Saying Goodbye to Growing Power

Saying Goodbye to Growing Power

“The Work: To Make Revolution Irresistible.” – Toni Cade Bambara

The last few months have been a whirlwind of excitement as we launched Urban Growers Collective.  During that time, the persistent questions have been, “what happened to Growing Power? Why are you starting something new?”

Growing Power’s mission is the product of a great visionary, Will Allen, who served in the capacity as farmer and founder for the last 25 years.  This vision, one that identified a need before the mainstream consciousness knew there was a problem, reclaimed the food system and turned a movement into a revolution. Will inspired people from every corner of the world to make profound change within their communities, and it has been our pleasure to learn and grow under this vision.

With the closing of Growing Power, we carry with us two profound lessons: that institutions need to be continually and constantly supported and that work in this movement must also transform.  First and foremost, if you value the work people do, you must support that work.  Growing Power, because it was the big kid on the block, often didn’t receive the funds needed to fulfill its educational goals due to the assumption that it had enough. That assumption was wrong, and Growing Power’s work suffered due to lack of consistent funds from both individual donors and foundations. I can’t stress this enough, if you value the work people do, you must support that work.  We cannot build a movement without the financial support of folks like you.

Second, change is inevitable.  Ultimately, Growing Power couldn’t make this leap because the desire to embrace change just wasn’t part of its path forward. Growing Power was the vision of an incredible man who made it possible for empowered food leaders to emerge from the trail he blazed. It is equally important to know when to pass the torch, and I hope this is a lesson that leaders in the future will both prepare for and embrace.

Fortunately, our paths are not mapped, they are made. It is the dawn for new visionaries to emerge and for the revolution to become engrained — to be simply, a way of life.

For our crew in Chicago, we are ready to move forward with our own vision for urban agriculture in our city and beyond.  While our hearts are heavy with the closing of Growing Power, we are excited for the opportunities that await us, and are anxious to create healing spaces through art, movement, writing, and innovation rooted within the foundation of growing food. Our hearts are full from the opportunity to transform our neighborhoods and ourselves through urban agriculture.  Farming is at its very core humbling, and we are reminded that all that wilts will root, rise, transform and bloom again in time.

Thank you for your on going support during this transition.

Laurell Sims,

Co-Founder & CEO, Finance

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