If you’ve met him, you know Willie can talk for days about growing produce in Detroit, about raising and caring for transplants, and all the reasons why the best way to eat your food is straight out of the ground. He is a Farmer on the Keep Growing Detroit (KGD) staff team and leads their transplant production, nurturing seeds until they’re ready for their next home in a lucky somebody’s garden.
Willie was one of eight participants in the Earthworks Agriculture Training in 2010 sponsored by Gleaners Food Bank and the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, a nine-month organic farming training program; and, in 2011, he was chosen to be a team lead for the second year of that same program. He has continued in the role of mentor and instructor as a Farmer with KGD and he pours himself into educating his neighbors and anyone eager to learn about the importance of whole, fresh foods during regular volunteer days at the Plum Street Market Garden -- but anytime, really.
Most recently, Willie graduated with the 2015 cohort of FoodLab BASE, working through a 12-week process of building a vision for a good food business focused on what he knows best: growing. At the final celebration, Willie set his produce beside a fellow BASE participant who makes salad dressing and supplied her with all the salad fixings she needed to sample them. Willie is a force for good. His curiosity, humble approach to his work, and gift for finding what’s good in anything and bringing it out for everyone to see -- that and his impossible smile -- are only a few of the reasons we’re beyond happy to have the opportunity to work alongside Willie in the good food movement.