Tag Archives: Urban Ag

Detroit City Council Legalizes Urban Farming

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Wayne State Urban Planning Associate Professor, Kami Pothukuchi, gives an interview about Detroit’s new urban ag ordinance and its importance to the cities’ farmers and gardeners.  Click on the play button below to listen to the interview.  If you live in the area and you’ve not heard of Kami Pothukuchi then please give her a good google search and check out her fantastic work.

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Is Urban Ag Economically Sustainable?

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The sober reality is that most urban agriculture projects are underfunded, understaffed, and confronted with difficult management challenges. Urban agriculture is not seen as the “highest and best use” of vacant land by most local government policy officials who would like to attract “better” tax paying uses on this land. The conventional view is that food production is something that takes place and belongs on rural land and requires a lot of it to create a profitable enterprise.

Unblight.com has a thoughtful post over on their site: “Food for Thought: The Promise and Disappointment of Urban Agriculture in Low-Income Communities“.  I have rolled the questions of economically sustainable urban agriculture in my head for years now.  What do you think? Is this a passing fad?  Can it work without subsidies? Is the financial bottom line the only measure of an urban farm/garden’s success?

Community Gardening Building Part 1

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On Sunday I had my first community garden meeting for the Royal Oak Huntington Wood TimeBank.  It was very exciting!  17 of us met on the planned site, which is an additional side lot owned by a TimeBank member.  We discussed the short term and long term goals of the endeavor.

It looks like we’re heading in the direction of a large communal plot (rather than individual plots that are leased out to members) with several raised beds used for both food production for members and education.  The garden will have a sustainable and organic (with a little o) foundation and will act as a visual and physical place in the community to show what the TimeBank can do.

We’re still looking at zoning ordinances, though we have general approval from the city, and liability issues – but it’s moving forward.  If you’re in the Royal Oak or Huntington Woods areas and are interested in participating we are holding our second meeting this coming Sunday at 2PM.  Message me for details.