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The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy…
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The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities

by Will Allen

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this book has important and informing things to say. Wouldn't call it that interesting though. The book is on a pretty important topic though. Gives a solution to a real problem as well. ( )
  NicolineA | Jan 12, 2017 |
More a biography of Will Allen than a manual (of any kind) for growing food, this book is inspiring and shows that hope is out there for underserved communities.

The son of parents that fled the south and sharecropping for Maryland, Allen still grew up helping his dad in the garden. Though his mother never achieved her dreams of being a teacher, she did get to see her son go to the U of Miami to play basketball. And Allen has successfully leveraged all of his "failures" into a different form of success. With his NBA career stalled-to-over, he played 3 years in Belgium (and his wife and kids went along).

When the basketball part of his life was over and the family was settled near his wife's mother in Wisconsin, he took a sales job. And did his best and succeeded. When he got bored, he switched companies, and again did his best and succeeded. And when he realized what he really wanted to do, he went for it. Back to farming, but with the goal of bringing fresh food to the urban poor.

In the process he has been nearly broke, he has given people chances, he has made great friends, he was been named a McArthur fellow, he has gotten grants and even support from Walmart (which he accepted, because refusing money will not help those he is trying to help).

I really wonder if Allen and Joel Salatin have ever met. They are trying to do very different things, but I think they would each approve of the other's goals, and of the other's methods. Both share the closed-loop ideal.

Most importantly, Allen has successfully spread his knowledge and shared it with those doing similar things across the south and in Michigan. It is exciting, though the whole process moves so slowly. ( )
  Dreesie | Apr 12, 2016 |
Will Allen is a very inspiring person. I was only vaguely familiar with his organization, Growing Power, before I read this book. It is really amazing how he has harnessed the power of his community to do such amazing things with community gardens, aquaculture, creating healthy food choices in food deserts, inspiring disadvantaged youth, bridging race and socioeconomic gaps through food and farming, etc. Allen is definitely deserving of the MacArthur genius grant. The book itself is a really quick read, very straightforward, and the writing isn't all that great.

I am really jealous of the amount of compost Growing Power is able to generate. There is a picture of Allen standing on top of this huge pile of compost that just had me green with envy. I'm also curious about a lot of the boring logistical details of the organization. I would love to hear how they got so many businesses on board with providing compostable materials (including Walmart and Kohl's) and how they haul all these materials to the composting sites. What are the challenges in managing so many volunteers? What does their budget look like? How much do people get paid? How is the board structured and how do decisions get made? Have there been a lot of conflicts along the way as to what direction the organization should go? Just curious as to how you can really make urban agriculture work. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
This is a book about a man who created a movement in Milwaukee . His Community food center is a nonprofit organization and this book describes how he did this, beginning at his grandparents life as sharecroppers until today how he lives as an urban farmer helping so many people getting a relationship with real food. It`s fun to read and a couple of his private photos makes it easy to like him and his movement. It inspires to start your own garden. ( )
  brigitte64 | Sep 30, 2012 |
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Describes the author's early experiences as a sharecropper's son and a KFC executive before building a preeminent urban farm to feed, educate, and employ thousands of at-risk youths.

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