Garden coordinator works to advance fresh food movement in Milwaukee


By Max Templin

Alexander Hagler, 25, pulls his truck up to a local grocery store on North Avenue. He loads multiple barrels of unusable food into the truck, and heads toward a plot of land on Concordia Avenue in the Harambee neighborhood. The food will be used for composting — the process of creating soil through organic food waste.
“It always shocks me how fresh some of the food is that we are given,” said Hagler, garden coordinator forVictory Garden Initiative, a local urban farm movement. “Sometimes it just comes down to not having enough room in the store.”

As he repeats the process at a coffee shop and a microbrewery, Hagler is always mindful that food waste “could create jobs and fresh food, which our inner cities really need.”

“It’s a resource that we take for granted, and one that should be used way more than it currently is,” he said. “It just makes sense, you know? Take something that is considered garbage, and use it to create something that can be useful to people.”

Composting begins once Hagler transports the barrels to gets to the garden on Concordia Avenue. First, he dumps the contents on top of a pile, spreading it as much as possible. He then uses a shovel to lay woodchips and old compost atop the new layer of waste.

Read the full story on the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service at the link below:

Victory Garden Initiative builds communities that grow their own food, creating a community-based, socially just, environmentally sustainable, nutritious food system for all.