Green Racine takes action with Lots to Garden Plots!
Racine, Wisconsin is the 4th largest city in the state of Wisconsin. Like many rust belt cities, we have a high unemployment rate, and we also have an inner city that serves as a "dumping ground" for the minority population.
This inner city ghetto has few opportunities for employment, and few "grocery stores". Most of its food supply is provided via Quick Stop gas stations and fast food places. This area of Racine suffers from the effects of a food desert, with a high infant mortality rate, high rates of obesity, type II diabetes and even malnutrition. As a city, we even fall behind Cuba in these areas!
Our goal with this project is to change a ghetto into a neighborhood, one empty lot at a time.
Green Racine will be receiving help with this project from a wide range of groups, including Members of The Racine Police Dept, U.W. Extension Service, the local Time Exchange, local churches and YOU!
We will be cleaning up lots in the central city of Racine and planting vegetable gardens in raised beds where currently there is little more than trash. The food to be grown will be ethnically diverse and difficult to get in an area that, in our minds, is a veritable food desert. Most of the food currently available in the area primarily consists of snack type foods and sodas. There is very little in the way of fresh vegetables, and what little there is, isn't usually very fresh.
We are aiming to hire youth from this area to work in the gardens and the farmer's market by using money generated from the sales of herbs and mushrooms grown in the gardens. We're also planning to set aside a small section for younger kids, so they too can at the very least have the joy of growing something that belongs to them. We hope this aspect of the project will start to reconnect our inner city youth to how food is grown and all the work it entails.
The food raised will be sold at a farmer's market, which will be set up on the lot. A portion of the raised food will also be donated to food banks in the area whenever possible.
In addition to growing fresh, local produce, we will be offering classes on canning and other food storage methods.
What We Need & What You Get
Green Racine hopes that with your help, we can raise the $2500 to get this project going.
This money will be used for:
Untreated Wood for raised beds
Untreated Wood for a vertical garden
Mesh for composting bins
Worms for vericomposting
Child sized tools
55 gallon food safe plastic drums
Plot Fee at RUGN
Green Racine will also be asking for funds on a one time bases from the Racine Outpost. Builders Squire has offered discounts on goods and they will be telling employees about volunteering opportunities for the project, and we will be speaking to service groups such as Lions and Rotatory Clubs as well in an effort to raise as much support for this project as possible.
We will be documenting the progress of this project via Twitter,Green Racine Blog and updates will be reported on the Green Racine podcast as well.
The current plan also calls for a further year's funding to come from the sale of herbs, mushrooms and surplus vegetables. With the restoration of a small green house that we have the use of, we can continue to grow a variety of herbs well into early winter, which allow us to be productive thorough out the year (weather depending).
Other Ways You Can Help
This can not be done without you! Even if the only thing you can do to help is to think a good thought, wish us the best and help spread the word about us to your family and friends, that would help us out tremendously.
If your interested in checking it out for yourself, when the weather's nice, come on by and see what's going on at the front lines of the food revolution!
Team on This Campaign:
Point Man Head Dish Washer Head Fetch and Carry
Head Tech helping to maintain Blogs etc.
Ms. Melissa Tashjin has joined the effort as our Compost adviser. Starting Composting effort as part of Lots to Plots is critical. Ms. Tashjin will be a great leader/Teacher in the effort.
Perry Davis has a 150 Ac Farm near Clarksville, AR He will be helping with the ideas of the RSA
help with recipes and food uses.