What We Do

Friends of Real Food

On the 2nd Wednesday of each month, the Friends of Real Food gather at the Urban Ecology Center. High energy programs and conversation accompany a tasty potluck dinner making for a memorable evening centered on the pleasure of shared meals and learning.

The Friends of Real Food educate themselves about mindful eating, sustainable food systems, the local and national food movements, and other food related issues. All are invited to join this welcoming community of real food enthusiasts – if you forget to sign up in advance, don't worry, please come and enjoy!

Since the summer of 2006, the Friends of Real Food have learned together about a wide range of timely food related topics from speakers, farmers, films (e.g., King Corn) and their own lively discussions. The topics have included:

  • Why and how to eat locally
  • The Farm Bill
  • Mindful eating (how to choose the food we eat)
  • Growing our own food
  • Planning food preservation
  • GMOs (genetically modified foods)
  • Heirloom seeds and heritage breeds
  • How to strengthen the food system in Milwaukee

The group has also taken field trips together to listen to authors like Michael Pollan and to visit local farms including an organic strawberry U-pick. Whether you are new to the group, or a veteran member, you are always welcome to suggest new meeting topics and to get involved in other real food activities at the Urban Ecology Center, including volunteering at the Local Food and Farmer Open House, the Eat Local Challenge and other programs.

Food Preservation Classes

Do you want to enjoy the summer harvest or the food you’ve grown or bought locally all year long? Then you’ll want to sign up for one or more of the popular Savor the Taste of Summer food preservation classes at the Urban Ecology Center this summer and fall. Start with an Introduction to Food Preservation overview in May and/or one or more of our hands-on classes focusing on making Jams and Jellies with First Fruits, Tomatoes, or Pickling. In these classes you will learn how to freeze, dry, and can seasonal produce and take the fruits of your labor home that same night!
Our wonderful instructor, Annie Wegner LeFort, is a Master Food Preserver and has taught classes at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Bay View Community Center, South Shore Farmers’ Market and Homegrown Chicago’s Farmers’ Market. She is also a food columnist for Outpost Exchange magazine and a pastry chef.

This year classes will be also be held in two other locations:

St. Matthew’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa
And in the Milwaukee Public Market

For all the details – dates, course descriptions – this year’s brochure, contact Jamie Ferschinger at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Early Morning Bird Walks (Washington Park)

Washington Park

Wednesday, December 7th

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

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ROOT Washington Park

Washington Park

Wednesday, December 7th

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

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