Dr. Steven Armus, a dedicated physician and prairie restoration technician, is the owner of Dermatology Consultants of Wisconsin and Native Prairie Restoration, both in Franksville. In addition to helping his patients and the environment, Dr. Steven Armus supports his community through involvement in charitable organizations such as the Guest House of Milwaukee.
Committed to providing shelter and education to individuals who are homeless, the Guest House of Milwaukee maintains numerous programs, including Cream City Gardens, an urban garden that provides home-grown produce to Friedens Community Ministries and the Guest House.
Consisting of 56 raised garden beds, half an acre of planting rows, and a rainwater harvesting pavilion, Cream City Gardens grows everything from carrots to watermelons. In 2015, the gardens raised more than 4,400 pounds of produce. The plants are watered with rainwater that has been collected in the harvesting pavilion. Each time it rains, the pavilion collects up to 500 gallons of water.
The Guest House of Milwaukee also provides job training services through Cream City Gardens. The gardens host the Urban Agriculture Training Program for people who have been homeless. In the program, participants learn about gardening and the green industry and become prepared for jobs at a farmer’s market or in the urban farming field.
The Guest House’s urban garden program provides fresh, home-grown produce to homeless individuals and families in need. Consisting of 56 raised garden beds and a half-acre of in-ground planting fields, the garden transformed a vacant lot into a healthy urban farm that grows a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and carrots. Harvested produce is distributed amongst The Guest House, its community neighbors, and food pantries within the Friends of Community Ministries network.
Additionally, the Cream City Gardens hosts the Urban Agriculture Training Program, which delivers job training to formerly homeless individuals. Lessons review topics relating the green industry, basic agriculture, and urban gardening with the intention of preparing graduates for work in local farmer’s markets, urban farming, and the produce departments of neighborhood grocers.