From WILL - Focus -

Growing urban agriculture

A lot of our food grows in expansive, rolling fields that make up the Midwest. But with more and more people living in cities, that is changing. This hour on Focus, we’ll hear from Will Allen, CEO of Milwaukee’s urban farming project “Growing Power.”


(Duration: 51:28)

Will Allen at Growing Power's urban farm in Milwaukee

Will Allen at Growing Power's urban farm in Milwaukee Wikimedia Commons

After he retired from the NBA, urban farmer and author Will Allen returned to his roots. He was born to sharecroppers in South Carolina and grew up on a small vegetable farm. Today, he’s CEO of Milwaukee’s urban farming project, “Growing Power” and is working to help eradicate food deserts, places where it’s hard to find affordable, fresh produce. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Allen about the project and its mission to help more people, especially those living in cities, gain access to healthy food.

Then, during the second half of this hour on Focus, Meadows talks with Sam Wortman, an Assistant Professor of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. Wortman studies urban agriculture and says projects like Allen’s are helping accessibility problems but warns that the model for how to create a sustainable urban agriculture system varies from place to place.

Categories: Agriculture, Food

  • Read the full transcript


    in this country
    in this country most people live in cities weather food is grown out of the country by others
    advocates of urban agriculture sale lot of food can be grown in the city providing home
    remedy for food deserts other problems Meadows today on foot
    today on focus will look at the urban agriculture movement 2 different viewpoints


    will Malik talks about how realistic community support munching his for banana
    urban agriculture organization Roman power Milwaukee University of Illinois from Sun
    Illinois from science professor talked about the environmental challenges Urban
    which is urban farmers urban agriculture today on focus

    my program continues after the news
    welcome to focus MGM Meadows the urban agriculture movement define the cons


    define the concept that food just comes from rural areas in doing so its practitioners funny
    pictures of funny more benefits rowing food in the city in simply having something to eat nearby
    nearby benefits can range from social economic to enviromental there are also
    there are also challenges to growing food in the city in later on focus of talk with Professor San Juan
    send wart many heads of the urban agriculture research lab and the Department of Sciences
    science is the University of Illinois right now let’s talk to someone who left a non farming
    the non farming jobs start up an urban farm he’s Will Allen the founder of sin cos


    CEO of growing power which operates farming operations in Milwaukee and
    Waukee end in Chicago he will be speaking on the University of Illinois campus tonight
    Campus tonight Tuesday night I believe that’s at 7 p.m. At the Illini Union
    Will Allen welcome to focus Straight Talk use this morning
    whats wait to have you with us and I’m wondering I understand you crop a form yourself
    the border
    and um you know after death


    after death experience what were you ever thinking of a forming career yourself because it sounds like this
    is it sounds like that’s not what you did for starters no I won the farm
    I had a hundred scholarship office basketball University
    universities in the nation and I said I’m never go back to the farm again
    I guess you should never say and you YouTube you play basketball
    who played basketball you play the old ABA you played in Europe um and Larry
    later on you had I gotta say you work for Procter and Gamble yeah I work for Factor


    pack and Gamble
    actually I got back open your
    what am I your pants family had a farm
    I guess I had this guy in the army
    farming I want a farm I got 25 chickens
    I’ve started Gordon food in that’s where I got fed
    transformer back in the 70’s that was back in the 70’s but later


    70’s bit later on when you were back in the US and you were in Milwaukee understand
    stand Bend KS yes my wife was the Marquis remove back
    vacuum with 3 children in a burning desire to farm
    Farm 3508 resides within the job
    job what factor and also farming and going to farmers market
    farmers markets in selling wholesale back in the 70’s and 80’s
    one day I was driving down the street in my f***** gamble account


    I ran across the farm in Milwaukee on Silver Spring Drive
    Dr I was looking to sell my farm produce
    what is the busiest Street Milwaukee I know and what color food desert
    food after a large is the housing project 5 blocks away
    location great I just saw my farm produce and to grow food
    gross food in the city 21 years ago now before that you had been Grove
    been growing out of the country near Milwaukee a ticket yeah I was going out so creepy


    pre k in a hundred acres growing and selling
    just looking for another new retail space in the fact
    and the fact that there will be a great place to
    bring my good food have naturally gone
    naturally growing into the city and the ivy
    I got sucked into
    non profit organization that we have today what before we go for the red light


    go for the red like to invite listener cinema conversation perhaps you do some farming in the city
    the City yourself wet weather its raising a backyard chickens in Spanish you in Champaign Urbana
    Champaign Urbana recently are growing crops in a community garden or something bigger we like to hear
    we’d like to hear from you on the program today call with your questions and comments at 1 800
    1 800 2229 455 toll free 1 800
    800 222 wyll you can email Assante wyll
    Hawaiian luau dish talk at and walking your questions on Facebook


    Jensen Facebook and Twitter focus 580 how did you
    how did you how did you was sucking evolve with using a working this farm in the city
    what was the wanted to grow
    Garden State greenhouses
    on the farm I like your own back
    back in 1995 850 area
    area help them start selling Avon from Sweden


    Farmers Market Eminem
    intercity and I hope to set up a standing Milwaukee Journal
    front page story about a kid that’s how I got sex
    kids my friend said you should start a non profit
    I said I don’t wanna Office
    office work if you guys want to do that ministrator work I would do it
    I would do it and that’s how I got started today’s date


    back in 95 now is 25 acres greenhouses
    how about 2075
    what I am wondering with the operations
    what’s the operations you have in the city are those are the special challenges to forming inside the city
    the City compared to a ruler yeah there are some challenges
    challenges of Courts asphalt concrete
    is gross oil compost very light scale


    scale app for concrete rooftops
    city lights Milwaukee Chicago Detroit
    Michigan really all of the Midwest
    Eastern cities but you have to have a compost Grove
    contaminated up because we’re heading
    heavy industrial city lot of lead arsenic
    oils to feed 50


    hardpan player asphalt concrete
    40 million pounds
    nitrogen put in compost go to food
    okay I’m having that’s having that the New Deal
    newly produced soil as it were um is that something that has to be constantly
    constantly to maintain an added to our union the richest able to vision without soil
    oil well because it’s compost


    the capital of friend of course to bring up at level 20
    2 seat from the base of a toilet
    food about the fertility
    how close is high fertility
    that’s what’s really important to help make sure you get off food high
    food high in nutrients you know it’s all about
    its all about the rubber meets the road health value of the food


    and God are so over all today is 50 cent
    how was 50 years ago so that’s the issue
    that’s just us something USO and generally means yes
    dog have to do something that
    birthday have a safe to have sex urban
    urban connection cancel all the food in urban areas
    single farm living will form


    Farmers how to grow more intense a blade on left
    on left face looking at Caltrain schedule
    bakers square footage 44026
    570 I want to make sure grip every square
    every square foot do that you have to have high fertility
    oil okay um what’s what’s the crops
    what’s the crops are you growing in India various operations 1250 different


    50 different good rap road live for the Bulls edible
    edible flowers herb how do I cook it going fish
    Phish train people how did the Knicks which is something I think
    very young people today as I go to the country
    young people interested in aquaponics its not its not like
    28 degrees
    Eric Church Yelp


    how to build a greenhouse plants
    plants in fish so you getting out of a protein from the fish that your groin
    growing vegetables NFL
    vacant buildings insidious
    1055 Chicago Milwaukee Ford
    something that is going to factory trailer hundred forty
    40 people a year is going on


    people that people that you work with your programs now its young people but it is
    what is it is it adults well oh yeah I said
    generational signs that the end
    Atlanta Falcons today is said about 17
    the hundreds
    148 over all day
    people from all walks of life like trains January


    okay what is this century
    this is interesting to me because he must be working with a lot of people who a centrally are starting from 00’s far
    100 bars from farming experience yeah I think sometimes
    sometimes it’s good that there’s a f*****
    f***** new concept going out in the city
    in the city and going on slaughter space barrier
    barrier how to roast a bit different


    difference in grain food in a room will Arian row crops
    craps Hobbit everybody’s welcome and it said I purchase
    opportunities for folks that have been fired do I sound like that transition
    transition from conventional farming new type of farming and I think
    Farmingdale much for financial aid beneficial what’s going on
    out in America in the industrial
    lava farm where talking with Will Allen he’s founder of grey


    founder of growing power with with herban farms in Milwaukee
    Milwaukee and also more recently in Chicago and also a training programs in very
    grams in various parts of the country from time to time you can call him with your comments and also
    and also your thoughts about a urban farming maybe your experiences as well or phone numbers
    phone numbers 1 800 222 94551 800 222
    222 WILL and RR email addresses
    addresses will a dash talkin Illinois dot edu I will I’m wondering


    will I’m wondering are you grow the food where does it go once you harvest what we have
    what we have a very surprised market everybody
    send that have to guess the same
    good food find Avenue do that
    can we go to farmers market farm stands
    CSA winter farmers market operate
    warehouse incest sex Wisconsin Ave


    HyVee sell to Sysco large enough for 25
    25 acres greenhouses 300 acres outside directions to be able to deliver
    how to deliver to wholesalers so we’re getting out food everybody
    everybody in the community economic situation ad
    add the way we do that is able to cut the connection cost by Greyhound
    5 renewable energy renewable energy
    energy and olive garden near out of the inside


    Inside Passage 85 Chicago
    how to get a food into the walking store carries
    Chicago so I will Michigan
    Mission Trail access because that’s what it’s all about food
    people that don’t have excess food a really about
    about access access to the same give me an idea of when you’re talking
    when you’re talking about a food desert in a large metro area like Milwaukee Wisconsin what is someone


    what is someone you know with with without an operation my growing power or some other Urban
    urban agriculture going on there whats the options somebody going to have for groceries
    people that
    Levolor FIBA struggle
    struggle and 6 mile
    closest grocery store op 7
    hello cloudy


    corner stores in Detroit
    coke have a hard time Fabolous
    outside pictures arches
    Hills grocery store
    grocery stores until Lisa Whole Foods
    just go to store in Detroit
    grocery store out of name in Detroit City


    city that has 1969 square miles of territory Atlanta
    90 square miles is Atlanta traffic
    what’s happening in Detroit
    Troy and Abed Troy
    Troy there in the city in terms of people taking it
    background on food eyes
    that way that’s the most important thing in life


    the granite at the only way in the healthcare
    health care prices hydro healthy pizza
    supposed to be at Madison 5th movement
    5th movement that I call a revolution revolution of Alabama
    people’s health food community
    community you talked about training people
    people to farm not just in your programs but be on that do you say have have have you seen other


    have you seen other operation startup in other cities of people who started training with you

    I get cause I’m a failure of the country in the world
    small communities
    how do you think a city like in Beijing
    Seattle Washington area


    city that has a lot of well when you look at it
    what they do southern states
    because I are rx
    Rx change shape
    Uhaul in this together high
    figure out how do you change your local
    local to have a healthy food system


    farmers cabinet
    I need the corporate community on board
    universities on board Medical folks
    folks engineers and architects need to really designs
    twerk indeed communities around the country will I have a tweet
    do I have a tweet in from Lisa Ann and she was wondering if I have growing power has it
    power has any partnerships involved with institutions likes a food banks are correctional officer


    correctional facilities just a couple of examples of places that you might be providing food
    providing food for yeah we have 5000 correctional
    in house work
    train from correctional facilities terms
    15 minutes warm farm
    70’s Show
    sad that only believe donate food food bags


    Beyonce pickup fairways internet it to compost food
    how to cause a lot of times of food did they get from glass
    from wholesalers only has one day shelf life of Charlotte
    Trader lot of weight
    Megadeth that sounds like a very Gaga instructive arrangement
    virginity by infinity
    can people did Mark Lane


    directions from fines and also to purchase fresh vegetables
    will what parts what are some of the big challenges as far as being able to
    being able to expand urban agriculture mean what what what challenges do you ca
    is do you see I had that that that need to be overcome
    organization started after
    activating Atlanta rush status


    status I get land on a long term basis
    basis transforming a vacant lot Costco
    Costco situation you think about the yard
    how to grow in soil
    that’s why the big issue is a big issue
    Farm so
    sexy girl farmer overnight year


    hide ongoing saying you have been 5050 s
    can I get a copy of place
    complacent anything because of Texas good or bad
    bad storm with your c*** out so young
    Yahoo how was going to go go
    will working on a vertical bar vertical
    Food City weather is not live on land mass we’re going to have to


    we’re going to have to grow up vertically looking at a
    looking at a hundred Story vertical farm in cities like New York a Boston
    Chabad Tokyo San Francisco price of Future
    future what is next generation 2
    the pass on flag
    what happened to Carmen ok
    ok 5 story


    will I was wondering a groin
    during a growing power of course is a non profit organization is there a roll or do you use
    are do you see commercial farmers setting of operations in urban areas
    are you there already I met a fact that would say
    7506 training
    for profit small farm Ohio
    think that’s important that the trait that the crate


    great businesses week great jobs Leafly can create jobs
    jobs local communities
    the potential for growth in urban agriculture in the future how big is it
    is it is tremendous specially is like I said vertical
    vertical farm with rooftops have with rice
    asphalt concrete going on a foreclosed
    foreclosed former factories in Billings


    use idling low cost houses at the Grove
    round food iPhone saying about the food 25
    25 weeks outdoor party is going on do we need to feed
    need to feed people 365 days a year good local food
    and that’s possible that’s why things that we have to poop
    significant amount of food in size shape or
    are on the exterior use out so we had to


    we have to continue to quantify that that we can’t we have to continue
    how to continue to qualify as a people especially after the cause me to be a saw
    balls and I hope you get land plot of land is just sitting around
    chicken wrap in city of Chicago has 33 square miles
    square miles 77008 South Atlanta news
    can be use to grow food resident next 20 years
    tremendous potential to fix Aikman


    68 mint small 5 minutes great place in pharmacy
    pharmacist at start growing inside Landis sewing
    weather outside most major cities
    city-state said pretty difficult to get started the Great
    the Great study what will Alan thank you very much for talking with us
    talking with us today and of course you will be on the U of I campus Odyssey
    this evening Tuesday evening at 7 o’clock to give a lecture and odds


    anti the Illini Union yeah I’m headed that way right now
    looking for thank you very much for talking Memphis
    take care and will take a short break your on focusing me back with more discussion
    discussion about urban agriculture without Francis m workman of the Department of Sciences
    Night at the University of Illinois this is focus on wyll
    Rebecca focus era wyll MJ Meadows continuing artist
    can you bring our discussion of urban agriculture and we welcome your questions and comets especially yours


    especially your own experiences with farming in the city weather its a garden plot
    Martin plot raising chickens Arbor have doing something a little more ambitious give us a call at
    give us a call at 1 800 22 29455 you can email Los Angeles
    us and we’ll talk at we’re on Twitter and Facebook
    and Facebook at focus 580 the phone number again 1 800 222
    222 WILL my next gas is an assistant professor
    professor in the Department of crop science is at the University of Illinois Urbana campus


    Pacetti’s also the lead investigator somebody should have your own TV show lead investigator
    investigator at the urban agriculture research lab department runs a professor
    professor ascend Boardman thank you very much for being on the show today happy be here and how long
    how long has urban agriculture been a deferred subs
    define subject of the sentence that that would be something other than
    department wants to take a serious look at a topic
    the tool you can find in the scientific literature for at least a couple decades a receiver


    received most attention from social scientists and urban planners
    that’s been looking at ways to use urban land and looking also the social issues which will
    which will itouch not quite a bit um but as far as the production side of things the reason that the
    is the reason that the Department of Science is interested is the RC ng urban agriculture
    urban agriculture in a much bigger scale and cities like Chicago and production challenges
    production challenges what are unique production challenges with growing food in cities in so um doctor
    Dr Sarah Taylor level in our department started doing some research on 2900


    8900 Wilshire looking at the multi functional benefits of urban agriculture things
    miracle tree things like pollinators you find cities on another
    benefits like stormwater runoff in things the turban farms can provide to the city in so
    so um so I was brought on a 2012 focus more on some of those production challenges how can we
    challenges how can we maximize productivity on urban farms well cementing sustainability
    sustainability increasing profitability which is the main issue because as well mansion
    the folks are wanting to I’m going to for brother touched my presence on urban farms


    honorbuddy forums I gather if you go back for enough I mean like a century of self
    century is so and go to cities you would you would you would see more forming going on
    going on um that there would be more land available for that people would just end
    Justin to have livestock because if nothing else horses were moving to cities anyway
    and if you have horses you could you could turn other animals as well so something happened between
    something happened between say hundred fifty years ago and now the change the face of urban agriculture
    call for time yeah that’s definitely true and um in really the top


    the topic of urban agriculture is is someone for unto us in the US
    the US but I remember cultures very prominent in developing countries looking to sign
    look in the scientific literature um for urban agriculture most of the examples you find
    and um come from Africa or Latin America and so hold your is
    pictures is kind of movement right now in the US but I did something urban art urban
    urban an agricultural landscape sorority well integrated in many countries are in the world
    world it is something and this is really a vague terms askew urban Farmington were


    Farmington work that is in the largest sense can provide food informant
    pointment in the long run or is it just something that you know you been in
    Indian terms of love culture so fat yeah the great question one that we get all the
    can one that we get all the time and I think it just depends how you find food
    find food because the throwed urban agriculture can really provide is
    is in the way of fruits and vegetables and herbs and things that will out
    things that will Illinois mentioning um in my opinion we’re never going to be able to grow all of the


    all of the greens in meet that we really need to provide a lot of calories
    calories in protein have for a growing population in cities so there’s always going to be
    always going to be a role for relaxer Coulter we need large large acreage to provide greens
    greens to feed livestock and provide protein but um there’s a will there’s a really strong
    there’s a really strong be filled in cities to grow nutritious fruits and vegetables and herbs
    herbs that will Ellen I fink touch Dunham on something on the environmental challenges
    mental challenges your face is concerta sounds like he’s not really growing directly in


    n in the top soil that you might find in a vacant lot if you would do if you if you were to find a good
    find a good time what are even if your backyard in your backyard
    yard if you say had a bungalow in a city neighborhood I don’t know if you were in Chicago and
    and the way you live the life you live in a brother had a backyard space how
    how fun how long does the quality of the soil in there
    I would be fairly suspicious um most is the show notes the Grouch
    trout Chicago the the average backgrounds will lead concentration for example


    examples about 400 parts per million that’s right at the threshold of the EPA uses for
    is for defining a contaminated soil when you talk about things like building children’s playground
    children’s playgrounds for example um that’s quite a bit higher than what we find another major metropolitan
    major metropolitan areas us talking with colleague on Oakland California any mention that the city white
    citywide average in Oakland about 100 parts per million for lead so it is because
    because I will mention somebody industrial history that we have in the Midwest cities like Detroit Chicago
    train Chicago and that that has resulted in kind of a long term environmental problem when it comes


    when it comes to heavy metals in other organic contaminants in so um people should be
    should be you neyo at least aware of the potential for contamination when you’re going to grow I in
    write in your backyard in a vacant lot but that doesn’t mean that its not possible
    and there are very common sense types of precautions people can take that still allow them to grow
    how to grow food very safely in their backyards directly in the soil
    if they just take some proper pick up precautions things like wearing gardening gloves washing your fruits and vegetables
    fruits and vegetables on the big thing that I told people that usually get to laugh is just don’t eat the soil


    don’t eat the soil that’s the number one way that people get exposed
    exposed hoes contaminants is through direct injection obviously most people are taking spoonfuls of soil and eating it
    toilet eating it but you might be in Hayling it if you’re out telling up your garden ic just want to be tied
    be careful that you’re not indirectly ingesting it with the lights on your produce or urine healing that
    Healing that contaminated dust I’m wondering also in downstate Illinois
    State Illinois in small metro areas even industrial one’s son riddle
    the long term industrial 168 Decatur in Danville areas and then other channel


    and then other towns Champaign Urbana Charleston ARMA 2 North Springfield what have you
    does do this to the same levels of risk in in soccer
    insult contamination exists there as exist in the major cities
    yes but not the same degree um so let is the containment
    containment that was received the most attention rightfully so um and we do fine
    and we do find higher levels and cities like Chicago because of industrial background just because of the density of
    city of cars that we historically Haddon in the cities and still have


    in the presence of light comes from house paint and gas
    gasoline leaded gasoline up until the late 1970s and so the
    the amount of lead contamination that we find in urban soils fairly proportional to
    proportional to the density of housing of aging housing stock and also I’m just population from the
    elation from those of vehicles in a city like Champaign Urbana certainly we on if your
    if you’re directly adjacent to a house that is fairly old the most likely
    Lykke Li was painted with lead based paint then love will lead contamination candy


    temptation can be an issue but the the source from leaded gasoline in a less density
    that long term environmental impact is not going to be a substantial is a city like Chicago
    Chicago and if you’re in a newer residential area sales subdivision that was lady
    that was laid down 35 years or so is it reasonable
    reasonably certain that the the things will be a little say for at least as far as a sled
    is lead contamination is concerned think that would be inaccurate to assess Minton is specially
    especially most of those newer developments are going to be further from the city Corp


    the core further from those initial sources of the contaminants on your probably
    does residential communities are probably on land that was farmland
    farmland 30 years ago and so its on its likely less than 10 minutes now were here in
    now we’re here in champaign-urbana and their various the garden community garden projects
    projects were talking about some of them before the broadcast from what you know about that
    about taking precautions badoo do the possible so I can temptation yamo store
    yamo star in the number one way that the community gardeners take those precautions is to


    precautions is to grow in raised beds and um this raised beds are smaller there
    are there often times using lumber to create walls and then camping
    capping the soil I was some type of barrier maybe landscape fabric and then feeling in with a couple feet
    couple feet of compost the smaller scale version of Will Allen growing power
    growing power base inch Lee create a gigantic raised beds on top of a cat Lots
    that’s sometimes the words in acre in size lizard a smaller versions of what growing power does
    growing power does okay what about um I think you were talking about water runoff


    run off in in urban areas is that something that a Leatherman farming provide
    informing provides a benefit to orzo are are are the risks involved with water contaminants
    whats a good question one that we don’t really have the answer to get um
    there’s a lot of speculation that’s been farming that might be a great benefits
    great benefit of urban farming as a stormwater runoff is in a major problem in most
    woman most US cities and so the ideas that if we got this thus far
    does farm in a farm with olives healthy soil that’s going to sleep


    is slowly percolators water maybe that’s a great way to reduce stormwater runoff
    butterly Banos studies to show that that’s an actual benefits of urban farming slats
    farming slats slats an area that are open to do some research on the future okay we have a call in now
    Ellen now 11 David champagne welcome to focus on the air ok
    number of people who have pulled out of urban gardening
    because the fastest is a sociological problem can you improve
    improve the big picture of your life by having Garden City


    encourage people to not just walk in and have things to fit on a car door
    hanging out there a problem to have another one
    urban buildings
    buildings from the soil
    Detroit has been removed a dump truck and replace price
    low grade have
    praying and then 3 Inches of Blood


    how do you handle it
    forever David wondering about your first question
    question using their instances where people are rating other people’s gardens and gets run over the vegetable
    with vegetables how do you handle it and I dye my wish my Tazewell Allen
    Will Allen that question but a is is is is that affected the people have to consider their everything
    everything’s in close quarters here when you’re when you’re Garden in the city it is the end
    and um in so many people on many organizations will put up fences


    fences around urban farms because it is a business in this is the end
    this is another produces a valuable commodity in so often times Frances Arnstein
    senses are installed but you know people can conceal fences and son some cases
    some cases you do Lisa produce so many unique challenges to urban farming and humans are one of them
    are one of them really really maybe have more problems with deer better taking out some of your crops
    and in this case um we have people taking a crap send a SPECT that will another phone
    what will another folks um as their part of the urban farming movement would say that its not in tires


    not entirely bad thing because somebody stealing fruits and vegetables from an urban gardener in urban farm
    urban farm they probably really need it and um so that’s the worst things to be stolen
    things to be stolen Ben 10 fruits and vegetables can probably be positive
    yeah and so that’s that’s approaches some people take if they don’t necessarily put up fence is because they say
    is because they say it’s kind of the community approach and there’s a PsyD of community food for
    food forest springs and Pilar um they want to try to make it acceptable to all of that means you want to come in
    you want to come in and out of the tree yourself for pulled out of the ground yourself on the net positive impact


    positive impact in and that works really well for the non profit organizations but it is a very good point
    very good points for the future of four profits urban farming what about the Dozen
    does the soil? Brought up remind me with that?
    you were just day we were talking about essentially soil being replaced
    usually takes away the cops are because
    because it’s not good for construction in the returners
    return a set amount of time sunset and after grow on


    I can imagine is not very good for growing crops yeah and that is a problem stove
    problem so so even if um even if we find the soil isn’t contaminated
    aminated with letter other heavy metals organic containment we still
    we still find the most urban soldier of fairly low quality compaction is it you just you and
    is it you just you and me and we run into compaction because of the fact that heavy machinery was used
    is used for the initial purpose of Atlanta Amanda’s you mention topsoils remove dandruf left with that
    left with the heavy clays and so some type remediation if not for contamination purposes


    immigration purposes is needed to improve the overall quality of that swell and so it so you know if we’re not going
    if we’re not going to be running raised beds does usually in need for some type of remediation
    through the use of organic amendments sew a compass application Dora
    order up some top soil that is mixed in with thats that if you want to call it native soil
    so they think you very much for the contents of the gates the on the hope I was breaking
    hope I was bringing up that save you if if if if you were living in a newer subdivision you could possibly
    could possibly avoid lead contamination problems but you might be missing a lot of the original topsoil anyway


    anyway we are on focus in WI allow talking about
    about urban agriculture and right now we’re talking with Professor cent workman he is the leader
    he is the lead investigator at the urban agriculture research lab at the University of Illinois
    Illinois Department of crop science is not give us a call at 1 800 222
    hundred 222 94551 800 222 w IL
    do I ll run Twitter and Facebook and focus 580 the email address
    email address wyll dust off at Illinois Dodge ETW you talk to


    you talk to a little bit earlier about the about pollinators being a benefit or is that something
    are is that something that’s lacking in urban areas when your Foreman what was the question the Tesla
    Pizza miko Lee Dr level I ask a couple of years ago and because they thought was the
    thought was that maybe urban gardens community gardens can actually help to increase pony
    responder populations inside of urban areas but really
    what they found was thats that pollinators are not
    are not necessarily on the populations are not necessarily higher


    higher in community gardens Android find other areas in so it it seems like that’s not here
    that’s not a huge benefits of urban agriculture but um but um she is current
    currently in studying other multifunctional benefits states does urban active
    been trill landscapes to provide to cities to urban farms kit
    get to the pollination of the need the need some justices
    just to get by I don’t know exactly how that works in France far is a survivor
    survival of plants that you just going from seed yeah and that was really the main finding um


    um of their study was that they they are having enough pollinators at the sermon Garden
    urban garden sights and so they were looking at Siena does having a buffer strip of saber
    offset a perineal flowers around your garden does that increase pony
    Polly are populations for your vegetable crops hour does Beano proximity to certain things
    certain things in the landscape does that increase your props and sandwich
    hands and what they found was that’s really the abundance of pollinators in urban areas
    urban areas isn’t as much a problem for finding variable populations of pollinators at all these


    all these community gardens and so that the doesn’t appear to be one of the challenges of implement
    of implementing urban agriculture which is the positive Will Allen talked about love
    about a vertical farming with others forming on on on on on
    several levels of going up to make up to make up for the lack of available land
    Land how does that work in how well do you know how well can that works as far as
    what works as far as is is far is being keeping the keeping metastable in making sure
    bowling making sure that everything has the light on the water that needs yes oh verbal farming


    brookelle farming is a great concept and its it’s one that’s still very poor
    still very preliminary and it’s one that we need a lot of Engineers to be working on because
    working on because i right now the biggest turtle is is energy
    um because when you start to grow vertically in Wilmington example of maybe a 100 story
    100 story building where were we’re going for today inside of the challenge there is that
    where is that it’s very energy intensive and extensive 2012
    um to provide lights inside the building is going to be getting a lot of lights on the south


    lights on the south side of the building artificial light switches is very energy intensive
    intensive and then just the amount of heating and cooling um in that building
    building to provide optimum temperatures for your crop environment is going to be on
    it’s going to be very expensive is well in so there’s just a lot of on technical
    technical challenges that need to be overcome before we see something like that
    what’s become profitable in sustainable do you see um any
    any simpler forms of vertical farming where someone might be working with a 20 or 30


    two or three or four levels not something I need an elevator to get to ya ensign drilling
    ensign really um you know I see what’s with growing power is already doing as a form a vertical
    vertical farming example will touch down there aquaponic systems
    aquaponic systems they typically have a fish tank that is built down into the ground
    into the ground and then on top of that they have a structure where the water runs on top of
    top of filtered out from plants that are going directly on top of that fish tank so you got
    so you got two layers there and will mentioned maximizing on maximizing


    maximizing every square foot on the way also need to think about maximizing every a cube
    a cubic foot and so do you think about something like a green house right on the expense of infrastructure
    infrastructure we need to think about um utilizing every cubic foot of space within the greenhouse
    in the greenhouse inside another example is going to be doing some research I’m here on campus
    Campus research center Dixon springs we’re going to be growing strawberries in vertical towers
    hours for going to be stacking 5 pots on top of each other for a total of about 45
    about 45 feet towers um and growing hydroponically sew in


    nickel a sew in soil is media and we see that is a great way to
    how to utilize every um cubic foot inside of a high tunnel
    in situations remove oil contamination can you lies hydroponics in soil is media
    Media I’m trying to get a visual idea of that if you have a positive
    top of each other which direction are the plants growing growing up on the growing to the Sun
    growing to the side what so the pots are staggered so you can put for strawberry
    strawberry plants in each corner of the pot and then you stagger them on top of the


    I’m on top of each other so they’re kind of coming out of the corner of each of those Poteau ok and so because
    and so because it’s a strawberry strawberries work so well because it doesn’t put on a lot of vegetative biomass
    biomass so it doesn’t necessarily need to grow up or out just kind of gross in place strawberries grow
    strawberries grow in kind of hang off the sides of the pots and Ice everything able to get enough light
    flight yes there’s Benson preliminary research originally Wendy’s
    originally when is vertical systems came out you know going to that idea of maximizing every cubic foot
    every cubic foot of the item space the original thought was let’s taxi Spotsy nw20 high


    20 hi let’s put them all the way to the roof the greenhouse of course light became very limiting NC
    and someone recently that scale back and 405 pot stack on top of each other
    souther seems to be kind of the optimum number where the bottom part is still getting enough light to be
    to be economically viable and how much savings and put your savings is the right word
    word but how many more strawberries can you grow compared to just the flat ground
    ground area of soil that would be taken out I’m not sure what the
    what the exact number is but um its it is um more profitable


    more profitable to to grow vertically in Illinois you know if that might not be the case
    the case on anymore ideal strawberry growing environment like California butts
    abuts the preliminary work that my clarity Jeff kinda hurts dun dun Dixon springs Houston
    Asian that’s a vertical system is is more space intensive and profit
    profitable for Illinois farmers want one question everything urban farming
    farming on this comes to mine is is there a lot of extra effort needed in order to
    order to water the plants in Minnesota specialized environment and is it


    is it worth it in terms of land in terms of the year old get maybe this
    maybe this Savings you get since you’re not trucking in food from a from rural areas
    that’s a question that remains to be seen it
    scene it is long term investment as is Willard e touchdown
    it can be very expensive mansion $100 per cubic yard of compost
    post so if you’re talking about you know the putting that compost on 1 acre
    acre of land it starts at a pretty quickly and so there’s a very expensive


    expensive on short term investment and working to be done to quantify
    quantify some of the more long term social benefits health benefits
    economic benefits in terms of job creation job training um if you’re just looking about
    looking about the break-even point for your one year to year 3 it’s probably hard to justified
    how to justify that type of farming I just economically but when we look at a longer a picture of
    a picture of this time it starts to make a bit more sense well I wanted to thank you
    thank you Sam workman for a talking with us today San workman is up with the Urban


    with the urban agriculture research lab at the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Illinois
    city of Illinois my things also to Will Allen of growing power who was on the
    who was on the first half of our program and he will be speaking tonight Tuesday evening at 7
    7 at the U of I Illini Union everyone thought you had
    thoughts you have about urban agriculture in the days program your comments welcome in our website where you going
    site where you can also find links to growing power in the urban agriculture research lab


    produced by Lindsey moon Jason Crawford technical director tomorrow we will be looking at the latest
    get the latest proposals for pension reform in Springfield and what their impact might be
    might be this is focused on wyll