Apologies for the mixed-up link! If you’d like to order a BLITZ garden bed, please click here!
It’s been seven years since we first began a program to help people grow fruit trees in the city. It started with a few people who wanted to plant 350 fruit or nut trees in Milwaukee, as part of a worldwide campaign to bring awareness to the carbon parts per million in the atmosphere that we, as a concerned people, should aspire to stay below – 350 (though we have now surpassed 400). “Fruity Nutty Nifty Thrifty, won’t you help us plant three-fifty?”, we asked people from behind a small table with some information about why and how planting fruit and nut trees in the city was beneficial on many levels.
That year more than 350 people agreed to plant fruit and nut trees in their yards, in empty lots, and on school grounds all over the city.
The next November we raised money at the first ever Fruity Nutty Affair to buy 1111 (it was the year 2011, 11/11) yearling hazelnut trees that were dispersed all over the Milwaukee area, to be guerrilla planted wherever people could find an empty space.
These were great creative efforts of a then-nascent movement to help people grow their own food in the city, but the following year we found that we had very little information about the success of these trees. We immediately went back to the drawing board trying to find a better way to inspire people to plant fruit and nut trees in the city and launched our first Fruity Nutty Campaign, a contest in which neighborhoods and community groups could apply to win an orchard (we are currently accepting applications until Feb. 12).
Since then, we have planted 23 orchards and developed educational programs to ensure that the people who win the orchards can care for them, and the trees are beginning to bear fruit. We can see the results of this sustained effort all over the city, on Locust Street, in Harambee, in the Garden District, and in dozens of other places. The Fruity Nutty Five Contest has inspired the actions of many groups, including the City of Milwaukee itself, to launch their own orchard programs, creating food forests at institutions around town.
But, the work has really only begun. It’s time to ensure the lasting legacy of these trees, by continuing to support those groups who are caring for orchards all over the city. To do this, we need your support.
Our 7th annual Fruity Nutty Affair is just around the corner, on February 23rd, and will be held at the Mitchell Park Domes Greenhouse Annex. It will be amusing, beautiful, and will help us sustain our program goals for the entire year. We are asking all of you – each and everyone one of our supporters – to ensure that this event is the most successful that we have ever had. It takes a village to support an organization, and you are our village.