Milwaukee-based Growing Power and the Green Team Landscaping company have teamed up to announce the 20,000 Backyard Gardens Initiative.
The initiative aims to provide Southeastern Wisconsin residents a set of comprehensive services to install socially responsible and sustainable gardens using Growing Power’s nutrient-rich, high-microbial compost and the Green Team’s sustainable landscaping services. “Essentially, we want to help build over 20,000 gardens in our community using the successful methods we’ve used at Growing Power for the last two decades,” said Will Allen, founder and chief executive officer of Growing Power. “If people have access to food at home, from their own backyards, we are helping them achieve a level of food security that is immediate and most beneficial to them and their families.” The two organizations have committed to providing one free garden to a needy family for every ten gardens purchased and installed. Once the garden is installed the residents will be responsible for maintenance and harvesting though Growing Power will offer classes and training on sustainable agriculture, composting, vermiculture and raised garden bed maintenance, Allen said. According to Allen, the most important aspect is the compost and soil used. Every cubic yard of compost installed in these gardens diverts 1,500 pounds of food and organic waste from the landfill. On average, a home garden will use 7-14 yards of compost to support healthy and vibrant raised-bed gardening. That’s equivalent to diverting over 10 tons of food and organic waste from the landfill per home garden “Food and nutrition are two thirds of what keeps us healthy,” Allen said. “If we, as a community, can provide good nutrition through food we will reduce health care costs and sustain our lives much longer. A good, sustainable and local food system is the key to good health for all.” For more information on the 20,000 Garden Initiative visit www.growingpower.org.