Friday, April 24, 2015

Banning DDT: How Citizen Activists in Wisconsin Led the Way

Bill Berry, author of In Banning DDT: How Citizen Activists in Wisconsin Led the Way, was invited to the speak at the Wild Center during the 2015 Fox Cittes Book Festival.  He introduced us to the many of the citizens, scientists, reporters, and traditional conservationists who worked to draw attention to the harmful effects of DDT being used to control Dutch elm disease.  Berry chronicled the efforts garden-club ladies like Lorrie Otto, founder of Wild Ones. He spoke of how members of the state’s Citizens Natural Resources and the former Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day 45 years ago, rallied to the cause. The resulting six-month-long DDT hearing in the late 1960s was an important stimulus for citizen activism in the modern environmental era. Bill challenged us to remember that individuals can indeed have an impact.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Riverside Gardens

Riverview Gardens is a financially self-sustaining social enterprise, focused on job training for people in need, using urban farming and a park setting in downtown Appleton, WI.
~Mission Statement

I had an opportunity to join my husband and members of Rotary for an introduction to Riverview Gardens to prepare to help volunteering preparing hoop houses for planting.  Riverview Gardens vision of growing "into an inclusive, socially-innovative, and replicable community- outreach model that changes the paradigm for addressing poverty, homelessness, and unemployment in the Fox Valley and beyond" offers programs for our community to embrace to enhance our future.

Created from 72-acres of land that was was a golf course, Riverview Gardens is Appleton's first urban farm.  Gardens, hoophouses and perennial orchards grow fruit, vegetables, herbs and nuts to feed hundreds of families.  The community has access to food production at Riverview Gardens through farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares, local groceries, and restaurants.

Riverview Gardens utilizes organic farming practices with a goal of achieving  U.S.D.A. organic certification this year..  Food is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.  Inputs are limited to certified organic seeds (so that produce is 100% GMO-free), plants, organic potting soil, and compost.

We plan to return later in the growing season to help out with planting and harvesting.  We can support their efforts by purchasing crops should be available for sale at the downtown Appleton Farmers Market on Saturdays.