City of Milwaukee joins ranks of officially gardening municipalities

Buried in a story in today’s issue of the Journal Sentinel is word that “two raised garden beds between the Zeidler Municipal Building and [Milwaukee] City Hall” are about to become vegetable gardens:

“The beds, which used to hold flowers, have been made taller to hold richly composted soil to grow vegetables, including peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and salad mix.

“Youths employed by the city will tend the gardens. Some employees are calling it the mayor’s version of the White House vegetable garden, which first lady Michelle Obama is supervising.

“Vegetables from the City Hall garden will be donated to food pantries, Growing Power [our local urban non-profit farm which provided the compost to the city] said.”

I’ll have to ride up there some time and take some pictures. Congratulations to the City for joining the ranks of other cities that have embraced urban farming as a way to benefit the hungry and needy. Karen Herzog has been doing some very good food reporting on urban farming lately, and I do enjoy reading it — which makes sense, given that it’s a passion of mine. (Shame about the token right-winger they have on staff wasting paper… he’d doubtlessly dismiss this is “socialism at its worst.”)


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.

4 thoughts on “City of Milwaukee joins ranks of officially gardening municipalities”

  1. Vegetable gardens, you say? I happened to notice that they used green treated lumber for the raised beds. Treated with arsenic… Yeah, you don’t want to eat whatever has been growing next to arsenic.

  2. treated lumber, eh? I’ll have to have look myself. I completely agree that if it was treated with arsenic, then yee gads, keep the hell away from it. That said, how do you know what they were treated with?

  3. Green color in the timber is a dead give away. Basically all pressure treated lumber with a green color is Chromated Copper Arsenate. There is a newer type of treated lumber using Copper Azole which is more environmentally friendly and there is a chance the city used it albeit a small chance. Ideally you would want to use cedar which is more resistant to rot and environmentally friendly.

  4. It’s worth finding out which one it is. Once summer school lightens up, I will try to find out. Wish me luck facing the city bureaucracy…..

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