Photo essay: Doors Open to Alice’s Garden Urban Farm!
By Eddee Daniel
It was a beautiful early autumn morning! The clouds swept overhead like a hallelujah chorus. Bright, colorful, cultivated flowers and ripening vegetables greeted me as I wandered through the lanes of Alice’s Garden. Vendors selling jewelry, fabrics, crafts, and other goods also greeted me from their booths along the main thoroughfare. The doors were decidedly open.
As followers of this blog know, Milwaukee has a wealth of opportunities to explore. Usually, of course, the places I like to explore are parks and natural areas. But I also love architecture (having taught the subject for thirty years) and I love Doors Open Milwaukee, Historic Milwaukee’s annual event that invites us to explore all manner of places, many of which are not otherwise open to the public. As it happens, some of the venues on the Doors Open catalogue are also parks. What a great opportunity to combine my two loves! I visited Alice’s Garden Urban Farm, which is located in Johnson’s Park on Milwaukee’s north side.
“Alice’s Garden was named in honor after Alice Meade-Taylor, a former Executive Director of Milwaukee County Extension whose vision for building neighborhoods and nurturing people included gardening programs for children, youth and their families.” As an urban farm it “provides models of regenerative farming, community cultural development, and economic agricultural enterprises for the global landscape.” It recognizes “the cultivating, preparing, and preserving of food, and food traditions, as cultural arts to be reclaimed and celebrated fully in urban agriculture.”1
As an additional treat, the garden currently houses a display of creative and moving photographic portraits of young people, along with stories about them and their aspirations. The installation is part of a program called Art Start, which “uses the creative process to nurture the voices, hearts, and minds of historically marginalized youth, offering a space for them to imagine, believe, and represent their creative vision for their lives and communities.”2 As a former art teacher, I was delighted to discover this program, but I was completely surprised to learn, from its website, that Art Start is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year! More power to them.
Here’s a selection of photos from my visit:
For more information about Doors Open Milwaukee, go to Historic Milwaukee, Inc.
1. From the Alice’s Garden website.
2. From the Art Start website.
Eddee Daniel is a board member of Preserve Our Parks and a former teacher of photography, architecture, and art.