Will Allen of Growing Power gave a great talk on urban farming at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts last Monday. He showed the incredible progress that has been made in transforming Milwaukee from a food desert to an urban farming oasis. And a brief insight into the work that goes into creating an urban farm.
How to grow an urban farm
- Find an empty parking lot or abandoned factory
- Find a group of unemployable youths as workers
- Build hoop-houses made from wood and plastic sheeting directly onto the asphalt
- Create a worm farm to produce live worms and worm-compost
- Use food waste, beer waste and coffee waste to make compost
- Create plant beds with a bottom layer of wood-chip, middle layer of compost and a top layer of worm-compost
- Plant the beds with fast-growing greens and vegetables
- Heat the hoop-houses by piling up compost beds around the outside walls
- Water the hoop-houses by collecting rain-water from the roof
- Power the farm using solar panels on the roof
- Control weeds by hand-picking and control pests using helpful bugs
- Harvest the crops and sell at local farmers markets.
Find out more on Will Allen’s vision at Growing Power: urban farming for the people.