Oakland Avenue Urban Farm
Many of Detroit’s abandoned buildings were eventually demolished, leaving empty space that has since become a backdrop for parks, art, greenspace, and urban farming. Jerry Ann Hebron, pictured here, is the farm director at Oakland Avenue Urban Farm, which occupies more than 50 lots in the city, or the equivalent of 4.8 acres. Hebron began the project in 2008 in response to the community’s need for access to healthy food.
Farms from Side Lots
This tractor is in the front yard of another urban farmer who owns seven or eight lots for farming, Kevin says. As a part of the Detroit Land Bank, these vacant side lots adjacent to a home can be purchased for $100 each.
This photo shows one of the crops in the yard with the tractor, Kevin says. The plant is nasturtium, and both its leaves and flowers can be used in salads or as garnish.
“You see urban farming in the downtown business district,” Kevin notes, “and not just in the residential areas.” This farm occupies the space once belonging to a tall building and is in the heart of the city.
Urban Farming Apprentices
Greening of Detroit is another urban farm close to downtown that offers a 900-hour farming and agriculture apprentice program. Romondo Woods, pictured here, was an apprentice for two years, and now is the farm coordinator.