Picture Detroit as a self-sufficient network of communities where food comes from gardens in the now-empty lots instead of McDevils and the Party Store. Along with Feedom Freedom Gardens and Earthworks Garden, it’s starting to really happen. As one of the cities hit the hardest and the longest by recession, Detroit may become the new urban agriculture model of self-sufficiency.


edithPhoto: Patrick CrouchEdith Floyd is the real deal. With little in the way of funding or organizational infrastructure, she runs Growing Joy Community Garden on the northeast side of Detroit. Not many folks bother to venture out to her neighborhood, but Edith has been inspiring me for years. I caught up with her on a cold, rainy November afternoon. While we talked in the dining room, her husband Henry watched their grandkids.

Q.You haven’t always been an urban farmer. What did you do before this?

A. I worked at Detroit Public Schools. I started out with the Head Start Center and then I went to the middle school, to the Ed Tech, [which is] now the Computer Lab. I started farming because they laid me off and didn’t call me back. Farming is not making a living, it’s just keeping food in my freezer. I try to sell some…

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