Farming in Detroit: A Photo Exploration

By Lindsay Mensch

Last Sunday, several RISE students and I had the amazing opportunity to visit four farms in Detroit to learn about using hoophouses (also called high tunnels or passive solar greenhouses) to extend the growing season. These farms all differed in why they grew, what they grew, and how they grew, but all were united by the idea that we can use our agricultural technology to expand the growing season and get the most out of our Earth. Check out the photos below to spot the differences – and similarities – between all of the farms I visited!

Plum Street Market Garden – home of Keep Growing Detroit.
Sign reads: “There are more than 1,500 urban gardens and farms across Detroit. Together we are growing a future where all Detroiters have access to healthy food and where residents benefit from a thriving local food system.”
Inside of the high tunnels at Plum Street.
Several varieties of squash.
Beautiful garlic bulbs.
I’d never seen this variety of kale before, but it looked amazing!
Gorgeous tomatoes beginning to ripen.
Coriander Farm. It was created as a partnership between a farmer and a chef – all of the food is sold to local restaurants and can be found for purchase at Eastern Market and other markets in Detroit.
Inside the high tunnel on Coriander Street.
These flowers attract tons of pollinators to the farm!
Next stop: Walton’s Plants.
Bed of swiss chard.
Alongside vegetable crops, Walton grows tons of ornamental crops as well!
Inside the house at Walton’s Plants.
I loved the way that Buffalo Street Farm trellised the pie pumpkins! Making use of vertical space is always important in urban agriculture.
This was the only farm we went to that had animals.
This farm had tons of grape vines and berry brambles. Permiculture is a long term investment, but it can be worth it since you have such a unique crop!
These were the sweetest berries I’ve ever tasted.
Tons of bee boxes – these are critical for the crops at this farm.

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