Category Archives: Urban Farming

Whatever You Do, Don’t Put Coffee Grounds in Your Garden

There’s nothing like eating veggies you grew in your own garden. But gardening is a big investment: there’s the daily watering, the careful pest control, and the delicate process of keeping the soil chemistry just right. The internet is full of ways you can make gardening easier and cheaper, but some methods are too good to be true. No matter what the gardening blogs tell you, leave the spent coffee grounds alone. They’re bad news for your garden.


This Area In Detroit Is Now America’s First 100% Organic, Self-Sustainable Neighborhood

Agrihood–it sounds like a trendy buzzword from the coffee bars of New York or San Francisco. In fact, that is where it’s from. The term ‘agrihood’ was copyrighted by Rancho Mission Viejo, a Southern California real estate brand. While their agrihood, and others like it are for the super-rich, there’s a new game in town. In 2016, the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative introduced the first urban ‘agrihood’–in a Detroit neighborhood where average home prices are less than $25,000.


In A Time Of Uncertainty, Bostonians Embrace Their Community Gardens

In Dorchester, where the clatter of a passing train gives way to the scrape of a rake, the Greenwood Street Community Garden is thriving. It’s one of roughly 175 community gardens scattered like jewels through the city of Boston. And at this time of pandemic and social upheaval, these gardens are being treasured.

On a recent sunny day, retired teacher Barry Lawton separated his corn stalks, while gently singing Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy, Mercy Me.” He catalogued the variety coaxed from his narrow plot.

“I am growing potatoes, red and white melons, cantaloupe, watermelon, five different types of lettuce. Red, yellow and green peppers, corn, as you can see, cucumbers,” Lawton said. “And I’m waiting for the asparagus, the broccoli and the spinach, they just haven’t showed up yet.”


Camp Washington residents create a brighter future

Photos: Gary Kessler

Camp Washington is a little rough around the edges. That’s obvious from a casual drive-by perspective.

But what if this disenfranchised, low-income neighborhood isn’t as “poor” as it seems?

The neighborhood is gritty and quirky. And the running themes throughout Camp Washington are opportunity and productivity. Residents who are willing to dig in and invest themselves will see the fruit of their investments.

It’s a place where there are still opportunities for ownership and entrepreneurship. It’s a place where relational capital and creativity go a long way.

This post-industrial Cincinnati neighborhood has weathered some difficult years. But the neighborhood, collectively, already has everything it needs to survive and thrive for another hundred.