Growing Power

Growing Power is a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities. Our vision is to inspire communities to build sustainable food systems that are equitable and ecologically sound, creating a just world, one food-secure community at a time.
May 6, 2013

Growing Power August-December 2012 Update

GlobalGiving Report August 2012- December 2012 In the second half of 2012, Growing Power continued to take a leadership role in building a local and sustainable food system. Building on the momentum created from the first half of the year through special projects like the opening of the Growing Power Deli and Food Market, and our day-to-day activities like providing hands on environmental education to local youth and adults through tours and volunteer opportunities, giving technical assistance to budding farmers and small farm enterprises; providing interns with meaningful work experiences, and growing good food for local communities, Growing Power continued to see growth in all areas of operation. September 7-9, more than 1500 individuals participated in the Growing Power 2012 National - International Urban & Small Farm Conference in Milwaukee, WI. Attended by veteran and aspiring farmers, renewable energy experts, urban planners, gardeners, business owners, academics and chefs, this conference provided a forum to share ideas for building healthy and resilient community-based food systems. There were over 15 tracks total, encompassing a wide array of fields like Urban Planning Strategies, Urban Aquaponics, Environmental Design Innovation, Brownfields Development, Fundraising, Growing Food & Justice and Culinary Arts. In 2012, Growing Power kicked off the Growing Capacity for the Green Economy (GCGE) project, a collaboration between Growing Power and the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board functioning as a job preparation project designed to provide Milwaukee's underemployed & unemployed youth with skills, training and hands-on experience. A three year project, GCGE aimed to hire 150 individuals over the course of the project, providing them with valuable job training and leadership development to increase their employability in the Green sector. In 2012, Growing Power hired 67 individuals through GCGE, exceeded its goal of hiring 50 individuals in the first year of the project. The closing of 2012 brought the realization of the impact that Growing Power has on Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the United States and even the world. In 2012, Growing Power composted 43 million pounds of waste, provided fresh produce snacks for 45,000 Milwaukee Public School students, offset 40 tons of carbon and nitrogen, produced more than $750,000 worth of crops on 200 acres of growing space, raised 50,000 fish and millions of red wiggler worms. In addition the Growing Power headquarters in Milwaukee saw 30,000 visitors, over 1,700 volunteers and 371 youth corp graduates. Growing Power also provided the necessary training for 38 graduates of the Commercial Urban Agriculture Training program. These participants will move forward towards the first phase of their own urban farm plans. As we kick off our 2013 year, stay tuned for updates on our continued growth. We have set some high expectations that we fully intend to exceed. We would like to thank YOU, our enthusiastic supporters for helping us bring the Good Food Movement to life. We are genuinely thankful for all the ways in which you help us to impact communities that need it most.

Oct 8, 2012

Quarterly report (April 2012 - July 2012)

Hello there!

Like all farms, transition from spring to summer is filled with hard work and anticipation. Growing Power was excited to keep things rolling as the growing season warmed up. In between our hearty growing and harvesting efforts, we managed to stave off the majority of ill drought effects on the crops (thanks to our method of growing year – round in hoop houses and using our nutrient dense, moisture rich compost - and hardworking staff!), and finish up our planning for our National – International Urban & Small Farm Conference, September 7th through the 9th 2012 here in Milwaukee.

Growing Power is also overjoyed to report that our Martin Luther King Drive Growing Power Deli and Food Market is officially open! We are committed to making sure under-resourced communities can get access healthy, affordable (and tasty!) foods. The new market and deli not only serves light fare made with locally sourced products, as part of King Commons( a development site of mixed-use housing and commercial space) Growing Power’s Deli & Food Market will provide fresh, naturally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as other organic food products to local residents – the majority of which is delivered fresh from local Growing Power farms and hoop houses, less than 10 miles away. This community food project was developed in collaboration with a local Milwaukee -based community organization, the Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation.

Through the remainder of the year we will look forward to continuing the great work made possible by supporters like you: providing hands on environmental education to local youth and adults through tours and volunteer opportunities, giving technical assistance to budding farmers and small farm enterprises; providing interns with meaningful work experiences, and growing good food for local communities. The holiday season is rapidly approaching too, and in many places, hurting communities need support and good nourishment to weather the cold season coming their way.  Growing Power is committed to serving on both a local and national level, and we hope you will continue to join in by lending your crucial support- both financially and otherwise.  Stay tuned for updates on our continued growth, and as always, we‘d love for you to drop us a line and give us some feedback! Thank you for your continued support and input- it really does mean the world to us.

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May 1, 2012

Quarterly Report ( January 2012 - March 2012)

The year certainly got off to a great start! Growing Power's national "From the Ground Up!" workshops began, and tons of amazing folks from all over the country came to our national headquarters in Milwaukee to learn about a variety of exciting subjects. So far this year, over 300 participants were able to choose from a plethora of options including Aquaponics, Bee Keeping, Community Project Design, Composting, Hoop House Construction, Myscpoaping, Year Round Production and Marketing, and Renewable Energy. Our staff is always excited to see new faces (and old!) and they take great pleasure in sharing their knowledge with diverse audiences. "From the Ground Up!" workshops are held once a month through June; check the website (http://bit.ly/HVbRpF) for dates and more information or give us a call if you have questions-- we'd love to see you there!

We're also busy planning our second annual National-International Urban & Small Farm Conference, to be held in Milwaukee from September 7th to 9th, 2012. Growing Power first hosted this event in 2010, when nearly 1500 participants gathered at the Milwaukee State Fair to share ideas for building healthy and resilient community-based food systems. This year we're looking forward to an even larger affair, where passionate folks from all walks of life- farmers, aspiring farmers, renewable energy experts, urban planners, business owners, academics, chefs, and people from countless other areas will be present and ready to mingle. There will be 17 conference tracks in total, including fantastic sessions like Urban Planning Strategies, Environmental Design Innovation, Brownfields Development, Fundraising and more! We anticipate over 3,000 participants will attend, and the nation’s most well-known food-system experts will share their knowledge and expertise! To register, or find out more about the conference, visit the site: http://bit.ly/9AakoP.

Of course, leading up to the conference, Growing Power will be carrying on with regular activities; providing hands on environmental education to local youth and adults through tours and volunteer opportunities, giving technical assistance to budding farmers and small farm enterprises; providing interns with meaningful work experiences, and growing good food for local communities. 2012 also finds us refining our methods and systems; for example, Growing Power is partnered with UW-Milwaukee’s Great Lakes Water Institute and Freshwater Sciences to research optimal conditions and time for spawning fish (Lake Perch) in four, 1100 gallon tanks; so exciting! Organizationally speaking, we are also in the midst of our strategic planning process and look forward to building internal capacity to better serve both the local and the national community.  

As our project draws to an end here on Global Giving, we'd like to take this time to thank YOU, our enthusiastic supporters! We wouldn't be able to accomplish anything without your support. You donate your time, your hard earned money, and your passion for The Good Food Movement with willing hearts and open hands.  We are genuinely thankful for all the ways in which you help us to impact communities that need it most.  

Here at Growing Power, we also value stakeholder input; what do you like about how we’re doing things? Where do you see opportunity for improvement? We read every comment on facebook, every email you send our way, and every letter that lands in our mail-- and we’d love to know more.

So don’t be a stranger. Play with worms. Eat good food. And may your gardens ever flourish!

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Our Mission : Growing Power is a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe, and affordable food for people in all communities.  Growing Power implements this mission by providing hands-on training, on-the-ground demonstration, outreach, and technical assistance through the development of Community Food Systems that help people grow, process, market, and distribute food in a sustainable manner.

Our Vison : Inspiring communities to build sustainable food systems that are equitable and ecologically sound, creating a just world, one food-secure community at a time.