Passing the Trowel: Gretchen Mead Says Farewell

 
Dear Friends,

 
It has been ten years since this wild experiment called Victory Garden Initiative began with a small group of friends wanting to help people grow their own food in the city. Since that time we have built thousands of gardens, created a thriving community farm, and educated hundreds of children and adults about the value of growing our own food right here in the city. We have purchased land, an incredible historic building, and have received the funding needed to revitalize the building and create a community kitchen. These are not small accomplishments. Because of our work, yours and mine, we have changed the conversation about food in Milwaukee.

 
Serving as the leader of this now flourishing organization has truly been the privilege and passion of my life. With the support of our volunteers, donors, and team members we have accomplished everything that I envisioned we could and so much more. Victory Garden Initiative is uniquely positioned to thrive even more in the coming years.

 
After a transformative sabbatical and some soul searching, I have come to know that it is time for new leadership to dream a big vision and drive towards new goals. With that, I will be resigning my position as Executive Director at Victory Garden Initiative as of June 30th, 2019.

 
Since Victory Garden Initiative’s inception more than ten years ago, connections have been made – strangers have become friends and friends have become family – all because we share these fundamental beliefs about equity, food access, sustainability and community. We share common values that forever bind us in our commitment to this community and the world. My hope is that you remain committed to this mission long after my departure, as I know I will.
 
We are blessed to have a dream team in place for the smoothest transition I could imagine! Christine Kuhn, our farmer and educator who has been teaching, farming, and winning grants for the past year and a half will be stepping in as Co-Director, accompanied by seasoned Co-Director Ann Brummitt (formerly of Milwaukee Water Commons). Susie Ralston, our long time board president, will remain at the helm.

 
You will find me doing excessive amounts of yoga, spending time with my kids in the water this summer and taking some time to understand what I will do next. I hope you will all keep in touch.

 
I will leave you with one of my all time favorite quotes; one that I have shared with you before and one that resonates still, after these ten years.

 
“To live in this world you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go” Mary Oliver
 
 
Letting go,
~gretchen

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