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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