Sunday, April 5, 2009

Farm could make Detroit hot spot for fresh foods

Detroit Free Press:
Detroit could become a center of locally grown food and put large swaths of vacant land back on tax rolls under a proposal to create the city's first large commercial farm.

Businessman John Hantz of Detroit, in an exclusive interview with the Free Press, unveiled his plans for Hantz Farms -- a concept that would convert hundreds, even thousands, of vacant parcels in the city into urban agriculture.

Offering jobs and an ability to produce fresh fruits and vegetables locally, Hantz Farms could help Detroit "become a destination for fresh, local and natural foods and become a major part of the green movement," Hantz said.

Detroit already is home to hundreds of smaller community gardens. But Hantz's proposal is the first to envision large-scale commercial farming.

He said he could grow everything from Christmas trees to fruits and vegetables, with amenities such as a cider mill or horseback riding available.

With an estimated 40 square miles of vacant parcels, Detroit offers many sites where, in theory, a big farm operation might work. Hantz, a resident of Detroit's Indian Village district, is tentatively looking at a blighted area near Eastern Market, but exact boundaries would depend on whether he wins the city's cooperation.
Also check out this previous post with a video about Detroit home to urban farms and wildlife.

Via Marathon Pundit!

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