Urban farming -- Detroit, MI

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Trinity's picture
Trinity
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 30 2009
Posts: 28
Urban farming -- Detroit, MI

Seeds of hope in Detroit? Residents of the "Motor City" are starting farms on abandoned lots...  (note: the link to the article is in the title line)

Detroit gets growing

Detroit was once the engine of America's automotive industry. Today it is a symbol of urban decay. But a daring bid to return the land to farming is sowing seeds of recovery – and could be a template for cities across the world

A familiar refrain from many of the thousands of people involved in urban farming in Detroit is that they are returning the city to its pre-industrial roots. Back in the late 18th century, Detroit was a small trading post surrounded by fields and farms. "You know, this area began as farmland and we are just going back to that," says Rich Wieske, who runs more than 60 beehives in inner-city Detroit and sells the resulting honey commercially. The middle-aged Wieske sports a white beard and a passion for his bees. What began as a hobby to provide honey for making mead has now turned into a profession.

 

JAG's picture
JAG
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 26 2008
Posts: 2492
Re: Urban farming -- Detroit, MI

Hi Trinity,

I've been doing alot of reading about Urban Farming and it really makes a great deal of sense. Urban areas have tremendous waste streams that can be "harvested" by the urban farmer, and of course there is an immediate market available as well. Urban farming is  common practice throughout the world, but our Walmart society largely ignores its inherit value. Too bad it takes heart-breaking poverty to get people to engage in this practice.

BTW, welcome to the community and congrats on your recent nuptials.

Best....Jeff

joemanc's picture
joemanc
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Joined: Aug 16 2008
Posts: 834
Re: Urban farming -- Detroit, MI

There's a big urban farming movement in Milwaukee too...it's great to see!

http://growingpower.org/index.htm

Trinity's picture
Trinity
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Joined: Nov 30 2009
Posts: 28
Re: Urban farming -- Detroit, MI

Hi Jeff.

You're right. It is sad that it sometimes takes tragedy to move people to consider reclaiming land for gardens and getting back some control over their food. The article touched me because I found it inspiring.

We've started a container garden on our patio; we live in a condo. We've had some success with herbs (basil & rosemary in particular) and plum tomatoes. Summer here presents some difficulty in growing crops for 2 reasons: heat & bugs. The latter is a particular problem in the summer if you're growing organically. We've learned from local growers that the prime growing season in South Florida is about September to May. We're holding off planting anything else right now but we are hoping to secure a plot in the community garden that we can start preparing for September.

Thanks. Smile

Trinity

PS: If you or anyone else is interested in the buy local, eat local, self-sufficiency philosophy, there's a great book written by Barbara Kingsolver called "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". A friend of ours loaned it to us and we both are loving it. Basically, the author and her family left Arizona and moved to a small farm in Virginia and made a pact with each other to only eat what they could grow themselves or obtain through local sources. The book chronicles their journey to eating fresh homegrown/locally grown food. 

Trinity's picture
Trinity
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 30 2009
Posts: 28
Re: Urban farming -- Detroit, MI

That is awesome! Our town just started a small scale community garden (about 8 plots) in one of the many parks here. We stopped off to see it this weekend but there was no one there and the gate was locked. I have to find out more about it to see if we can get a plot and get involved and in time hopefully see it expand. 

Thanks for the link. (I'll have to send it to the Green Committee for the town and to the City Commissioners. Maybe they'll be inspired.) 

Trinity

MarkM's picture
MarkM
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 22 2008
Posts: 845
Re: Urban farming -- Detroit, MI

Try this on the bugs.

7 cups water

12 habanero peppers

3 tsp dishwashing liquid

1 tbsp vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic

In 2 cups water, puree the habaneros and garlic.  Then add the remaining ingredients and blend. Filter through a coffee filter and spray. The filtration part will be helped if you filter through a large strainer before the coffee filter.

Apply weekly.

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