Detroit a city that is quickly returning to the land has become home to a phenomenon known as community gardening. Community gardening is not a new thing it has been around for thousands of years. It helps the local economy, has social benefits, helps reduce the carbon footprint, and decontaminates the soil. There are some drawbacks especially if space is expensive in the city. But as you’ll see the benefits outweigh the cost and it really does make a difference.
Detroit is a city that is once again rising from the ashes, in the late 1800’s it burned and the late 1900’s collapsed as people fled the city. Urban farming is giving the city a new lease on life. The city is in a food desert and getting to a grocery with fresh vegetables is something that you have to leave the city for. The people have been working to change that by turning abandoned lots into community gardens. They help themselves and each other buy planting and working in the gardens. In the video below you can see a documentary on Detroit’s urban gardens.
In ancient Egypt they had gardens planted that reclaimed waste water. In Machu Picchu the city was built around the gardens that reused their water very efficiently. During the Great Depression such gardening became a must and it helped people to survive. As the world wars raged victory gardens where planted to help ease the burdens of war time rationing. Urban gardening is not new it just seems that newer generations are discovering the wonders of home grown food.
The benefits of urban farming are many these are only a few. Economically gardening creates jobs through production, processing, packaging, and marketing. Socially gardening creates a chance to get to know ones community as it facilitates social interaction. Because the gardens are closer to their consumers it reduces the carbon foot print as the produce is not traveling as far from the farm to the plate. Certain plants can even absorb and remove contaminants from the soil.
Of course there are some drawbacks to urban farming. Like, space can be expensive in cities and some people would rather not spend the money. Also if the land is too contaminated it could negatively effect the plants and them unfit for consumption. If waste water is used on and is untreated it could spread waterborne illness to people who come in contact with it. But, many of these problems can be managed.
As you could see gardening has made a difference in Detroit in bringing the city back. For years it has been a part of city life even if we have forgotten about it. The benefits are numerous and more than definitely outweigh the drawbacks. Plant a garden, there are plenty of reasons to and you might really enjoy it. Have a present weekend and make a difference.