Detroit’s Good Food Cure
What happens when the Motor City transforms itself into the capital of grow-your-own food?
By Larry Gabriel
Sep 06, 2012
Nowhere in the United States has urban agriculture taken root as prolifically as in Detroit. Earthworks Urban Farm, Feedom Freedom Growers, GenesisHOPE, Georgia Street Collective, and other community gardens have stepped up to help create a healthier and more self-empowered food system. The Catherine Ferguson Academy for Young Women runs a small farm on the school’s grounds to teach students about nutrition and self-sufficiency. This gardening renaissance has been growing for over two decades since the Gardening Angels, a group of southern-born African-Americans, began growing food and passing their agricultural knowledge on to another generation.
There are more than 1,200 community gardens in Detroit—more per square mile and more per capita than in any other American city. The number of community gardens is just a fraction of the number of kitchen gardens that families grow in yards and side lots. Locals are learning more about nutrition and feeling the health effects of eating the food they grow.
“You’re only as healthy as the food you eat,” says Latricia Wright, a naturopath who champions natural, uncooked, unprocessed foods. “It’s all about the minerals in the food.”