Howard Leu

A Fruity Nutty Affair plants roots at Turner Hall

Victory Garden Initiative hosted its 3rd annual Fruity Nutty Affair at Turner Hall on Saturday, and TCD was there to host an exclusive photo booth.

By - Feb 18th, 2013 04:00 am
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The Fruity Nutty Affair at Turner Hall Ballroom on Saturday yielded plenty of “green” for 150 fruit and nut trees to be planted in five Milwaukee neighborhoods. The fundraiser event, organized by Victory Garden Initiative, exceeded their goal by nearly $20,000 and raised over $50,000.

The event and live auction was hosted by Wisconsin Foodie host Kyle Cherek and VGI’s Executive Director Gretchen Mead. Auction items included professional gardening consultation, raised beds and fruit/nut trees. Tasty appetizers were provided by Ball’N Biscuit Catering, MKE Localicious, Cempazuchi, Outpost Natural Foods, Afro Fusion Cuisine, Poppie Sea and Milwaukee Brewing Co.

Madison’s rustic string ensemble the BriarPickers provided boot stompin’ bluegrass melodies for the night while the crowd obliged with lively contradance. Our very own Lacy Landre provided fun props and glamor shots at the TCD-sponsored photo booth. Guests were eager to pose with the vivacious Fruity and Nutty characters from Milwaukee Public Theatre.

The BriarPickers

The Fruity Nutty Affair proved that food brings people together. It showcased various groups and organizations who are passionate about locally grown ingredients and improving food culture. The VGI maintains two urban gardens (one in Bayview and the other in Harambee) and provides education and resources for those who want harvestable gardens of their own. Their annual spring Victory Garden Blitz event brings together expert and novice urban gardeners and installs raised beds all around the city. The 2012 event brought together over 170 volunteers and installed 260 beds in eight days. Mead’s own entry in the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge was chosen from a dozen Milwaukee proposals to represent the city and is now a top 20 finalist. Her proposal was to use the city’s nearly 4,000 vacant and foreclosed properties to grow healthy and affordable food. The winner will receive $5 million to implement their proposal.

Mead had no problem raising money for 150 fruit and nut trees. Let’s cross our fingers that she’ll be able to act on her vision of growing fruits, nuts and vegetables all throughout the city with the green provided by Mr. Bloomberg.

To view more photos from the event, check out the slideshow below or visit our flickr page.  Did you partake in our photo booth? See the final results and tag yourself or your friends here.

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