SoS Middleton: Making Art and Winning Awards

Thank you to everyone who made Growing Food and Sustainability’s first year a success! Please take a look below to see all that Summer of Solutions-Middleton accomplished.

Program Mission:
We started GFS to engage youth in hands-on environmental education through food production, cooking, art, biking, and multi-age relationship building. We ran a summer garden camp, organized community workdays, piloted a bike-powered compost service, and delivered produce donations to those in need.


  • 27 students ages 4-17 involved in the summer garden camp
  • 108 hours of garden summer camp taught within 9 weeks
  • 1,260 pounds of produce grown and harvested
  • 1,220 pounds diverted from the waste stream through our bike-powered compost pick-up service
  • 730 pounds of produce donated to the Middleton Outreach Ministry Food Pantry
  • 229 pounds of produce donated to the Middleton Senior Center

Since our Garden Summer Camp finished-up in August, we have been working with the Ecology Clubs at Middleton High School and the Clark Street Community School to keep students involved in garden and sustainability education. These groups helped us prepare the garden and youth farm for the winter, learned how to construct a light table to grow plants indoors year-round, and participated in conversation about our food system.

CSCSIn preparation for the holidays, we are focusing now on the issue of reusing resources instead of throwing them away. With both Ecology Clubs, we are watching a film called Waste Land, which explores the lives of people who live off of picking recyclable materials out of the world’s largest garbage dump in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the film, they collaborate with artist Vik Muniz to create stunning photographic images of themselves created from garbage. This is inspiring the students to create their own reused art pieces! This week, we are making wrapping paper out of newspaper and paper bags and using found objects to make prints on it.

wastelandThe Middleton High School Ecology Club is also organizing a rummage sale. Everyone from the school is invited to donate any clothes or household items that they don’t want, and then the students will sell everything for $1 during lunch hours the week before winter break. We hope that students will be able to find some reused holiday gifts!

This week, Natalie and I also found out that we won one of the Metcalfe’s School Garden Leader Awards. We were really touched to be nominated for this award by three teachers and community members who have seen our work. We are excited to have the opportunity to share the goals of our program with a wider audience when we accept the award at the Badger Bioneers Conference next week!

Wishing you a happy end of the year!

2 thoughts on “SoS Middleton: Making Art and Winning Awards

  1. Thank you, Carol! We hope to collaborate with the high school’s art club next semester to create a series of art pieces incorporating garbage.

  2. Everything about this post is exciting. For me as a gardener and artist, that the students were inspired to make art by the incredible Muniz film was especially so. It would be great if they could get into doing some portraiture based on it.

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