“Distributed Suburban CSA”

For some time now I’ve envisioned a CSA or similar operation based in otherwise empty and abandoned city lots. We have about 3,000 here in Milwaukee — a tiny fraction of those in the city of Detroit, which has at least thirty-three times as many!

NPR has a story on Detroit lots becoming farms that’s worth reading.

While we may about a thirty-third as many empty lots here in Milwaukee, that’s still plenty to make tiny urban farms on. And the City of Milwaukee has become much more willing and able to officially license these empty lots for such use.

Oh, and look at this: “Urban Farming is an international 501c3 headquartered in Detroit, Michigan that plants food on unused land and space and gives it to the needy. [Read more,]


Specifically what I’m referring to is using lawns or yards as growing space. There’s no zoning (that I know of) to be concerned about for that, so long as you don’t sell what you grow. But given that I’m not looking to sell the food, that seems like it would be all right.


Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

2 thoughts on ““Distributed Suburban CSA””

  1. I had the pleasure of meeting Larry Adams from Walnut Way at a Milwaukee Urban Ag. Network meeting. Wonderful guy! And there’s a Growing Power-style aquaculture system set up at Fernwood Montessori School down here on the south side, too. WUWM had a story about that:

    What I’m thinking of is something less like Growing Power, which is a farm (and then some), and more like a traditional vegetable farm. No aquaculture, in other words. 🙂

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