Thursday, September 24, 2009

growing power

I read this article this morning. It's about Will Allen's organization called Growing Power. It's based out of Milwaukee. He's planning a training center in Minneapolis, to help urban farmers. I think it's great, however, I felt inclined to write him a note with a few concerns/questions. See below. Also, if anyone knows how to get a plot at ayd mill road and hamline, let me know. It says to "ask a gardener", but last time I was there, the only farmer left before I could talk to him. Go figure....

Dear Mr Allen--

My name is asha. I live in st paul, minnesota. I was reading the star tribune this morning, and saw an article that Growing Power is coming to Minneapolis. I can't tell you how excited about this I am.

As a young woman of color, I really want to get involved in local/urban farming. One of the problems I have with this however, is there is a big divide in community plots and work. For example, the few urban gardens in st paul that I have seen are very segregated. One has gardeners from a primarily middle/upper class background, the majority of them being Caucasian. The other one, only about a mile away is mostly immigrants (first generation), where it is hard for me (an english only speaker) to learn more about their farming practices and interests.

I saw that an event is being held in St Paul next thursday. I was interested in attending, but it's too expensive for me. I hope that when your organization puts roots in this town, there will be some kind of outreach for young people and people of color.

I think that urban gardening is an incredible concept and movement, and I hope that you can help "bridge the gap" and make it accessible to all people, and perhaps work with community groups to make it more diverse as well.

If there is a way I could help in this, please let me know. I know a lot of people in similar situations as myself (i.e. brown, poor, hungry, etc) who want to be more involved in community development projects, but who are either intimidated (by the homogeneity of the group) or simply left out because they cannot afford to participate in something so organic.

Again, thank you for bringing your program to Minnesota. I look forward to seeing the impact and growth.


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