I know, I know... another story about cheap Detroit and urban farms. Isn't there anything else out there? Well, yeah, there is, but still, this is a good piece. Especially the part where Detroit is popping up on lists of places to go after graduation.
Excerpt the Battleboro Reformer
Lately, however, Detroit is showing up on the short list of places to go after graduation. For one thing, housing is cheap -- one student claimed he found a house for sale for under $15,000. But the big draw to the Motor City isn't just the squatting opportunities, it's the farming possibilities. Detroit is quickly becoming the model city for urban agriculture.
The growth in agricultural production within the city limits has been astounding. The 2009 growing season provided enough produce to keep six farmers markets operating year round. During that same season, the Grown in Detroit Cooperative sold over 23,000 pounds of fresh produce and donated 1,100 pounds to the local soup kitchen. Besides providing residents with fresh food, these farming endeavors are providing employment opportunities for the city's young people and restoring dignity to some of its elders. Grandmothers teach techniques in canning and preserving. Domestic arts that were almost lost during the heyday of industrialization now add value to the garden produce.
The sound of urban renewal in post-industrial Detroit is the sound of roosters crowing and bees buzzing. The city is in the process of changing its ordinances to allow for more community and institutional gardens -- already 600 and counting -- easier permitting for livestock, and fewer obstacles to the distribution of local agricultural products to schools, residential facilities, and hospitals. The Detroit Urban Garden Education Series offers over 50 workshops each year for both novice and seasoned gardeners. Want to know how to compost? There's a workshop nearby. Interested in how you can extend your growing season? There's a Web site with useful information.
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