When we think of farmland, we envision acres and acres of fertile acres, open spaces, and crops for as far as the eye can see. But farming isn’t just for the country dweller anymore. Small urban farms are popping up all over the U.S., as more people take an interest in their food, where it comes from, how it’s grown, and who is growing it.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in Detroit, where the first sustainable agrihood in the U.S. is bringing life back to this once prosperous area. The agrihood in Detroit offers a two-acre urban garden where over 300 varieties of vegetables are grown; providing fresh, free produce to area households, local markets, restaurants and food pantries. A 200-tree fruit orchard is found nearby, offering area residents access to fresh apples, pears, plums, and cherries.
Though agrihoods are not new to the U.S., the majority of those found in the U.S. or currently under construction are typically found in rural areas. The Detroit agrihood, a project of the Michigan Urban Farming Institute (MUFI), is thought to be the first urban agrihood in the U.S.
Plans are also in the works to continue to develop the area surrounding the garden and orchard, which includes the creation of a healthy food café. The area will also offer residents event space that can be utilized, as well as access to two commercial kitchens.
Hopefully, other urban areas will follow Detroit’s lead, which will help to increase access to fresh, local, nutrient dense food. Easy accessibility to locally grown produce will also help to fix an over-burdened food system that has long relied on long-distance transportation systems which feed into mass-market grocery stores; often leaving urban dwellers without easy access to fresh food.
We salute Detroit and invite you watch this video, which will give you a glimpse of what MUFI has accomplished.
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