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'Grow where you live:' Local initiative encourages Milwaukee families to grow their own produce

Posted at 6:45 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 19:46:56-04

MILWAUKEE — "Start somewhere. Grow something. Grow where you live."

That's the message Milwaukee homeowner Crystal Ayad has for people living in Milwaukee as she encourages families across the city to learn how to grow their own food.

"We wanted an opportunity to have food right at our fingertips," said Ayad.

Ayad's house was one of many chosen Thursday to have members from the Victory Garden Initiative and volunteers with MLG Capital come and build eight raised garden beds. It allows families to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs, and more right in their own backyards.

"It's really important for our health and for our well-being," said Ayad.

The Victory Garden Initiative is a non-profit that gives people living in at-risk communities an opportunity to have access to fresh, high-quality produce. An opportunity that's not always available in certain communities.

"A lot of the foods that we are getting out of the store may not be as nutritious as it would be if you grow it right here," said Ayad.

According to Milwaukee's Fresh Food Access Report, the city has 13 food deserts, which are areas where people have limited access to a variety of healthful foods.

"It's a lot of corner stores, a lot of fast food stores," said Lexie Mulhern, the chief of operations for the Victory Garden Initiative.

Milwaukee resident encourages families to learn how to grow their own food

That's why programs like these are critical to helping equip families with the knowledge and opportunity to grow their own food and live a healthier lifestyle.

"You know what's going into it, you know what seeds you're planting. It's just all very self-led and much better for you," said Mulhern.

"It's really important to us that we teach our community that it's really easy to grow where you live," said Ayad.

To get on the wait-list to have garden built in your area, click here.

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