Detroit, a city known for its indomitable spirit, is a place of grit and resilience. It's a city where urban landscapes, adorned with graffiti and flanked by towering buildings, tell stories of both struggle and triumph. In this urban jungle, a remarkable transformation is taking place, and I had the privilege of capturing it with my lens.
Through my ongoing photography project for the Michigan Department of Education and the 10 Cents a Meal program, I am following the food from farms to schools to tell the story of how locally sourced food can impact local schools, the climate, and the state economy.
Last week I traveled to Keep Growing Detroit, a 1.38-acre urban farm and teaching facility right in the heart of Detroit's historic Eastern Market District. Keep Growing Detroit envisions a future where Detroiters source the majority of their fruits and vegetables from within the city limits, cultivating not just food but also community resilience.
At the core of Keep Growing Detroit's mission is the belief in a food sovereign city. They empower residents to become engaged community leaders and food entrepreneurs by fostering urban gardening.
Through programs like the Garden Resource Program, they support over 2,000 urban gardens and farms across the city. This means that Detroiters are actively involved in growing the produce that nourishes their communities.
Additionally, Grown in Detroit provides urban growers with opportunities to sell their locally grown fruits and vegetables at local market outlets, creating economic opportunities for residents while increasing access to fresh, locally sourced produce.
Keep Growing Detroit's vision extends beyond their farm's borders. They aspire to see places to grow food in every neighborhood in Detroit, each one seamlessly integrated into the community's fabric. These green spaces are not just about food; they are catalysts for community and economic development, benefiting all residents.
In a world where the connection between food and its source is often lost, 10 Cents a Meal and Keep Growing Detroit are shining examples of what's possible when communities come together. They're not just growing vegetables; they're cultivating empowerment, education, and hope while rising up for a brighter future.
To see more from the 10 Cents a Meal project, go here.
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