We can't get enough of Will Allen: The Sunday New York Times Magazine had a must-read profile of Milwaukee urban farmer and grant magnet Will Allen, one of the most inspiring leaders of the sustainable food movement. Allen, writes "Bottlemania" author Elizabeth Royte, "is the go-to expert on urban farming…a genius at selling — fried chicken, Pampers, arugula, red wrigglers, you name it. He could push his greens into corporate cafeterias, persuade the governor to help finance the construction of an anaerobic digester, wheedle new composting sites from urban landlords, persuade Milwaukee’s school board to buy his produce for its public schools and charm the blind into growing sprouts." He's not stingy with his skills or his knowledge: he leads classes in worm composting, aquaponics construction, and other farm skills in Milwaukee. That's because “We need 50 million more people growing food,” Allen says, “on porches, in pots, in side yards.” And in vacant lots, of which Chicago alone has 77,000. (New York Times) We've seen Will Allen speak several times, and each time we've been blown away by the combined power of what Royte calls his "nondogmatic approach" with pragmatic business sense. If we weren't against cloning, we'd want him mass-produced.
Bonus feature: Watch the Macarthur Foundation's video of Allen, to whom it gave a $500,000 "genius" award in 2008: