National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month (Week 4)

June 20, 2019

The Counseling Corner

By Rev. Judith T. Lester, B.Min. M.Th

Many programs have been initiated to encourage the eating of more fruits and vegetables and educating the public as to the healthy and affordable option of growing what you eat and eating what you grow. Neighborhood gardens are a perfect example. A neighborhood/ community garden brings beauty to a neighborhood, it brings neighbors together and provides access to healthy food in metropolitan areas. Neighborhood/community gardens also help people to appreciate nature and the earth.

A project inspired by Mayor Tom Barrett’s HOME GR/OWN Initiative with the City Environmental Collaboration Office promotes revitalizing urban green spaces. Their mission includes ways to:

• Make it easier to grow and access local food and re-purpose city-owned vacant lots. The collaboration works within city government to streamline processes, permitting, and ordinances, making it easier to grow and distribute healthy food, start new food-based businesses and improve vacant lots into parks, orchards and healthy green spaces, increasing Milwaukee quality of life.

• Work within Milwaukee’s community food system to link local growers to local markets, increase urban food infrastructure (water, access, compost), support new urban farms and increase the number of healthy food retailers and wholesalers. For information on community gardens in the Milwaukee area or how to start your own community garden, see information below:

UW-Extension Milwaukee County Garden Rental

Milwaukee County Cooperative Extension rents garden plots in many parts of the county. They also provide technical assistance to neighborhood groups that run their own community gardens. Visit them at: https://milwaukee.extension.wisc.edu/agriculture/garden-rental/

The City of Milwaukee

The City of Milwaukee, along with its partner, the Milwaukee Urban Gardens, offers seasonal garden permits for residents who would like to garden on a vacant lot next to their house or work with their neighbors to create a community green-space. To apply for a garden permit, contact Groundwork/ Milwaukee Urban Gardens 414-763-9947.

Beloved, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, approximately 15 percent of the world’s food is now grown in urban areas. When it comes to neighborhood gardens, according to Milwaukee County Department of City Development, quality of life flourishes for yourself and your neighbors when you:

• Improve your diet by growing fruits and vegetables;
• Socialize and build bonds with neighbors while enjoying nature;
• Create a community asset that improves the safety and security of your surroundings; and
• Save money on your grocery bills.

Next Week: Conclusion: Preschoolers and healthy eating

General Disclaimer: The writer has used her best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered. Neither the publisher nor the writer shall be liable in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize the information or recommendations presented herein as they may not be suitable for you or necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.