Friday, November 16, 2012

S.O.U.L. trip to Milwaukee teaches students about urban agriculture

By Kelsey Hulbert
Feature Editor

On an October Serving Other United in Love (S.O.U.L.) trip to Milwaukee, Wis., ten SMU students learned about problems in agriculture today while working at Growing Power.

Growing Power is an organic farm in the heart of the city that focuses on providing healthy food to urban areas.  The organization focuses on sustainable food production and the growth of communities through local gardens.

Present agricultural problems that SMU students learned about center around the reliance on processed and pre-packaged food.  By furthering the reliance on processed food, people are giving up their right to have safe, affordable and plentiful food.

­­­SMU students also had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience like mucking chicken pens, picking tomato plants, spreading mulch, sifting dirt and weeding.

Will Allen, the CEO of Growing Power, is hoping to create a foundation of urban agriculture in order to bring the benefits of a community food system to the needs of a large city.

Agriculture has become increasingly more industrialized and reliant on unsustainable practices while creating a huge gap in between the food source and the consumer.  This forces people in large urban areas to buy inexpensive and low-quality food and sacrifice fresh fruits and vegetables for low-cost processed food.  This has an avalanche affect on healthcare and social welfare and especially harms the poor.

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