May in Middleton

As we always seem to say, a lot has happened with SoS Middleton since our last blog entry!

Last week, Growing Food and Sustainability was awarded our very first grant, and then two more within the week!  We were one of 20 award recipients (out of over 800 applicants!) to receive Jamba Juice’s “It’s all about the fruits and veggies” grant which includes garden tools and $150 to spend on soil amendments and seeds.  Today we used some of it to buy more seed potatoes!  We were also awarded the Midwest Garden Grant, which will provide our program with $750 worth of garden equipment.  Finally, we were particularly excited to receive a Community Reinvestment Fund Grant from our local Willy Street Co-op.  This grant will fund the entire bike portion of our program including a bike and heavy-duty bike trailer, allowing us to haul everything we need for the program (compost, produce, even a lawn mower!) by bike!  My quads are already feeling the burn…

Our team is getting the word out to the community in many ways.  On May 1st, we started our weekly Kids Activity Table at the Downtown Middleton Farmers’ Market.  Our goal is to engage kids with fun, hands-on activities, and to talk to community members about our program while at the same time encouraging increased attendance at this somewhat new and small market.  So far, our activities included potting-up tomato plants and playing a seedling guessing game.  We’ve heard from parents that we already have a few dedicated kids who are watering their tomato plants everyday and eagerly awaiting the next market activity!

One of our program leaders, Gabrielle, was recently interviewed on a local radio show!  She got a chance to talk about the goals of Growing Food and Sustainability and what inspired her and her sister, Natalie, to start the organization.  Take a listen here!

As June approaches, we are finalizing our team (stay tuned for team bios, we have a fantastic group!) and preparing for training week and our summer program.  As I write this, the weather is sunny and around 70 and I know that the tomato and pepper plants we are planting on Saturday’s workday are going to be very happy!

– Gabrielle

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