Victory Garden Urban Farm
A once broken, empty city lot filled with trash and old tires has been transformed into a beautiful oasis of locally grown organic produce, education, exploration, and people bridging the divide to build communities.
Victory Garden Urban Farm (The Farm) is our 1.5-acre urban farm located in the heart of the Harambee neighborhood. The Farm is a hub of inspiring activity and a real-life picture of various solutions to the disparities that negatively impact the Milwaukee’s food system and the prevalence of hunger associated with poor nutrition and lack of food access as well as improving the neighborhood environment. From community composting to rainwater harvest to organic practices, the Farm is a model of environmentally healthy practices working together. This creates a perfect landscape for neighbors meeting neighbors, offering locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to Harambee residents, providing alternative growing spaces,educating and empowering youth to make positive changes to their food habits and the food system, partnering with restaurants to represent a healthy supply, distribution, and revenue segment of the food system; and finally demonstrating a commitment to Milwaukee residents by providing meaningful opportunities for students, community service needs, businesses, youth, and recovery groups.
NATURAL FOOD FOREST
Over time, we are transforming the land into a beautiful and nourishing community space that provides an ABUNDANCE OF FOOD. The conversion of the land into a food forest includes fruit- and nut-producing trees, shrubs, herbs, and other perennial plants. Victory Garden Urban will produce the most amount of food by creating a nearly self-sustaining ecosystem that includes not only people and plants, but also beneficial animals, insects, fungi, and microorganisms.
Did you know that you can grow peaches in Wisconsin? In our Food Forest, we have trees and shrubs that bear fruits of pear, apple, cherry, apricot, raspberry, peach, currant, mulberry, and quince, among others!
We also grow herbs like rosemary, basil, tarragon, and mint!
Community members are always invited to contribute their compostable materials to Victory Garden Urban Farms’ compost pile! Located at the north end (back of log) of the farm, this compost is gradually used to build up new soil on the site and REVITALIZE SOIL NUTRIENTS in raised beds. We are also in the process of building a multi bin compost system on the southwest side (front of lot), which we use to demonstrate smaller-scale composting.
The Farm is home to a 400 square foot shelter and rainwater harvesting system accompanied by 500-gallon cistern. By collecting the rainwater that falls on the shelter, we reduce our dependence on city water and ENSURE A CONVENIENT WATER SOURCE FOR OUR COMMUNITY GARDENERS. Thanks to funding from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewer District (MMSD) plans are underway this spring to install an additional 1700 gallon underground rainwater catchment system.
Victory Garden Urban Farm has been recognized as part of the MILLION POLLINATORS GARDEN CHALLENGE!