Other Great Milwaukee Projects

Hi All,

Tomorrow will be the first day with our summer interns and we are excited.  We will have updates soon regarding the progress of the garden and our interns’ work.  At this point we have new beds, plenty of plants in the ground and a lot of projects to keep us busy all summer.

I wanted to share links to a few great projects that are occurring in Milwaukee, engaging youth and the community in urban agriculture. Kilbourn Park Gardens are a great community garden engaging with youth interns, as well.  Check them out here.  The internship program at the gardens can be followed here.  Also very exciting is the program into which former Kilbourn Park Interns can continue, called the “Young Farmers Program”.  After a year with the Kilbourn Park Interns, youth can progress to Young Farmers, being hired out by the community to assist in growing food.  Centralizing economies, food sovereignty and the economic and labor power of youth.  Such a great idea!  Check it out here.

We will be updating soon. Keep checking back.

Extended Thank You to The Public House and Our Donors

Once again, we would like to thank the Public House and all those that attended and contributed to our benefit on May 13th. The support we received exceeded our expectations. We would like to share in further detail just how successful this night was, what this success will mean for our students, and how we continue to receive community support.

Paintings by Adam McKee

Print by Colin Matthes

 

Due to the generous contributions of Milwaukee artists and musicians, we raised $1,300 and have since reached our goal which will allow us to provide each of our interns with a stipend. These gracious artists deserve personal recognition, Adam McKee,Charles Mead, Charlotte Simon, Colin Matthes (Justseeds), Dave Lucas, Jordan Micah Melrood (Golden Radical Design) and Makeal Flammini(TheParachuteProject), we thank you! The night wouldn’t have been a success without your beautiful art. It all sold too!! To the musicians, Adam Helwin, Fahri, No Future and Absolutely, thanks for bringing out the crowds, you rocked!!

I have had many people ask me since we began this project, “Why do you need so much money to start a garden?” The truth is we don’t. What the funds are for doesn’t go to the garden, per se, but directly to our interns who are investing their summer in the garden. These students are coming from a high school where povery rates are above 85%, and employment of any kind is hard to come by let alone teen employment. With that said, we felt it was neccessary that we provide these students with a bit of compensation. Bix and I spent the winter writing various grants in hopes of funding for our students. We were unsuccessful since most grants aren’t permitted to go toward the sponsorship of individuals. We weren’t going to let this stop us so we moved on to plan B, which was fundraising! Although the lack of success with the grants was disappointing at first, it has been refreshing that we haven’t even had to step out of our community for funding, and that out local economy is stimulating itself!! So, thank you Milwaukee!!

In addition to the success of our benefit at the Public House, we have had various other sources of donations. Donations from Bliffert’s, random donors off of Craigslist, individual donors, Weber’s Greenhouse, the list of donors keeps growing, and it’s all coming from right here in Milwaukee!!!

-Angie

 
 

 

 

Why…

Hello All,

First of all, let me thank everyone for coming out to the Public House on May 13th.  The event could not have been a greater success.  On that night alone, we raised nearly all of the money necessary to pay our interns!  That would have been impossible without the support of the artists who donated, the Riverwest Public House and the musicians in No Future, Absolutely, Fahri and Adam Helwin, who gave their time and energy to make this a success! 

We must also thank the individual donors who have been supporting our cause and sponsoring our interns and community garden!

I would like to include a brief update on the status of our work, before we get to the bulk of this post, which will be an explanation of why we are embarking on this program. Yesterday, with the help of community volunteers, we successfully installed three more raised beds, mowed the lot down and began to plant, including cabbages and tomatoes, generously donated by Franz at Weber’s Greenhouse (http://www.webersgreenhouses.com/).  Photos of our new beds and the lot will be uploaded shortly.

We also have picked and had our first meeting with our interns.  Angie and I are thrilled to be working with the 5 interns we have selected.  The interest of the students will definitely direct the program and we are certain we have a great group of hard working interns.

All of the progress we have made is for nothing, without a solid understanding of why we are gardening, why we are working with public high school students and why Milwaukee is a great place to begin this project.

AllPullTogetherGarden’s program is justified beyond the inherent and seemingly common sense assumptions that fresh food, exposure to the out-of-doors and a sense of community are a good thing.  Our programming responds to very specific needs of our communities and cities, and through a small scale, easily scalable model, we hope to experiment with one way to work towards a healthier, safer and brilliantMilwaukee. Our model is not based in teaching any one skill or set of skills. We are facilitating experiences, through which our interns, community members, families and ourselves can glean important lessons and skills.

AllPullTogetherGardenaddresses 4 basic needs in the community:

1) Our communities are not always connected.  Neighbors are not in touch; our schools are not viewed as parts of our communities.

2) The media focus on our schools and the perceived presence of our public schools in the community is either distanced or negative.  Yet, our students are excellent, motivated and passionate.  This disconnect is difficult to bridge.

3) The city is viewed as separate from the natural world.  Children and adults living in urban areas are not afforded the same opportunities to develop a land ethic or a food ethic as those in non-urban areas, despite the constant presence of the natural world in all we do and our constant interactions with food and food economies.

4) Jobs are scarce. Our urban areas are food deserts. Obesity is on the rise. Our food choices and ethics are predetermined due to lack of exposure.  Where we live should not limit our opportunities to make up our own minds.  These factors limit the ability of communities and individuals to self-direct and live their own lives, as they see fit. 

How do we address these needs?

1)      The garden will serve as a space during the summer to develop relationships and partnerships that reach from students to families to communities.  Opportunities and programs will be designed to bring families into the garden and community members will always be welcome. We believe the knowledge of parents and communities create some of the most valuable and touching educational experiences available.  These relationships will continue into the school year.

2)      The garden will serve to increase the positive presence and impact of MPS Metro Region students in the community and allow students to develop ownership over a community based project. So while we don’t have neighborhood schools, we do have students active in our neighborhoods.

3)      Working with MPS students in an urban garden will bring healthy foods to students, community members and neighborhoods and allow for education in food production and environmental issues that may be generally difficult to access in urban environments, allowing the students involved to develop their own land and food ethics, values and practices based on individual experience.

4)      We all have the right to economic freedom and the skills we facilitate our interns learning are some of many that can provide both food and economic sovereignty. Growing our own food, creating self-sustaining food economies in our neighborhoods and developing green jobs in our city.  These are all small steps to building true food and economic sovereignty.

Thanks for keeping up with our project.  If you are interested in assisting in one of our community workdays please email, allpulltogethergarden@gmail.com and I will respond as soon as our next is planned.

-Bix

The Beds Are Installed

Hi Friends,
We have made some really exciting strides for our project in the last couple weeks.

We have installed the first 3 of several raised beds which will be going into the garden.  With the assistance of UW-Milwaukee sculpture student Charles Mead, we installed 3 raised beds made of white cedar and welded steel.  The beds are a great addition to our wonderful plot of land.  They are a solid start to a productive growing season.  To further our collaboration with the community, we were able to fill those raised beds with soil donated from Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity.

We also have completed our interviews with potential interns.  We will be making our final decision soon and look forward to working with our new team all summer. Our interviews were an important opportunity to get a feel for the personalities that we will be working with and clarify the expectations and goals of our internship.

Finally, to raise money to give our interns much deserved compensation, All Pull Together Garden will be hosting a silent art and craft auction as well as concert at the Riverwest Public House on Friday May 13th.  Many artists and our friends Adam Helwin, Fahri, Absolutely and No Future have been kind enough to donate their talents to help us offer an opportunity to our interns this summer.

Thanks for your support and keep your eyes peeled for updates; in the next few days I will be posting a more thorough explanation of why we think that this project is important and it’s almost planting time!

Come join us on the 13th!

New Blog

Hello All,

We will begin to chronicle our efforts to help facilitate a community garden and run a youth internship program at All Pull Together Garden on 1st and Center, in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood.
We just installed our first 3 raised beds yesterday, so check back soon for pictures and updates on construction, community events, our interns progress and what we’re growing.

Always feel free to be in touch with suggestions, comments and questions either through our blog or at allpulltogethergarden@gmail.com
Thank you for your support,

Bix and Angie