$100,000 investment: Milwaukee County will soon have the largest urban organic fruit orchard

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 13: Freshly picked strawberries are seen at Garelja Bros Strawberry Farm on December 13, 2010 in Auckland, New Zealand. Demand for strawberries will increase as the Christmas holiday period approaches, with the Auckland region producing over 40 per cent of New Zealand's commercial crop. The average yield over the lifespan of an Auckland strawberry garden is 35 tonnes per hectare. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County will soon have the largest urban organic fruit orchard in the country.

Wisconsin Public Radio (http://bit.ly/2ffURE0 ) reports that the first of 3,000 fruit trees, 4,000 asparagus plants and more than 16,000 strawberry plants were planted last weekend at the orchard in Oak Creek as part of the county’s Sowing, Empowering, and Eliminating Food Deserts Initiative.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic began the program in 2015. She says the orchard could serve as a learning opportunity about the need for access to healthy food options.

Dimitrijevic says the benefits of the locally grown food are worth the $100,000 investment from the county.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Steve Taylor says the produce will go to those in need, with schools and low-income residents getting access first.

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