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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Urban Ecology Center
Wednesday, 13 March 2013
It’s that time of year again – time to tap the maple trees, more specifically the sugar maples! Every year, the Urban Ecology Center takes part in the uniquely American tradition of maple sugaring by tapping the maple trees in Riverside and Washington Parks and boiling down the sap to make maple syrup!
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Tuesday, 12 March 2013
The Riverside Park Center was bustling last Saturday! The 11th annual Local Farmer Open House attracted approximately 1,000 people to our Riverside Park branch to meet local farmers and learn about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Visitors chatted with 17 local farmers as the farmers enthusiastically shared information about their farms, their philosophies, and the food they grow. The workshops, including: Introduction to CSAs, Cooking from Your CSA Box and Multiple Biological Effects from Low Level Pesticides in Foods, were packed and people were enjoying good food and good conversations throughout the day. Thank you to the farmers, the presenters, the food trucks, and to all of you who attended. Hope to see you next year! Take a look at these…
Written by Caitlin Reinartz
Tuesday, 12 March 2013
I talk to a lot of people about trees.  Those conversations are about identification, physiology, or growth habit, but my favorite conversations about trees are ones about how awesome or beautiful a certain tree or species of tree is.  During these talks I have noticed that most folks are not as willing to sing the praises of box elder (Acer negundo).The following is an admittedly overly-impassioned plea for the love of this month’s native tree, the lowly box elder.
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Friday, 08 March 2013
Will Moyer is the new farm manager at Wellspring in Newburg, WI. Though he may be new to the job, he’s an old hand in the garden. “I have spent most of my life with both elbows deep in rich soil. Starting as just a babe spending long summer days in my Grandpa’s market garden, I have cultivated a love for small scale, sustainable agriculture. Some of my earliest memories are pulling sugar snap peas right off the plant in the spring and popping them into my mouth after the old, one-two swipe on my Oshkosh overalls (just like Grandpa),” said Will. After keeping his hands dirty with one farming or horticulture job or another he attended the University of…
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Thursday, 07 March 2013
When Steve and Kath Vogelmann purchased their 80 acre farm near Campbellsport 15 years ago, they never dreamed they would end up as full time CSA farmers. At the time, Steve was self-employed in the construction industry and Kath was a wildlife artist.But everything came together in the right combination of talents, skills, and experience, along with their passion for healthy food and love of the natural world. Steve was born up north in Merrill, Wisconsin where he gained a lifelong love for nature, especially the north woods where he went for long walks with his father. Kath’s Dad spent his early life on the family farm, acquiring a deep love for the natural world—which he passed on to all…
Written by Cassie Mordini
Thursday, 07 March 2013
We work so hard during our lifetimes to make something of ourselves and make a difference in our worlds.  But what happens when we die?  Was all that work for nothing?  Will someone pick up where we left off, continuing our hard work?  And, will we be remembered?
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Wednesday, 06 March 2013
Janet Gamble, owner and operator of Turtle Creek Gardens (TCG), has been farming for 30 years and operating CSAs since 1994. Janet has a strong educational and non-profit background in sustainable, organic and biodynamic agriculture which forms her extensive knowledge in her farming practices and management. Turtle Creek Gardens is a new farm that Janet built up from scratch, converting a conventional farm to an organic certified farm. “We chose the CSA model because of the unique social economic model it serves and the ability to connect people with their food.  It also encourages people to cook by offering healthy, fresh and nutritious food choices.  It’s a way to promote a healthy lifestyle and preventative health plan,” said Janet.  In…
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Tuesday, 05 March 2013
For Jill Holstine, owner and operator of Rubicon River Farm (RR Farm), fresh, healthy food plays a role in healing the body as well as the soul. Jill was working as a marketing director and used gardening as a way to “decompress”.  Then she began experiencing health issues. She started RR Farm as a hobby in 2009 because she realized she needed to turn to people and soil to heal. Her hobby and garden grew from a ½ acre to 3 acres in a few years. “My health concerns ended up to be worse than I originally thought and food became a major part of the healing process,” said Jill. “I have always enjoyed cooking, gardening and talking to others…
Written by Matt Flower
Tuesday, 05 March 2013
A good CSI detective needs tools, clues and evidence to try and recreate a crime scene.  In the case of phenology, you also need tools, clues and evidence to recreate an accurate picture of an ecosystem. 
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Monday, 04 March 2013
Like a number of farmers drawn to what is often referred to as the "local food movement," Sandy Raduenz and David Kozlowski of Pinehold Gardens were not born into farming families.  In fact, they left their full-time "office" careers in their 40's to pursue this physically demanding yet rewarding vocation.  They became owners of their farm in 2004 yet have offered a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program since 1995.   They work to provide the freshest, highest quality fruits and vegetables, educate members and nonmembers on sustainable food and energy issues and illustrate the importance of community in our food system.  They are motivated by this commitment and the opportunity to make the world just a little better.

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