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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Heroes of the Week: Victory Garden Initiative Volunteers and Staff

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Irene Kightley
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The Victory Garden Initiative (VGI) was formed by a group of friends and neighbors meeting in a coffee shop after a rally for edible front yard gardens in Shorewood. VGI’s (1845 N. Farwell Ave.) mission is to build communities who grow food together. Its annual Victory Garden Blitz installs four-by-eight-foot raised garden beds throughout the Greater Milwaukee area in residents’ yards and at schools, businesses and community centers. The nonprofit’s goal this year is to construct 500 raised garden beds in two weeks, starting on May 11, with the help of hundreds of volunteers. In addition to the annual Blitz, VGI also holds classes on edible gardening, initiates and runs community projects and offers a garden mentor program. 

“This is what we stand for, this is what we are committed to: the people of Milwaukee can and will change the course of history by engaging in the creation of their own sovereign, secure, sustainable, just, nutritious food system through growing their own food as a way of life,” says Gretchen Mead, executive director of VGI. “It’s not just that there is so much at stake if we don't change—it’s that there is so much to gain if we do, and we all know it."

VGI is looking for volunteers to help out at this year’s Victory Garden Blitz, as well as donations and sponsorships for the Blitz to help give gardens to those residents and communities who cannot afford to purchase their own. Beyond the Blitz, raised garden beds are available for sale to any resident, community and business. For more information about the Victory Garden Initiative, the Blitz, volunteering opportunities, purchasing a garden or to make a donation, visit victorygardeninitiative.org or contact Jazz Glastra, program manager, at jazz.glastra@victorygardeninitiative.org or 425-418-7304.