Will Allen is not your typical American farmer. Raised by sharecropping parents in South Carolina, Allen's spent much of his early life working hard to avoid the farming lifestly. He has been a professional basketball player in Belgium, has held corporate jobs for Kentucky Fried Chicken and Proctor & Gamble, and now, is a published author. His true passion, as he discovered later in life, is growing food.
In 1993, he blended his unique combination of talents to create "Growing Power," a Milwaukee-based Urban farm that uses socially conscious business practices to affect change on the landscape of the urban environment. Allen's operation is one part commercial farm, one part education center, and one part spiritual mecca for urban farmers across the country.
He has won a MacArthur genius grant, recieved national attention in movies and books - and now, is the author of his own, entitled The Good Food Revolution, which chronicles his tremendously interesting life, as well as the past and future of the urban agriculture and foodie movements.
"I don't look for a lush area," Allen said. "If I see a 12-acre parking lot that hasn't been used in years - I say, 'Oh, that's a farm."
The Good Food Revolution Details a Black Farmer's Journey from The LA Times