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Rock County Community Garden Program 2010
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Rock County Community Garden Program 2010


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  • 1. Rock County, Wisconsin Community Garden Program
  • 2.
  • 3. Overview
    Introductions of Community Garden Crew
    Food Security- why community gardens?(Mike)
    Rock County Farm Community Garden
    rental garden overview (Deb)
    RECAP / HUBER Garden Program
    2006-2009 (Jim)
    2009-future (Barb)
    Rock County Community Garden Network (Robin)
  • 4. Food Security
    Food insecurity rate in Rock County is high
    Unemployment (>10%)
  • 5. Food Security
    Genetically Modified Organisms
    Health impact?
    Environmental impact?
  • 6. Food Security
    Pesticide usage
  • 7. Food Security
    Disease outbreaks
  • 8. Food Security
    Food Desert
    Areas of relative exclusion where people experience physical and economic barriers to accessing healthy food
  • 9. Food Security
    Food miles
    Distance food travels from farm to fork
    Processed foods travel over 1300 miles
    Fresh vegetables travel over 1500 miles
  • 10. Food Security
    E. coli
  • 11. Recent trends
    CGWA reports continued increased in vegetable garden
    “Slow Food” movement
    “Plant a Row”
    Farm markets
    Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
    Community gardens
  • 12. Community Garden History
    Victory Gardens
    WW I, WWII
    US Gov’t asked citizens to plant gardens in order to support war effort.
    Promoted to reduce pressure on public food supply
  • 13. Community Garden History
    Victory Gardens (WWI, WWII)
    “moral booster”
    1943- 20 million gardens planted, nearly 1/3 of veggies consumed that year.
  • 14. Community Garden History
  • 15. Rock County Community Garden
    Plot Rental Program
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  • 26. Rental Plots
    ~140, 20’x25’ plots
    May 1-Oct 31
    $25 per plot
    Initial tilling and water provided
  • 27. Rental Plots
    Why are you participating…?
    Enjoy gardening (25)
    Don’t have space at home (25)
    Fun (28)
    Exercise (24)
    Save money (16)
    Chance to raise own produce (28)
    Enjoy meeting other gardeners (16)
  • 28. Rental Plots
    How many people benefit…?
    1-5 people (4)
    6-10 (17)
    11-20 (4)
    Many shared with food pantries
  • 29. Rental Plots
    How much money did you save…?
    Less than $50 (6)
    $50 to $100 (11)
    $101 to $200 (7)
    More than $200 (2)
    Not sure (3)
  • 30. Rental Plots
    On a scale of 1(low) to 5 (high), how important is the garden?
    1 (0)
    2 (0)
    3 (1)
    4 (9)
    5 (19)
  • 31. Rental Plots
    “… getting fresh vegetables that I know are chemical free.”
    “… gardening connects all ages and incomes and creates community of sharers…”
    “… fresh air, fresh produce…”
    “… gives you the chance to work in the outdoors with your family and the satisfactions of growing your own produce…”
  • 32. Rental Plots
    “… I feel with the cost of food rising a garden is a good way to provide for the family…”
    “… it feels good to be able to have a garden…”
    “… it is an important family activity that allows parents and kids to learn together…”
    “… I enjoy working in the soil with my hands. It’s so rewarding to see the product of my work…”
  • 33. Rock County Farm Community Garden
    RECAP / HUBER Garden Program
  • 34.
  • 35. RECAP Garden Program
    Started in 2006
    USDA Grant (2006-2009)
  • 36. Initial Program Ideas
    Teach gardening to jail inmates
    MGV selected and hired to be garden educators
    Nutrition education segment added later
    In response to need to feed participants
    Utilize harvest in kitchen to offset meal preparation costs
    County went to caterer that year; produce not wanted by subcontractor
  • 37. What Really Happened
    Program evolved into reinforcing life-skills development taught in RECAP.
    Communication, following directions, team work, responsibility, success, etc.
    Preparation for vocational placement.
    Outside of green industry
    Diversionary activity for when released.
    Reduce recidivism
    Produce donated to area food pantries (80%) and other county institutions (20%)
  • 38. Results
    Over 30,000lbs has been donated
  • 39. Impact
    "Getting out of unit and away from same four walls - keeps my mind occupied and not think of bad stuff." Steven.
    “My wife and kids go to Echo [food pantry]. Even though I’m in here, I still feel like I’m providing for them.” Chip.
  • 40. Impact
    “I need to be a good role model for my kids… I like that the garden gives back to the community…” Chris.
    “I already know how to rototill… it’s now learning how to work with others.” Gary.
  • 41. Impact
    “… vegetable soup really ain’t all that bad! I did not pick anything out of it and I ate it all. I would NEVER even try it had I been on the outside.” Tammy.
    “There was noticeable improvement in attitude after the inmates ate the vegetable soup for lunch in the unit.” Lyle Yaun, RECAP Community Service Coordinator.
  • 42. Impact
    “…before this, my idea of cooking was going through the drive thru at McDonalds." John.
    “…I never knew where food came from. When I get out, I want to go to culinary school at [the tech-college]." Ebert.
  • 43. Impact
    "I learned how to enjoy life's simple pleasures." Carlos.
    “…I never had a garden before but would like to have one now that I know more.” Carl.
  • 44. Impact
    “It’s good to actually do something positive with my life. It has showed me there is a lot more to life than drugs.” Josh.
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  • 53. RECAP / HUBER Garden
    In 2009…
    Expanded from 0.5 acres to 1.5 acres
    HUBER participation began
    WIC Farm Markets initiated
    CFSW / Rock County Agriculture Fund Grant
    Season extension / row covers
    Compost bins
    High tunnel
    GOAL: to be self-sustaining
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  • 71. Rock County Community Garden Network
  • 72. Community Garden Network
    UW-Extension and members of the Rock Prairie Master Gardener Association provide support, education, and networking opportunities to individuals and groups who facilitate independent community gardens in the county.
  • 73. Community Garden Network
    Merrill Park (Beloit)
  • 74. Community Garden Network
    Wilson Elementary School (Janesville)
  • 75. Community Garden Network
    YWCA (Janesville)
  • 76. Community Garden Network
    Milton (before)
  • 77. Community Garden Network
    Milton (after)
  • 78. Community Garden Network
    What we provide:
    Collaboration with area vendors for seeds, transplants and other donations or discounted items.
    Assistance with the creation and maintenance of the garden space, including  tilling, soil testing, and amendment recommendations.
    Necessary participation waivers and statistical documentation sheets.
    Support and information.
    Access to grants (when available) and assistance in pursuing funding and donations.
    In qualifying cases, a nutrition educator can provide an educational component to the garden.
  • 79.
  • 80. Community Garden Network
    What we ask of community garden partners:
    Documented permission to host a garden in an appropriate location.
    Qualified, dedicated liaison to coordinate garden efforts at the location
    Reliable support from students, congregation, or community-base for the general work in the garden space.
    Access to water and basic tools (shovel, hoe, hose, gloves, etc.)
    Form a reasonable plan for utilization of product grown in the garden.
    Willingness to document program, including photographs, participation numbers and demographics and amount of produce harvested and how utilized.  Share information with Rock Co. UWEX. 
    Participation in meetings and education programs.
  • 81. Community Garden Network
    Over 20,000# donated, to date.
  • 82.
  • 83. Community Garden Q&A