The folks down at The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative see urban farming and gardening as the opportunity to educate and involve the community. Food insecurity is a problem they take to heart. Through learning new skills and forming a connection with nature, the people of Detroit have a new way to access a healthy lifestyle.
Farm manager, Pinky Jones, gave us a tour of the grounds as she went about her daily tasks. She tries to rotate interesting plants like pink banana squash and black flowers into the mix. These oddities capture imaginations and get people interested.
Rain or snow, sleet or shine, Pinky and the crew take strides to form a more sustainable way to enrich the lives around them. It’s an environmentally friendly way of putting vacant lots to good use, a thoughtful means of introducing more nutritious foods into people’s diets, and a fun chance to enjoy the outdoors with a little bit of hard work.
Swing by on a Saturdays at 10am to lend a hand or find other ways you can get involved here.
Are you familiar with the Broken Windows Theory? It’s the idea that when a neighborhood begins to fall into disrepair, it jumpstarts a downward spiral for the entire community. That negativity spreads and leads to more decay and even crime. The good thing is that the opposite action of investing in your home and stomping grounds leads to further beautification in that area. That’s the driving force behind Urban Farm Collective in Portland. They transform unused land into neighborhood food gardens. This fosters community development, promotes education, and food security.
I got to follow garden manager, Chelsea Updegrove, around as she tended some of her daily tasks. It’s hard work, but it’s every bit fulfilling as it is demanding. Hours spent kneeling over rows of carefully planted seedlings, covered in dirt, call for clothing that wears mud well. Take a look at Chelsea’s work wear: Carhartt Women’s Minot Shirt, Sibley Denim Cropped Pant, Force Equator Jacket, Plaid Military Cap, and Rapid City Utility Work Apron.
I’ll leave you with a parting quote from Chelsea, “Peace, love, and carrots.”
A chunk of paradise in the middle of the big city, Common Good City Farm in DC offers so much to the community. Their goal is to grow food, educate, and help low-income members meet their food needs.
This is Anita, food manager at the farm. Her passion is to help repair the broken food system. Through gardening classes and other workshops offered at Common Good, steps are made every day to make the surrounding environment healthier and more connected. See how you can get involved.
check out what Anita wears while she gets the job done: Carhartt Women’s Annapolis Shirt, Norfolk Tank, Trenton Hoodie, Norfolk Henley, El Paso Shorts, and C-Grip Knuckler Gloves.
What may look like a pile of dirt to you looks like the future to Pashon Murray. Pashon started Detroit’s first compost company, Detroit Dirt. You might ask what is compost? and what can it do? Compost is decomposed organic material from plants and animals. Pashon wants to eliminate Detroit’s waste and use every bit of “trash” for the greater good. It turns out that some of the stuff we throw away isn’t trash at all! It makes great soil. And great soil in turn leads to successful urban farming– full circle goodness. Pashon’s vision and work ethic drives one of the many efforts to rebuild Detroit. It goes to show that rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty is therapeutic for the soul and the community.