I had greater hopes for this blog post a week ago before my trip to Wisconsin. I had imagined a piece that compared and contrasted Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm (with my images and notes from last year’s SEJ conference in Roanoke) with Will Allen of Growing Power’s urban gardening initiative in Milwaukee at this year’s conference.
But the cosmos have comspired against me. First, Will Allen was not in town that day as we’d expected after some 70 folks signed up for that field trip out of the list of ten or so. He was in California and spoke to us on a speaker phone–a photograph of which was not a good fit in a side by side with Salatin.
On top of that, my meticulous notes for that field trip and the entire conference except for some few on the laptop I am sure by now have been tossed–along with my treasured 1966 copy of Sand County Almanac–in the Detroit terminal waste bin of left articles. Long story, spilt milk.
You can see a gallery of images from last Thursday’s visit to Growing Power. Unfortunately, I cannot name names or provide the details my notes would have provided.
In this shot, our enthusiastic and knowledgeable hostess stands atop the supplemental heating source for the greenhouse-hydroponics-vermiculture facilities: a massive berm of future potting soil writhing with red worms, steaming with the heat of decomposition. What I wouldn’t have given for a dump truck of that stuff at the end of our Fortress Garden!
A favorite of the tour: hundreds of trays of sprouts overhead are watered with the nutrient soup that has completed the cycle past the tilapia swimming in the tanks below and the swamp of saturated watercress in the middle.
Growing Power is a self-sustaining bell jar biosphere preserve of good will, good food and good people. This YesMagazine piece is recommended to get the full picture.
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