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Tyson Gersh, 26: Co-founder and president, The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative

rcainTyson Gersh is a Crain’s 20 in their 20s winner for 2016.

Over the past five years, he’s led 8,000 volunteers to produce 50,000 pounds of food, feeding over 2,000 individual city households. And he’s nowhere near done.

By Laura Cassar
Crain’s Detroit Business
May 22, 2016


“The role of MUFI is not simply to use vacant land to feed food-insecure individuals, but rather to position itself as a driving force in rethinking how urban spaces are developed and to model the many ways that urban agriculture adds value to modern urban spaces,” Gersh said.

Now, in addition to 300 crops, the farm features nearly a dozen offshoot projects, including a public composting toilet, an off-grid shipping container home designed as a cost-competitive pilot for repurposing blighted housing stock, and a retention pond made from the foundation of a blighted home that supplies an off-grid automated drip-line irrigation system to the adjacent farm.

Most of these projects came from necessity. The retention pond was inspired by the need for a water source for the farm.

“I was saying what we really needed was something like a big, empty pool and right there in front of me is the basement of a demolished house — basically, a big, empty pool,” Gersh said.

Read the complete article here.