Detroit Charity Turns Wasteland into Farms
From Motown to Growtown
The growing international food crisis, coupled with spiralling energy costs, is without doubt causing much suffering. But there is a silver lining — as the unsustainability of business-as-usual becomes apparent, alternatives are beginning to gain traction in mainstream consciousness. Detroit provides the perfect example of the need for change — once the thriving hub of the US motor industry, the city has seen a massive exodus of its population and major industries, leaving vacant plots everywhere. As TreeHugger noted before though, many citizens are seeing opportunity in the crisis, with derelict land being turned over to urban farms and community gardens. Now the BBC picks up the story with an inspiring account of how a Detroit-based charity called Urban Farming is mobilizing the local community for increased self-reliance:
"Visiting one of the largest allotments, on a site that had been derelict since Detroit's infamous 1967 riots, locals spoke about an astonishing transformation.
"There is something that every hand in this area can do," said Rose Stallard, who is keen to enlist as many volunteers as possible to help tend the garden and its precious crops. As she organises a band of eager helpers to pull greens from the rich top-soil, Ms Stallard says food is more expensive than ever and neighbourhood shops are scarce. "That's one cucumber you didn't have to pay 69 cents for," she adds, with a smile."
The charity isn't just setting its sites on Detroit though and is in the process of expanding across the US, and is even keen on talking to the new mayor of London.
More Potential Responses to the Food Crisis
Transition Towns and virtual orchards
Reducing meat and dairy consumption
Vertical farming and vertical gardening
Food not lawns
Cuba's community gardens