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In the spring of 2015, Milwaukee Catholic Home launched the Clare Gardens project, a farm to table program and community garden in partnership with the Franciscan Friars of the Assumption BVM Province.   A total of 5 acres of fruits, vegetables and flowers are grown each season using organic practices on the Franciscans’ property in Burlington, WI.

The goal of the project is to bring fresh, local produce to our residents and to create a place of experiential engagement both for residents and the broader community.  Additionally, the program enables our chefs to explore creative, healthy and diverse menus.

A.J. Weis, the project’s agricultural manager, is passionate about the MCH’s vision for Clare Gardens and the values of service and stewardship underlying the project.

“The genuine hopes are that this project will add value to the services that MCH already provides, both as an experience and in the produce that will be harvested,” A.J. said.  “I share the vision of being involved in local agriculture and how it relates to community involvement.  I am in the right place to accomplish these collective goals and inject life into a place that could potentially be significant to the greater Milwaukee area community.”

For the 2016 and 2017 growing season, MCH has offered shares in the farm’s produce to its organizational partners.  Partners who purchase shares receive a weekly delivery of farm-fresh produce, delivered over the course of 20-24 weeks in late spring, summer and early fall.  The Riverwest Food Pantry, a food assistance ministry that serves MCH’s east side neighborhood, also receives a share of Clare Gardens produce through the financial support of both MCH and Town Bank.

“At Milwaukee Catholic Home, we emphasize whole person wellness, and healthy eating is a significant part of that,” said MCH CEO Dave Fulcher.  “We are excited to be able to offer other organizations who serve older adults and those in need in our community the chance to reap the benefits of the Clare Gardens project.”

Clare Gardens was also featured in an article in the Catholic Herald, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s weekly publication.

For more information on how you can volunteer or support this exciting initiative, contact Dave Fulcher at (414) 220-3212 or dfulcher@milwaukeecatholichome.org.