A Tree (and Fruits and Veggies) Grow in Detroit

What exactly is growing in Detroit right now? A little digging finds that urban gardens have and are taking root in the Motor City. The ...
by | April 22, 2009
 

What exactly is growing in Detroit right now?

A little digging finds that urban gardens have and are taking root in the Motor City. The Christian Science Monitor reported months ago that the city has hundreds of small urban gardens, with networks and groups to help create and maintain them.

The movement could get a bit bigger. Hantz Farms announced plans to develop the world's largest urban farm in Detroit by converting vacant property into farmland. In turn, the farm will grow produce and Christmas trees, and provide alternative energy to the local community.

Right now, securing the land for the farm is a challenge due to parcels of land being privately owned or owned by the government. According to the Detroit Free-Press , Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. and his officials are considering proposals, having "very active discussions" with Hantz Farms, but also considering having communities run their own smaller farms.

If the city approves the Hantz plan, the farm will be up and running within six months.

A recent Free-Press chat with Hantz Farms senior vice president Matt Allen addressed a number of questions and concerns residents have about the farm.  You can read a lot of good details about Hantz Farms' plan in this chat transcript. I can't resist excerpting this exchange, regarding if there are plans to raise livestock on the farm:

[Comment From Nick] Seems like a fantastic plan. Would any future plans be focused around livestock as well? Or just stay with growing?

Matt Allen: we hope in later phases to look at that.. turn Motown into MOOtown

Tina Trenkner
Tina Trenkner  |  Deputy Editor, GOVERNING.com
ttrenkner@governing.com  |  @tinatrenkner

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