Paul Harris with the UK’s The Guardian came to Detroit not too long ago to produce an article on the way that urban agriculture is revitalizing and changing Detroit for the better. It was his second visit to the city and an attempt at presenting a wider view of the kind of strides farming is taking in the city. In the article he covers many folks in Detroit– Mark Covington and his Georgia Street Garden (the same guy featured in DL!’s documentary “The Farmer and the Philosopher”), beekeeper Rich Wieske with Green Toe Gardens, Taja Sevelle’s Linwood Street Urban Farm, Patrick Crouch and Earthworks Urban Farm and Mike Score with Hantz Farm. Quite a talent bill, eh? Harris weaves a fabric of hope in the article with equal parts devoted to each character. Covington tells the tale of gardens saving neighborhoods, Wieske talks about how perfect Detroit is for all sorts of agricultural endeavors, Savelle addresses the progress of the urban farming movement, Crouch discusses income potential from gardening for poor residents and Score looks at large scale commercial farming as a viable industry in Detroit. All pieces fit together nicely to display the potential of farming in this city from a variety of different angles. All of which point once again to the fact that as Detroit pushes forward re-defining itself with its signature pioneering spirit, there is a good chance other struggling cities will listen and take note. Evidence, once again, that we gotta keep pushing. Onwards.
Urban gardening continues to provide an inspiring and positive storyline in the city whether it’s the consistent coverage the city gets or the cool projects that are sprouting up (like Jim from Sweet Juniper’s latest project at the Georgia Street Community Garden) in the city as a result. Speaking to the former, Detroit was recently featured in the Christian Science Monitor as a beacon of awesome in the urban gardening realm. The article talks about the occasionally controversial Hantz Farm, but also RecoveryPark, the lesser-known 10 year, $220 million project putting organic farms in four different struggling neighborhoods around Detroit. Quite possibly the most engaging part of the article is the fact that it exemplifies Detroit’s leadership in pushing forward an agricultural agenda in a post-industrial city. Meanwhile, other places like San Francisco are following suit, lending credence to the fact that Detroit is forging a new, innovative path for modern cities.
OK, OK. Lots about people coming to Detroit. But still. Another fantastic article, this time in the Huffington Post, regarding a venture capitalist’s optimistic outlook on the opportunity presented in the region and Michigan as a whole. The comments section offers interesting local insight from folks that are churning up idears about what could potentially come from all the innovative thought. Have a look, and hell, start dreaming yourself. Get hungry. Never know what you could produce. Kind of like Mark Covington.
The Georgia Street Community Collective, our do-good-in-Detroit community gardening partner on the East side is going to be filmed on July 23 for the PBS television program This Old House. At this point, there’s no telling when the segment will air, but it’s an exciting development for Mark (the collective’s founder) and the garden. They held a cleanup effort on July 18 but head over to the garden to see if they need any more help to prep for the big day. They would like some people to be present for the filming, so stop by on the 23rd if you feel so inclined. Get more details and learn more about the garden here.