Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Positive article about Detroit in Oprah's magazine Previous Next
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English
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Username: English

Post Number: 704
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 12:34 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

(Forgive me if this has been posted already. I tried to search for the topic, and didn't see anything)

I just read the April issue of O, Oprah's magazine this afternoon. There was a WONDERFUL article about Detroit's growing urban gardening movement. It was a refreshingly positive article about our city, accompanied by gorgeous color photography. Here are some great quotes:

"But in the strange and strangely lovely city of Detroit, it's a mistake to make assumptions."

"Talk to Detroit's gardeners, at least, and the impression is one of overpowering love for their hometown. It's also possible to see how Detroit's swaths of urban prairie, if they were actively managed, could be turned into an attraction: They yield an oddly peaceful and natural urban experience."

The story is called "The Emerald City" by Michele Owens. It describes the working farm at the Catherine Ferguson Academy. The founder and principal, Asenath Andrews, was my elementary-school art teacher at Bates Academy. It also gives details about other gardens in the Detroit Garden Resource Program.

I love, love, love articles about "the greening of Detroit" (members of that organization, please forgive the pun!). My grandmother turned a lot into a rose garden paradise, where I would go whenever I was happy or sad, from chilldhood until age 29, when she sold her house.

In another lot, she also grew bounties of cherry tomatoes to swiss chard. I have chic grad school friends who've never had chard, but thanks to Michael Pollan are enamored of it, and I get to say, "Oh, I grew up eating that in my grandmother's garden." :-)

No matter how violent or senseless things seemed, those gardens were an oasis. And now, to help de-stress from dissertating, I look forward to picking out my seeds, and digging my hands in the dirt.

I really think that this is an amazing possibility for the city, and I hope that the powerbrokers see it as an opportunity soon. All the trends point towards the work these gardeners are doing... eating local, sustainability, what to do to feed ourselves as peak oil approaches. Imagine, the return of "ribbon farming" in 2030. Sure, Detroit may not have a million residents... which given the near-future I'm thinking may occur will be a blessing in disguise... but imagine greenfields and gardens where a quarter of a century before, there was nothing but blight...

I can't find a copy of it online, but definitely check it out before May's issues of O hit newsstands next week. It's definitely one of the best articles I've read on Detroit's gardening movement, and certainly one of the most positive during this dismal winter and early spring of our discontent...

(Message edited by English on April 14, 2008)
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Karl
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Username: Karl

Post Number: 10556
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 10:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Odd how Oprah's name doesn't seem to be in the air quite so much since the Obama debacle.

Has Oprah had Rev Wright on her show? Now that would be interesting - a debate on Oprah by black preachers from both sides as to whether America is still "a bad place"
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Rel
Member
Username: Rel

Post Number: 635
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 10:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Way to go, Karl... turn a positive article about urban renewal and gardening into a rant about race & politics.

Oy.

English, thanks for letting me know about the story. I will try to find that article.
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Pam
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Username: Pam

Post Number: 3910
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 10:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gardening was discussed in the "How many vacant lots" topic and "Start of a neighborhood garden". I think the O article might have been mentioned in one of those.
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Gaz
Member
Username: Gaz

Post Number: 71
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 10:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Every positive article is a great help. There are too many negative ones, and right now this city, more than any other American cities, needs this kind of press.

Detroit WILL come back. It has so much potential, and sooner or later (hopefully sooner) that potential will be realized.
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Hcue
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Username: Hcue

Post Number: 1
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 11:02 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's refreshing to see positive talk about what's going on in Detroit, for a change. It's so easy to focus on the bullshit -- I'm not a huge Oprah fan, but I commend her for taking notice and helping to call attention to a positive thing happening here.
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Tomoh
Member
Username: Tomoh

Post Number: 315
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 12:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anybody know the name of this urban farm: Detroit urban farm photos
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Bragaboutme
Member
Username: Bragaboutme

Post Number: 155
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 12:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tomoh, this I believe is by I-96, and West Warren. Behind Ferguson Academy.
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English
Member
Username: English

Post Number: 706
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 12:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No prob, Rel & everyone. I only wish it were online so that I could share the link; I could scan & make PDFs but I think that would violate copyright rules. I do have a copy if anyone ever does the coffee shop circuit.

Are there any forumers who are urban gardeners, or involved in gardening youth programs in the city?
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Tomoh
Member
Username: Tomoh

Post Number: 316
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 12:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I know the exact address: 2750 Selden, Detroit, MI 48208

But does the farm have a name? Ferguson?
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Cub
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Username: Cub

Post Number: 369
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 12:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

English,
I am one. Check out the thread "The Start of an Urban Garden and Neighborhood Gathering Place"
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Rel
Member
Username: Rel

Post Number: 678
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 1:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was about to page you, Cub :-)

We should get together at Cub's community garden, English! I'll trade you a copy of the article for some great lemonade. I'll even throw in a couple hours of service...

As for the Greening of Detroit: another forum member invited me to pick up some free sunflower seeds this past Saturday in Eastern Market. I got some great ideas for ornamental trees.
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Cub
Member
Username: Cub

Post Number: 370
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 9:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey Rel,
Give me a call when you get a chance.

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