Hoop House. Picture from http://relish.myraklarman.com/hoop-house-dreams
I was delighted to read Tom Philpott’s article Three projects that are watering Detroit’s ‘food desert’, published on September 10th, 2010 at grist.org
When he visited Detroit in last June, he expected to find -in his own words- a sort of post apocalyptic metropolis, a near empty city plagued by crime, poverty and despair. Every neighborhood he visited has empty lots, abandoned factories and crumbling buildings. There are no supermarkets but dozens of liquors. But, amid Detroit’s economical and social problems, he found a community organizing themselves very well, through the iniciative of food, as a key motivating force for a livable place.
“I was struck by the cooperation on display -- the way new-wave restaurateurs, market farmers, food-justice activists, and nonprofit advocates work together toward the goal of a healthy, inclusive food system where a food desert once stood. And while plenty of work remains to be done before that vision can be achieved, my week in Detroit left me with little doubt that it would be.”
Picture by Tom Philpott
D-Town Farm. Picture by Tom Philpott.
Philpott says there are three representatives of this 21st century spirit of the Motor City:
1) Grown in Detroit: Eastern Market functions as a wholesale market selling produce and meat sourced from all over the country. But on Saturdays, in a festive environment, most of Eastern Market becomes a real farmers market, featuring produce from Michigan's rich agricultural land.
2) Brother Nature Produce: “ an idyllic rural vegetable farm. A dozen or so raised beds teem with vegetables in various stages of growth, surrounded by three hoop houses. Here and there in the surrounding area, you see stand-alone houses; but most of what you see in the distance is open fields and a smattering of trees.”
3) D-Town Farm: it has emerged on a two-acre corner of an old tree nursery. D-Town has a 10-year lease from the city and is in negotiation to add an adjacent five acres to the garden. If all goes well, the project could be a model for creative land reuse in a city with thousands of acres of vacant land.
Read Philpott’s article: