07 May 2010

Growing Power Graduation

I can't wait for next week to get here. Why? It is the graduation of the 5 month course in Commercial Urban Agriculture given by Will Allen's Growing Power (http://www.growingpower.org/) in Milwaukee. It started in January the day after a blizzard dropped 16 inches of snow and the temperature hovered around 10 degrees. I walked into an almost tropical Growing Power 'hoop house' heated solely by 4 compost piles in the corners and more around the sides. I felt I had walked into the Garden of Eden! Lush green plants hanging every where, the gurgling of water through fish tanks and the rich deep smell of black soil, that I later learned by produced by Will and his worms from the mountains of compost at the site. And I do mean mountains - upto 20 feet high!

Over these 5 months we have learned all about composting, vermiculture, mushrooms, aqua-ponics, laying in raised beds, hoop house construction, bee keeping, marketing and back to composting, composting, composting. This has been the most highly structured unstructured educational program I have ever encountered. Will and his staff are completley knowledgable on every subject, enthusiastic and definitely hands-on. They are constantly busy, doing what has to been done to care for the plants, to take care of the custumer accounts, and the animals on the urban farm site in the middle of Milwaukee. Will Allen has written and spoken extensively about the food crisis in this country, but most importantly, he has acted - acted in a consistent way for a long enough time that he is now getting the recognition that he so richly deserves. He has recently been featured in Jet Magazine and selected as one of America's Most Influential People by Time Magazine. But the attention is not to feed his ego, but rather to feed hungry people who are trying to survive in the middle of all these 'food deserts' as Will calls the urban blight areas across the country where there is no real food for people to eat. How can they keep healthy like that, work and be productive, how can they have creative minds and do well academically?

So as Bro John Muhammad and I prepare for our graduation, we know that this is just the beginning of the "Food Revolution". My personal goal: 100 hoop houses built all over the country in the next 2 years! Is that achievable? You bet, especially if you help. You should get involved now. Learn all about hoop house agriculture. Build a hoop house and start growing your own food. Find out all about it by clicking on the Growing Power web site. Get started now.


Anonymous said...

Asa Dr Alim. A question, you mentioned that the jersey cow is the best high grade milk to have. The cows I get my milk from are Friesian holstein herd. What are your views on this?

Alim said...

ASA, Oh my, I'm not exactly an expert on cows! I have been told by experts who know that Guernsey and Jersey cows have the highest butter fat content - the richest milk. BUT - all milk is good for you. These are really minor differences between breeds. Drink whatever raw whole milk you can find until you start raising your own cows.