Why Victory Gardens?
Letter from the Director
Board of Directors
What We Do
Food Leader Certificate Program
Fruity Nutty Campaign
Fruity Nutty Neighborhoods
Victory Garden Blitz
Urban Homesteaders League
Community Food System Map
Business and Employee Gardens
Fruity Nutty Affair
Volunteer or Intern
Become a Member
Sign Up for Programs and Events
Help Us Grow
Sign Up for Our Monthly eNewsletter
Victory Garden Initiative in the News!
Our very own Executive Director, Gretchen Mead, was interviewed on KISS FM! Listen here:
Milwaukee Named a Finalist in "The Mayor's Challenge"
Victory Garden Initiative's Post-Industrial Homestead Act (PUHA!) - a project to turn empty lots and foreclosed homes into community-based food system hubs - is the nucleus for Mayor Barrett's proposal to the Bloomberg Foundation. Milwaukee was chosen as one of twenty finalists out of 300 cities across the US.
Victory Garden Initiative Builds 500 Garden Beds in 15 Days
May 20, 2013
It's a new addition to Angela Pruitt's backyard, and she couldn't be more excited about it. "To be able to pick your own vegetables and fruit and then sit on your back porch with them washed and just eat them fresh, we need to go get back to that."
Executive Director Gretchen Mead was interviewed in the March 2013 issue of Milwaukee's
magazine. Read the full story
Thanks to amazing community support, we installed 290 garden beds throughout Milwaukee during our
2012 Victory Garden Blitz
88.9 Radio Milwaukee featured the Blitz in their Community Stories series.
Victory Garden Initiative/Community Stories
June 21, 2012 by Brianne O'Brien on 88.9
Victory Garden Initiative is all about empowering communities to grow food and reawaken the relationship to human and food ecology. The initiative does this through a variety of ways…through classes, programs, initiatives, special projects, etc. I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting some VGI volunteers and staff during the 2012 Great Milwaukee Blitz Week.
Home Gardens Carry a Special Seed of Victory
May 29, 2012 by Jane Ford-Stewart in
West Allis NOW
As the drills and saws whined, volunteers pushed around wheelbarrows, piled high with soil, in the unseasonable 90-degree heat, all for the sake of creating a garden.
Not just a garden - 24 gardens, to be exact.
Their efforts are part of an initiative encouraging eligible participants who meet income requirements to grow their own food at home. The West Allis Health Department worked with the Victory Garden Initiative to establish the gardens, funded with a federal grant aimed at promoting healthy eating and physical activity.
The selected families helped volunteers from the Victory Garden Initiative, the West Allis Community Garden Committee, and families of health department and planning departments staff. They sawed lumber, screwed planks together and filled the growing beds with garden soil.
Victory Garden Initiative Aims to Make City Harvestable
May 31, 2012 in
Neighborhood News Service Milwaukee
Imagine being able to walk out your door or down the block to pluck plump red tomatoes fresh from the vine, crisp sugar snap peas, organic lettuce, baby bok choy, sweet carrots or spicy radishes.
Victory Garden Initiative’s fourth annual “blitz” made this possible for many Milwaukee residents when 300 volunteers installed nearly 300 raised-bed gardens throughout the city.
Victory Garden Initiative builds communities of people who grow their own food. The organization envisions “a Milwaukee where in the [growing] season every person – not just people with resources – has access to fresh… fruits and veggies,” said Executive Director Gretchen Mead. “We really could make Milwaukee a harvestable city.”
Victory Garden Initiative Grows Community in Milwaukee
May 15, 2012
he Victory Garden Initiative (VGI) was founded upon permaculture principles by a group of people in a coffee shop three years ago. Its mission is to build communities of people who grow their own food, thus reintegrating human and food ecology.
"The agriculture system now is removed from human culture. The two need to be one, so we're not exporting waste all over the place and importing nutrients," says Gretchen Mead, founding director and VGI's current executive director.
Growing Your Own
April 19, 2012 in
“It is becoming an option for everybody to grow their own food,” says Gretchen Mead, founder and executive director of the Victory Garden Initiative in Shorewood.
Growing the Blitz
April 5, 2012 in
Already daydreaming about spring? At Victory Garden Initiative, we aren’t just dreaming, we are DOING! Planning for the 4th annual Great Milwaukee Victory Garden Blitz is already in full swing. The Blitz WAS an event that brings together volunteers and resources to install as many gardens as possible in one day. But it’s GROWING! Now… the Blitz is an event to install as many gardens as possible in one WEEK!
Succession Planting is Key
April 10, 2012 in
So looking outside today, it's 37 degrees and my Victory Garden 4'x8' bed of perfect soil is looking...grey. I have done nothing to prepare for this season, which is, apparently, upon us. So today I called up Gretchen Mead, local expert and executive director of Victory Garden Initiative, to see what I should do to get in gear. She's used to this, apparently, and will come to your garden for one or two hours, and help you draw up a full plan for creating a mini-ecosystem or guild (a unit in a food forest, like fruit trees, that include varied plantings that help avoid the need for chemicals).
Victory Garden Initiative Hosts Food Leader Certification Course
February, 2012 in
Victory Garden Initiative wants to create leaders in the sustainable food movement and is currently accepting applicants and sponsors for their inaugural educational and certification program that begins February 24. The course seeks to teach people how to lead community gardening and food systems projects and events.
Victory Garden Initiative and Social Work – Radio Interview
August 4, 2011 in WUWM
Gretchen Mead, director of VGI, joins with Deb Padgett, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Social Work in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare to discuss with host Tom Luljak the VGI as an example of how UWM’s social work alumni create change in their communities.
listen to the interview
Urban Gardens Feed Spirit and Body
May 18, 2011 in
Sapna is as an infectious disease doctor who travels around the world responding to TB outbreaks. She happens to be getting married over Memorial Day weekend. But, before she takes her vows, she and her wedding party are spending their Saturday building raised beds for the Third Annual Great Milwaukee Victory Garden Blitz.
Planting the Seeds for a More Edible Milwaukee
November 3, 2011 in the
In an effort to promote a healthier environment and more sustainable food system, the local Victory Garden Initiative encourages Milwaukeeans to grow produce in the city. If the idea of nurturing an urban garden seems too daunting, though, there's a simpler option for concerned residents without a green thumb: Just plant a tree.
On Victory Gardens
May 22, 2009 on Lake Effect
Gretchen Mead talks with Mitch Teich about urban agriculture as one way of reducing the country's dependence on industrial agriculture.
listen to the interview
Advocates Plant Seeds for Locally Grown Food
May 22, 2009 on WUWM News
During World War II Eleanor Roosevelt encouraged Americans to plant Victory Gardens. The First Lady planted hers at the White House and some 20 million Americans followed her lead. They hoped to conserve fuel for the war effort and make sure there was enough food to go around. Now a grassroots movement is spreading around the country to rekindle the tradition.
Not all Communities Welcome Urban Gardening
August 10, 2009 on National Public Radio
Gretchen Mead talks with Susan Bence about growing food in her front yard. Read about the origins of Victory Garden Initiative!
Latest Press Releases
Food Leader Program Trains Next Wave of Community Activists
Victory Garden Initiative Presents Permaculture Certification Course in Milwaukee.
Victory Garden Initiative Installs Gardens for Community Groups & Non-‐profits During Blitz!
Victory Garden Installation Blitz Expands to Week Long Event in Milwaukee County
For press inquiries, contact
© Victory Garden Initiative