F.H. King History
FRANKLIN HIRAM KING
Our organization is named after the agricultural scientist Franklin Hiram King, who, during his tenure at UW, made massive contributions to the emerging field of soil science. King was primarily interested in two subjects: applying physics to soil science and researching indigenous agricultural practices.
King wrote a seminal text in the field of organic farming, a survey of traditional Asian farming practices called Farmers of Forty Centuries, or Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan. King's work is fundamental in the field of agricultural science, and our organization pays tribute to his legacy by practicing and educating the UW community about his ideas and philosophy of sustainability in agriculture.
The main driver in keeping F.H. King's mission alive:
Eagle Heights Farm
The F.H. King Farm is located in the Eagle Heights Garden and is nearly one acre. The farm is both a space for education and production, and is maintained by the Garden Directors, two garden assistants, a team of interns, and general or specialized volunteers
The Eagle Heights Community Gardens are located just off the Lakeshore Bike Path, after the main entrance to the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Additionally, the Route 80 Bus stops on Eagle Heights Drive, just across the street from the gardens. The main path in the gardens (left at the entrance) leads directly to our plot.
The majority of the land is used for vegetable production, but we also have an herb garden, raspberry and strawberry patches, grape vines, and fruit trees. Organic and cultural methods are used to restore fertility and manage disease and pests. Although crops planted each year tend to vary depending on the interests of the student directors, a cohesive rotation system is retained. A diversity of crop species are planted to foster intrigue and integrity. The plot also hosts our compost pile, and takes in compost from all over Madison as part of our Full Cycle Freight program.
Further assessment of the land in Eagle Heights reveals the area to be eroded from agriculture in years past. Heavy silt and some clay layers make certain sections difficult for cultivation. Aquatic weeds from the surrounding lakes, compost, and manure from neighboring farms are used to amend soil properties in crop fields.
Anywhere between 4000-5500 lbs of vegetables are produced during the growing season, depending on the crop focus that year. Approximately 90% of our produce goes towards Harvest Handouts, a program to distribute high-quality and sustainably grown produce to the UW-Madison community, free of cost. Produce is also donated to Open Seat, ASM's student food pantry, and other food events on the UW campus.
Looking to come out to the plot? Public workdays and workshops are posted on our Facebook. Open volunteer hours require no prior notice; feel free to come at any point during the times listed.
If you have questions or comments about the rooftop garden, please email the Garden Directors at