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Victory Garden Initiative in the News!
  

Victory Garden Initiative turns out class of local food leaders
88.9 Radio Milwaukee Community Stories
September 22, 2014

Becoming an urban farmer may be a little easier than you may have thought, thanks a program at Victory Garden Initiative. In it's Food Leader certificate program, staff at VGI teaches the basics of gardening and composting. The yearlong program also focuses on community organizing and leadership, giving graduates the tools to create tangible change in their local food communities.

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Neighborhood farm stand teaches kids valuable skills
88.9 Radio Milwaukee Community Stories
September 14, 2014

Victory Garden Initiative empowers people to grown their own food, creating a new generation of self-sustaining, healthy eaters. They have many different programs that reach into Milwaukee neighborhoods, teaching folks about healthy food, one veggie at a time.

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City vegetable gardens, fruit orchards nourish fresh food movement
May 2, 2014 Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

If you’ve been thinking about planting a vegetable garden in your yard, church or business, now is the time.

From May 10 to May 24, Victory Garden Initiative (VGI) will build as many as 500 4- by 8-foot raised-bed gardens across the city during the Great Milwaukee Victory Garden Blitz event.

Gardens, including organic soil, cost $160 and are installed by VGI volunteers.

As part of its efforts to create a better food system in Milwaukee, VGI staff and volunteers recently planted five community orchards during the Fruity Nutty 5 Tree Planting event.

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Meet Gretchen: changing the food system in Milwaukee
People with Panache

“Today is going to be chaotic.

“We are trying to do a very big job, so if it’s not happening exactly how you thought it might, just go with it.

“And understand that you’re still volunteering for the Blitz, even if it wasn’t exactly what you thought it was going to be.”


For the first three years of the Great Milwaukee Victory Garden Blitz, held every May since 2009, Gretchen Mead started off each morning with this speech. It fits so many days of this beautiful, unpredictable life. Every day may not go as planned, but each brings us one step closer to who we want to be, and what footprints we want to leave.

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And our very own Gretchen was also interviewed on KISS FM! Listen here:


 


Victory Garden Initiative Builds 500 Garden Beds in 15 Days
Fox6 News
May 20, 2013
It's a new addition to Angela Pruitt's backyard, and she couldn't be more excited about it.  "To be able to pick your own vegetables and fruit and then sit on your back porch with them washed and just eat them fresh, we need to go get back to that."

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Milwaukee Named a Finalist in "The Mayor's Challenge"
Victory Garden Initiative's Post-Industrial Homestead Act (PUHA!) - a project to turn empty lots and foreclosed homes into community-based food system hubs - is the nucleus for Mayor Barrett's proposal to the Bloomberg Foundation. Milwaukee was chosen as one of twenty finalists out of 300 cities across the US.

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Executive Director Gretchen Mead was interviewed in the March 2013 issue of Milwaukee's Natural Awakenings magazine.
Read the full story here.

88.9 Radio Milwaukee featured the Blitz in their Community Stories series. Thanks to amazing community support, we installed 290 garden beds throughout Milwaukee during our 2012 Victory Garden BlitzListen here!



Victory Garden Initiative/Community Stories

June 21, 2012 by Brianne O'Brien on 88.9


Victory Garden Initiative is all about empowering communities to grow food and reawaken the relationship to human and food ecology. The initiative does this through a variety of ways…through classes, programs, initiatives, special projects, etc. I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting some VGI volunteers and staff during the 2012 Great Milwaukee Blitz Week.

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Home Gardens Carry a Special Seed of Victory

May 29, 2012 by Jane Ford-Stewart in West Allis NOW

As the drills and saws whined, volunteers pushed around wheelbarrows, piled high with soil, in the unseasonable 90-degree heat, all for the sake of creating a garden.
Not just a garden - 24 gardens, to be exact.

Their efforts are part of an initiative encouraging eligible participants who meet income requirements to grow their own food at home. The West Allis Health Department worked with the Victory Garden Initiative to establish the gardens, funded with a federal grant aimed at promoting healthy eating and physical activity.

The selected families helped volunteers from the Victory Garden Initiative, the West Allis Community Garden Committee, and families of health department and planning departments staff. They sawed lumber, screwed planks together and filled the growing beds with garden soil.


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Victory Garden Initiative Aims to Make City Harvestable
Jennifer Reinke
May 31, 2012 in Neighborhood News Service Milwaukee


Imagine being able to walk out your door or down the block to pluck plump red tomatoes fresh from the vine, crisp sugar snap peas, organic lettuce, baby bok choy, sweet carrots or spicy radishes.

Victory Garden Initiative’s fourth annual “blitz” made this possible for many Milwaukee residents when 300 volunteers installed nearly 300 raised-bed gardens throughout the city.

Victory Garden Initiative builds communities of people who grow their own food. The organization envisions “a Milwaukee where in the [growing] season every person – not just people with resources – has access to fresh… fruits and veggies,” said Executive Director Gretchen Mead. “We really could make Milwaukee a harvestable city.”


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Victory Garden Initiative Grows Community in Milwaukee
Royal Brevväxling
May 15, 2012

T
he Victory Garden Initiative (VGI) was founded upon permaculture principles by a group of people in a coffee shop three years ago. Its mission is to build communities of people who grow their own food, thus reintegrating human and food ecology.

"The agriculture system now is removed from human culture. The two need to be one, so we're not exporting waste all over the place and importing nutrients," says Gretchen Mead, founding director and VGI's current executive director.


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Growing Your Own
Lisa Neff                  
April 19, 2012 in Wisconsin Gazette


“It is becoming an option for everybody to grow their own food,” says Gretchen Mead, founder and executive director of the Victory Garden Initiative in Shorewood.


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Growing the Blitz
Jazz Glastra
April 5, 2012 in Riverwest Currents


Already daydreaming about spring? At Victory Garden Initiative, we aren’t just dreaming, we are DOING! Planning for the 4th annual Great Milwaukee Victory Garden Blitz is already in full swing. The Blitz WAS an event that brings together volunteers and resources to install as many gardens as possible in one day. But it’s GROWING! Now… the Blitz is an event to install as many gardens as possible in one WEEK!


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Succession Planting is Key
Jenny Heydon
April 10, 2012 in Shorewood Patch

So looking outside today, it's 37 degrees and my Victory Garden 4'x8' bed of perfect soil is looking...grey. I have done nothing to prepare for this season, which is, apparently, upon us. So today I called up Gretchen Mead, local expert and executive director of Victory Garden Initiative, to see what I should do to get in gear. She's used to this, apparently, and will come to your garden for one or two hours, and help you draw up a full plan for creating a mini-ecosystem or guild (a unit in a food forest, like fruit trees, that include varied plantings that help avoid the need for chemicals).


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Victory Garden Initiative Hosts Food Leader Certification Course
February, 2012 in Natural Awakenings

Victory Garden Initiative wants to create leaders in the sustainable food movement and is currently accepting applicants and sponsors for their inaugural educational and certification program that begins February 24. The course seeks to teach people how to lead community gardening and food systems projects and events.


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Victory Garden Initiative and Social Work

August 4, 2011 Radio Interview in WUWM

Gretchen Mead, director of VGI, joins with Deb Padgett, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Social Work in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare to discuss with host Tom Luljak the VGI as an example of how UWM’s social work alumni create change in their communities.


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Urban Gardens Feed Spirit and Body

May 18, 2011 in Milwaukee Magazine

Sapna is as an infectious disease doctor who travels around the world responding to TB outbreaks. She happens to be getting married over Memorial Day weekend. But, before she takes her vows, she and her wedding party are spending their Saturday building raised beds for the Third Annual Great Milwaukee Victory Garden Blitz.


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Planting the Seeds for a More Edible Milwaukee

November 3, 2011 in the Shepherd Express. By Evan Rytlewski

In an effort to promote a healthier environment and more sustainable food system, the local Victory Garden Initiative encourages Milwaukeeans to grow produce in the city. If the idea of nurturing an urban garden seems too daunting, though, there's a simpler option for concerned residents without a green thumb: Just plant a tree.

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On Victory Gardens
May 22, 2009 on Lake Effect

Gretchen Mead talks with Mitch Teich about urban agriculture as one way of reducing the country's dependence on industrial agriculture. 

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Advocates Plant Seeds for Locally Grown Food

May 22, 2009 on WUWM News

During World War II Eleanor Roosevelt encouraged Americans to plant Victory Gardens. The First Lady planted hers at the White House and some 20 million Americans followed her lead. They hoped to conserve fuel for the war effort and make sure there was enough food to go around. Now a grassroots movement is spreading around the country to rekindle the tradition.


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Not all Communities Welcome Urban Gardening

August 10, 2009 on National Public Radio

Gretchen Mead talks with Susan Bence about growing food in her front yard. Read about the origins of Victory Garden Initiative!


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