The greenhouse and garden at the corner of MLK and Trumbull in North Corktown known as the Spirit Farm will soon become ground zero for a series of intensive workshops dedicated to increasing knowledge and awareness about urban sustainability, food justice, community art and grassroots community building.
"The DUST workshops have grown out of what I've been doing the past few years with teenagers," says organizer Kate Devlin. "And I thought, wouldn't it be cool if adults came and camped out and learn about sustainability?"
The DUST: Detroit Urban Sustainability Training bills itself as "10 Days in Detroit learning urban sustainability from Detroiters living it." The activity list is an urbanist's dream. Spend a week and a half visiting Brother Nature Produce and the Heidelberg Project, checking out urban farms keeping everything from baby ducks and chickens to bees. Community art and the Green Garage. The curriculum will dip into deeper processes, depending on community wants, on subjects as broad and diverse as bioremediation, grey water systems and natural building techniques.
"It's really geared to bringing people from the outside of Detroit in to see what we're doing. As it grows, we pick what subjects we want to tackle, and pick a project we want to work on together," Devlin says.
The workshops begin June 1, June 20, July 10, Aug. 1 and Aug. 20. The cost is $1,000, and includes lodging at the Spirit Farm, food and the workshop series. There's a sliding scale for low-income people and a few scholarships are available, with preference to Detroiters and Michiganders.
"I don't think there's any city in America doing the stuff we're doing on this scale. And we're also learning at a really incredibly fast rate," Devlin says. "And Detroit's a cool place to be. We've got some of the coolest things and I think we're an under-appreciated city. We've got great music, we've got great art, and we've got the green thing going on."
Sign up for DUST or find out more here
Source: Kate Devlin, Spirit Farm
Writer: Ashley C. Woods