Fondy Farm Project
The Fondy Farm Project was established in 2010 to support farmers selling at the Fondy Farmers Market. When it was realized that Fondy’s primarily low income, immigrant Hmong farmers were dropping out of farming to due numerous challenges, Fondy responded by establishing the Fondy Farm just 30 miles north of Milwaukee in Port Washington, WI. With the help of federal and local dollors, Fondy was able to start the Fondy Farm Project increasing the capacity to provide fresh, local, affordable produce to Greater Milwaukee.
The Fondy Farm offers affordable, long term leases on quality land plus the amenities needed to succeed, such as irrigation, greenhouses, tractors, as well as technical and business assistance from the Fondy Farm Director. Supported by past and current grants from the USDA, the Ceres Foundation, and the Brico Fund, as well as individual donations and annual farm income, this farm ensures the continued supply of sustainably grown (farmers use organic production techniques on site), local produce to neighborhoods with little access to healthy food.
In 2012 a heritage fruit orchard was planted. Apple varieties such as the Wolf River, Zester, and Milwaukee, along with cherries, plums, pears, and apricots will provide an additional source of income for the farmers and diversified produce access to Fondy Farmers Market customers once the trees bear fruit. In 2013, a hops yard was established—and in 2014, the first beer was brewed using Fondy Hops. Fondy is currently exploring partnerships with two interested breweries; another way in which Fondy contributes to celebrating local agricultural and food traditions while providing farmers enterprise opportunities.
Recognizing the need for a continuing supply of beginning farmers, Fondy is also continuing to grow tomorrow’s farmers through innovative collaborations with Alice’s Garden and Walnut Way Conservation Corp. One group of farmers—Alice’s Garden MOVE crew (More Organic Vegetables for Everyone) – is comprised of young people from Milwaukee’s North Side who are interested in exploring careers in organic farming and food production/marketing. The MOVE crew learns agricultural and business skills at the Fondy Farm and marketing skills at the Fondy Farmers Market.
With the access to quality land, and the stability of long term leases, Fondy farmers have been able to invest in high value, perennial crops such as asparagus, strawberries, raspberries, and more. The dozen farmers at Fondy Farm sell their produce at the Fondy Farmers Market. In 2013 more than 260,000 pounds of produce were grown, with more than half sold at the market. A recent wholesale initiative, coordinated by the Fondy Farm Director, has created additional market streams for the farmers. This supports economic viability for the farmers and fills a need for growing local food demand.
Fondy Farm has special events, tours & volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Will you be joining us? Follow the directions below (& not GPS!)
Directions to Fondy Farm in Port Washington, WI – 40 to 45 minutes from Downtown Milwaukee:
Take Interstate 43 north towards Green Bay
- Take Exit 100/Route 32 South.
- Take a right turn at end of exit ramp
- Take an immediate left onto County Highway LL. Drive for 4 miles.
- Turn right onto County Highway P. Fondy Farm will be on the right. Look for the hops & orchard.