Milwaukee: How to Create 3,000 Urban Gardens
Non-profit Victory Gardens Initiative fills city’s food deserts with fresh produce.
By Naomi Waxman
Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
Mar 14th, 2017
“The core niche of what I do is about home, growing your own food in your own home and giving your children the nourishment they need for their brains and bodies,” said Mead.
Since 2008, that single plot has blossomed into the Victory Garden Initiative (VGI), a thriving community of staff and volunteers committed to helping Milwaukee residents grow their own food and cook nutritious meals for their families.
Mead was a social worker in a child and adolescent medical psychiatry unit when the profound negative impact of poor eating habits became glaringly apparent to her. Her young patients, often diagnosed with serious mental health issues, typically consumed what Mead calls “SAD,” or the standard American diet, laden with processed foods and high amounts of carbohydrates, wheat and meat products.
“No one asks them, ‘What did you have for breakfast? Do you have regular sleep cycles?” said Mead.