News / USA

    Urban Farming Grows in Detroit

    Detroit is a U.S. city that has been hit hard by poverty and dilapidation in recent decades.  But its citizens are working on a grassroots strategy to rejuvenate their city with urban farming. Urban farms and gardens are popping up all over the city.

    Jackie Hunt comes to garden at D-Town Farm in Detroit just about every day. She says growing produce is gratifying.

    "You want to grow some of those big luscious tomatoes," said Hunt.  "You want to get the red, red tomatoes that do not have the cracks in the top and the things on the bottom; you want to grow one of those.  At least I do.  I want to be able to say, 'Look, I grew this. Isn't this something?'"

    D-Town is a 1.6-hectare farm that grows 35 different kinds of fruit and vegetables. Volunteers plant the farm together and in return get a discount on produce. Hunt says the aim is to give Detroit's residents access to fresh food.

    "One of the things we can do by doing this, by having people who don't farm, who don't have gardens in the back yard, have them come out here and see how easy it is to plant whatever it is that's planted," she added.  "It's like simple.  You can do it in the back yard. You can grow enough in the back yard to feed everybody."

    And the farm serves another purpose:  it unites the community.  Local residents help out at the farm and that's important for the area, says Kwamena Mensah, D-Town's manager.

    "When there is a community project going on, then the kids, they feel a sense of ownership," said Mensah.  "They will look out if people just dump tires and stuff in the garden . They won't let people steal the produce and everything. There are a lot of good things happening as a result of urban farming in this city."

    D-Town is not alone.  There are urban gardens all over Detroit - outside of offices, churches, at community centers.  Some grow produce for sale, but for many, that is not the main aim.

    Patrick Crouch manages another urban farm called Earthworks.

    "They are really focused not necessarily on production, but on [there] being a space in which folks can grow food for their families and themselves," said Crouch.  "Their focus is often times on community building, working with youth. It really depends on their location what their focus is, but they are all over the place. It's hard to go very far without noticing one."   

    Crouch says poverty in Detroit has helped to spur urban food-growing.  Dilapidated buildings are common and there are large tracts of unused space around the city, which he says are ideal for urban farming.  But he says Detroit is not the only city where this is going on.

    "We see urban agriculture across the United States, in almost every metropolitan city," added Crouch.  "It's becoming very important. You see it in cities like Oakland and St. Louis and New York and Boston, so it's very common."

    But with farms like D-Town around the city, Crouch says Detroit is at the vanguard of the movement.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora