Will Allen Leading Farmer

Will Allen Leading Farmer

Will Allen Leading Farmer. Will Allen, farmer, founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc., is recognized as a preeminent practitioner of urban agriculture in America and throughout the world.

Will grew up on a small farm in Maryland, the second-youngest of six children of a sharecropper. Despite a strict rule of his father’s – no sports until all farm chores were done – he became a standout basketball player in high school and the first African-American scholarship athlete at the University of Miami. He eventually became the basketball team captain, and still holds a number of Miami Hurricanes records. Will graduated with a degree in education.

Will was drafted in both the National Basketball Association and the American Basketball Association. He played in the ABA for a year and then entered the European League, playing for Belgium.

While living in Belgium, Will reconnected with his farming roots. He observed the intensive methods used on small plots by local farmers, and began applying those methods in a garden where he grew food for his family and teammates.

Upon returning to the United States, Will began a career in corporate sales and marketing. Job opportunities brought him to Oak Creek, a suburb of Milwaukee, his wife’s hometown and site of her family farm.

Eventually, Will tired of corporate life and took over operation of the farm. In 1993, wanting a place to sell his produce, he located a vacant garden center with three-acres on Milwaukee’s north side.

As it turned out, the small property was the last tract in the city of Milwaukee still zoned for agriculture. Will realized he could not only sell food from his own farm in Oak Creek, he could grow food on-site in a neighborhood where there was little fresh food to be found.

The ultimate direction of Will’s life truly changed when young people from the neighborhood, including kids who lived in the largest low-income public housing project in Milwaukee, began to ask him for advice and assistance with growing their own vegetables. Almost overnight, Will took up the mantle of teacher and trainer, and the impromptu gathering of neighborhood children became the Youth Corps, a program that continues today. In 1995, Growing Power Inc. was born: a not-for-profit center for urban agriculture training and building community food security systems.

Will has been an innovator in methods of composting, vermicomposting (using worms to refine and fertilize compost) and aquaponics (growing fish and food plants in a closed system). These and other intensive practices result in remarkable yields of food, even in a very small area.

Today, Growing Power is involved in more than 70 projects and outreach programs in Milwaukee, across the United States and throughout the world. Will has trained and taught in the Ukraine, Macedonia and Kenya, and has plans in place to create community food centers in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Haiti. In the U.S., Growing Power has set up multiple Regional Outreach Training Centers throughout the U.S.

In 2008, Will was awarded the John D. and Katherine T. McArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” and named a McArthur Fellow – only the second farmer ever to be so honored.

Will is also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. On Feb. 9, 2010, was one of four national spokesmen who stood on the dais with First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House to launch her “Let’s Move!” initiative to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity by 2015. In May 2010, Time magazine named Will as one of 100 World’s Most Influential People.

Despite his busy schedule as an international ambassador for urban agriculture and universal food security, Will continues to farm his own property in Oak Creek and direct operations at Growing Power, still headquartered in the original location on Silver Spring Drive in Milwaukee.

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Urban Rooftop Farming Meets Exquisite Design

Farm Urbana is an urban farming boutique enterprise that offers so much more than just rooftop gardening.

Sure, we’re experts at growing high-quality produce on top of residential buildings of any size. But what makes Farm Urbana unique is how we blend farming with design principles.

Our custom rooftop gardens yield a bounty of delicious fresh produce, and a feast for the eyes, too. We install lush, vertical gardens in artful combinations that delight tenants. The result: a unique lifestyle amenity ideal for buildings of any size.

Farm Urbana: A True “Growth” Opportunity.

We’re able to grow and cultivate nutritious produce on rooftops by using lightweight, vertical, hydroponic systems. This eco-friendly approach cuts the use of land, labor, energy, and 90% of water used in traditional gardening.

Moreover, it allows you to enjoy some pretty amazing environments with minimal upkeep, adding value and appeal to your property.

Farm Urbana is a complete solution. We offer consultation, design, installation, coaching and maintenance. We strive to make every client experience exceptional.

Contact us now for a free consultation.

 

To see video, click on on link

Rooftop Urban Farming in LA from Rick Meghiddo on Vimeo.

 

To learn more, visit our Services Page or Contact Us today. 

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Superior Yield of Tower Garden

University of Mississippi Researchers

Confirm Superior Yield of Tower Garden

P1070940Researchers at the University of Mississippi have confirmed what experienced Tower Gardeners everywhere already know: Tower Garden by Juice Plus+ yields more produce, more quickly than traditional soil-based gardening.

We asked researchers at the University of Mississippi National Center for Natural Products Research to put Tower Garden to the test by comparing the “yield” of produce grown aeroponically by Tower Garden® to the yield from the same types of plants grown in soil ­ ­– under identical growing conditions.

The researchers grew eight different vegetables and herbs – tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, squash, chard, green basil, parsley, and red kale – side-by-side, in Tower Gardens and in the soil. They planted both sets of crops on the same day, and also later harvested samples of healthy, mature crops on the same day for analysis. The total yield of each crop was calculated and compared between the field-grown plants and Tower Garden-grown plants. Read more

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Farm Urbana 2014 - Ruth Meghiddo

Enjoy our gallery showing examples of our vertical farming and permaculture design

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Enjoy our gallery showing examples of the beautiful, fresh produce that can be grown through urban farming

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Farm Urbana 2014 - Ruth Meghiddo

 

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Farm Urbana 2014 - Ruth Meghiddo