The Good Earth Calling

A Letter from the Director, Gretchen Mead

Friends,

The Good Earth, by Pearl H. Buck, has been on my reading list since Ms. McCormick’s American literature class in the 9th grade. Lucky for me, I found the novel in a ‘little free library’ while walking to a meeting recently. Spellbound, I read as the Wang Lung family went through a generation of crises that always resolved when Lung went back to the land. Wang Lung shaped his family from the earth – the money, the character, the values, and quite figuratively, the meat on their bones moved from the land, through his hands, and into the family around him. The land, always the saving grace of the family, until the bittersweet end when his son’s forsake the land, leaving us to assume that tragedy will befall them. It is the story of place-making’s inextricable enmeshment with people, land, culture and evolution.

Almost 50 years ago, my parents bought a house with land, where they raised their children, grew veggies, worked, harvested firewood, celebrated, and forest-gardened; slowly guiding the land and the family in a direction. Now they raise grandchildren there on holidays, and extended visits. Together we tend the land, harvest berries, chop wood. They calm the children, with their elder demand for quietude and order, while simultaneously teaching them something that is increasingly rare – having a deep connection to a piece of land is the center of a family.

Here we are now together, you and I and the entire VGI community, in this urban land, long ago developed from subsistence farming, to factory working, to service industry jobs. The land reminds us that we too have forsaken her, as she brings forth 1,000 year storms, diseases of excess, and crises of the spirit.

As Victory Garden Initiative heads towards accomplishing the vision for our new FarmHouse and the Victory Garden Urban Farm, I hold these stories of the land, and many, many others that I have heard through the years, in the light. This farm, now abundant and lush, needs you more than ever.

I wonder who will come make this land their own? Which families will tell stories of the farm they cared for as children? Who will understand that everything begins with the earth, and moves through our fingertips, into our psyche, through our bodies, shaping our muscles, our self-perception, our values, our culture? Who will walk here to gather ripe tomatoes for dinner tonight? Who will use the cabbage to make the slaw that their grandmother’s grandmother made? Who will tell the stories of land to their grandchildren?

It is you and I. Together with the growing Victory Garden community, and with a stirring of truth stirring in your being, waiting to bring to the forefront of your mind the call of this land and this culture that we shape together. The earth calls to you through this work that we do, and this mission, that is our very evolution.

Join us soon, for upcoming place-making activities, celebrations, and invitations to tend this good earth. Come make this place with us, especially, on September 15th, for our annual FarmRaiser, where fun, food, friends, and mission come together for a charming day at The Farm.

~gretchen

 

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Field Trip Report

Last Friday, with wild smiles and a big hugs the urban farm received a huge visit from more than a hundred angels coming from the YMCA Base Camp for Culinary Science Week! During this visit the kids marked the last activity of the camp and the end of their summer but for some of us at VGI it was a first time we experienced welcoming that many kids on the same day. Despite the weather, the kids were happy and energetic and very accepting as they participated in each activity. We divided the kids up into three groups: interacting and learning about the compost, its process and importance to the farm; a tour around the farm while trying to identify and taste different vegetables, fruits, and herbs; and last but not least, cooking and eating spring rolls using the maximum of vegetables they have courage to taste! Some kids were really surprised after tasting some of the vegetables–they thought they would hate it but ended up loving the combinations.

This experience gave the kids the opportunity to compare fresh, organic food and learn about the life cycle by physically being on top of the compost and realizing the bacterial activity within it by feeling the temperature difference between the surface and the inside of the compost. The kids left the farm with huge smiles and a taste of farm life.

Celebrating compost and life with Gretchen, VGI’s Executive Director !

 

When’s the next field trip you, may ask? We don’t know but what we can say is that we enjoyed this one as much as the kids did gauging by their reactions while trying and tasting their veggies.

-Rokia, IREX Fellow at VGI

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Looking for more information about Victory Garden Initiative’s Field Trips? Click here.

Know you want to bring a youth group out for a Field Trip at the farm? Get in touch with us here.

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Cooking Up a Storm in the Education Gardens!

It’s been a whirlwind of cooking, planting, harvesting, meditating, weeding, playing games, catching bugs, and picking berries in the education garden this summer! We have an amazing group of kids who come to the farm every Monday and Wednesday to work in the gardens and learn about food with us! Undoubtedly the favorite activity every day is cooking in the garden! The kids love getting to go out and harvest the crops they have worked so hard to grow and it is always a joy for me to see them try something new and to see their eyes light up when we break out the knives and cutting boards! Even the quietest kids break out of their shell when we set up the outdoor cooking station and even the pickiest eaters will try a bite of a funky looking vegetable if they get to help chop it up!

So far this summer, we’ve made: Sour Cream/Cheese Herb Dip, Chapati Bread, Salad with Homemade Lemon Vinaigrette, Pesto Pasta, Mulberry Popsicles, Spring Rolls, Taco Salad, Wild Rice Salad, and Collard Green Wraps! Not to mention we’re always snacking while we work and have polished off bowl-fulls of snap peas, cherries, mulberries, and even slurped up some of last year’s honey, straight from the comb!

Quality Control of Last Years Honey 😉

Yesterday, while eating our Pesto Pasta, the kids kept calling themselves Super Chefs and got excited about the possibility of putting together a VGI Kid’s Garden Cookbook! We’re still makin’ plans for what this will look like, but for now, enjoy a recipe for the kids’ favorite garden salad!

Spring Garden Salad with Homemade Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Mixed Greens (lettuce, kale, chard, arugula, spinach)
  • Seasonal Veggies (snap peas, carrots, beets, radish, kohlrabi, cucumber, zucchini)
  • Fruit (apple, strawberry, cherries, mulberries)
  • Optional Mix-ins for more bulk (dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, hard-boiled eggs)
  • 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • Honey to taste
  • Salt to taste

First, you harvest your choice of greens from your garden. The kids really like a combo of lettuce, chard, and a touch of arugula. Be sure to wash the greens thoroughly. One of those spinning lettuce washing baskets are super fun for the kids to use and great for outdoor cooking!

You also must harvest and wash some seasonal veggies. Snap peas, carrots, and kohlrabi add a great crunch without an over-powering flavor. Simply wash the veggies with a scrub brush and then cut into slices. This is a great opportunity to work on basic knife skills and knife safety, as it doesn’t really matter what shape the veggies are in since it is just a salad and we don’t have to worry about cooking times or anything.

To make the salad dressing, combine the olive oil, lemon juice (may use fresh or pre-squeezed), and apple cider vinegar in a bowl using a whisk. Add honey in a teaspoon at a time until you reach a satisfactory balance between the sweet and sour. Add in a couple dashes of salt and voila!

One thing we really like to do with the kids is to customize all of our plates to make it just how we want it. So, we never mix up the whole salad. Instead, we’ll mix up the greens and dressing together and then place all the toppings in separate bowls for kids to choose. Other than the fresh veggies, we like to cut up a few fruits (apples and strawberries are the biggest hits!) and offer some pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, mint and/or hard-boiled eggs to make it a well-balanced, flavorful dish! And kids love getting to choose their own toppings for things! Just be sure to have someone on hand to portion toppings, or someone will dump all the cranberries into their bowl!

Mulberry Hands

by Christine Kuhn, Youth Educator/CSA Farm Coordinator

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Gather and Create

Untitled design

Friends,

Many of you came out to the Fruity Nutty Affair on February 22nd, to share the launching of our the campaign to create a home for Victory Garden Initiative.

Victory Garden Initiative started nearly 10 years ago, in the basement of my house.  A former speakeasy, from the times of prohibition, the room had a sense of history with an energy of the people who gathered there before. Here, we gathered to create something that we thought would change the world, a movement to help people grow their own food in the city.

Ten years later, and together, with many other exciting efforts in Milwaukee, the conversation about food, environment, health, and justice has come to the forefront of most of our public institutions, in our schools, at universities, churches, and restaurants.

Victory Garden Initiative has engaged thousands of people in the act of growing their own healthy food, right at home. With this exciting next step, we hope to deepen our impact in the community, offering more ways for more people to have access to fresh, good food.

The building, across the street from the Victory Garden Urban Farm, is located at 249 East Concordia. It’s a place where we will Gather and Create the next ten years of helping people grow their own food. It’s a place to Gather and Create year-round programs, leaders, and events. It’s a place to Gather and Create farm-to-table meals for our friends in the Harambee community. It’s a place to Gather and Create resilient communities. It’s a safe place for all to Gather and Create. But, we can’t do this alone! We need your help for two phases of this campaign.

The Farmhouse

Phase 1 involves the purchase of the building and the renovation work needed to finish our Farmhouse. In later summer or early fall, we’ll be moving our offices and our education space will be ready! We are honored to have received support from the Build-A-Bear Foundation. And, we’re truly amazed by the generosity of our Fruity Nutty Affair guests who donated over $20,000 at the event for this campaign! With the help of several other individual donors, we’ve already raised approximately $60,000 towards our $130,000 Phase 1 goal!

Phase 2 will move us towards having a Victory Garden Urban Campus. This will take place next year and will involve additional exterior work to the Farmhouse, kitchen renovations and equipment, and Farm-to-Table Cafe supplies. At our campus, we plan to enhance workforce development to include green infrastructure careers, food system careers, and extended internships. We’ll also implement a Food System Small Business incubation program with solidified partnerships.  

How you can help

  • Gifts of Cash – Donate through our website or mail a check
  • Monthly Donations – Schedule donations through our website or call us to make arrangements
  • Matching Gifts – If your company has a matching program, please request their gift
  • In-kind Services or Supplies – You can donate supplies or services needed for our renovations (this list will be posted soon!)
  • Volunteer – We close on the property on April 13th and will need a lot of clean-up help

Recognition

Every gift made to the Gather and Create campaign is vital to the growth and impact of VGI. All donors will be listed on our Gather and Create wall in the new space, to be remembered by everyone for decades to come. All gifts are appreciated and will be recognized at the following levels:

Gatherers: $50 – $999
Placemakers: $1,000 – $4,999
Creators: $5,000 – $9,999
Legacy: $10,000 – $24,999

Donors contributing $25,000 or more will have the opportunity for naming rights of our kitchen, our community gathering space, or our outdoor cafe and greenhouse.

Are you ready to join us as we Gather and Create, ushering in a new food culture? Contact us to get involved now!

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Rest Assured Milwaukee, We Are Growing

Hello Friends,

Many of you heard the news that after decades of painting a powerful vision of a sustainable, community-based food system, Growing Power has closed its doors leaving behind an incredible legacy and several projects around town that will need either support or transitioning. Recently, I sat in front of the Milwaukee County Board’s Park and Rec Committee to finalize a resolution that Victory Garden Initiative will help with the next iteration of one of these projects, the Oak Creek Parkway Orchard, an 8-acre parcel of land that has been dedicated to orchard space and was formerly managed by Growing Power. While at the meeting, one county board member asked, “Is the recent loss of Growing Power an indication that Urban Agriculture isn’t going to keep the promises that it made to the city as an economically viable effort?” The room sat nervously for a moment while I explained that from our end, things are going strong. We are a robust organization with a strong board, successful programs, and careful management of our finances.

What I didn’t get a chance to say is that the well-intended county board member was asking the wrong question and therefore, I gave him the wrong answer. After the loss of Sweetwater Organics, and now Growing Power, perhaps we can draw some conclusions that aquaponics has so far not proven to be an economic force, however, this is a limited view of success. I can’t help but wonder when it became common place to see projects as a success only if they come with an economic benefit.

Looking at Urban Agriculture from a different lens one would easily conclude that urban agriculture is thriving, pumping(?), and shifting on all levels, from grassroots groups to institutional partnerships, to corporate programming. While Growing Power quiets, Green Vets has taken  its own direction with Growing Power, according to a recent Journal Sentinel article. Meanwhile, there is much buzz about Venice Williams’, director of Alice’s Garden announcement that she is leaving the church that houses the Body and Soul Healing Center and renovating a new healing center. Simultaneously, as many as a dozen young farmers are launching small independent efforts around town, at the large gardens at 6th and Howard, in Riverwest, and in partnership with the UW Extension. The Fondy Food Market is working with the city and other partners to expand its market space. The BeerLine Trail project has made Urban Agriculture a major component of its strategic plan. Even mega-nonprofits that do emergency food relief, such as Feeding America are now claiming that urban agriculture is part of their strategic plan for feeding our community.  The TIME for Urban Agriculture is only just beginning. Urban Agriculture HAS proven itself as a gateway for community action, spiritual healing, neighborhood redevelopment (think Walnut Way), re-imagining health, feeding people good food, and maintaining deep cultural traditions. All of these benefits derive from Urban Agriculture – AND, in spite of competing against the corporate industrial complex of the food system, Urban Agriculture still manages to make a small income in many cases.

Victory Garden Initiative is a great example of this. While earning a modest income to unnamedsupport our programs, we have been doing this work for nearly TEN years.

They say that time flies when you are having fun. Time also apparently flies when you are helping people grow their own food. We’ve spent ten years helping people in Milwaukee (and sometimes surrounding communities) grow their own food by developing programs, evaluating our work, writing grants, and bringing people together. Ten years of teaching people how to compost, start seedlings, and plant trees. Tens years of bringing people together with the purpose to implement their shared values of community, good food, sustainability, equity, and health, helping them find a route from their hearts to their actions. Ten years of moving away from the corporate industrial food system, to one that cares for this community. Ten years of transforming people’s yards and homes into edible, more ecologically vibrant urban landscapes.

All of this  started at my own kitchen table, which we outgrew in a few years, and moved to the Milwaukee Environmental Consortium (MEC). As serendipity would have it, just as MEC is in need of a new space, THE MOST PERFECT building across the street from The Farm has opened up and is ready for a new owner. The building is a former Pabst Pub, and includes a large public gathering space for learning and eating, an adequate kitchen space, storage space for equipment and preserved foods, and office and meeting space.  The building has all that we could ask for… plus character – hardwood floors, cream city brick, and even the original icebox in the basement.

Though we have been doing this work for ten years, our new building will give us the ability to move to a deeper level of impact, meaning, and connection. We will serve more neighbors, teach more people, and share more good food. Once in the building, we will have deeper partnerships with the neighboring schools and community organizations. We will launch a CSA program this spring and expand our partnership with local restaurants. Our workforce development projects will be expanded, offering more food processing and culinary programs. We will cook meals, directly from the garden, with and for our neighbors. We will invite you all to be our guests.

Join us on February 22nd, at the Fruity Nutty Affair, to see the official kick-off of our building project.

We can’t wait to share this moment with you all,
~Gretchen

Click here to see images of the new building.

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Letter from the Board: Seeds of Growth

Dear VGI Community,

seed-3

Ten years ago, our Executive Director Gretchen Mead had an idea. She planted it, like a tiny seed. Withhelp from others, like you who believed in this idea, she nurtured the seed that was the vision of Victory Garden Initiative and as the seed grows into something spectacular – so has VGI! I am sure like me, you too are very proud of the growth of our organization and also look to the future for with high expectations of the impact we can have.

It is our 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY! We are celebrating all that we have done:

    • installing gardens/ bringing fresh food to people’s yards all over the city
    • planting trees and orchards,
    • training community food leaders,
    • launching community gardens,
    • engaging volunteers,
    • BLITZing (bringing together 100’s of volunteers to build garden beds)
    • building our farm, (providing programs for children and adults at The Farm in the Harambee neighborhood)
    • and, teaching children and adults to grow their own food.

 

None of these endeavors could’ve been possible without you. So this year and always, we also celebrate you. You helped us plant seeds. You helped our gardens grow. You helped our staff excel and our volunteers grow personally. You helped countless neighbors, children and community members. On behalf of everyone at Victory Garden Initiative, we THANK YOU!

On behalf of the VGI Board of Directors, we are deeply grateful for your generosity and continued belief in the impact we make in our community. Your impact will continue into 2018 and beyond. There are exciting things on our horizon. As we continue our current programs, we are exploring new adventures like growing our educational programs at The Farm and creating our very own CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.

Please come to our annual fundraiser, The Fruity Nutty Affair on February 22nd! It is always a fantastic event with amazing food from the best local restaurants, music, silent auction and all the proceeds go to VGI…..what a fun way to give to Victory Garden Initiative.

Best regards,

Susie Ralston, Chairwoman of the Board, Victory Garden Initiative

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Preparing for Next Year

Friends,

Today it hit.  Winter is finally here and the growing season has come to an end.  Not even the spinach likes it this cold. For the next few months, our farming activities will mostly subside,  except those that prepare us for next season.

20992892_10155641658269451_5738995368619896517_nBut, for the VGI team, there is no decrease in activities.  We are planning and preparing for next year’s programs, events, and successes. This preparation includes funding our activities. Much like we are banking up on compost at the farm for next season, we need to bank up on financial resources right now for next season. We need the financial resources that it takes to teach people how to grow food, give families gardens, offer deeply discounted vegetables to our neighbors, and train others to lead their own version of grassroots change.

shovel-squad-blitz-2017_34206791023_oWe need you to support this preparation.  While economic disparity increases in our country, the social issues that our community is vulnerable to, exacerbate.  We can’t let up. We must continue to support grassroots efforts that change the over-corporatized food system from the ground up.  Help us remove the Milwaukee’s food system from the speculative Wall Street economy by buying local everything, and supporting LOCAL food production. Right here in our own city.

Next year we have plans to launch a CSA farm and to expand the micro-local restaurant sales.  Help us get over the financial hump so we can make it all work.

We are counting on YOUR perseverance, every single one of you, to ensure that the Victory Garden Urban Farm can continue to do its good work in Milwaukee.

Consider giving generously.  We need you.

~Gretchen

DONATE NOW!

P.S. Wisconsin Foodie and Edible Milwaukee are offering a FREE subscription to anyone who donates to VGI.

ediblemke

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Calling All Future Food Leaders

2018 Food Leader Certificate Program Registration Now Open

The Food Leader Certificate Program is a unique and exciting intensive retreat program that trains up the next food leader. We are thrilled to have Erica Wolf join us again this year to share her vast knowledge of Community Organizing. We are also welcoming back Sean Laessig, Chief Mission Integration Officer from Cardinal Stritch University to inspire us to be Servant Leaders.

Delaney 2This unique experience includes three-weekend retreats that provide learning in the areas of Food system realities, team leadership, project management, connection through storytelling, gardening tips, and much more. Connect with fellow food leaders – plan your very own food system project – grow as a leader.

Hosted at the beautiful Wellspring Education Center and Organic Farm, located in West Bend, the vibrant setting offers the space to revitalize, reconnect, and inspire.

The 2018 Food Leader Certificate Program registration is now open. Come join this exciting and unique experience. The program is open to high school and adults alike.

For more information, click here

What are the past food leaders saying:

Grow Your Own Food, Abram Games, 1942, IWM PST 2893

The most valuable thing I learned in VGI’s Food Leader Certificate Program is that the support is there to be the change you want to see. The whole of us is more(stronger) than the sum of our parts. ~Colleen Patterson 

I absolutely loved connecting with like-minded, passionate individuals that inspired me to do better in my own life. As a new member of the Green Bay Area, I found a small community that welcomed me with open arms. ~Alex Smith

My favorite thing about the Food Leader program is the retreats and the new family you gain. After three retreat weekends together, I felt surrounded with love and support from my new community of food leader family members from all over the state. During the retreats, I felt energized by our shared passions and the progress each of us was making on our community projects. I know I’ve made some lifelong connections and sometimes you never know where those sparks will take you or how they will change your life. ~Mary Joy Hickey

Delaney 3Read other food leaders stories:

 Featured Food Leader- Bradley Seibel

Featured Food Leader- Delaney Hutchinson

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A Full Circle

During this year’s Victory Garden Initiative BLITZ, many garden stories touched our hearts. This particular story emboldens the importance of why we do what we do and reminds us of the power of people coming together, transcending all borders, to create a sovereign food system that directly serves the people in our community.

It began with a generous donor who sponsored the BLITZ gardens for refugee families in our community. A musician by profession, the donor said he was touched by the conversation with a refugee at a recent performance and he wanted to do something for the refugees in our community. Refugees face the challenges of having to completely readapt to their new host city, which includes where they will find their food from and how they will afford their food. What better solution than their own backyard and for free?

IMG_1725We then reached out to community partners Sheila Badwan and Kai Gardner Mishlove. Sheila advocates for and works with several refugee families, and connected us with families looking to grow their own food. Kai is co-founder of grassroots projects: Open Arms MKE and Team Refugee and has over 25 years of experience in social services working with vulnerable communities. She enjoys mobilizing community support to welcome refugee families in MKE. Over the last 3 years, Kai has assisted several refugee families with their acclimation in the US. She acts as a cultural mentor through her community volunteer work with various organizations including SEA Literacy MKE and the Aurora Walkers Point Community Clinic. She celebrates holidays with families, assists in their children’s education and assists with all the day to day necessary (and fun) activities that you would do with your family and close friends.

“Every activity and workshop that I’ve attended at Victory Garden Initiative has been awe-inspiring and confirmation of the positive aspects and potential of the community that exists in Milwaukee.  Victory Garden Initiative is definitely a Milwaukee gem.” -Kai Gardner-Mishlove

Through Kai, we were introduced to a family from the East African country of Eritrea among few other refugees. The 3 adult and 5 child family arrived in the United States in November 2016.

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Bun brewing with Kai (on right)

On a beautiful May afternoon in the late-Spring of 2017, our team of marvelous volunteers set out to install the gardens for the families who benefitted from this generous donation. They spent the day building garden beds, shoveling, moving dirt, pounding yard signs, and then capped it off by sipping freshly brewed “bun” made by the family.  Traditional coffee made from an elaborate ceremonial home roasting and brewing process. Kai is a big fan of Bun/Buna now.

The family takes pleasure in the garden for its aesthetic appeal and bountiful fresh harvests. Their garden favorites thus far are the variety of lettuces, tomatoes, and okra. Like many immigrants, the act of growing food connects these refugees to their home. It brings back many fond memories they made sharing meals with their family and friends that are left behind. A true sense of community can only be experienced when many agents come together to make it a better place. That is one of the many reasons why BLITZ has been a backbone of our mission.

The Great Milwaukee Victory Garden BLITZ is the NATION’S LARGEST GARDEN-BUILDING EVENT! Each year, over 300 Victory Garden Initiative volunteers install hundreds of raised bed gardens in backyards, front yards, schools, community centers, and places of worship – just about anywhere you can imagine! Gardens can be donated for to either build a garden for your backyard or gardens can be gifted to someone else’s backyard. So far, we’ve built over 4,000 gardens in the Milwaukee area since the program’s inception! To buy a BLITZ garden for a family in need, visit https://victorygardeninitiative.org/donate

DONATE NOW!

Special thanks to Kai-Gardner Mishlove, Kevin vieau and all the BLITZ volunteer for this story!

 

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The Energy-Vortex

Friends,

I traveled to Sedona, Arizona a couple years ago, and made it my personal quest to understand the energy vortexes that are claimed to be present there. I mosied around at the local rock shop where people were purchasing an array of sparkling crystals that they were planning to ‘charge’ at the vortexes.

“Can you tell me what kind of energy is charging the crystals?”, I asked.

sedona“Its energy from the earth’s force.” someone told me. 

“Where does the energy come from?”, I asked someone else.

“It’s the energy of all things.”, a young man told me.

“Why is the energy here?” I asked a 60-something lady.

“Some places have more energy than others, and this place seems to have more energy every time I come here. It’s healing.”

Ever since, I have wondered, if Sedona does indeed have some kind of alluring energetic qualities, that have in essence created the space. I did get a special feeling there, that I ponder even to this day.

Eight years ago, we were approached by Milwaukee Urban Gardens because the City of Milwaukee was hopeful that the 1.5-acre lot at 220 E. Concordia could be used as an urban agriculture site. When I walked onto this lot, it was a crisp day in the very early spring.  The sun was shining brightly on the entire lot and I was immediately enchanted. We imagined the entire lot lush with a harvestable forest, vines hanging with plump tomatoes, birds and butterflies fluttering about.  We imagined people gathering there to grow food together, building community and living a more sustainable, nutritious life.

From that time, a handful of people were compelled to transform this land from an abandoned tax foreclosed lot to the lush urban farm that it is today. And this lush farm, now called the Victory Garden Urban Farm, drew in more people, more activity, and seemingly more energy.

IMG_0432

Goose Island Brunch at the farm

Apparently, this piece of land has affected many others in the same way.  I now give 2 or more tours per week at the farm.  The neighbors come in to harvest fresh vegetables; students from area schools receive specialized, hands-on education programs about growing and eating good food; and our farmer sends produce to micro-local restaurants customers.

 

A couple years ago, the farm, drew a retired Belgian engineer, who brought with him dozens of edible perennials, and more fortitude than any 7 college interns advancing the farm even further.

Last year, someone planned a surprise marriage proposal at the farm.  Just last week, The Goose Island Brew Company held the most charming brunch at the farm. I watched nearly 100 people who had never been there before, look around, eyes wide, in awe of the oasis before them.  The Farm seems to be buzzing with more energy than ever.

HarambeeRecently, as I was perusing real estate websites, I noticed the obvious donut shape around The Farm, suggesting that there are no houses immediately surrounding that farm that are either for sale or foreclosed. Unusual in this area.  A sign perhaps, of this energy’s allure, bringing residents to live, work and play by the farm.  

This question still wiggles around in my mind, however – Did the people bring the earth’s energy to this site or did the earth’s energy bring the people?…. Or even more, is there a difference?

 

Come see us and get the vibe. I dunno, bring your crystals.  Maybe it’s really a thing. Can’t hurt to give it a try.

~Gretchen

 

Victory Garden Urban Farm

Victory Garden Urban Farm as it looks today!                                                             Photo Courtesy: Lance Massey

 

 

 

 

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