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Growing Power CEO Explains Urban Farming To Stephen Colbert

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jun 13, 2012 1:30PM

2012_6_13_Colbert.png Growing Power is a familiar name to any Chicagoan interested in local and sustainable food. While they are based out of Milwaukee, they operate a number of Chicago gardens and projects, and sell produce at Green City Market. Growing Power's CEO, MacArthur Genius Fellow Will Allen, appeared on The Colbert Report last night to push his new book, The Good Food Revolution, and had to sell Colbert on the idea of urban farming.

Colbert's wacky neocon persona was the perfect foil for an urban farming activist, and he brought up all of the standard skeptical concerns that urban farmers face. Is this really substantial? Can you raise animals? Don't the neighbors complain? "Why are you bringing farming back to cities? How can you do that? That's ... barely a place for humans, let alone, like, farm animals," exclaimed Colbert. Skeptical about food deserts, Colbert pointed out, "You say food desert, but there is food in cities; food that's very salty and crispy. The best possible kind of food for you, and it lasts forever! You can't say that about kohlrabi."

Allen calmly worked through each objection, handling Colbert's jibes about goats, marijuana and urban blight without blinking. We guess he's used to answering these questions by now. Watch the whole interview, and then check out Growing Power's many projects in Chicago.

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