Urban Farming in Detroit, is there really an impact?

Is there really an impact being seen in Detroit from Urban Farming?  I think that’s a question a lot of Detroiters may have.  With nearly 10 Urban Farms in the Downtown area of Detroit, they are becoming more and more self-sufficient.

I went to Eastern market and spoke with Imani Foster, who is apart of Grown In Detroit. Imani is the Farmers Market Coordinator, where she coordinates the Grown In Detroit cooperative at three weekly farmers’ markets. I spoke with Imani on Urban Farming, and her opinion on whether there has been an impact on Detroit because of Urban Farming.

Imani did say that she feels Urban Farming has had an impact on Detroit, but she wanted to make it clear that Urban Farming is not new, and that African Americans have been doing this for quite sometime.

Here is Imani’s position on Urban Farming:

I also went to Traffic Jam & Snug to speak with Andrew Maggetti, who is the gardener for TJS. Andrew has been working as the gardener at Traffic Jam & Snug for about 5 years now. Their garden is on the rooftop, and they grow everything from herbs for their tea, to vegetables for their entrees.

Andrew has also said that he sees a impact on Detroit because of Urban Farming. Andrew also said ” I feel that Detroit is ready to get back on their feet, and Urban Farming is doing just that.”

Traffic Jam & Snug also brews their own beer, makes their own cheese and ice cream, their own tea, their own vegetables, and they work with other local farms to get their meat and poultry.

Being self-sufficient is one of the things I believe make Urban Farms so great, and have a great impact on the city they are in. I believe this because the Urban Farms rely on other local business to get certain products, keeping the economy of Detroit going, and even allowing it to get better.

Here is Andrew’s stance on Urban Farming in Detroit.

 

According to entrepreneur.com, “Though land is plentiful, urban farmers must secure land suitable for farming and work around city zoning and licensing. Always encourage entrepreneurs to find ways to integrate into the existing farming community, and to keep an eye out for ways to reach new markets.”

This is so relevant to Urban Farming in any big city, because of space issues. That’s why Urban farmers/gardeners have adapted to not having enough space, and are starting to grow their produce on rooftops, and even sometimes inside their store/building.

 

Here I mapped out all of the Urban Farms in Detroit.

The impact on Detroit from Urban Farming may not be visible to everyone, but if you read about it, or simply go visit on of the farms, maybe volunteer, you will feel the change, and see the change. I have provided a few tweets that are very informational, some have podcasts, some are news stories. They will all help you  better understand the true impact Urban Farming has and is going to have on Detroit.

According to ensia.com, “Food that’s grown and consumed in cities has other advantages: During times of abundance, it may cost less than supermarket fare that’s come long distances, and during times of emergency — when transportation and distribution channels break down — it can fill a vegetable void… Despite their relatively small size, urban farms grow a surprising amount of food, with yields that often surpass those of their rural cousins. This is possible for a couple reasons. First, city farms don’t experience heavy insect pressure, and they don’t have to deal with hungry deer or groundhogs. Second, city farmers can walk their plots in minutes, rather than hours, addressing problems as they arise and harvesting produce at its peak. They can also plant more densely because they hand cultivate, nourish their soil more frequently and micromanage applications of water and fertilizer.”

 

Most Urban Farms in Detroit, like Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, have outreach projects where they help the less fortunate families with donating food. They also have tons of volunteer opportunities for anyone that wishes to do so

In addition to the people in Detroit growing their own food, making Detroit cleaner, HELPING the citizens of Detroit, and honestly look better, Urban Farming adds jobs. When I spoke With Andrew from Traffic Jam & Snug, he said that they are hoping to add a couple people to their staff strictly for the rooftop garden, adding on to their already 140 employees.

If there’s one thing we as a city as a whole need, it is jobs. And Urban Farming can provide that.

This documentary is about 20 minutes long, but it is worth the watch.

If you wish to read more about Urban Farming in Detroit, I recommend these cites:

http://www.miufi.org/

http://www.greeningofdetroit.com/what-we-do/urban-farming

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/239844

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I chose to read “Going Viral” by Karine Nahon and Jeff Hemsley. As I started read this book, I thought to myself, “Wow, this book is going to be boring.” I was wrong. Very shortly into the first chapter I found myself genuinely enjoying my time reading. The part that really drug me in was on page 7 and 8. This was about Keith Urbahn, the chief of staff of Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. Secretary of Defense tweeted, “So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot Damn.” He tweeted this before President Obama had the chance to make a formal announcement. The reason this stuck with me is because of how much we rely on social media, especially to get our news, and most of us don’t even realize it. One of the most important things that has happened in the 21st century, the death of Osama Bin Laden, was announced via twitter, rather than a formal press hearing from our President.

Another part of the book that I think was excellently written and researched is chapter 7, “Afterlife”. This chapter is about the decay of viral events. According to Nahon and Hensley, “Even after the peak of a viral event, people continue to consume the content and the number of cumulative views continue to rise. However what is decaying is the rate of growth of the number of views that a viral event receives.” This quote from the book really stuck with me because, personally I never even thought of viral events and the word decay going together. It is so interesting to me that there was actual research done, and they proved that even after the video was up for a while, people still view it (obviously) but they are not viewing it as much, and there are fewer new people that are opening it.

There was just one part of the book that I was not very interested in, and that is chapter 2. The only reason I did not like it as much as the rest of the book, was for the simple fact that there were so many graphs. I understand that sometimes you need a graph or chart for a visual aid, but it got to the point where there was one on every page, for a few pages.

Other than the graph, I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very informative, and I feel educated on the topic of virality.

Check out these other reviews on Going Viral:

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2014/06/09/book-review-going-viral-by-karine-nahon-and-jeff-hemsley/

http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/12/03/new-book-going-viral-explores-nature-impact-of-internet-virality/

 

Safety and security

By: Halie Keith

Social network and the news: Key issues, explains “safety and security” as when people in the public, or journalists send so much as a careless tweet, and they can be put in to danger. A tweet like one that identifies someone’s location in a war zone or that identifies a source who put his life at risk by sharing information with you. According to the social network and the news, “When in doubt, skip the tweet or posts.”

I agree with their statement on this issue, more than i thought that i could. If sending a simple tweet out, could cause someone to be put into danger, why do it? Maybe, for the simple fact that they do not think before they send the tweet out.

There was an incident in 2014, where a twitter journalist, who used an alias, tweeted out to the cartel, and in return they tweeted her death.

Things like this happen very frequently, and they could be prevented if ‘twitter journalists’ could learn to be smarter with their actions.