Saturday, December 7, 2013

Urban farming progress in Detroit

I have written before on this blog about the trend toward urban farming in cities around the country, where blighted neighborhoods would be converted to agricultural uses. Click here for stories related to such activity in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh , Detroit and elsewhere.

Surprisingly, progress has been made in Detroit, as a private company is spending $450,000 to purchase 1,500 parcels on 150 acres:
A private company is snapping up 150 acres on the Motor City's East End -- property where more than 1,000 homes once formed a gritty neighborhood -- and turning it into what is being billed as the world's largest urban farm. Hantz Woodlands plans to start by planting trees, but hopes to raise crops and even livestock in the future, right in the midst of the once-proud city.
Immediate plans are to demolish and clear 15 of those acres and plant 15,000 trees, with additional plans for orchards, crops and livestock in the future.

Hantz' plans on a larger scale have been stopped or delayed by municipal (and community) resistance. It is too early to tell whether environmental and title issues will delay plans for utilizing the 150 acres in this transaction.

Is this agricultural activity worth watching as a predictor of the future of Harrisburg?