Posted on: September 30, 2020 | Community Engagement
All summer long we’ve been planting, sowing, weeding, and harvesting in our hoop house, providing a variety of fresh (& organic!) produce to our neighbors in the Riverbend community. However, none of this would have been possible without the help of another local nonprofit who is cultivating a fruitful future for all.
Did you know? Recent studies show that 40% of Detroiters utilize food assistance programs such as SNAP & WIC. This means that almost half of the city’s population struggles to meet one of the most basic needs, providing food for their families. In addition, Detroit has often been referred to as a “food desert,” meaning that access to fresh produce and other healthy foods is extremely challenging within the city limits.
In response to this problem, Keep Growing Detroit, along with many other local groups, felt it was necessary to get back to our roots and utilize the seemingly endless amount of vacant land available. With the introduction of urban farms and gardens, residents would be able to reap what they sow, providing food to their families while learning one of the most valuable skills.
Keep Growing Detroit is a local nonprofit aiming to increase sustainability and food sovereignty in the city of Detroit. One of their greatest initiatives is the Garden Resource Program. If you are involved in any type of garden in Detroit, Hamtramck, or Highland Park, you can join this program for a small annual fee. The GRP most importantly provides members with free transplants three times a year but also offers networking and mentoring opportunities and a variety of garden workshops year-round.
Despite COVID’s detrimental effects on our personal and professional lives, one positive outcome could be the increased interest in gardening. With supermarket shelves bare and funds tight, we have been forced to be more self-sufficient. Although the GRP has existed for ten years, it experienced its largest member increase in 2020. At 1200 members strong, the GRP supports gardeners all over the city, including Core Orchards, providing the guidance and resources necessary to thrive.
To learn more about Keep Growing Detroit, visit their website at www.detroitagriculture.net