Finding Detroit’s Urban Farms and Community Gardens
Take a self-guided tour of some of metro Detroit’s fabulous food sites
By Metro Times Staff
Oct. 2, 2013
Every autumn, folks pack the kids in the car and head out to the country, looking for a connection to the land by visiting apple orchards. But has anybody considered that the city and its suburbs are increasingly places where you can also feel that connection? We’ve put together a nowhere-near-exhaustive list of some of those places, and zoomed in on what they have to offer and how they manage to thrive even though they’re not out in the country. Have a look. —Michael Jackman
In the Boston-Edison Historic District, surrounded by many of Detroit’s historically significant homes, a tire-mark trail worn into the grassy terrain leads straight to Food Field, a local farm that provides fresh, affordable produce for the city.
Despite experiencing a robbery earlier this summer, a time when the farm lost some of its most expensive tools, it is still moving forward. Noah Link, co-owner and manager, admits that he finds value in having the field remain somewhat accessible to neighbors.
“We didn’t want to wall off the property and keep people out,” he says. “We wanted them to see what’s going on and what we’re growing — and even allow neighbors to cut across the field. We like to keep it open as a community space.”
The land is in fact open, all four acres falling easily within the field of vision. The greenhouse, fenced-off chicken coop, and little blue building can all be seen from the entrance. Ash-purple kale, hot red peppers, amber tomatoes, modest pumpkins, thick carpets of sweet potato vines and more grow within. Between the rows of greenery, the dirt paths are paved with potatoes and loudly mating crickets.
At the hen house, the crickets occasionally fall silent and a few bees drone nearby. The chickens crowd around, clucking softly as they stamp their twiggy feet into the vegetable scraps on the ground.