ISSUE MAY Detroit Gardens are GROWING in The Garden

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ISSUE MAY Detroit Gardens are GROWING in The Garden Powered By Docstoc
					ISSUE 9                                                                       MAY 2006

Detroit Gardens are GROWING in 2006
The Garden Resource Program is overflowing with great energy and active                     AMERICAN INDIAN HEATH
participation in 2006! We already have over 100 families and over 80                         AND FAMILY SERVICES
community gardens enrolled in the program this year. In March, the seed                  By Nickole Fox, Cluster 5 leader
distribution events were held at Earthworks and each of the 5 cluster centers.
                                                                                         The community garden at American
Big thanks to all the cluster leaders and volunteers who helped everything run
                                                                                         Indian Health and Family Services
smoothly! In early April, there was a fabulous turnout for each of the cluster
                                                                                         has been going strong since the
resource meetings. As a result, there will be tons of great additional resources         spring of 1997. The three sisters’
available through the clusters this year! On April 20th and 22nd, the Earthworks         garden and medicines were
greenhouse was full of excited gardeners coming to pick up their cold-weather            introduced to our urban center to
crops. We’re looking forward to seeing you all again on May 18th and 20th at             promote our mission to provide
the warm-weather distribution. We are still accepting applications for the               culturally competent services to
program this year and will do our best to meet the resource needs of all who             American Indian People. In order to
apply (seeds and plants are limited). Applications are available online at               give the teachings about the three                                                              sisters (corn, beans and squash)
                                                                                         and to teach about our four sacred
                                                                                         medicines, we need to engage the
                                                                                         people in the entire process. Our
                                                                                         youth use the gardens to learn
                                                                                         about growing and eating traditional
                                                                                         healthy foods and they work with
                                                                                         the tobacco garden to learn respect
                                                                                         for the sacred plant and learn not to
                                                                                         abuse it. We also use the gardens
                                                                                         for our diabetes education classes
                                                                                         to promote healthy lifestyles of
                                                                                         traditional activities (gardening) and
                                                                                         traditional foods. As the new cluster
                                                                                         5 center, we hope to increase
                                                                                         gardening in southwest Detroit, but
     Urban Roots Student, Riet Schumack (far right) and Brightmoor Community Garden      we need your help! Tell your
     Members pick up their cold weather crops at Earthworks.
                                                                                         friends about the garden resource
                                                                                         program; tell them to grow a
                                                                                         garden for their families!
In 2006, Detroit Garden Resource Program participants are doing more
than just picking up their plants. Over the last few months, many gardeners have gotten involved in the newly
created Community Workgroups. Every year we hear new ideas from gardeners about what they would like to see in
their gardens, in the city or issues they think the network should address. The purpose of Community Workgroups is
to capture these ideas and turn them into action, and to encourage community gardeners to take leadership roles in
these initiatives. (continued on Page 2)
(Community Workgroups continued from page 1)

The first of the workgroups created was the Marketing Workgroup. We heard from many gardeners that they were
interested in selling their produce and from several local markets that they were interested in connecting with local
producers. This year, the focus of the Marketing Workgroup is to help connect gardeners with existing markets and
to provide any training and support that is needed. For more information see the community food security insert.

At the spring cluster meetings, gardeners identified compost as the most immediate resource need for their gardens.
In addition, many gardeners have expressed interest in composting to reduce the waste stream in the city and to
deal with the elimination of bulk pick-up services. The newly created Community Composting Workgroup is working
to address these issues. Plans for 2006 include creating a pilot neighborhood compost site, which could be replicated
at other community gardens around the city. They are also planning to create educational materials on the benefits
and techniques of composting and researching strategies other cities use to incorporate composting into their city
waste management plan.

There are plans to start a Greenhouse Workgroup to identify how we can put all the unused greenhouses in the city
into productive use and to expand to capacity of the Detroit Garden Resource Program to grow transplants for
Detroit Gardeners. If you are interested in getting involved with these workgroups, please contact Lindsay at

    Thanks to all who attended the Spring Cluster Workdays! Each cluster chose one site in their cluster to spend a
    few hours working together. The workdays were a great opportunity to meet others in the area, share some skills
    and gardening ideas and to help another garden out. If you missed your cluster workday, join us for the
    cluster 3 workday, which is still to come (June 17th, 9-12PM, Harding Street Block Club, 5177 Harding).
    We’ll also be holding a Fall workday for each cluster as well. Cluster workdays are a great way to get active in
    your cluster group , making you eligible to receive additional resources. For more information about your cluster
    and upcoming opportunities to get involved, visit the website at

The Garden Resource Program Clusters are resource centers that provide local access to tools, compost, wood chips,
and other gardening resources as well as connections for gardeners living in the same areas of the city. Started in
2005 with three pilot centers, the boundaries of the clusters are based on the ten-cluster system used by the City of
Detroit Planning & Development Department to divide the city into manageable planning units with common
neighborhood issues. Currently, there are 5 Cluster Centers.

•     FARM (Cluster 1, the Northside)

•     4-H Center (Cluster 3, the lower Eastside)

•     Catherine Ferguson Academy (Cluster 4, the central city)

•     American Indian Health and Family Services (Cluster 5, Southwest)

•     Adams Butzel Recreation Center (Cluster 9, Northwest)

More than 60% of Detroit Garden Resource Program participants attended Cluster meetings this spring, a great start
to the season. Participants will be notified of additional resources available for active cluster group members (i.e.
those who participate in at least one meeting, workday, or event) at the warm weather crop distribution, along with
a schedule of the spring workdays. There are also regularly scheduled activities at most of the Cluster Centers—it’ a
great way to get involved in your cluster group and to network with other gardeners in your part of the city.
While many of us are just getting started gardening this season, 30 community leaders have been hard at work for 9
weeks now participating in the Urban Roots Community Garden Training Program. Now in its second year, Urban
Roots provides community leaders from across Wayne County the opportunity to learn the community organizing
and horticulture skills needed to successfully establish and maintain thriving urban community gardens. Over the last
nine weeks, students have been turning compost piles, drawing garden plans, learning how to find and secure
appropriate garden sites and much more. The lectures and activities in Urban Roots are designed to build leadership
skills, provide experience and build confidence in community garden leaders so that they are able to initiate or
enhance their own community garden projects. The class was a unique mix of diverse individuals with varying
gardening experiences. Here’s what a few of them have to say about the class…If you missed the class this year,
make sure you join us for the next Urban Roots class, which will begin in February 2007.

“Urban Roots makes learning about gardening fun and easy. We didn't just sit in the classroom for 9 weeks; we went
outside and got to try different gardening techniques for ourselves. I got to meet other gardeners and community
builders who had different experiences with community gardening. I learned just as much from the experiences of my
classmates as I learned from our instructors”. Kibibi Blount Dorn – 4H/Cluster 3 Americorps Volunteer

“Since our community garden had a pretty loose organization for the first two years the Urban Roots class really
helped us think about our overall planning a lot more clearly. Keeping records of expenses, volunteers, and passed
plantings always seemed like a good idea, but we never took the time to do it before”. Leah Retherford, Birdtown

“Without Urban Roots, I would never have had the courage to flyer the neighborhood and invite the greater
community to participate in the garden. Now, not only are neighbors getting involved, but we are also extending out
garden project into some of the neighbors backyard plots”. Lisa Richter, Hall House Community Garden

“The Urban Roots course was an excellent introduction and comprehensive overview of what it takes to garden in an
urban setting. It identifies the first steps to starting a garden in your neighborhood and gives you the tools and
resources to tackle any obstacles you may encounter along the way”. Sue Weckerle, Birdtown Garden

MANY THANKS to American Indian Health and Family Services for hosting Urban Roots and to our wonderful
volunteers, Marcia Pilliciotti, Ida Castillo, Bruce Forrest, Cevan Castle, Susan Stellar, Barb Hayes and Marsha

______________________________                                                                          _MAY
May 18th (6-8PM) & 20th (1-3PM), Warm weather crop plant pickup, Earthworks Garden, 1264 Meldrum
May 19th Steve Frillman, New York City Green Guerillas, Community Presentation, CFA, 2750 Selden, 5-8PM
May 25th Advanced Organic Gardening, Urban Gardening Education Series, Earthworks Garden, 1264 Meldrum,

_____ _______________________                                                                           JUNE
June 7th Detroit Agriculture Network Potluck 5:30-8PM, 4H Center, 5710 McClellan
June 10th Water Conservation and Rain Barrel Workshop, Detroit Urban Gardening Education Series, FARM,
          17500 John R. (at the corner of E. Parkhurst), 1-3PM
June 17 Cluster 3 Workday, Harding Street Block Club, 5177 Harding, 9-12PM
June 24th Eastern Market Marketing Kick-off Day, for more info call Lindsay, 961-3151

______________________________                                                                        _JULY
July 8th    Cooking in Season, Urban Gardening Education Series, Adams Butzel Recreation Center, 10500 Lyndon,
July 27th   Succession Planting, Urban Gardening Education Series, Earthworks Garden, 1264 Meldrum, 6-8 PM
2006 Education Series Brings National, Regional and Local Gardening Experts to Detroit

Once again the education series is packed with exciting and informational classes for the season. Thanks to
your input at the Strategic Planning meeting in November, we have taken your advice and added some new
topics, reworked the schedule to include Saturday classes, and looked for more diversity in our teachers. We are
very excited for the upcoming classes, which will be taught by regional and national experts in addition to
classes taught by our favorite local gardening gurus. We are also enhancing the education series this year with
some exciting presentations and short field trips. Please see the Calendar or our website for a full listing of
the classes!

Friday, May 19th Steve Frillmann from New York City’s GREEN GUERILLAS. This Spring Steve Frillmann will
be visiting us in Detroit. Please join us in welcoming him and come learn about community gardening initiatives in the Big Apple at an
evening presentation at Catherine Ferguson Academy (CFA), 2750 Selden, 5-7PM.

Thursday, May 25th Advanced Organic Gardening with Professor John Biernbaum from MSU.                                              Come
learn how to increase production, soil fertility and enrich your garden organically with John Biernbaum, Professor of Horticulture at MSU
and director of the MSU Student Organic Farm, 6-8PM, Earthworks Garden, 1264 Meldrum

                                                                                  SAVE THE DATE!!
                                                                      2006 Detroit Agriculture Network
                                                                                           Garden Tour
                                                                            Wednesday, August 9th
                                                                                 4H Community Center,
                                                                              5710 McClellan, 5:30-8PM
Fieldtrip to Giving Tree Farm in Lansing, April 30th

  Detroit Agriculture Network
  200 West Parkhurst
  Detroit, MI 48203
          Community Food Security in Detroit

Community Food Security is a comprehensive strategy to make healthy, nutritious food accessible to all,
while also maximizing social justice and environmental sustainability. It focuses on bringing fresh, local food
into low-income communities, thereby reducing hunger, and improving individual health. Farmers' markets,
community gardens, convenient access to good supermarkets in low-income neighborhoods, and linking local
farmers with schools, soup kitchens, and food banks are a priority of community food security. There is no
community food security unless we save family farms, build sustainable agriculture, and grow food in and
around our cities. To that end, it is important to work on food policy from the local to the federal level.

In this issue of the Detroit Farmer’s Quarterly we are highlighting a number of local initiatives that are working
to promote Community Food Security in the Detroit Area.

By Vic Randall

The community food security challenges we are facing in Detroit include limited access to fresh produce in our
neighborhoods and limited access to better grocery options because of poor public transportation. Changes in the
food distribution system over the past few decades have seen the decline of grocers in urban neighborhoods. Larger
supermarkets like Wal-Mart have taken over the lion’s share of the food distribution market—opening stores located
along freeway interchanges that attract more customers. These locations are difficult for many Detroiters to shop at
regularly because they are mainly in the suburbs and costly for all of us to reach. The result is that Detroiters pay
more than our suburban neighbors, often for lower quality produce. The Market Workgroup (see article on page 1) is
working to enhance community food security by increasing access to fresh produce in our neighborhoods. The
Earthworks farm-stands sell fresh produce at local churches and Project Fresh markets in several locations around
the city at least twice each week. This ensures fresh, healthy food is easily available for residents and low income
families across Detroit. The marketing workgroup is also helping to help create a small market stand in cooperation
with the Corktown Recycling monthly drop site. This site was chosen as a pilot for creating market stands in part
because it is easily accessible on three bus lines and will serve a neighborhood with limited local produce options.
The marketing workgroup is also working with EMAC (the Eastern Market Advancement Coalition) to host a stand at
the Eastern Market on June 24th to make locally grown produce available to shoppers at Eastern Market and
promote the involvement of more Detroiters in the Garden Resource Program. Future farm-stand efforts will
continue to find ways to connect Detroit growers with likeminded community-based groups to address access-related
community food concerns. The market group is encouraging gardeners to pool extra crops together and connect with
these small market opportunities to help reach those with limited access to healthy, fresh produce. Such efforts can
have a significant impact on community food security in our neighborhoods.

The Michigan Food Policy council held their Detroit listening session on Thursday March 30, 2006, at Gleaners
Community Food Bank from 5pm-7pm. Minutes from the Detroit listening session will be posted on the website at . Approximately 20 community participants were present and 12 of them provided oral
presentations of comments including DAN Board Member Kami Pothukuchi who discussed, the high incident of
hunger and Food insecurity in the City and other issues. The Council is partly funded by the W.K. Kellogg
Foundation and consists of 21 Governor-appointed members. The four main issues the council is charged with
making recommendations on are A) Expanding Food Related Business and Jobs B) Improving Access to fresh and
Healthy Foods C) Promoting Purchase of Michigan Foods D) Enhancing Agricultural Viability. Kristin Brooks is the
Executive Coordinator of the Council and can be contacted at .

To keep in line with the tremendous momentum behind community food security indicatives that are popping up all
across the city, a few black gardeners got together at the Black Star Community Bookstore this past February and
began planning to develop a new community garden. Some of the gardeners in the room were former members of
the Gardening Angels, and others work with the Vandalia Farm that’s located in western Michigan. But regardless of
current or pass gardening affiliations, all of the gardeners and families in the room felt it was tremendously important
for members of the black community to address our dependence on buying produce from grocery stores where our
money is not appreciated. We all know across Detroit, some grocers sell horrible produce, at an exaggerated price,
because they know members of that community have few other options. What those fly-by-night imitation grocery
stores don’t realize is that gardeners are mobilizing all over Detroit to eventually reclaim our ability to feed ourselves
and grow our own food. So it has been decided that committed individuals with agricultural experience should work
to establish a large community garden.

And overnight, the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network was established. While there are plenty of kinks
to work out, the early plans are for the DBCFSN to manage a small half-acre garden on Detroit’s eastside for the
summer of 2006. This garden is expected to be a pilot program, with plans of developing an even larger community
garden or farm in 2007. The DBCFSN looks forward to networking with gardening groups across Detroit. Look out for
updates in future newsletters. The DBCFSN is open to working with other committed
gardeners of African descent. For more information, contact Jonathan Cunningham at .

Along with the challenges of community food insecurity, there are also the
success stories in our community of people and businesses who are making a
difference. Of these businesses, there is no better example than Avalon
International Breads…

 During April, Avalon International Breads went above and beyond their usual business of providing Detroiters
 with delicious breads, organic coffee and a local place to meet and eat. As in past years, Avalon celebrated
 “Earth Month”, by offering specials to their customers and spreading the word about how to love our planet and
 keep healthy in the process. This year Avalon dedicated their Earth Month specials to supporting a greener,
 healthier Detroit by donating a portion of their profit from the Earth Month specials to the Detroit Garden
 Resource Program. The store is full of garden photos from Detroit community gardens. Avalon donated .75
 cents to a dollar from each of their specials to support the Garden Resource program. Avalon also generously
 matched tax-deductible donations (up to $1,000 per check) made in support of the Detroit Garden Resource

 We can’t say enough to thank Avalon, which goes way beyond the April campaign. But any month is a good
 month to visit Avalon. So, go stop in, buy a loaf of Avalon’s great bread and thank them for being a great
 example of all that’s unique, healthy and wonderful about Detroit! If you would like to join Avalon in supporting
 the Detroit Garden Resource Program, you may make a tax-deductible donation. Please make checks payable
 to “The Greening of Detroit” with “Detroit Garden Resource Program” written in the memo line. Send checks to
 the Greening of Detroit, 1418 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216.

                                Thank you Avalon!!!