The intention for the middle section of the farm is to have community gardens and pastured livestock that would provide nutritious food for neighborhood residents and those living onsite in multi-story housing. Learning how to grow food and care for animals deepens our connection to the land. Residents will realize food security, but also to be accountable for their actions on the property. For example: taking part in daily farm/garden chores will provide accountability and inter-connectedness to the land. It is common in our fast-paced world for people to be disconnected from their food source and thus not care how the soil, livestock and landbase are treated. We envision a large contiguous portion of land, perhaps 5 acres, to be farmed as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to Dane County residents, to sell at a market stand on site, and to provide for local food pantries.
Many opportunities exist for the remaining 15 acre larger farm parcel, including agribusiness to create jobs and support economic development. Having livestock (small ruminants and poultry) and organic vegetables on the same farm site is essential for regenerative land-use, especially in an urban setting where fertilizer and other soil nutrients/amendments are not as easily accessible. An interesting idea that has been discussed with the City of Madison Streets Division is a municipal-wide composting center that would produce bio-gas to heat the affordable housing units and fertilizer to restore nutrients to the soil.
Using organic and sustainable agricultural practices like composting, no tillage, and a diversity of crops and crop rotation sequesters carbon in the soil and thereby reduce the impacts of climate change. This enlightened organic and sustainable land use would serve as seeds to germinate new ideas and promote the Wisconsin Idea. Research shows that these practices restore the health of the soil, the health of humans, health of the crops and livestock. We envision a land fostering community that serves as a means of jobs creation, education, and renewed hope to the downtrodden.