In 2010 I worked for Milwaukee’s flagship urban farm, Growing Power, and their MacArthur-award-winning founder Will Allen, to integrate mushroom production with their intensive urban ecological agriculture systems. If you don’t know their work already, check them out. Their combination of sophisticated ecological design and a grounded, inspiring, community development model will blow your mind.
I’ve been a mushroom geek since 2003, and have been developing a permaculture approach to teaching and doing mushroom production (which I call mycoscaping). This 5-month project, which grew out of a chance conversation with Will Allen at Growing Power’s first Urban & Small Farm Conference, was way too much fun.
I worked with staff to design a production system that integrated well with the existing system of intensive multi-layer hoophouse production, and used almost exclusively on-site waste materials.
I taught mycoscaping workshops once a month for five months as a breakout group during the GP weekend workshops – and in doing so, trained up some of the awesome staff there (Sarah Wisniewski and Kate Hanford) to continue training and developing and refining the system. To my incredible delight over the last couple years, they’ve done just that.
That’s Sarah. Kate has since moved on to other farming ventures. The following pics are all from Sarah, from the last year at Growing Power. I’m awfully proud of the way they have taken the ball and run with it.