From the Farm to Table: The Ultimate Farm Collaborative Offers Space for Local Urban Farmers and Community Members in Milwaukee

Milwaukee’s Farm

In a city, the idea of animals, farmers, and taking care of crops is a removed concept replaced by the bustle of the city, fast-paced living, and grocery stores that contain daily necessities.

The Ultimate Farm Collaborative is located on Milwaukee’s Northside on Silver Spring Drive and brings farm life to the city. The farm is three acres complete with animals, greenhouses, and compost bins scattered across the property.

The farm sits on the last agriculturally zoned land in the city and was previously home to Growing Power, a Black-owned farm owned by retired professional basketball player Will Allen, that was established in 1995. Growing Power dissolved in 2017 and the land was purchased in 2019 by Tyler Schmitt and his father, Tom, to preserve the last farm in the city of Milwaukee.

Tyler Scmitt (R) with fellow urban farmers at the Ultimate Farm Collaborative On Milwaukee’s Northside. (Picture by Maria Peralta-Arellano/Carvd N Stone)
Tyler Scmitt (R) with fellow urban farmers at the Ultimate Farm Collaborative On Milwaukee’s Northside. (Picture by Maria Peralta-Arellano/Carvd N Stone)

Appreciating Our Food

Co-owner Schmitt believes that improving one’s connection to nature can foster a greater appreciation of where food comes from and the world that goes into producing it. 

“Farming can be seven days a week sometimes, so it can be tiring but it is very good for you and it’s rewarding because it connects you with the earth,” said Schmitt. “ There’s an appreciation for the entire food system, the process it takes for food to get to grocery stores and it’s just a cool process to see the food grow.”

The greenhouses located on the property rent out spaces for urban farmers to use for their own crops. Everything they grow can be harvested and kept or sold at local farmer’s markets to help increase access to fresh and healthy foods in the surrounding community.

Fatima Badwan is a local urban farmer who grows her own foods and helps maintain the farm. 

“It’s such an opportunity to be able to see what I can do and what I can do for the community. I knew I wanted to get into sustainable food and all I know is that if I have access to this food, others should have access to this food too.”

– Fatima Badwan

Serving the Community

The farm runs tours of the property and works with Milwaukee Public Schools to help educate students on the farm, agriculture, sustainability, and the importance of healthy living. 

“You can have positive experiences with nature that can open doors and inspire kids to take their own path in life,” said Schmitt. “ For kids to see where food comes from and learn the process of that is important for them.”

The space also hosts events like The Farm Music Festival to give community members a green space to hang out and enjoy nature, and music together. 

Maria Peralta-Arellano is a Milwaukee-native journalist who focuses on sharing news from her local communities. She dedicates her work to accessibility and producing bilingual coverage focused on arts, culture, and politics. She looks to explore her community through a journalistic and creative lens.

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