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Features > Milwaukee, WI (April 2008) > Creighton Milwaukee Alumni Club Spirit at Work


On April 12, 2008 the Creighton University Milwaukee Alumni Club gathered at Growing Power for the annual Spirit at Work Day of Service. Along with a group from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee's Hunger Cleanup we helped out with various tasks at this urban farm. This included clearing out a compost pile, loading surplus vegetables and fruits onto a semi for use on another of Growing Power's farm as fertilizer, hanging plants, making new soil from compost digested by worms and more dirty stuff like that! Growing Power is a great organization with locations in Merton and Milwaukee Wisconsin and a Chicago location. They strive to teach people (thousands per year) about farming in an urban environment and Will Allen, their CEO, was there the day of our visit.


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Our guide (Sarah) tells us all about the benefits of worm composting up close and personal


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The space in the 14 (I think) greenhouses that Growing Power has in Milwaukee is well utlized with 3 tier systems including water circulation with plants getting fish waste from the bottom, filtering through the tiers and returning to the fish


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You shouldn't disturb compost early it seems


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Red Wiggler worms...a favorite of Growing Power


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Two CU Alumni to the right of Sarah


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Beth (Conradson) Cleary, Creighton Alum, passing by a hydroponic/aquaponic (don't know which) system during the tour at Growing Power before we got to work


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There was a large group from UWM's Hunger Cleanup there, they had matching hats!


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These nasturtium flowers are in high demand by Chicago/Milwaukee restaurants to garnish dishes


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Large heated pools for the fish


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A farmer's chicken coop burned down so these chickens were living at Growing Power temporarily


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A large digester that Growing Power tried out this last year with regular restaurant food waste and I believe it turns it into a fat byproduct which could then again be transformed into methane in the next step which they hope to build soon and offset their power usage for greenhouse heating in the winter.


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Large piles of compost (that were steaming due to cold temperatures)


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Lots of the food grown is kale and other leafy green plants for use in salads. Each pot is used hundreds of times and Growing Power makes all their own soil from the worms plus a great partnership with companies like Alterra (coffee roasting remnants for carbon), local breweries (hopps for more plant material) and other grocery stores/restaurants in the area providing leftover food


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