The Greening of Detroit’s urban agriculture department is committed to helping all Detroiters develop a healthy relationship with food through self-sufficient food production, and increased awareness of gardening, nutrition and local food systems. The Greening values environmental stewardship, community leadership and education.
Our focus areas include:
- The Greening is partnering with dozens of schools to create a garden-based curriculum and nutrition education for their school garden programming.
- An adult apprenticeship education program providing 450 hours of hands-on training in farming, agriculture education and building community relationships.
- Community education offerings that include farm-working lessons, tours to local farms, and advanced agriculture workshops.
- A paid youth apprenticeship program to introduce and engage Detroit youth in urban agriculture.
- Provide basic support to gardeners through phone, email and in-office requests.
- Assist community members with new garden development.
- Provide technical assistance and hands-on support when needed, as well as assistance in season extension tools and solar passive greenhouse construction.
- Provide garden resources like soil testing, tilling, raised bed construction and water catchment systems to gardens across the city.
- Supplement the Fresh Food Share program with fresh produce from The Greening’s farm markets. The Share program provides a monthly box of food distribution to low-income residents.
- Grow fresh produce for the Brightmoor food pantry, and for sale at neighborhood farmers’ markets in Detroit through the Grown in Detroit collaborative. Partner with grassroots organizations to provide community meals.
The Greening of Detroit’s Farm Gardens
MGM Grand Garden
The Greening of Detroit oversees the development of the MGMGrand market garden on Plum Street near downtown Detroit. The site has two 60’ x 90’ greenhouses; one used for production and the other used for transplants. It supports the community, school, family and market gardens with transplants, growing nearly 150,000 in 2012. The site recently added a 1/3 acre in outdoor production space, as well as a new herb garden and apiary. The site is used as a training site for youth and adult apprentices to build their skills in the horticultural and agricultural fields.
Detroit Market Garden
The Greening of Detroit purchased the property from the city of Detroit in 2009. After site development and building three 30 x 60 movable hoophouses, as well as one 30 x 144 hoophouse, the 2.5—acre farm garden within Detroit’s eastern market district opened to the public. This garden serves as an urban farm ingtraining, production and processing location. Seasonal produce is grown in the hoophouse tunnels year-round. Self-guided tours, community education, and a youth apprenticeship program are also offered at this site.
Romanowski Farm Park
The Greening of Detroit coordinated the restoration of the 26-acre park in southwest Detroit in 2004, working with community partner organizations and neighborhood residents. Improvements included renovated athletic fields, a new playground with a teaching garden, a “living” pavilion, a fruit orchard, and a small farm garden. The city-owned park is a well-used community space.
The garden and orchard are maintained by The Greening’s apprentice farmers and volunteers. Community residents also take an active role in tending to the garden, planting and harvesting produce, and picking apples and pears from the orchard trees. Romanowski Park is used to educate community residents about, and increase access to urban agriculture, nutrition and healthy food. Most of the produce and fruit is harvested and consumed by the community; the rest is harvested and delivered to market outlets.
Detroit School Garden Collaborative
The Greening of Detroit is partnering with The Detroit Public Schools office of Nutrition to create a healthy food culture in 48 elementary schools throughout the city. Learn more here.