For food lovers and supporters of sustainable agriculture, you can't beat Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This oft-overlooked Midwesten gem is memorable for more than just its cheese—it also boasts 177 community gardens, 30 farms, and 26 farmers' markets (more per capita than any other American city!) In the last decade, a half-dozen "farm-to-table" restaurants have sprung up in the city, creating a vibrant food culture that is constantly reinventing itself with fresh, nutritious, locally grown food. Milwaukee is also home to The Miller Brewing Company and has a craft beer scene that is second to none.
Many residents have developed a green thumb thanks to the city's active cooperative extension system and city laws that allow gardeners to sell their produce at farm stands and markets and keep chickens and bees in their yards. Others in Milwaukee have been championing gardening and community agriculture for decades, following traditions passed down through the generations. Still others have turned to gardening and urban agriculture more recently, as a way to recover from the Great Recession and heal divisions that have riven Milwaukee—and our nation as a whole.
Enter our Farm & Food sweepstakes and check out an excerpt from the revised edition of Public Produce by Darrin Nordahl. Public Produce profiles the many communities and community officials that are rethinking the role of public space in cities, and shows how places as diverse as parking lots and playgrounds can sustain health and happiness through fresh produce.