MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Urban farmer Will Allen says one major challenge city residents face in growing their own food is the poor quality of their soil.
Allen is the chief executive officer of Growing Power, a national nonprofit that promotes sustainable farming methods and is based at an urban farm in Milwaukee.
He says most soil in urban areas contains arsenic and other contaminants. That's why his organization has made composting a focus.
Allen says Growing Power collects grinds from coffeehouses, spent grains from breweries and spoiled produce from wholesalers. The waste produces about 1 million pounds of compost each year that Growing Power uses for planting.
Allen spoke Wednesday at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has been working with the university to create an institute devoted to urban farming and nutrition.