Now, this isn't the first time that Will Allen has made the headlines. Last October, I wrote about Growing Power as part of my Blog Action Day article. Allen had just received a $500,000 MacArthur Fellow award to support his work. And the New York Times published an article about his accomplishments. But, judging from the content of the July article, people are really starting to take notice.
If you're not familiar with Growing Power, I'd encourage you to do some reading. And check out their Web site. This humble non-profit organization works 24/7 with the mission of providing equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities. GP is part of what's been called the "good-food movement." And their vision has helped countless people across the country to establish systems of growing, marketing, and distributing food in sustainable ways.
Their farm produces produce which is grown and distributed locally ALL YEAR LONG (which means I can buy locally grown lettuce and sprouts even on the coldest February days!). If that's not exciting enough, Growing Power also manages programs like the Market Basket Program, which works similarly to a CSA to supply (affordable) sustainable produce year-round to interested families. They even operate a subset of the program at Marquette University -- ensuring that interested college students can benefit from fresh produce, even while living in college apartments and dorms.
Growing Power has to be, hands down, one of my favorite local organizations. Not only because Will Allen and his staff produce such amazing produce (they do!), but also because they do it with such vigor and incredible passion. These are people who REALLY care about what they're doing. And it shows.
Allen predicts that because of high unemployment and the recent food scares, 10 million people will plant gardens for the first time this year. But two million of them will eventually drop out, he said, when the potato bugs arrive or the rain doesn’t cooperate. Still, he was sanguine. “The experience will introduce those folks to what a tomato really tastes like, so next time they’ll buy one at their greenmarket. And when we talk about farm-worker rights, we’ll have more advocates for them.” (excerpted from NYTM article)
Growing Power isn't about real food for rich people. It's about real food for ALL people. And isn't that the point?
Thankfully, we're not the only ones who are excited. Read what Food Renegade has to say about this article. And check out all the great posts at Real Food Wednesday.