Urban farming takes off in Detroit

Picture courtesy of Pinterest

Picture courtesy of Pinterest

Allison Skelcy

The urban sprawl of Detroit that is located just 45 minutes south of RHS is taking several steps to create a better community. One of many initiatives that is being put into place is the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI).

The MUFI aims to create a sense of community between residents, promote sustainable agriculture and nutritional education and increase Detroit sustainability in terms of food usage and growth.

Detroit faces a fresh food shortage; the needs of Detroit residents outweigh the produce that is being sold and made available. This poses several nutritional problems, as healthy fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of one’s diet.

Keeping Growing Detroit (KGD) is a non-profit group that aims to promote a city where the majority of fruits and vegetables Detroiters consume are grown within the city’s limits. KGD focuses on educating Detroiters, and inspiring them to cultivate farms in their backyards, or contribute to one of several community gardens around the city.

KGD has already been extremely successful, generating more than $75,000 in profits annually. This creates an extremely large potential new economic sector. Selling food that is grown in Detroit, and sold to Detroiters, keeps money circulating within the bounds of the city- which promotes economic health.

$75,000 worth of food delivers a mountain of fresh and healthy food to the city’s residents. The Grown in Detroit (GID) program promotes education, and provides education to citizens who wish to get started in urban agriculture.

“Many from this program blazed the trail for new viable market gardens and small-scale food businesses in the city,” states the KGD website. “Ultimately, GID sets an inspired precedent for the exchange of local dollars for nutritious local food all within city limits.”

The Garden Resource Program has inspired over 20,000 Detroiters to cultivate a garden or farm. This programs provides high quality seeds, locally-grown vegetable transplants to 1,400 family, community, school and market gardens, as well as the know-how and mentorship that is required for success. GRP members also have access to other garden necessities such as compost, row cover, and specialized tools.

If you would like to get involved with the KGD movement, please visit their website at http://detroitagriculture.net/ for more information.