8/27/2020

Hello Again to our Community!

As the Covid19 Pandemic has progressed, we have found ourselves continually shifting gears to keep our staff and community safe while still striving to meet the needs of community. We just wanted to send a quick update on what you can expect from VGI.

Community Programs

  • We are offering a Free Farmstand on Fridays from 2-6pm to distribute fresh produce to all those in need. Everything is free, but donations are always appreciated!
  • We are offering small, socially-distanced group classes in our indoor center and on our farm on cooking, nutrition, and well-being. Events are planned with quick turn-around so that we can stay abreast of safety concerns, so we don’t have a calendar of events and are not doing wide marketing to keep numbers low. Please reach out to Montana if you are interested in participating.
  • We’re happy to report that the 2020 Blitz was a success! Throughout April and May we were able to install over 500 garden beds!
  • Stay tuned for information on our new Mentorship program, replacing our Food Leader Certificate Program during Covid!

Youth Programs

  • Our Summer AgriCorps program was cancelled and replaced with drop-in activities for neighborhood youth and virtual kits.
  • We will begin After School Chef-in-Training programs at our two local schools as scheduled, but with many safety modification.
  • We will likely continue to offer monthly virtual kits to families beginning in October. Stay tuned!

Urban Farm

  • Our farm has been an urban oasis for us during this pandemic, serving up nutritious produce and a safe, outdoor space to socialize. We will continue growing food on this lot until the weather shifts and are welcoming the community to drop by, pick some produce, and say ‘hi.’
  • Our official volunteer program was discontinued this year. However, you are welcome to drop by the farm for individual volunteering. Our Farmer, Aaron, is generally out working between 11-5pm Mon-Fri and odd hours during the day on Saturdays.

Office

  • Our staff are operating on a flexible telecommuting work schedule. While some staff are generally around the office or farm each day, most of us are working from home several times throughout the week. Feel free to drop by during normal business hours to see if someone is around. Otherwise if you need to contact us, the quickest route will be to email us directly or leave a voicemail on our main line. You can find our contact information here.

Stay Safe Everyone!


4/6/2020

Hello VGI Family,

In the wake of Coronavirus and the State of Emergency that we find ourselves in, we have had to make several changes to our daily operations in order to keep our staff and community safe.

Our office is currently closed and our staff is currently working from home. We have currently cancelled all farm volunteer groups, field trips, and upcoming community events. However, we are still working on ways that we can move forward with the Great Milwaukee Victory Garden Blitz. We here at Victory Garden Initiative are committed, now more than ever, to building communities that grow their own food and the Blitz is a large part of our efforts. Under the current Safer at Home orders, agriculture and food production is still defined as an essential activity and we couldn’t agree more. We believe that it is critical for our communities to grow food.

We will be releasing updated information very soon on how we intend to handle the Blitz this year. We have been reaching out to the local health department and our many partners to inform our plans for the Blitz in order to keep our staff, volunteers, partners, and Blitz recipients safe.  In addition, we are still working on getting our urban farm ready for the upcoming season and will once again be offering our Pay-What-You-Can Roadside Farmstand, Free Harambee U-Pick produce, and Community Garden bed rental programs. Our other community programs including Youth Education Programs, Move Grass Classes, and Food Leader Certificate Program are currently on pause while we watch the situation unfold. We are looking into various ways of providing virtual resources in these areas for our community.

At this time, we are still taking additional orders for Blitz garden beds. You can find more information here. If you or someone you know is currently experiencing food insecurity, please see this interactive map of Emergency Food locations compiled by Hunger Task Force for where you can find resources. We hope that everyone stays safe and healthy during these troubled times.