Home / Food / Dining Preview / Milwaukee Urban Discovery Farm

Milwaukee Urban Discovery Farm

Growing veggies (and a stronger community)

Sep. 14, 2014
Google plus Linkedin Pinterest
The local food movement is changing not only what we eat, but where that food is grown. Most of us live in cities or towns, and we purchase our fruits and veggies from a neighborhood grocery store. Idealistic and health-conscious shoppers may venture to farmers markets or co-ops or even cultivate a home vegetable garden to get the freshest produce. In the past it has sometimes been difficult for people with limited income or space to access freshly grown foods.

Organizations like the UW-Extension program have worked for years to promote community gardening throughout the city and keep people involved in the food system. The program is responsible for offering rent-a-garden opportunities to the community for the past 42 years, as well as conducting classes and workshops to educate residents about the value of growing nutritious food.

Last year, the UW-Extension program took on a new challenge and launched a project called the Milwaukee Urban Discovery Farm (MUDF). This endeavor is part of a larger, nationally funded effort to investigate the viability of urban micro farming as a source of family income. Last year MUDF was operated on a trial basis, with 2014 being the official kick-off.

Like its progenitor, UW-Extension’s long running Shoots n’ Roots program, MUDF focuses on educating small-scale vegetable gardeners to organic practices and helping the community deal with the challenges of growing in an urban environment. MUDF Coordinator Ryan Schone works with the participants in the program to ensure they have what they need to succeed. Schone helps growers with everything from developing their business goals to organizing monthly workshops for participants.

The “micro-farmers” involved in the program are responsible for buying their own supplies, seeds and elbow grease. The land itself is available at little cost due to the subsidies through the program. Each participant has access to one-eighth to 1.5 acres of land to plant as they choose. All of the growers are required to document their progress for the sake of research.

The actual “farm” of MUDF consists of four different sites located throughout Milwaukee County. These include The Green Corridor Community Gardens (Sixth Street and Howard Avenue), the Kohl Farm (8300 County Line Road), the Firefly Ridge Community Garden (10256 Underwood Parkway) and the Timmerman Fields Community Garden (9200 Appleton Ave.).

So, the next time you’re at a local grocery store or farmers market wondering about where your food came from, it’s possible that produce you’re looking at was grown right here in a City of Milwaukee micro-farm.

For more information about the UW-Extension program or Milwaukee Urban Discovery Farm visit its website.


The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear the case to determine if Wisconsin Republicans’ redistricting maps are too partisan. Do you believe the U.S. Supreme Court will order Wisconsin to redraw our legislative maps so the majority of legislative districts are competitive and voters will actually have a real choice between a Democrat and Republican?

Getting poll results. Please wait...