Victory Garden Initiative builds communities that grow their own food, to create a community-based, socially just, environmentally sustainable, nutritious food system for all.
Our slogan is: “This is a grassroots movement. Move grass. Grow food.”, and we implement this through the following programs: Great Milwaukee Victory Garden BLITZ, Victory Garden Urban Farm, Food Leader Certificate Program, YEP! Youth Education, Fruity Nutty Five Orchard Contest, and Volunteer and Intern Engagement Program. Through these programs and more, VGI is able to bring communities together to teach them how to grow food and supply them with the means to create their own sustainable community.
Victory Garden Initiative believes that every person, in every household, can connect to their food source through the act of growing it. This act reminds us that we are of the earth, that we cannot live without the earth; that our needs are met, not by the economy, but by the earth. Growing food will re-integrate us with deep ecology, guiding our culture towards a sustainable, abundant future, freed from financial inequalities.
When fruit trees fill our parks, and nut trees are harvested by our neighbors, when food pantries house vegetable gardens and school children participate in growing their lunches, we will have a secure, sovereign, socially just and sustainable food system.
Victory Garden Initiative launched in 2009 when a group of community members recognized the negative environmental, social, economic, and health implications of our dominant food system. The solution was building communities that grow their own food. VGI has rallied to install over 3,500 gardens, launch a 1.5-acre urban farm, plant 26 orchards in low-income neighborhoods, teach adults and children how to grow food, and train 68 community Food Leaders. Our annual event, The Great Milwaukee Victory Garden BLITZ, has gained so much momentum that it has expanded to conducting BLITZ training in other communities like Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Berea, Kentucky.
Why Victory Gardens?
The purpose of the Victory Garden Initiative of WWI and WWII was to support the war effort. People throughout the United States grew their own produce in yards, parks, and other com
munity spaces so that all available resources could go towards the war effort. At this time, we are once again in our green spaces growing food, but today we are fighting a different kind of battle. We are fighting for food security and the health of our ecosystems. We are fighting for resilient communities that support one another and for strong local economies. Through gardening, we are seeking a connection to the cycle of life, and for good, tasty food…from garden to plate.
So how does one become a Victory Gardener of today, you ask? It’s quite simple. We become vegetable gardeners. If we are already vegetable gardeners, we help someone else do so through mentoring. We find creative ways to grow food right where we are, in our yards, on our rooftops, on our patios – no piece of earth should be overlooked. We garden ubiquitously and confidently knowing that we are doing what is best for our families, our communities, and our country.