The Milwaukee entry for Mayor Bloomberg’s Challenge

Friends sometimes wonder why I am so impassioned by this idea, this Victory Garden Initiative. Sure, they all know that I like to garden, that I always have a veggie garden, some years better than others, but every year a gardening year.

Take a look at the video above. These are the neighborhoods I work in. This is the world I see, places where people’s best access to cheap food is the the dollar menu at McDonald’s and every other house is a boarded up fire trap. It’s a terrible world and thinking people have to figure out a way to change it. What was that quote? Oh, yes:

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.
—Herman Melville

Don’t want to break the federal and state bank through health care for the poor? Provide the tools and education that will prevent some of the health habits that lead to diabetes and other problems. It’s good advice for everyone in the first world, of course. I, however, work with the people who who need state aid. And my concern is making sure more people don’t end up needing my help.

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