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Detroit Urban Farming Plan Shifts to Be More Neighborly

Core Orchards Detroit.

He says anything is better than a lot of what currently surrounds his home, mostly long stretches of empty fields that are only mowed twice a year or burnt-out properties.

By Serena Maria Daniels
Next City
MAY 9, 2017

Excerpt:

Glen Jones would have liked to see new housing go up on the empty lot that abuts his property on Detroit’s east side. Maybe a new business that would bring jobs to the neighborhood.

When he and other residents saw renderings of an 11-acre redevelopment project that would instead convert the vacant land into one of the city’s first large-scale U-pick orchards featuring the Michigan apple, they balked. Though the nonprofit behind the urban agriculture project said it would employ some locals, Jones says the plan did not sit well with some.

“People were furious. They were talking about taking down several houses,” says Jones, 53, from the front porch of his home that overlooks the vacant property.

Others speculated that Wolverine Human Services — the youth services nonprofit purchased the property through the Detroit Land Bank Authority’s Community Partners Program — would force the young people in its care into free labor.

Read the complete article here.