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Green Weekly Updates

Here is a place to store the good news about the greening of Milwaukee. If you would like to contribute some green news, send it to If you would like to be able to upload your offering yourself, one of us will give you the 10 minute lesson that will make you “wiki competent!” Or we’ll send you the site’s password.

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Rotary Club of Milwaukee to Create the Rotary Centennial Arboretum—the Gateway to Milwaukee Central Park

Milwaukee Rotary Club President James T. Barry III announced today that the club will partner with the Urban Ecology Center and the River Revitalization Foundation to develop the Rotary Centennial Arboretum—the gateway to Milwaukee Central Park. The Arboretum will be completed to commemorate the club’s 100th anniversary in 2013. The club’s $400,000 investment will leverage over $3 million in private gifts and public grants needed to fund the project.

President Jim Barry said: “I am very pleased that Rotary will celebrate its centennial anniversary with a contribution that will dramatically enhance the riverfront and the community—a contribution that is in keeping with our strong history of community giving.”

The Rotary Centennial Arboretum will be located between the Milwaukee River and the Urban Ecology Center, serving as a major entrance to the 800 acre Milwaukee Central Park. The Arboretum—the first and only official arboretum in the Milwaukee metropolitan area—will be developed on 4.5 acres of land showcasing native trees of Wisconsin. A Rotary Gate will mark passage into the Arboretum, providing an enduring symbol of Rotary’s commitment to our City, the preservation of our natural environments and to the education of our children and the community about the critical need to care for our resources.

Ken Leinbach, Executive Director of the Urban Ecology Center shared his enthusiasm: “We are thrilled to partner with the Rotary Club of Milwaukee and the River Revitalization Foundation and Milwaukee County Parks on this once in a life time opportunity to convert old industrial land along the revitalized Milwaukee River into a natural jewel for the city — a living forest classroom that our grandchildren will be able to enjoy and share with their grandchildren many generations to come. “

Arboretums have historically served as important places for community interaction and learning. The 4.5 acre Arboretum will be a permanent addition to the Milwaukee landscape and serve as an important recreational, teaching and research center.

The Rotary Club of Milwaukee also announced a $100,000 donation to the Greater Johnsons Park Initiative, located in the vicinity of Fond du Lac Avenue and Brown. A 2002 Public Policy Study rated Johnsons Park as the least desirable of all the parks in our county—in area very underserved generally with green space. The Johnsons Park project is a critical element of a larger scale transformation taking place across the community and Rotary is honored to have the opportunity to participate.

750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, Suite 320, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
(414) 276–4425
fax (414) 276–0225

For further information contact:

Mary McCormick, Executive Director
Rotary Club of Milwaukee
414.276.4425 (office)
414.840.9623 (cell)
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Opening July 10th @ HSNY- WORK Architecture Company

The Horticultural Society of New York presents:


JULY 10 - SEPTEMBER 5, 2008

Opening Reception @ HSNY: Thursday July 10th from 6 to 8 PM

This exhibition is on view at the HSNY Gallery as part of the program for WORK Architecture Company’s concurrent outdoor installation PUBLIC FARM 1:'SUR LES PAVES LA FERME!' at PS1/MoMA. Our exhibition will feature architectural models, prepatory drawings, studio sculptures and photo-documentation from this project.

Gallery hours: Monday – Friday from 11am – 6pm + by appointment

Left: photo courtesy of WORK Architecture Company. Right: photo courtesy of Elizabeth Felicella and WORK Architecture Company.
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What’s growing at the White House?

By Ellen Goodman: July 4, 2008

IT HAS BEEN decades since that famous forager Euell Gibbons reached through the White House fence and picked four edible weeds out of the president’s garden. This is not something that the Secret Service would recommend you try today.

But Roger Doiron has a better plan for eating the view of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. He’s started a campaign to get a kitchen garden growing on the White House lawn.

Doiron works out of his small Cape house in Maine, where I find him one summer day. A wasp-thin 41-year-old, he’s part of the fastest-growing - I used the word literally - movement in the country. His organization, Kitchen Gardeners International, is one link in a loose chain of partisans who are neither conservatives nor liberals but locavores. They want to think global, eat local. Very local. As in their front and backyard.

He shows me the lawn sign that expresses his politics: “1,500 Miles, 400 Gallons, Say What?” It’s a reference to the average miles food travels to your plate and the gallons of fuel used in its migration. It’s not the sexiest slogan, but kitchen gardeners are probably as passionate about vegetables as Republicans are about tax cuts.

Doiron spent a decade with a grass-roots environmental group in Europe. After returning to his hometown in 2001, he became a lettuce-roots environmentalist. As head of Kitchen Gardeners International, he also walks the walk, showing me 50 varieties of vegetables he grows for his family of five on about a sixth of an acre. Memo to other amateurs: You will be pleased to know that Doiron’s garden also has weeds.

The appeal of kitchen gardens - food you grow for the table - has been increasing pretty steadily. Taste bud by taste bud. But this year, a harmonic or maybe disharmonic convergence of factors led to a giant leap in the number of grow-it-yourselfers.

For one thing, there’s the rising cost of food - 45 percent worldwide in two years. There’s also the rising consciousness about the carbon footprint on your dinner plate. There is, as well, recognition of an international food shortage and moral queasiness about biofuels, growing corn to feed cars while people are going hungry. Meanwhile, we’ve had more uncertainty about food safety, whether it was spinach in 2006 or this year’s tomatoes. And the floods that ruined millions of acres in the Midwest have undermined our easy sense of plenty.

“When people feel they are living in uncertain times, they turn to things that give them a sense of security,” says Doiron. “There are not many sure things but if you put a few seeds in the ground and you don’t muck it up too much you’ll get a crop.” As proof he stands beside a neat patch of potatoes.

He adds, “Don’t do it because it’s the cheap thing to do or because Al Gore said it’s the right thing to do. Do it to make a small yet concrete step. You may not be able to single-handedly take on Exxon and Chevron but you can take on your backyard.”

In that spirit, Doiron is pushing for edible landscapes everywhere from schoolyards to governor’s mansions to empty urban plots. But Doiron set his eyes on everybody’s house, the White House.

He wants the candidates to pledge they’ll turn a piece of the 18-acre White House terrain into an edible garden. Or rather, return it into an edible garden.

After all, John Adams, the first president to ever live in the White House, had a garden to feed his family. Woodrow Wilson had a Liberty Garden and sheep grazing during the First World War. And, of course, the Roosevelts famously had their Victory Garden during World War II, a time when 40 percent of the nation’s produce came from citizen gardeners.

It’s too late for a Bush harvest, but the campaign to get the next president to model a bit of homeland food security has sprouted on Doiron’s website called

Eat the View doesn’t have the marching sound of John Philip Sousa. It doesn’t have the patriotic salience of a flag. But in dicey times, the idea of growing just a bit of your own food carries the real flavor of July Fourth. It smacks a lot of independence.

Ellen Goodman’s e-mail address is
© Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
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Farmers on YouTube

Philanthromedia, a group that produces interactive content for donors and foundations, created a short and insightful piece about the benefits of farmers’ markets. The video is available on YouTube or on Philanthromedia’s own site.

If neither of the embedded links above work with your browser, you can copy and paste the following URL to view the video.

The piece addresses how farmers’ markets improve communities, support farmers and increase access to fresh, nutritious food in cities.


David Adler
The Food Trust
One Penn Center
1617 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 900
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Headhouse Farmers’ Market opens on May 4, 2008. More information at
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From State Department Cultural Attache Michael Macy…

Check out the Food For London blurb, inspired by their trip to Growing Power

The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:
Shortcut to:

30 June 2008 “Food for London” : Embassy Cultivates Growing Business of Urban farming… They went to the U.S. to learn more about agriculture in America’s cities, and now they’re back and helping London boost its own farming capacity.

Food for London - Urban Farming
The four members of the UK Delegation Team to America show their recent report. The team includes (from left to right): Catherine Miller; Tony Leach; Colin Buttery; and Ben Reynolds; (back) Embassy London Assistant Cultural Attaché, Mark Lanning … more
(Embassy photo by S-J Mayhew)

Embassy News & Events
30 June 2008
“Food for London” : Embassy Cultivates Growing Business of Urban Farming

Tony Leach (left, London Parks and Green Spaces Forum) chatting with American artist/writer Fritz Haeg, whose recent book, “Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn,” describes turning barren lawns into food-bearing gardens. (Embassy photo by S-J Mayhew)

They went to the U.S. to learn more about agriculture in America’s cities, and now they’re back and helping London boost its own farming capacity. Four Britons traveled on an Embassy-sponsored small grant last year, and this year they organized a conference at City Hall focusing on agriculture policies in London.

Farming in London? Well, the city is home to more than 400 farmers, and has the potential to help feed the millions of visitors to the 2012 Olympics.

Some 200 people attended the “Food for London” conference on June 30, which attracted even Mayor Boris Johnson. Mayor Johnson bolstered the spirit of the event, saying, “I want you to know that I support you.”

Urban agriculture promotes the growing of plants and animals within city limits to provide local, organic food supplies in an era of high oil prices and rising food costs.

“Food for London” was sponsored as part of the London Festival of Architecture and was hosted by Sustain, a non-governmental organization focused on healthy food and agricultural policies.

The four members of the British team (photo) that visited the U.S.: Colin Buttery (Royal Parks, London); Tony Leach (London Parks and Green Spaces Forum); Catherine Miller (Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens) and Ben Reynolds (London Food Link Project/Sustain).

The group has compiled their research into a 42-page report, which can be found at .

For more information about the U.S. Embassy’s Cultural Affairs Small Grants Program, please visit .

The conference was held at City Hall. The chair of the event, Kath Dalmeny from Sustain, is seen here presenting.
(Embassy photo by S-J Mayhew)
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Leading Restoration Contractor and MPS Teacher Starting a Family Food Garden at Eastside Home

Godsil. You are a city family that has started your own backyard four season food garden, perhaps among the first l per cent of the population to undertake such a project. Might you share your reasons for doing so and the farthest reaching vision of where such a project might take you and your children.

Josh and/or Jamie Fraundorf. We’ve always loved the city and all of the fun things to do. However, living in the city, you can get sort of disconnected from the environment and where your food comes from. Both of us had dairy farms in our families that we spent much time at growing up. We’ve always been outdoor people. Gardening for us is a fun way to be outside and “live greener” in our own small way.

This year we expanded our garden about 18ft into our driveway to create three new raised gardens which we couldn’t be happier about. Some of our family members think we’re a bit crazy to get rid of some of our off street parking in the city but we think it’s a great use of space. The enjoyment after a hard days work to come back to my house and spend a couple hours in garden has been a great stress reliever.

The long term vision of our garden plan is to have kind of an outdoor classroom for our family. Our raised gardens have been our own way of getting the organic foods that we desire as well as learning and teaching or children how they grow. Composting is kind of an experiment with chemistry to see what breaks down faster. It has been amazing how much garbage we have eliminated just by food scraps. Next, we’d like to try worm composting in the basement as well as a small fish farm. I really hope that in the future I’ll be able to spend just as much time doing roof top gardens as I do with roofing projects in Milwaukee. I believe this is just the beginning of great things to come in Milwaukee with urban farming and can’t wait to see what the future brings.
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Largest Celebration of American Food Ever, Labor Day Weekend San Francisco

(06–29) 16:10 PDT -- Pick up your forks and knives, and let the revolution start now.

That’s the rallying cry of the organizers of Slow Food Nation, an event designed to change the way people eat.

Fifty thousand people, including some of the world’s leading food authorities, health care experts, farmers and policymakers, are expected to attend the four-day exhibition in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend - what’s being called the largest celebration of American food in history.

Their message: Americans need to fix the food system or risk destroying their health and the planet.

“This impacts every single one us,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. “No matter where we live or how we’ve been raised, this is a profoundly important issue.”

Workers will break ground Tuesday on a vegetable garden at San Francisco City Hall, where the public can take free tours and taste fresh produce. In addition, Slow Food Nation, held at both the Civic Center and Fort Mason, will include lectures, workshops, cooking demonstrations, tastings, films, concerts, hikes, a farmers’ market and a “Slow on the Go” food court. Some of the programs are free; others require tickets that range in price from $5 to $65 ( to help offset the $2 million cost.

One highlight will be the pavilions at Fort Mason, which will be divided by types of food - chocolate, cheese, bread, honey and the like - showcasing American varieties and artisan producers. At the Civic Center, speakers will include “Fast Food Nation” author Eric Schlosser; author, farmer and cultural critic Wendell Berry; and nutrition expert and “What to Eat” author Marion Nestle.

European influences

Slow Food Nation is the first such event to be held in the United States, although it’s patterned after similar events in Europe.

Slow Food, a philosophy that food should be not only savored, but also produced with a social and environmental conscience, started as an Italian protest movement in 1986.

Furious that McDonald’s had come to Rome, political activist Carlo Petrini organized a demonstration against the fast-food chain.

“Rather than take the French route - driving a tractor through the building - Petrini took a more Italian hedonistic tack,” said Michael Pollan, a UC Berkeley professor and well-known food journalist and author who, like Petrini, is scheduled to speak on several panels. “Petrini set up trestle tables in front of the McDonald’s, called upon Italy’s grandmothers to make their favorite dishes and served them to passers-by.”

Since then, Slow Food organizations have formed in 131 countries, working to preserve local cuisine and lobby for more sustainable and fair-wage farming practices.

Critics have denounced the movement, calling it elitist and accusing it of trying to stand in the way of farming and production methods that would make food cheaper. Proponents argue that eating local products grown and raised without chemicals, as opposed to nonorganic imported goods, will save the environment, lead to good health and save Americans money.

“Unless we squeeze the fossil fuel out of our dinner,” Pollan said, we won’t be able to maintain a viable food supply. “We no longer can catch salmon in Alaska, fillet it in China and serve it in New York.”

Food as a language

Slow Food Nation founder Alice Waters, the Berkeley restaurateur who popularized the idea of serving food straight from local, organic farms to the table at her Chez Panisse restaurant, says the timing of the event, which kicks off on the eve of the presidential election, is no coincidence.

“We want people to vote with their forks,” she said. “Food is our common language. The choices we make about what we eat not only affect our health, but affect our planet.”

Pollan hopes the event will help galvanize the new administration to push for a better food agenda in this country.

“There’s a real need for rethinking things,” he said, adding that the world is in the midst of a food crisis, with people either starving or obese. There’s something terribly wrong, says Pollan, when “it’s cheaper to buy a double cheeseburger than a head of broccoli.”

Countries like Haiti and the Philippines have become so reliant on imported rice that they’ve stopped growing their own, said Pollan, who blames globalization. Now their citizens are going hungry.

Back to basics

Newsom’s worries are closer to home.

“In the Bayview, the only produce being sold is at a liquor store, and it’s three days past its due date,” he said. “Instead, I see a Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Taco Bell. Our fast-food culture is the primary contributor to the health care costs in this country.”

Waters complains that people don’t even know how to cook anymore.

“We used to know how,” she said. “We just got disconnected from it. The globalization of food took us by surprise. People told us, ‘It’s too hard to cook. Let us do it for you.’ “

She hopes that Slow Food Nation will motivate people to get back to the basics - “learn how to fry an egg or stir polenta.” She’s also optimistic that participants will be spurred to reject industrialized farming, persuaded to eat locally and inspired to fight for changes in food policy.

None of this is far-fetched, said Waters, who has seen a significant shift in the public’s attitude in the last five years - especially in the 18-to-22-age group.

“All of a sudden, it’s happening,” she said. “There are all these people who want to live off the grid. They want to farm. I see young people with their kids buying food at the farmers’ market.”

She acknowledges that the Bay Area may be a bit ahead of the curve.

“Next year,” she said, “we’ll take it to Washington, D.C., then New Orleans, then the Midwest.”

E-mail Stacy Finz at
Click here for original article
Naomi Starkman
Communications & Policy Director
Slow Food Nation
609 Mission Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105

San Francisco/Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, 2008
Civic Center & Fort Mason
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Portland’s Urban Edible Foraging Maps

  • Bring a notepad, a buddy, and take it slow.
  • Write down the source type and the nearest street address or intersection.
  • Include any relevant details including:
    • Accessibility: How easy is it to get to? Is it partly in someone’s yard?
    • How bountiful is the source? Pick conservativly or go all-out?
    • The specific variety if known (Braeburn Apple, Malus domestica, “Red/yellowish ones”, etc.)
    • How does it taste?

Ultimately it is your responsibility to gain a positive identification of the plants listed on this site. Consult multiple resources, beware of “poisonous look-alikes,” and be judicious when choosing grounds for harvest as the urban environment is often tainted with chemicals. Remember, the paramount rule of harvesting wild edibles is: “If in doubt, don’t!”

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A New City of New Orleans

Good morning, America, how are you?
Don’t you know me I’m your favorite child.
I’m the people of the city of New Orleans,
I was down but now I’m back
Let’s move it on.

I was down but now I’m back
Let’s move it on.

There’s a train they call
The City of New Orleans
Stops at cities great along the way…

Detroit, Old Milwaukee, and Chicago,
St. Louie is the last stop of the day.

And on that train a rainbow throng is gathering,
With eyes fixed on the prize of freedom,
And on that train a global village’s bloooming,
Visions of the new dawn that we’re growing,
Knowing, the human race is one.

Good morning, America, how are you?
Don’t you know me I’m your favorite child.
I’m the people of the city of New Orleans,
I was down but now I’m back
Let’s move it on.

I was down but now I’m back
Let’s move it on.
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Growing Round the Houses Paper From London International Urban Agriculture Conference

I thought you may be interested in the briefing paper that we’re launching on Monday at the ‘Growing Food for London’ conference. If you’re too eager to see it to read through the following(!), just follow this link to find the briefing paper:

News Release
New food around the block

Rising food prices and increased interest in healthy food, means more people are looking to grow their own. Growing Round the Houses1, a new briefing paper by Ben Reynolds of Sustain2 and Christine Haigh of Women’s Environmental Network3 (WEN), explains how social housing providers and their tenants can work together on their estates to grow food. As well giving advice on how to set up a food growing project on their estate, it describes examples such as the Spitalfields Estate Community Garden, where residents worked together to build themselves a food growing space for vegetables and herbs popular with the local ethnic minority community.

With urban allotments like gold dust, housing estates, with wide, underused green spaces are coming into their own, turning over their lawns to food growing plots. Ben Reynolds said “There’s incredible interest in growing your own food. Vegetable seed is overtaking flower seed sales for the first time. We hope this work will be the catalyst for a new dawn for urban agriculture.”

Christine Haigh, who works on WEN’s Local Food programme with women’s groups in East London, says “This paper provides inspiration and useful guidance for residents and social landlords looking to set up similar projects.”

Simon Donovan, community development manager at Tower Hamlets Community Housing4 comments, “The food growing project on the Spitalfields estate is an inspiration. Residents are talking to their neighbours, taking charge of their own space and having a pride in it. As well as cheap healthy food, there are physical and mental health benefits from the outdoor activity involved.”

The document will be launched on 30th June at the Growing Food for London conference in London[#rth5 | 5], the first time that the diverse urban agriculture communities – such as food growers, park keepers, architects and others - have been brought together in London.

Press contact: Ben Reynolds, London Food Link project officer at Sustain, tel (work): 020 7837 1228, (mobile): 07939 202711,
or Christine Haigh Local Food Project Officer at Women’s Environmental Network, tel (work): 020 7481 9004, (mobile): 07870 577934,

1) Growing Round the Houses: Food production on housing estate land is a joint briefing by Sustain and Women’s Environmental Network launched on 30th June 2008. Copies are available from and here. The paper makes recommendations to social landlords, planners and developers, and residents to facilitate new food growing projects on housing estates across the country.

2) Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming represents around 100 national public-interest organisations. Sustain (a not-for-profit organisation) advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

3) Women’s Environmental Network is the only organisation in the UK working consistently for women and the environment. WEN’s local food project provides training and support to groups of women growing food in urban areas.

4) Tower Hamlets Community Housing (THCH) is a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) and a Registered Charity that owns over 2,800 homes in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

5) The Growing Food for London conference is an all day event at City Hall, on Monday 30th June. Booking is necessary. Speakers include Tim Lang (City University), Joe Nasr (author of Urban Agriculture: Food, Jobs and Sustainable Cities), Fritz Haeg, (author of Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn) and Ian Collingwood (Middlesborough Council regeneration, and lead on the Middlesborough Urban Farming project). The event, which is jointly organised with the London Parks and Green Spaces Forum, is part of the London Festival Architecture.
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Last edited by tyler schuster. Based on work by Tyler Schuster, Godsil, PMH, Olde, TeganDowling, Bob Graf and Nick.  Page last modified on August 03, 2008, at 03:41 PM

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