Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Growing Power

Many of our health woes, including obesity, cancer, heart health, diabetes, and emotional distress, stem from what we eat. Processed foods are full of chemicals and hormones. Even if they started out as living organisms, they are a far cry from that once they hit your dinner table. How can you ensure that the foods you eat are locally-grown, organic, and disease/chemical-free? GROW IT YOURSELF! Really? Absolutely! I am re-posting a blog by Dr. Alim Muhammad who is completing a course in Commercial Urban Agriculture at Will Allen's Growing Power (http://www.growingpower.org) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Enjoy!

Growing Power Graduation
(Re-posted from "Life Abundantly" at http://lifeabundantly-alim.blogspot.com/2010/05/growing-power-graduation.html

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 - up to 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 completely knowledgeable 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 customer 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.http://www.growingpower.org/

Believe it or not, you can get started on your porch, patio, or in your own back yard. The green house pictured above can be found at http://www.hoophouse.com.)

Be good to yourself! More next time...

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