Community Development Through Green Tech Grant

Walnut Way is finding the water it needs for an expanding urban agriculture demonstration campus of gardens and orchards

By Don Behm
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Jesus Santillan agreed to contribute rainwater flowing off his home’s roof to the garden and fruit orchard next door in the 2100 block of N. 17th St.

A cistern will collect rain from downspouts until his neighbor, Walnut Way Conservation Corp., taps into it for the crops. Raspberry bushes line one edge of the garden where spinach, sugar snap peas and peppers are thriving in early June.

Larry Adams points to residential rooftops across the street from Santillan’s home that also have been enlisted to harvest rain for a Walnut Way greenhouse, adjacent garden and a cherry orchard off Lloyd St.

Bees swarm a patch of flowering mint between a sidewalk and the 4-year-old cherry trees.

One rooftop and one cistern at a time, Walnut Way is finding the water it needs for an expanding urban agriculture demonstration campus of gardens and orchards scattered around the south end of the Lindsay Heights neighborhood, said Adams, a co-founder of the organization.

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