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Campus Gardens Serve As Training Grounds For Young Farmers

Urban farming pioneer Will Allen says campus gardens, like the one at Indiana University, are popping up all over the country.

  • will allen in greenhouse

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    Will Allen of Growing Power looks at plants growing in a Garden Tower at Indiana University's Hilltop Garden & Nature Center.

  • Will Allen speaks with Indiana University students

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    Will Allen is famous for bringing farming to urban Milwaukee. He visited with students at Indiana University.

Much of what happens today agriculturally in urban areas can be traced back in one way or another to Will Allen and his work with Growing Power, an urban farm and educational facility in Milwaukee.

He visited Indiana University’s Hilltop Garden and Nature Center earlier this month to speak with students. “This is great training ground for young people,” Allen said.

As he toured the garden and greenhouses, he praised the raised garden beds and wood chip paths. “What’s happening here, I see all over the country in terms of student gardens like this,” he added.

Audrey Brinkers, campus garden coordinator at Indiana University, says Allen emphasized that even small campus gardens can have a powerful impact on the community. “Having someone here to talk about how it could have real effects, and lasting effects and broad effects rather than students just growing food for themselves and for a couple of dining communities, it was an inspiration.”

Allen said farming in urban areas is nothing new, and he is confident the trend will continue to grow. “The best case scenario is for people to grow this in their backyard.”

Earth Eats Staff

Earth Eats Staff is a weekly podcast, public radio program and blog bringing you the freshest news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture.

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