Today over 80% of the U.S. population and over 50% of our world’s population lives in urban and suburban areas. An exciting movement is happening today around the globe. A new, broadened definition of the farmer is emerging. People are growing food, raising farm animals, and keeping bees not only on acres of rural land, but in front yards, back yards, school yards, alley ways, sidewalk spaces, and on balconies, porches, patios, decks, and rooftops in cities and suburbs.
Detroit is Much More Than a Bustling City
Today we are focused on Detroit’s urban farmers. They are transforming front yards, back yards, and vacant lots into small farms and gardens to provide fresh food for their families and communities. Here is a snapshot of some of what we found in Detroit . . .
- The Urban Roots documentary trailer promotes the film that tells a tale of urban renewal through gardening and farming.
- Michigan State University has the Greening Michigan Institute. In this video, its director talks about the definition of urban farming, using abandoned buildings for vertical farming, and the future of farming in Detroit.
- The tropical tasting pawpaw fruit just happens to be native to parts of North America and grows in Michigan. Read about it in NPR’s fascinating story of America’s forgotten fruit, the pawpaw.
- Recently the farm crew of Hamtown Farms and volunteers began transforming nine vacant city lots into a community orchard and garden where the pawpaw fruit will grow. This project is happening in the city of Hamtramck, which is located only five miles from the center of Detroit.