middleton

By: Morgan Ripp

Tis’ the season, the growing season that is! It has finally arrived after a long hard winter and for gardeners the growing season beats Christmas by a land-slide. This is Morgan here and I have been part of the Growing Food and Sustainability team since the beginning in 2012. I’ve spent my time this past year volunteering with the Hinahara sisters and working with children at the youth garden. Even though my time spent will be limited this summer with GFS I am continuing to take part in gardening with local community members and will be a face around the town.

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I’ve got to say that it has been a splendid summer thus far with plenty of rain and sunshine and I hope we are as lucky in the following months to produce a bountiful crop yield. This past week I have picked more strawberries than I could have ever imagined. Being a new gardener as I have been this past year, I have had an eye opener with how much food one can grow within the own boundaries of their yard. I’m telling you, if anyone would wants to cut down on their grocery bill, all they have to do is plant a small garden in their backyard.

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Program Location: Middleton, WI
By: Colin Higgins

For Growing Food and Sustainability (GFS), our training week signified the end of a successful journey through our first year or so, and the fresh start of a second year.  Unlike the first training week though, this one witnessed the continuation and growth of existing programs and the beginning of even more! Likewise, this training week had more participants attending, and caused the same amount of (if not more) giddy excitement and inspiration that last year’s did.

One of the most exciting areas of growth for me to witness was that of our farmers market stand.  Last year we had a booth at the farmers market with ample kids activities  - we reached many new families with them, but did not sell any produce. This year during training week there was time for our team to plan out what we wanted the market stand to look like, with focuses on selling produce and increasing attendance at the market. I found it especially exciting that we focused on this in our training week, as it is a way to get participants involved directly with the revenue generation aspect of our program and a way to ensure a successful farmers market stand.  In our discussion we built on the rough plans to have an event promoting the market.  We decided to have a Summer Season Farmers Market Kickoff which happened on Tuesday 6/18.

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Location: Middleton, WI

Hello, and happy summer! I’m Sara, a participant with GFS and a summer intern for our youth garden programs. This summer will mark my first with GFS, as well as my first working with younger kids, as most of the work I’ve done so far has been with the high schoolers at Clark Street Community School. I must say, I can’t wait to meet all the new campers; being a part of this program is as important and educational for me as I hope it will be for all of the gardeners-to-be. I am even more excited because our Growing Food and Sustainability family just keeps growing!

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This post is from Growing Food and Sustainability, a Summer of Solutions program and Local Initiative in Middleton, WI.

Kids in the Garden: We just wrapped-up our first after school program! We had a wonderful five weeks learning about the greenhouse and seed starting, planning dream gardens, preparing the garden for planting, and cooking!

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Showing off their dream gardens

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Summer of Solutions Middleton (aka Growing Food and Sustainability) is running an Indiegogo campaign until May 1st!  Learn more and donate on their Indiegogo page!

Indiegogo facebook profile

One of Growing Food and Sustainability’s core goals is to train and inspire a new generation of youth leaders to create their own solutions to the world’s challenges.  Our Indiegogo campaign is focused on raising money for stipends so that we can train youth through our summer internship program.  Last summer, two local college students participated in our internship.  This summer, we plan to select five interns to participate in this leadership development experience.  Interns learn through peer-lead trainings as well as by taking an active, hands-on role in our organization. They learn how to plan curriculum for the summer garden camp, serve as camp counselors, workshop leaders, and meeting facilitators, coordinate community workdays, harvest days, the weekly compost pick-up, and the weekly produce delivery, and will learn green entrepreneurship skills by helping to run our farmers’ market stand.   Our goal is to make sure that every graduate of our internship program leaves with the skills and knowledge to start an initiative of their own.

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Grand Aspirations is now accepting applications to participate in our 2013 Summer of Solutions programs!  Apply here!  This blog post is from Growing Food and Sustainability in Middleton, WI.

Hello friends, and happy spring!

I’m Sara, a first-year intern at Growing Food and Sustainability. I wanted to tell you all a little bit about one of the great things I have been able to do with our team so far this year. Beginning last fall, I began working with our GFS team at Clark Street Community School; over the past few months, I have been fortunate enough to co-lead their weekly Ecology Club meetings. In our 90 minutes together on Friday mornings we have had some amazing discussions already, and I imagine they will get even better as times goes on and we move from inside the classroom to outside in the garden.

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Clark Street students helping us clean up the youth farm last fall

A lot of what we have been talking about over the winter season has related to general questions of sustainable living. Currently, they are working away at a bottle-recycling program with other organizations in their school, and we have started some plants under light tables–just to get our hands a little dirty this winter! We have also done some great asset-mapping exercises to help them realize how effective they can really be as agents for change, and how their talents and networks really matter when it comes to making a difference.

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