April 19, 2016

The Victory Garden Initiative:
Growing Food as a Way of Life

Named after the Victory Gardens that supplied food for WWI and WWII, the VGI is a Milwaukee organization that is fighting to bolster the resiliency of modern local food economies. 

Members of a Victory Gardens Initiative Youth Program. Photo credit: VGI

The Victory Garden Initiative (VGI) is a team of professionals and volunteers who are helping to build a food system for all: one that is community-based, socially just, environmentally sustainable, and produces nutritious vegetables. The approach is straightforward: look for new spaces to grow food and get to work. 

WWII Victory Garden poster

With multiple opportunities for mentoring and youth participation, and a leadership certificate program, the VGI demonstrates how urban spaces can be transformed into green, food-abundant oases. 

The VGI began in 2009, when a group of friends installed 35 raised-bed gardens in a single day. It became the very first annual Great Milwaukee Victory Garden BLITZ. The BLITZ is the "nation's largest garden-building event," with over 300 VGI volunteers installing hundreds of raised beds in yards, schools, community gardens and more in a matter of days. The 2015 BLITZ managed to create an astounding 499 gardens in two weeks. They've now built over 2,500 gardens across Milwaukee and beyond. 

Six-step BLITZ process

The VGI also offers a Food Leader Certificate Program, which provides aspiring food leaders with the knowledge and tools to grow their own food, learn more about the food system, and begin their own community food projects. 

This year's BLITZ runs from May 7 to 21, 2016. To join the BLITZ, register for a garden and then follow the simple  six-step process and prepare for a beautiful bed of nutritious vegetables. To become a Food Leader, contact the community program manager, Kelly Moore Brands. 
Dung Beetles are Climate Warriors

A dung beetle rolling his dung ball. Photo credit: Scientific American.

Commonly known for their love affair with mammal poop, the dung beetles survive by aerating and consuming manure as it decomposes. That work reduces the amount of methane released from cow patties, making these little creatures key climate warriors!
Edible Cutlery: Use your fork then eat it too!

In 2011, Narayana Peesapathy, who studies ground water, founded Bakeys Food Pvt Ltd., introducing edible cutlery as a replacement for the standard disposable plastic ware. 

Utensils you can eat!
Utensils you can eat!

Roughly 120 billion pieces of plastic cutlery end up in the trash each year. These edible utensils are made from dried millet, rice and wheat. We applaud this ingenious invention!
Bamboo, Pyrolysis and Bio-Char: Our Plan to Draw Carbon Down Exponentially

Bamboo, Pyrolysis and Bio-Char: Our Plan to Draw Carbon Down Exponentially

In this video, Charlotte O'Brien, Director of Bio Bamboo, describes how we can work with the amazing bamboo plant to restore degraded land, draw down more CO2, and reverse global warming. Bamboo is a climate change hero!
Featured Event

The Power and Promise of Biodiversity: Visions of Restoring Land, Sea and Climate

In this conference we will present the concepts, history, and processes for the restoration of biodiversity, along with its myriad benefits. We will examine how biodiversity is at the heart of the solutions-not only for humans, but for the whole interconnected web of life that has made Planet Earth unique in the known universe. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Harvard University
Geological Lecture Hall
24 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA

Regular, $50; Students/low-budget, $15

We hope you can join us!
For up-to-date info on our events

About BLC

Through education, policy and outreach, our mission is to promote the power of the natural world to stabilize the climate and to restore biodiversity to ecosystems worldwide. Collaborating with organizations around the globe, we advocate for the restoration of soil, and of grassland, forest, wetland, coastal and ocean ecosystems-along with the associated carbon, water and nutrient cycles-to draw down excess atmospheric greenhouse gases, cool the biosphere, and reverse global warming, for the benefit of all people and all life on earth. 

Learn more about our ongoing projects, upcoming events and find additional information and resources at bio4climate.org