Farm of the Future?

My bet is that this will be the farm of the future – urban or very close to town – very intensive too – this is real today

Community Food Centers are local places where people can learn sustainable practices to grow, process, market, and distribute food.  The prototype for Community Food Centers, as mentioned in our mission, is the Growing Power facility at 5500 W. Silver Spring Drive in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This historic two-acre farm is the last remaining farm and greenhouse operation in the City of Milwaukee. Since 1999, our Community Food Center has provided a wonderful space for hands-on activities, large-scale demonstration projects, and for growing a myriad of plants, vegetables, and herbs. In a space no larger than a small supermarket live some 20,000 plants and vegetables, thousands of fish, and a livestock inventory of chickens, goats, ducks, rabbits, and bees.

The urban farm currently includes:

  • six greenhouses growing over 12,000 pots of herbs, salad mix, beet greens, arugula, mustards, seedlings, sunflower and radish sprouts. These greenhouses also host production of six hydroponic systems growing Tilapia, Perch, and a variety of herb and salad greens, and over 50 bins of red wriggler worms;

  • a aquaponics hoop house with two independent fish runs and growing beds for additional salad mix and seedlings;

  • three hoop houses growing a mixture of salad greens;

  • a worm depository hoop house;

  • an apiary with 5 beehives;

  • three poultry hoop houses with laying hens and ducks;

  • outdoor pens for livestock including goats, rabbits, and turkeys;

  • a large plot of land on which the first stage of the organization’s sophisticated composting operation is located including 30 pallet compost systems;

  • an anerobic digester to produce energy from the farm’s food waste; and

  • a small retail store to sell produce, meat, worm castings, and compost to the community.

The center offers schools, universities, government agencies, farmers, activists, and community members opportunities to learn from and participate in the development and operation of Community Food Systems.

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