A local group of gardeners hope to mend the disconnected food system in Milwaukee by filling some neighborhoods with fruit and nut trees — transforming it into an urban edible forest.
The Victory Garden Initiative's third annual Fruity Nutty Campaign is slated for Feb. 16, with not only a goal of creating an edible forest but also combating food insecurity and promoting public and environmental health.
The party starts at 7 p.m. at downtown Milwaukee's Turner Hall Ballroom, 1034 N. 4th St. Proceeds from this year’s event will help VGI purchase and plant 150 fruit and nut trees in five Milwaukee neighborhoods.
Last year, Shorewood resident and VGI Executive Director Gretchen Mead said in addition to serving as a source of nutritious food, fruit and nut trees provide oxygen, absorb carbon, protect against soil erosion and help to keep urban environments cool in the summer.
"When you plant a tree, it grows and produces food for a long time with little maintenance," Mead said. "It’s much more sustainable in the long term."
Guests will enjoy an evening emceed by Kyle Cherek (host of the Emmy-nominated television series, Wisconsin Foodie), music by the BriarPickers, an auction, and appetizers provided by Outpost Natural Foods, Afro Fusion Cuisine, Ball’n Biscuit, Gracious Events Catering and Event Design, MKE Localicious, Poppie Sea, and Jennifer Goetzinger’s Chocolate, Dirt and Dust.
Tickets are $50 ($45 until Thursday) and can be purchased online at www.victorygardeninitiative.org.
The Fruity Nutty Affair is sponsored by Comet Cafe, Beans & Barley, La Merenda, Johnson’s Nursery, Turner Hall Ballroom, and Riverwest Currents.