Posted on 21 October 2009 by

Detroit is Turning Green

detroit1By Vanessa Richins

Detroit is famous for Motown and producing cars.

There’s also a growing new trend there – urban farming.

It’s a positive sign in a city that has taken some of the hardest knocks in this economy.

The silver lining in the plethora of vacant lots is that they offer the potential to help feed the city.

Six years ago the Detroit Garden Resource Program Collaborative was formed. Community gardeners can join for $20 and get anything they need for their gardens, from tools to seeds and seedlings.

There’s also the Grown in Detroit co-operative, which helps local farmers band together to sell their produce to city restaurants, promoting local food and strengthening the economy.

As the Toronto edition of points out, “These farms are small businesses,” says Michael Hamm, a sustainable agriculture professor at the University of Michigan.

By his calculations, there are 1,900 hectares of vacant land in Detroit, not including parks or right-of-ways. Farming all of it could produce 75 per cent of the vegetables Detroiters should eat, and 45 per cent of the fruit, he says.”

Allowing Detroit dwellers more access to fresh fruits and vegetables could help them be in better health.Just imagine – one of the biggest factors contributing to obesity (especially in urban areas) is the lack of produce. These farms and gardens stand poised to help battle that problem.

I would love to see other cities copy what’s happening in Detroit. I see too many empty pieces of land wasting away. It’s sad that times make it tough to sell or develop them, but they could be used for so much good in the meantime.

How is your city doing garden-wise?

One Response to “Detroit is Turning Green”

  1. Indira Murray Says:

    The professor is at Michigan State….googled him. So that must be a typo.

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