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A pioneering urban farmer and MacArthur Genius Award-Winner points the way to building a new food system that can feed- and heal- communities.
The son of a sharecropper, Will Allen had no intention of ever becoming a farmer himself. But after years in professional basketball and as an executive for Kentucky Fried Chicken and Procter & Gamble, he cashed in his retirement fund for a two-acre plot just outside Milwaukee's largest public housing project. The area was a food desert with only convenience stores and fast-food restaurants to serve the needs of locals.
Despite financial challenges and daunting odds, Allen built the country's preeminent urban farm-a food and educational center that now produces enough produce and fish year-round to feed thousands. Employing young people from the neighboring housing project and community, Growing Power shows how local food systems can help troubled youths, dismantle racism, create jobs, bring urban and rural communities closer together, and improve public health. Today, Allen's organization helps develop community food systems across the country.
An eco-classic in the making, The Good Food Revolution is the story of Will's personal journey, the lives he has touched, and a grassroots movement that is changing the way our nation eats.
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Avery; Reprint edition (July 2, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1592407609
- ISBN-13: 978-1592407606
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
Urban farming is the future of farming!
Currently, one of the issues we face as a society are these combined destructive elements of industrial, large-scale agriculture. This is a story of a professional basketball player to a big executive with Kentucky Fried Chicken and Proctor and Gamble to now an urban farmer in the city of Milwaukee. Will Allen turned his retirement fund into a two-acre plot investment of passion in hopes of transforming an urban food desert into an effervescent community rich of colorful fruits and vegetables the people can thrive on. Owner of an organization called Growing Power, which is an internationally-recognized trailblazer in sustainable urban farming, Will Allen does a remarkable job in providing motivation and insight to create, build, and maintain a better food system. It’s through this lens of an African American experience on how the son of a sharecropper meant to escape the life of a farmer, only to learn he never really could, or wanted to. Not only is Allen’s own story rich of determination and survival, but it’s also the incredible people he meets along the way to assist him in his cultivating new food movement.
The Good Food Revolution has real "Growing Power"
The Good Food Revolution is the best book I’ve read in a long time. My interest in local and urban agriculture drew me to the book; the intimate stories of individuals and communities that frame that meta-narrative drew me into it. The book arrived on Wednesday. Despite an excessively busy schedule, I had completed it by early Saturday morning, often forgoing much-needed sleep because I simply could not put it down.
What a great book this is. This is not just the story of Will Allen’s journey through Urban Agriculture, but also the story of his family’s hardships and struggles coming North, up and out of South Carolina after the Civil War. It is a lesson in patience, family, and compassion.
This is a true American Hero!
Will Allen’s story is not just inspirational, but deeply moving! His intuition and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds gives courage to his readers to make the tough changes the food paradigm in this country desperately needs! Not to mention the fact that it’s a great read!
Quick and Easy Read
As a whole, the book is a quick and easy read. It covers the history and inspiration for (the now bankrupt) Growing Power organization. However, it is VERY clear after reading the book and then seeing Will Allen speak that this book was made possible with the aid of a skilled writer and storyteller (Charles Wilson I’m assuming). Overall this is definitely an interesting read and provides some insight behind local food organizations.
I thought I was going to learn about new ways to eat. Ellie Wiesel says the opposite of love is indifference. Will Allen is anything but indifferent. I’m sometimes in tears reading about how hard he and his family works to have his millions of employees, his worms, convert food waste into affordable nutrition for “his people”. We don’t share the same skin tone but I think of him as a brother.
Ohio State Freshmen Book 2015
My grandson will be starting his freshmen year at The Ohio State University in a few weeks. This book is required reading for all new students at all of their campuses. In September Will Allen is scheduled to give a presentation on the main campus that will be broadcast to the satellite as well. My daughter and I decided that we read this book too and I’m glad we did. I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in the health of our country both physically and mentally.
More compost, more veggies, less health issues
The problem with the book is that there is less about Farming and More about the woes and trials of Will Allen. I felt that I wanted to know more about the farming aspect rather than his various cancers. As a bi-racial family and his adventure to The Netherlands, it would have been more fascinating to hear about the agricultural experience that he saw in contrast the U.S. It would have benefitted from some heavy-duty editing and more direction. THAT is what a good editor does.
The Good Food Revolution
History gives us the stories of influential people who sacrificed all to the better good. I feel like I’ve witnessed the growth of another icon to add to that list, Will Allen. Allen, the son of sharecroppers, embraced his inner farmer and revitalized a community while teaching us what Urban Farming is all about. His story isn’t glam; it’s about real life as a child of the 60’s, his struggles as a pro basketball player, traveling saleman and a man with a dream. It’s the story of the people he met along the way that believed in him and he in them. The inspiration that Allen provides is thought-provoking and heartfelt; he writes, “Every moment and every event of a man’s life plants something in his soul.” Allen’s soul is big, not just in the size of the man, but big in the amount of passion that he brings to his life and those who have had the opportunity to meet him and be a part of his dream. He reminds us that “the benefits of the hard work that you do now may not be felt for a very long time. But if you plant seeds and continue to tend to them — and keep faith in the harvest — good things can come.” Keep faith in the harvest . . . Allen walked the talk and earned the prestigious MacArthur Genious Award by his eternal faith in the harvest. He continues to inspire others to believe in their dreams and look to the harvest in the pages of this book and the mission of Growing Power.
More than just a book about food
This is an excellent, inspirational book. It is as much about living a life well lived as it is about food. Will Allen doesn’t preach about how to live a life with purpose and meaning – he simply DOES it. In doing so he provides an example for the rest of us.