The Gardens at Havenwoods
Havenwoods has partnered with the Milwaukee County University of Wisconsin – Extension (UWEX), the UWEX SouthEast Wisconsin Master Gardener Volunteers (Master Gardener Volunteers), and the UWEX Master Composters in the development and care of several gardens.
Buds 'n Sprouts Gardens
Havenwoods and UWEX broke ground for the kids' garden in 1995. The gardens are a place where groups of children can learn about good nutrition, discover nature, and develop their gardening skills. They plant and tend their own small gardens. In addition, a larger garden features vegetables planted in interesting ways. Peek through the fence and you might catch a glimpse of the Pizza Garden, Subway Garden, Pumpkin Patch, or Salsa Garden. Follow this link to find more information about the kids' gardening program.
These gardens feature traditional food crops from five major cultural groups in America:
- African American
- Asian American
- European American
- Hispanic American
- Native American
Master Gardener Volunteers plant and tend the gardens.
A visit in summer will open your eyes to the similarities and differences in the vegetables grown by these cultures. You might also discover new vegetables to grow and new ways to nurture them.
In 1990, the Master Composters built demonstration compost bins north of the education center. The area looked like this.
In the years since, the Master Gardener Volunteers have put much care and attention into the area. Today, as the Naturalist's Backyard, it is a model landscape filled with native plantings. It features perennial forbs, grasses, and trees; accessible gardens; and a shady, peaceful escape. The compost bins are still in use. Visit during the growing season to get ideas for your own backyard.
UWEX staff and volunteers helped Havenwoods design, sculpt, and plant this site to model a home rain garden. The rainwater that runs off the roof of the education center flows into three basins planted with native forbs, sedges, and rushes. Come follow the trail around and through the rain garden. Visit several times to catch the parade of blooming flowers all summer long.
Urban Gardening Rental Plots
Our partnership with UWEX began in about 1986 when we broke ground for garden plots. UWEX called the program Shoots 'n Roots in those days. Gardeners are indeed both doers and dreamers. Only a gardener could have looked at this site and imagined growing produce!
This photo from 1986 shows the "less than ideal" soil. In addition to the clay, early gardeners dealt with wild animals that raided the gardens just as produce was ready to harvest. Supplemental soil, compost, time, a fence, and an irrigation system have made gardening at Havenwoods much more productive and enjoyable.
This photo shows approximately the same view in 2008.
Today neighbors rent twenty-four rental gardens (about 20’ x 40’ each) to grow their own vegetables and flowers. UWEX staff members administer the rental program, and they till and stake out the gardens before the planting season.
For information on becoming a gardener at Havenwoods visit the Rent a Garden Web site.