The Cream City Gardens is an urban garden program of the Guest House. Our gardens provide fresh, home-grown produce to the Guest House, our neighbors, and the Friedens Community Ministries network of food pantries so that families in need have access to fresh produce.
Not only do we produce healthy food, but our gardens have transformed once-vacant lots into a healthy and active urban farm. Cream City Gardens consists of 56 raised garden beds, and a half-acre of in-ground planting rows.
In 2015, we raised 4,470 pounds of fresh produce including heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, red and yellow potatoes, turnips, beets, carrots, kale, mustard greens, red and green leaf lettuce, rainbow chard, cabbage, green peppers, cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon, okra, eggplant, basil, cilantro, strawberries, and more!
The Cream City Gardens Urban Agriculture Training Program provides job training to formerly homeless individuals in the areas of basic agriculture, urban gardening, and the green industry. Graduates of this program seek jobs in urban farming, local farmer's markets, and your neighborhood grocer's produce department.
In 2014, the Cream City Garden added a Rainwater Harvesting Pavilion to collect and reuse rainwater for watering our gardens beds. The pavilion collects up to 500 gallons of rainwater every time it rains. The water is then used to water our plants throughout our garden.
The Cream City Garden Rainwater Harvesting Pavilion was made possible by a gift from the Brewers Community Foundation and team alum, Rickie Weeks. The pavilion structure was designed courtesy of VetterDenk Architects, and the rainwater collection system was designed and installed by Reflo - Sustainable Water Solutions. The pavilion was built by Orta Construction. Other community partners that made the project possible include Arts@Large and Greener Roofs & Gardens.
In 2015, the Cream City Garden Rainwater Harvesting Pavilion was one of the inaugural winners of a People's Choice Award at the 2015 Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI) and a recipient of the Mayor's Design Award for Environmental Sustainability!
We're proud of all that the Rainwater Harvesting Pavilion represents--from the community partnerships that brought it to life, to the fresh food and job training it provides to our neighbors, to the park-like atmosphere it brings to our neighborhood--it is truly a representation of the spirit of innovation alive in Milwaukee!
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"I asked myself, 'Tyrone, do you love yourself?' and the people here helped me change the things about my life that were all wrong. But it all started when I began to love myself."
- Tyrone P. commenting on his graduation
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