"From the Ground Up" Weekend Workshop - Aquaponics
BRRRRRR! The start to 2015 has been chilly. Even though it has been sub-arctic, Growing Power’s systems are producing tons of food each week. The hoop houses are growing the sweetest spinach you’ve ever tasted and cold hardy kales, collards and brassicas that make a delicious winter salad mix. This has allowed us to generate funding for our operations and provide a living wage salary for our staff. At this time of the year we are focused on starting seedlings, planning and meeting with partners and buyers and kicking off our training programs. The ‘From the Ground Up” weekend trainings and the CUA-Commercial Urban Agriculture training program that supports 20+ new farmers from across the US. Along with 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.
We are also planning for our 2015 Gathering in Chicago for the Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative. GFJI gatherings bring community food systems practitioners together to discuss strategies of how to dismantle racism in their work and to share cultural traditions and healing work. In the past, Indigenous seed saving and storytelling; Gourd rattle making; Food Justice Zine making and many other interesting and culturally rich workshops take place.
The closing of 2014 brought the realization of the impact that Growing Power has on Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the United States and even the world. In 2014, Growing Power composted 60 million pounds of waste, provided fresh produce snacks for 45,000 Milwaukee Public School students, offset 60 tons of carbon and nitrogen, produced more than $750,000 worth of crops on 200 acres of growing space, and 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 10 graduates of the Commercial Urban Agriculture Training program. These participants will move forward towards the first phase of their own urban farm plans.
As Spring approaches we are excited to get growing and have a productive season, 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.
Growing Greens in Hoop Houses
Commercial Urban Agriculture class getting started
Will Allen showing vermicomposting winter style!
Growing micro greens - pea shoots and sunflower
Swiss Chard Seedlings