potential Sweet Water Olde,
the Sweet Water Guild School might be an alternative
To premature demise or debilitation.

Milwaukee Training for A Permanent American Revolution

July 4, 2009

Rebecca Solnit

Grace Lee Boggs suggests “the writings of California activist Rebecca Solnit. Last year, following her visit to the Boggs Center, Rebecca wrote a superb account of the quiet revolution in our city which began with the Gardening Angels (African American elders) planting community gardens on vacant lots. (Detroit Arcadia, Harpers Magazine, July 2007)”

Please send your thoughts on the Solnit essay to [email protected]

July 2, 2009

Will Allen and Grace Lee Boggs

Are offering us visions of a
New American Revolution

To address the yet unrealized visions
Of the First American Revolution.

Positions are now open in your city(see note)



Lasting 5 years,
No pay the first 40 hours,
Negotiated pay thereafter.


Lasting 5 years,
No pay the first 40 hours,
Negotiated pay thereafter.

Journeymon(spelling intentional)

5 years,
No pay first 40,
Then negotiated.


Lasting a lifetime
Of good service.

For more information,
Or to brainstorm on line,
send an e-mail to
[email protected]

  • Note: this concept has been

inspired by Will Allen and Grace Lee Boggs.
They are both not directly, or organizationally,
Mobilizing New American Revolution
Intern, apprenticeship, and journeymon programs.

But the concept in this specific organizer’s mind,
That organizer being myself, James J. Godsil,
Of a 15 year self-organizing training program
Has been inspired by the life’s work and the
Wisdom passed along by, in my mind,
The Father and the Mother of the New American Revolution
For the Twenty First Century, Will Allen and Grace Lee Boggs.

Also: please spend a very, very relaxed 10 minutes looking at the
images of this wiki web site immediately before sending a note
that tells some of your story, that you are happy to share, with
the wider world.

Sueno, Egg Cartons, and Grandpa’s Worms

I have been saving Yuppie Hill egg cartons on top of my bookshelf,
Right outside the shanty bathroom door.

Perched high enough in slapdash array to make me wonder…
When would my egg shell tower topple?

They’re too lovely to throw away. And my Mother Earth Voice said,
“Wait, and their next purpose will show itself.”

I have occasionally returned them to the Co-op on Fratney,
And that’s always an option.

But upon witnessing Matthew Cain tear up egg shell cartons,
To offer his worms as resting place for sex or digestion…

Wow! Sweet Water’s Growing Power worms
“Have a Ball Tonight!”

But my arthritic thumb/hand connection
Takes some of the luster from that sweet vision.

And then my Dog GrandSon Sueno comes visit at my house.

He loves tearing up egg cartons!

Perfect symbiosis!

Tear Suano, tear!

And the worms can ball tonight!

On Urban Agriculture in Shorewood

A letter by Gretchen Mead

To my fellow Milwaukeeans:

Many of you already know that the Milwaukee area is considered to be in the forefront of the nation-wide urban agriculture movement. Maybe you saw the movie Fresh, or perhaps you heard about the proposal for chickens, perhaps you have toured the internationally famous Growing Power facility. Furthermore, many of you have begun to understand food issues, such as food security, the dangers of corn syrup, the benefits of organically grown food, the importance to the economy of buying from local farmers, dramatic decreases in childhood learning disabilities through gardening, and finally, the issue which triggered me to write this letter, the value in growing your own food.

Over Memorial Weekend droves of Shorewood and Milwaukee residents sacrificed their holiday leisure time to go from house to house putting in raised vegetable gardens for and with their fellow neighbors. The Village of Shorewood offered a proclamation to this cause and we were thrilled to have the support of our Trustees. It seemed for a moment that there was an understanding of the importance of urban agriculture and how it relates to sustainability and our children’s futures.

Recently, I’ve learned that the same Shorewood Village Board that proudly handed me this proclamation, and shook my hand in congratulations and thanks, has decided to restrict front yard vegetable gardens due to some letters of complaint. Some, it seems, are worried about property values going down because they don’t find vegetable gardens visually appealing. I would like to respond to this issue first from my own personal experience and second from an analysis of national property values.

Everyone needs to hear how we feel about front yard gardens. Please
take a minute to write a letter on the Shorewood Now blog!


First, I can say that a good number of people do in fact find front yard vegetable gardens visually appealing. I have an extensive raised bed vegetable and fruit garden in my front yard and nearly every time I am in it, people stop to tell me how beautiful and inspirational it is to them. In fact, so many people told me how much they appreciate it, that I started a non-profit organization, solely for the purpose of helping others get started in their own yards. Surely, if this many people love my yard, they’d be very happy, even encouraged to live next to me. My neighbors like it so much, they have all started their own vegetable gardens. We now, share veggies, build compost bins together, and spend time in our gardens together, while our children play. Sound a little like utopia? Well, it kinda is.

This type of community, along with Shorewoods excellent school systems (which now touts an award winning urban agriculture program, built entirely by Shorewood volunteers), will make people spend the extra two grand in taxes to live here versus a different municipality where they might have more space, or a fancier more modernized house.

Now, if you don’t believe me, I’d like you to take a look at the greenest, most progressive cities in the country and take note: the property values in progressive, green-minded municipalities are the only real estate markets in all of the country that aren’t wobbling under the pressure of our current economy - think Portland OR and Madison WI, these markets continue to grow. As these favored cities move towards a sustainable future, they are ensuring their citizens a safety net in uncertain times. They are moving towards a new way of thinking. This thinking includes, among other things building resilient communities, reducing carbon emissions, preserving natural resources, localizing economies, dramatically reducing dependence on foreign oil and…. AND… interwoven amidst all of these efforts, is, you guessed it, a local, sustainable, healthy, food system. This local sustainable food system starts at home as we teach our children where there food comes from, how to cook and eat good food, and why it is important to slow down long enough to eat nutritious meals. This local, sustainable food system includes grow-it-yourself gardens, in the backyard, on the patio, on the roof, and yes, even in your front yard. Proudly - in your front yard.

Did you know?
-Many people donate their extra produce to food pantries.
-Many think of growing their own food and composting organic matter into rich soil, as a civic and moral duty, to make the world a better place (think The Obamas).
-Many people prefer to use their front yards for gardens so their children can play safely in the back yards.
- Many people only have enough sun for growing food in their front yards
- Many ornamentals are edibles and edibles are ornamentals.
- Many people cant afford to buy the healthy food that they would like and they must grow their own (YES, even in Shorewood).

If other engaged, forward thinking people learn that the Shorewood Village Trustees have created legislation to stifle these individual rights and Progressive efforts, you can bet that fewer and fewer people are going to be willing to pay that extra tax burden to live here. The Village of Shorewood has a grand opportunity to make much of the efforts of its concerned, devoted and highly educated citizens. They can sit back and ride on the backs of our Progressive efforts as we organize to make Shorewood a resilient, green community. They can add this movement to their newest marketing efforts to attract young, educated families to Shorewood.

Urban agriculture is not a fad… it is not going away… it is the way of the future. I am asking the Trustees to take the reigns on this one and support our efforts. Dont restrict Front Yard Vegetable Gardens, instead, take pictures of them and put them on our Village website.

A subcommittee of the Village Board will be meeting soon, to discuss the restriction of front yard vegetable gardens. Please write a letter to the trustees, letting them know that you support front yard gardenstogether we can send a message.

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

Be welcome to stop by to see whats growing in my front yard,

Gretchen Mead
1700 E. Olive St.
Shorewood, WI
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Will Allen wins National Governors Association Award

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Zoo Freeway versus Monarch.

Letter from member of WisDOT Advisory Committee

The Dept of Transportation’s zoo interchange expansion plan calls for the clear cutting of four acres of Honey Creek Parkway on 84th St., and five acres of Underwood Parkway near 121st St., and two and a half acres of the County Grounds’ South Berm (Monarch Butterfly Trail) at the northeast quadrant. The trees/prairie would be replaced with three separate, huge detention ponds, each surrounded by a chain link fence.

Your response to DOT’s draft Environmental Impact Statement is needed to prevent this from happening.

The clear-cutting will remove all trees and wildlife habitat, which would otherwise provide a green space buffer to counter the air and noise pollution of motor vehicle traffic, as well as the increasing encroachment of urban sprawl.

Detention ponds will offer a dead zone collection area for carcinogenic heavy metals, grease, rock salt, smelly algae, mosquitoes and geese. It will be an eyesore instead of a parkway or nature preserve. Despite the chain link fence there will still be issues of safety and liability. It would not be a good use of taxpayer’s money.

There are alternatives to the ponds, such as underground cisterns, many of which are already in use in Milw. Co. It may raise the cost by as much as a million dollars, but considering the $2 billion being proposed for a six lane improvement, or $2.3 billion for an eight lane expansion, (Marquette interchange cost $190 million), the cistern cost is reasonable. Or some of the ponds could possibly be placed in a different area, such as amidst the interchange crossovers, rather than in a residential area or fragile prairie preserve.

DNR and MMSD are in concurrence with the detention ponds and offer as an offset to remove the concrete from the parkways in the identified areas. However, the replacement detention ponds offset any gain. Also, detention ponds are not required for the removal of concrete from the Underwood and HoneyCreek Rivers. This can be done separately.

Unless there is sufficient opposition expressed to the clear-cutting and detention ponds by Wisconsin residents, DOT plans to go forward with this plan. The deadline for public input/comment to DOT’s draft Environmental Impact Statement is July 13th. Only those comments received since the draft EIS was published in June will be considered. Prior ones will not be considered. So it is important to provide another comment form if you did so prior to the EIS draft.

The new comment form is attached. It can be completed on-line, printed out and mailed in. If you get the form to me, I will deliver them personally to save you postage. Or you can send a direct email comment to Jim Liptack at DOT at:

“Liptack, James - DOT” <[email protected]>

The draft EIS is accessible at the DOT website:


Ironically, despite requests and protest by myself and other residents, the detention ponds are not included in the Environmental Impact Statement. However, July 13th is still the deadline for comments about the ponds to be considered.

There are public hearings tonight, and tomorrow from 4–8pm, at State Fair Park Tommy Thompson Bldg (entrance #5). At these public hearings one may elect to give an oral testimony which will be recorded, instead of providing a written comment. There will be DOT and contractor representatives present for questions, as well as large drawings and diagrams about the different alternatives, i.e., six or eight lanes. DOT’s preference is for eight lanes. Other decisions to be made include different ramp versions with varying numbers of residents relocated; and what kind of sound barrier to construct, and the use of Texas U-Turns.

Other important people to cotact are your state representative/senator, county supervisor if in Milwaukee, city mayor/alderperson if in Wauwatosa. However, this is an important environmental issue for all Wisconsin taxpayers. Every response counts.

Due to my persistent activity and vocals on the above matters, DOT recently invited me to be a member of their Community Advisory Committee. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at 414–771–1505.

Yours, Dianne Dagelen

Proposal to Destroy Monarch Habitat, Public Hearing on Zoo Interchange June 24

Download Comment Form <right click, save as>

Great New Resource for Urban Agriculture

With the burgeoning interest of city dwellers in growing their own food, one of the key challenges to food gardeners has been resolved with the USA release of the www.cityfoodgrowers.com organic gardening web site.

At the click of mouse, gardeners from any town or city in all USA states can select by day, month or plant on the correct times to plant, cultivate or harvest their food plants. The web site stores temperatures from over 4000 weather monitoring points in the USA, temperature profiles of 130 of the most common plants grown by USA hobby food gardeners and daily planetary information for the northern hemisphere.

Food gardeners will no longer need to use the complicated and sometimes inaccurate broad zonal planting systems. The web site allows for localisation of the garden climate profile down to the level of town and city and even suburb within large cities. As an example, the state of Illinois has 180 weather monitoring points and 4 within its largest city of Chicago. This localisation greatly improves the potential for successful planting. For gardeners interested in taking advantage of planetary forces, such as moon planting and biodynamic planting data, the web site integrates the often complex planetary information directly into the planting calendar. The web site also provides localisation for Australia and New Zealand.

Continued at Good Food Movement Organizing
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City Hall RALLY to Keep Public Our Water(KPOW!)!

Monday, June 15 at 12:30.

Be there at 12:30!
Please Sign the petition against leasing our water for 99 years at the link below.


Milwaukee water is vital for families, businesses and community safety. It is also a major resource for jobs and economic development in the coming years. But, there is an effort underway to privatize the Milwaukee waterworks by leasing it to a multi-national corporation for 99 years. The reason that city leaders are planning this is to raise money for the city which is losing state aid.

This plan will hurt the people of Milwaukee. If the city privatizes the drinking water system, costs will go up and water quality will go down. It has already happened in Indianapolis. We can find other ways to support city services.

Here’s an extensive collection of information about this issue:


Call your alderperson and let them know how you feel! Call 414 286–2221

Stockton, CA privatized: Prices soared.
Stockton, CA privatized: Voters Thwart City Council
Stockton, CA privatized: Citizens Sued and Won.
Gary, IN privatized: Infrastructure failed.
Cranston, RI privatized: Pollutants increased.
Atlanta, GA privatized: Costs soared.
Atlanta, GA privatized: Fire Hydrants Fail
Atlanta, GA privatized: Faucets Spew Dirty Water.
Atlanta, GA privatized: New Mayor Voted In, Cancels Contract
Atlanta, GA privatized: Basic Repairs Neglected
Atlanta, GA privatized: Federal Drinking Water Standards Violated
Milwaukee, WI privatized: Illegal Sewage Dumping
Cleveland, OH privatized: Public Scandal
Hingham, MA privatized: Rate Hike
Toms River, NJ privatized: Radium in Drinking Water
Pekin IL privatized: 204% Rate Hike
Peoria IL privatized: Highest Water Rate Bracket

Water privatization press release!

Click here.

An open letter to the Milwaukee County Board

In an op ed published last Sunday in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel I wrote that whether or not to locate the UWM College of Engineering and Applied Science on the county grounds was the wrong debate. The right debate should have been how to use the precious amount of open land we have left in Milwaukee County. At the board meeting yesterday I realized that this issue is broader and more critical than I had thought.

During the approximately two hours of debate over whether to sell 89 acres of the county grounds there was much talk about UWM and the quality of the development that would result from this sale, but only once did I hear the larger question addressed. Although the rest of the debate was not without merit, Supervisor Weishan cut to the bone when he observed that this question was not about economic development, not about UWM, not even about the county grounds: it was about balancing the budget. Because the board has found itself in a financial pinch, once again it has decided that selling off irreplaceable county land is the best way to balance the budget. If the emails I received after my op ed appeared are an indication, we are rushing into a proposal that most of the public opposes and about which even the UWM community is deeply dividedsimply because the county grounds was the easiest thing to sell.

In fairness, the county board certainly listened to the environmental community and went to great lengths to add language that restricts the proposed development in a number of ways as well as proposes protections for the monarch migration habitats. I appreciate the time and effort that went into these deliberations and I do not doubt the sincerity of the boards intentions. Unfortunately the urgency of closing this sale seems to have won out over making certain the language is enforceable. William Domina, the corporation counsel, made it clear that the proposed language was ambiguous and could be interpreted in different ways. I thank Supervisor Weishan for the request that this decision be delayed until the language was clarified and strengthened. As you know, that request was rejected on a 15–4 vote.
Click here for the rest!
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Wall Street To Become Custodian of Great Lakes and Mississippi River Waters?

Is this surreal or not?

If Wall Street can privatize Milwaukee water,
Any city’s water can be won for single mindedly
Profit focused corporations.

Milwaukee has perhaps the finest tradition of
Responsible public servants and efficiently run city services
In the United States.

Who would dare defile this tradition
By ceding our birthright, our commonwealth waters,
To privatizing profiteers?

That we are even this far along the privatization fix,
Insults the ecological intelligence of perhaps
The most politically progressive commonwealth citizens of
Our great but imperiled nation.

Commonwealth Citizen

Keep Public Our Waters! (KPOW!)

You can track a YahooGroup at their web site KPOW at


Mayor Barrett Can Inspire a Change In State Law to Keep Public Our Waters!

Please Send Mayor Barrett An E-Mail Asking For His Help in Changing a State Law
So Milwaukee’s Well Run Water Works’ Profits Can Flow Into General Fund To Ease Tax Burden

Mayor Barrett <[email protected]>

(cc his top aid “Patrick Curley” <[email protected]> and [email protected])

Why don’t we ask the mayor’s office about why they just don’t change the law. The next week is very critical as Joint Finance Committee finishes up the budget. There will be a few other chances to get something in the budget, but if the Mayor wants this and he is an experienced state legislator having served in both houses, he should be able to prevail. It would then become law by the middle of the summer.

From Journal Article on Water Privatization:

Morics is interested in a deal because Milwaukee cant simply raise more money for city services by charging more for the water it sells to its residents and the ever-expanding markets outside city limits. State law requires all of the money Milwaukee takes in for water to be spent on the Water Works. None of it flows into the citys general fund to ease the burden on city taxpayers. Thus, Morics sees the long-term lease as a way to pump money out of an essentially frozen asset.

From “Journal” article today:

It’s not that Milwaukee is doing a lousy job of running a system that supplies this most basic life necessity to its 600,000 residents as well as 15 suburbs - the city is lauded as a national leader in delivering quality drinking water.

It’s not that the system needs an infusion of private cash to keep functioning - it’s actually a money maker, bringing in about $70 million in annual sales.

It is, basically, about accounting.

In October, Milwaukee Comptroller W. Martin “Wally” Morics floated the idea of privatizing the city’s Water Works as a possible solution to Milwaukee’s long-term financial problems. Barrett and the Common Council reacted warily but agreed to let Morics search for a consulting team to study the idea.

Morics is interested in a deal because Milwaukee can’t simply raise more money for city services by charging more for the water it sells to its residents and the ever-expanding markets outside city limits. State law requires all of the money Milwaukee takes in for water to be spent on the Water Works. None of it flows into the city’s general fund to ease the burden on city taxpayers. Thus, Morics sees the long-term lease as a way to pump money out of an essentially frozen asset.

We Need Gwen Moore To Keep Public Our Waters(KPOW!)

This is a federal issue,
A state issue,
A city issue.

Gwen could KPOW!
As part of a mornings work.


Says, I’ll bet,
Sister Gwen

Visit Gwen Moore’s blog Here

Water Panel Weak On Specifics

The Politics of Water. Thursday, May 21.

Milwaukee Riverkeeper’s Cheryl Nenn and Karen Royster of the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, have sparked a movement to

Keep Public Our Water


Next meeting: Tuesday, June 2 at 4:00pm at 1845 North Farwell

Mary Lou Lamonda has created a web site for this sacred cause:


Cheryl offers these concepts to KPOW!

  1. Privatization is bad for Milwaukee: Privatization or a long term lease of Milwaukee Water Works is bad for the Region, and backhanded taxation at the tap. Privatization will likely lead to increased water costs and less accountability to the public. Increased water rates could hurt the poorer members of our community. Across the world ranging from Pennsylvania to Bolivia, poor people who can not pay their higher water bills instituted by private companies are cut off. While rates paid to public utilities tend to be pumped back into the system, private water companies (most of which are French multinationals) can spend our money any way they want, and often send profits outside of the region and outside of the country to reward distant shareholders.

  2. Privatization harms the environment: Private companies have little incentive to encourage or implement conservation and efficiency programs that conserve our water resources, and minimize negative effects on ecosystems. Likewise, private companies are less likely than public utilities to employ monitoring systems that go above and beyond current regulations to ensure our water safety, as is the case with Milwaukee Water Works (who tests for over 30 additional contaminants than those required by law).

  3. Water is a part of the Public Trust: Like the air we breathe, everyone has an essential right to safe, clean, affordable water---and this right should never be subject to control by private corporations. Private companies do not carry a moral responsibility to provide water to everyone, they generally charge up to four times that of public utilities, and are not accountable to the public for poor operations and maintenance or spending our money unwisely. While we can vote a public official out of office, we can not vote out an incompetent CEO.

  4. We need a Public Hearing. The City of Milwaukee should hold a public hearing before expending any money to procure a biased Fiinancial Advisor, who will only grease the wheels of privatization, and who is handsomely rewarded with a success fee should the city decide to privatize. Citizens should be able to express their concerns and viewpoints regarding privatization prior to the City deciding whether or not to hire a Financial Advisor. We need a transparent public process, and the public needs to be educated about whats at stake if we lose control of a precious natural resource and strategic asset.

  5. People Before Profit: Publicly operated water systems need not turn a profit so they can focus exclusively on ensuring a clean, safe water supplyinstead of the bottom line.

Call the Alders!

Please call/email your Alder (handy list is below). and then feel free to pass this on, or link to or cut and paste into your blog, facebook, etc.

Will Milwaukee Privatize Our Water?

The City of Milwaukee is moving toward privatizing Milwaukee Water even as they speak of making Milwaukee the Fresh Water Capitol of the world (privatization is part of that scenario too).

Other cities and communities that have privatized water have seen terrible results, including skyrocketing prices, neglect of infrastructure maintenance, reduced water quality and destroyed public confidence. Water is becoming more precious by the day and it makes no fiscal sense to bid it out at todays values.

If you want to be involved and active on fighting this short-sighted, fiscally irresponsible idea, join the Keep Public Our Waters group by sending an email to [email protected]

You can find your Alder here. Their email addresses are below or you can call them at 286.2221

1. Ashanti Hamilton [email protected]
2. Joe Davis [email protected]
3. Alder Nik Kovac [email protected]
4. Robert Bauman [email protected]
5. Jim Bohl [email protected]
6. Milele Coggs [email protected]
7. Willie Wade [email protected]
8. Bob Donovan [email protected]
9. Robert Puente [email protected]
10. Michael Murphy [email protected]
11. Joe Dudzig [email protected]
12. James Witkowiak [email protected]
13. Terry Witkowski [email protected]
14. Tony Zielinski [email protected]
15. Willie Hines [email protected]

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More information at CommunityWealth

A Good Food Manifesto for America

By Will Allen
Founder and Chief Executive Officer

I am a farmer. While I find that this has come to mean many other things to other people that I have become also a trainer and teacher, and to some a sort of food philosopher I do like nothing better than to get my hands into good rich soil and sow the seeds of hope.

So, spring always enlivens me and gives me the energy to make haste, to feel confidence, to take full advantage of another all-too-short Wisconsin summer.

This spring, however, much more so than in past springs, I feel my hope and confidence mixed with a sense of greater urgency. This spring, I know that my work will be all the more important, for the simple but profound reason that more people are hungry.

For years I have argued that our food system is broken, and I have tried to teach what I believe must be done to fix it. This year, and last, we have begun seeing the unfortunate results of systemic breakdown. We have seen it in higher prices for those who can less afford to pay, in lines at local food pantries, churches and missions, and in the anxious eyes of people who have suddenly become unemployed. We have seen it, too, in nationwide outbreaks of food-borne illness in products as unlikely as spinach and peanuts.

Severe economic recession certainly has not helped matters, but the current economy is not alone to blame. This situation has been spinning toward this day for decades. And while many of my acquaintances tend to point the finger at the big agro-chemical conglomerates as villains, the fault really is with all of us who casually, willingly, even happily surrendered our rights to safe, wholesome, affordable and plentiful food in exchange for over-processed and pre-packaged convenience.

Read the rest here

Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on May 09, 2010

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