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Urban Agriculture

ripe tomatoes on the vineLocally grown food has sustained residents in Milwaukee County throughout its history. Our farmers are now more diverse in many ways. Even though growing space is considerably smaller, in these uncertain times growing your own food can provide quality produce, a sense of food security and family recreation. Results from our community gardening evaluation found that the safe haven of community gardens brings out the best in people. Gardening brings families together, provides food, and fosters community.

The Cooperative Extension gardening tradition started with garden plot rentals at the Milwaukee County Grounds in 1972. Our commitment and vision is to build new centers for urban agriculture. These centers will provide an opportunity for all people to gather and share information, plants and gardening strengths.

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Program Areas 

man working on his gardenRent a Garden

2014 is the 42nd year that Extension has rented gardens in Milwaukee County. For urban residents who do not have a place to garden, the garden plot rental program provides an opportunity to grow nutritious food, save grocery money, enjoy some exercise and share family traditions. To learn more about renting a garden, visit the Garden Rental web site or contact the garden rental assistant at 414-256-4606 or

honey bee on aster flowerCertified Beekeeping & the Urban Apiculture Institute

Milwaukee County UW-Extension & the Urban Apiculture Institute have started Wisconsin’s first Certified Beekeeper program. In 2008, we secured a permit for an apiary at the community gardens in Wauwatosa and conducted our first beekeeping class. To learn more, contact Linda Reynolds, 414-256-4652, or visit the Urban Apiculture Institute web page.

MKE Urban Discovery Farm logo

 Milwaukee Urban Discovery Farm

The Milwaukee Urban Discovery Farm researches the economic viability and social capital of urban agriculture while empowering small-scale farmers in the region. We do so by facilitating land access and providing technical and educational resources for selling local food. Participants – or “micro-farmers” – learn sustainable methods to increase their food production while cultivating buyer relationships with partnered Milwaukee restaurants, markets, and food co-ops.  To learn more, visit the Urban Discovery Farm/ MicroFarming web page or contact Ryan Schone  414-256-4653 or

caregiver and child working on a projectAccessible Gardening

Since 1995, Extension Urban Agriculture staff have been teaching gardeners with physical and developmental limitations the joy and techniques of gardening. We train clients and caregivers at our innovative accessible demonstration garden and adjacent greenhouse. For more information about accessible gardening or to arrange a tour, contact Dennis Lukaszewski at 414-256-4650 or

people of all ages working together in a community garden

Project FEEDs

FEEDs, Food, Ecosystem, and Educational Demonstration sites, is working to make the community gardening movement stronger by building connections among gardeners. Extension staff conduct workshops to help people create and sustain community gardens. We enhance communication among gardeners through a website and email list-serve. To learn more, visit the FEEDs web site or contact Ryan Schone   414-256-4653 or

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