As TEDxManhattan approaches, we are checking in with past speakers to get an update on their work. Below, Howard Hintertheur, last year’s TEDxManhattan Challenge winner, brings us up to date on the Organic Therapy Program at Milwaukee’s Center for Veterans Issues. Howard spoke about the project at TEDxManhattan 2012.
The Organic Therapy Program (OTP) at the Center for Veterans Issues continued to expand this season with five new raised beds, expanded participation by formerly homeless veterans in planning and gardening, and testing. We thought it would be helpful to administer “pre-testing” as the season began and again toward harvest time. The goal is to identify changes across a range of self-reported behaviors and feelings.
The OTP is about to take a quantum leap forward with the help of a sizable grant from the Ceres Foundation. We’re looking at:
– Supplying the salad greens required year ‘round by the MCFI (Milwaukee Center for Independence) food service training program run out of our kitchen at Veterans Manor.
– Supplying the salad greens required year ‘round in the Vets Place Central (transitional housing) Mess Hall, plus other vegetables on a (expanded) seasonal basis.
– Supplying the salad greens required year ‘round at Troop Café, the retail restaurant at Veterans Manor run by vets. It serves the food desert area surrounding Vets Place Central and Veterans Manor.
– Making this effort a “jobs training program,” with a focus on aquaponics utilizing a state-of-the-art system based on research conducted by the Sweet Water Foundation.