GROW O'ahu

Island Style Gardening and Plant-Based Living

Justice, Food & The Real Deal Urban Farming


Food, justice, jobs, community building and plants.  What is not to love?

This 5-story vertical farm is zoning approved and scheduled to be built right next to the largest housing project in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  It will be the first of it’s kind in the world. 

While I have been ooo-ing and awww-ing over design plans for urban farms from fancy Swedish design firms, Will Allen and his team at Growing Power are doing it.  For real- and in the Midwest! Which just happens to be the backyard of where I grew up.

We’ve never met, but I admire you, Mr. Allen, and your team for doing amazing work.

The son of a sharecropper, Will Allen had no intention of ever becoming a farmer himself. But after years in professional basketball and as an executive for Kentucky Fried Chicken and Procter & Gamble, Allen cashed in his retirement fund for a two-acre plot a half mile away from Milwaukee’s largest public housing project. The area was a food desert with only convenience stores and fast-food restaurants to serve the needs of local residents.

In the face of financial challenges and daunting odds, Allen built the country’s preeminent urban farm—a food and educational center that now produces enough vegetables and fish year-round to feed thousands of people. Employing young people from the neighboring housing project and community, Growing Power has sought to prove that local food systems can help troubled youths, dismantle racism, create jobs, bring urban and rural communities closer together, and improve public health. Today, Allen’s organization helps develop community food systems across the country.

An eco-classic in the making, The Good Food Revolution is the story of Will’s personal journey, the lives he has touched, and a grassroots movement that is changing the way our nation eats.


Author: Carmen

Things I love: justice in all forms; flowers; locally grown food; cloth-diapering; breastfeeding; feminist theory; outdoor play; beaches; wine; Divine interventions; 4-H and coffee. Things I loathe: racism; homophobia; toxic crap; misogyny; litterbugs; the zombie apocalypse and pitbull-haters. My formal education is in sociology, gender studies, and public policy. I'm also a Lactation Educator; 4-H Youth Development coordinator a Certified Master Gardener and a graduate of a Permaculture Design Course. I've been blogging for several years on dozens of topics- everything from women's health to breed-specific legislation. But the thing I like to write about most is my gardening, food adventures and my kids. So there you have it. Please be kind. Thanks.

5 thoughts on “Justice, Food & The Real Deal Urban Farming

  1. I really hope there is MORE urban farming. One of my simplest joys is taking some fresh basil and peppers from my garden and topping a pizza…but then the whole idea of only using locally sourced ingredients in my cooking gets destroyed when I make the rest of the pizza from Kraft cheese, onions grow in South America, and some frozen chicken from who knows where(or what…).

  2. No, no , no…kick the kraft cheese on a pizza habit, thats an order, older mozzarella or pecorino, or at least a non processed cheese……can you buy non processed cheese (aka cheese) in America?

    Have you seen pictures of the vertical wall gardens with drip feed micro irrigation? Lots of work ( and investment potentially ), but amazing to look at.
    xx alison lemonaday

  3. I could spend hours pouring over images of vertical wall gardens, biospheres, fancy irrigation, hydroponics and the like- it’s like porn for gardeners. 🙂

    Thanks for visiting!


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