The Reclamation Society envisions an archaic and unhealthy system of urban food consumption transforming into sustainable and nutritious methods of wholesome, local food production and distribution in neighborhoods and Milwaukee community.

In Collaboration with Milwaukee Urban Gardens

Stephanie Phillips
Executive Director
414 640 9525

Milwaukee Edible School Yard Project

We want to connect urban school children to what they are eating by developing a food garden, collaborative curriculum and local farm exchange program.

There are five components:

  1. School Yard Reclamation: We want to remove a portion of the square footage of asphalt and replace it with a food garden in raised beds, a green house for year round use, and include composting and vermiculture systems. This space will be used as a green classroom for all grades and classes. We will work with schools at various stages of development for a garden.

  2. Curriculum Development: We will implement nutrition education, which includes actual exposure to new tastes and fruit and vegetables in their unprocessed form. A curriculum on sustainable agriculture and renewable energy will be available for integration into math and science classes. The curriculum used in the garden will be designed around the needs of the teachers and the produce that is grown will be designed by the students. The curriculum is seasonal and will include a neighborhood, summer component that will include jobs for neighborhood teens.

  3. The Farm Exchange: Students take field trips to local farms to recover all the cosmetically undesirable fruits and vegetables to be processed to resale and to feed the students themselves. The farms will benefit from the labor provided by the students. Wellspring Farm is donating some of their land to be used for growing some additional crops to supplement the school lunch program. Students will also visit Growing Power to learn about worms and soil ecology. This will give students a boarder perspective about where their food comes from.

  1. Processing Component: The food that is harvested, at the local farms and at school, has two functions: First, it will be processed for feeding the students at their school, in a quantity that can be consistently maintained ( i.e., snacks at first, lunch, then ideally all food). Second, remaining produce will be processed for resale to benefit the contributing farms and the project itself. This will include selling fresh produce, flowers and products made by youth at the Gardner’s Market June through October. From the resale of the processed food, 20% of profits go back to the contributing farm, and rest goes toward sustaining the School Lunch Reclamation project.

  2. Outreach component: By getting families of the school children involved in the food issues and the food garden, we hope that the School Lunch Reclamation project will be replicated. Letting others know what we are doing is crucial. We want to provide the families with some produce and information about preparing unprocessed (or barely processed) food. We will also work with neighborhood residents, youth groups and agencies who are stakeholders in the health and food security issues of RiverWest’s neighborhood. We are working with the RiverWest Health Initiative and their goal of creating food security and improved nutrition in the RiverWest neighborhood.

Who else is doing this work? (Model from Berkeley California) (About school lunches and the challenges and success of a model project in Great Britain) (Madison WI farm to school project) (Illinois project example) (Greening Schools is possible!) (National health issues on school children) (Model for curriculum from Santa Fe New Mexico) (Resource to get kids into gardening)

Last edited by Godsil.   Page last modified on February 06, 2008

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