simple truth is that it all starts with the soil. Without good soil,
don’t get enough of the nutrients they need to survive and
plants are stressed, they are more prone to disease and pest
problems. That’s why we grow our own compost and vermicompost –
million tons of it a year. That
compost goes onto every growing bed
raise crops on. Because we know
what goes in to the compost,
aren’t worried that the soil is contaminated with lead or other
that humans just shouldn’t eat.
Growing Power, we raise all of our crops sustainably, which is a term that means
we grow produce
at or above current organic standards but we have not been
certified organic by the U.S.
it just is not a priority of ours. We would all much rather be in the fields than
lots of paper work for the government.
grow sustainably means that we do not use any synthetic chemicals –
pesticides, or herbicides – on any of our crops. We prefer to do
the old fashioned way; we hand pick weeds, we control pests with
insects such as ladybugs, and we use foliar compost tea to help
pest and bacteria problems. As a
very last resort, we use only
organic pesticides like Neem oil and Pyrethrum, a pesticide made
addition, we buy all of our seed from reputable seed companies who do not treat
their seeds with pesticides or other chemicals. Seed companies that we often use are Johnny’s Seed and Seed Savers. These are seed companies that we trust and who are committed to helping
is how we seed our pots of greens and herbs – all 20,000 of them.
we fill the pot with compost. Next, we add worms that will continue to
break down the compost in the pot and supply the crop with nutrients over the
growing period. Then, we sprinkle seeds across the soil. Finally, we
cover the seed with coir, a sustainable peat moss substitute made from coconut
fibers which helps with water retention.
Allen is an excellent basketball player. In
fact he played professionally for six years. Fortunately for Growing Power, Will
likes to farm too. The Chicago
Lights Urban Farm at Cabrini-Green is the perfect combination of both of his
passions. The entire garden is
built on an old basketball court – literally, on top of concrete.