On August 5, I was one of more than 800 people who set off by bus or bike from the Catherine Ferguson Academy to see some of Detroit's urban gardens and farms. The Detroit Agricultural Network hosts the sold-out tour every August.
My tour group hit the West Side. First stop: D-Town Farm. Run by the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, D-Town Farm is a 2-acre farm located in Rouge Park in northwest Detroit. The farm includes "organic vegetable plots, two bee hives, a hoop house for year round food production, and a composting operation" and "is grown using sustainable, chemical-free practices, and sold at D-Town farm, Eastern Market, and urban growers markets throughout Detroit."
Then we stopped at the Brightmoor Community Garden, a market-garden operated by thirteen youth ages 9-17. Last year they earned $1,500 selling some 1,200 lbs of produce. The photos are from a beautiful family/community garden just down the street, complete with a hen house!
Our last stop was Eden Gardens, a pair of large gardens on either side of Strathmoor Street.
Finally we returned to Catherine Ferguson Academy for a delicious vegetarian meal made from all local ingredients and cooked by chefs from Detroit restaurants. I wandered the grounds as the sun went down, admiring the goats and horses.
It was a remarkable tour. All told the Garden Resource Program now supplies 244 community gardens, 517 family gardens, and 48 schools, and it's changing the face of Detroit.