Urban Farming
Oct 6. 2011

Harvest time in Detroit

by Hélène

Fall is here and it’s harvest time in Detroit. It may sound strange as the industrial era we’re coming from used to reject agriculture outside the city limits. But in Detroit, heavy industry is almost totally gone, and the D is going back to the land. Urban farming started to spread out in mid-2000s as an answer to the food desert and vacant lots issues that the city was facing (well, actually I can be argued that urban agriculture started way before).

D-town, one of Detroit’s biggest farms, held its fith harvest festival on the last Sunday of September. Malik Yakini and their buddies started the farm as part of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, a project whose name goes further than the mere demographics would indicate. The farm is now managed by Kwamena Mensah with help from members of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network and community volunteers.

Their first urban veggies took roots in the Eastside of Detroit in 2006. They eventually moved to the vast River Rouge park, in Westside Detroit. These pro-peace farmers now cultivate a land of 4 acres (partially covered by hoophouses) in a city-owned park, planning to expand in the near future. They sell their produces under the Grown in Detroit label as well as independently on various farmers’ market in and around the city, our favorite being Wayne State university Market, where we shop every week.

One could easily spend a whole day at D-town, probably one of the best places to breath out of the big city life. On that harvest day, workshops, tours, kids’ games and cooking sessions took place under a beautiful Detroit sun. To see more photos from D-town, visit the entire Flick’r gallery here.

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