Subscribe

Growing Detroit, one tree at a time

One organization has dedicated itself to providing Detroit with the means and skills to protect their green spaces and grow their own food through job training, city plantings, and urban farming.

  • close
    In this undated photo, no special activators other than the element of time are needed to turn “garbage” into rich, brown compost in New Paltz, N.Y.
    Lee Reich/AP
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

The Greening of Detroit was founded to reforest Detroit and return the city to a state of environmental integrity filled with trees, green spaces, urban farms, and parks. The organization has dedicated itself to providing the community with the means and skills to protect their green spaces and grow their own food through job training, city plantings, and urban farming. Through their efforts, 85,000 trees have been planted since 1985 and 1,514 gardens have been created or supported since 2003.

Food Tank had the opportunity to speak with Tepfirah Rushdan, Director or Urban Agriculture at The Greening of Detroit.

Food Tank (FT): How do you contribute to creating a better food system?

Tepfirah Rushdan (TR): We work on the production end to ensure that families and individuals have the skills and resources they need to grow their own food. In our fragile food system, The Greening of Detroit wants to ensure that these essential skills are passed along to future generations. We do this on four basic levels: an introduction to food production at our demonstration farms through tours and volunteering, more involved classes on farm skills and cooking, our Build A Garden Program that supports individuals and groups with gardening resources, and our apprenticeship program which provides advanced training to adults who wish to spend a season working alongside our farmers.

FT: What is a project, program, or result you are most proud of?

TR: We are extremely proud of all of our programming; however, what always stands out are the times when youth are engaged in learning at our mobile classes. Each year we go into classrooms, after-school programs, and summer camps to teach farm and food skills to Detroit's youth. It’s always impressive when we see young people begging for more fruits and vegetables. One class would not let us leave until we made their Kale salad. We witnessed a change in their attitude about trying new foods, and their eating habits. It really warms our hearts to see this change occur.

FT: What are your goals for 2015 and beyond?

TR: We would like to continue to engage thousands of Detroiters in understanding and contributing to our food system, providing them with the skills and knowledge to become healthy and self-sufficient.

FT: In one sentence, what is the most important thing eaters and consumers can do today to support a more sustainable food system?

TR: We hope eaters and consumers will recognize the true value of the food they are eating by participating in growing it, by knowing the process by which it got to their tables, by consuming more local produce, by understanding the health benefits of greater fruit and vegetable consumption, and by composting when they can.

FT: How can individuals become more involved in your organization?

TR: We encourage Detroiters to participate in the gardening and food preparation class offered throughout the growing season. Individuals can volunteer in a variety of ways and can also support us with donations or through our various fundraising events.

Download the 2014 Good Food Org Guide HERE.

Submit your suggestions for the 2015 guide HERE.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK