Although it’s a strange and uncertain time, we are more certain than ever that growing nutritious local food is crucial to our community’s health and welfare. Victory Garden Initiative has been receiving many inquiries about how to grow food and how to sign up for a Blitz garden. We hope that this information will be helpful to you.
Here at VGI we are looking on the bright side and see this as an opportunity to come together as a community to build cooperative power and health. We are here to answer your questions about how you can be a part of this movement!
Great Milwaukee Victory Garden BLITZ
Each year in May, we install 500 raised garden beds throughout Milwaukee County. We install these at schools, places of worship, personal yards, vacant lots and more. We raise money to install at least 50% of these gardens in low-income areas for reduced prices and provide garden mentorship for any of our garden recipients that want it. This year the Blitz is scheduled for May 9th-23rd. We have reached out to public health officials and currently believe that with proper social distancing and safety protocols you can expect your volunteer group to proceed as planned. If for any reason your group would like to cancel their slot we understand and of course encourage cancellation for any high-risk individuals or anyone with Covid 19 symptoms and exposures. VGI staff will also begin installing gardens before the scheduled BLITZ time so that volunteer groups have fewer beds to install per shift. Staff will work in small groups, drive our own cars and practice social distancing as we install your raised bed garden. This method will take longer, but we will work our hardest to get everyone’s garden installed by June. If you haven’t already signed up to volunteer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or at 414-828-0153! We will keep you abreast of any new public health guidelines and changes.
As an FYI the current City of Milwaukee Stay At Home Order states that Food Production and Construction are still considered essential infrastructure. We agree that making sure anyone has the opportunity to grow food at this time is essential.
VGI staff will be abiding by the following safety protocols when installing gardens and these protocols may carry over to our volunteers:
Sharing vehicles will most likely not be allowed, so we will need:
- People with their own pick-up trucks to deliver lumber or soil
- People with their own vehicles to follow delivery trucks.
Sharing tools will be discouraged, so we will need:
- People with their own gloves, shovels, drills, rakes, or wheelbarrows
Other Safety Protocol changes:
- Anyone with any sort of minor cough or illness will be asked to go home if they try to come help
- Volunteers or Staff should not enter the homes of garden recipients, have direct contact with garden recipients or otherwise expose themselves during the BLITZ.
- Stay at least 6ft apart. If you have a mask or covering, wear it to avoid breathing on one another. Practice intentional spacial awareness.
- Vehicles may only be shared with social distancing partners.
- Group size will be limited depending on recommended safety protocols at the time.
- VGI will not be providing food at the BLITZ headquarters, only water. You must bring your own water bottle.
- All trucks and equipment will be sanitized after each use.
- VGI will provide a portable wash sink, but there may not be bathroom facilities.
If we do have to completely cancel the BLITZ this year we will be able to provide full refunds for your gardens/soil or keep you on the list for next year. We can also provide resources of where to get soil delivered and we can still provide you with lumber.
Local food growing infrastructure has never been more important. If we come together, (but no closer than 6ft) we can build a sustainable and resilient local food system in Milwaukee that will help keep us healthy and strong!