In the July issue of Harpers magazine, writer Rebecca Solnit explored modern-day Detroit and found that the wilderness was returning to the city’s many abandoned buildings and empty lots. Her piece, "Detroit Arcadia: Exploring the Post-American Landscape", showed how some city dwellers were reclaiming those empty lots by turning them into urban community gardens. While Solnit’s piece was rightfully dinged in letters to the editor for being too optimistic that these activities would somehow lift all those living in Detroit out of poverty, the idea of new life returning to what was once one of the most populous cities in America is fascinating.
Now the Detroit Free Press offers a more down-to-earth take on the city’s gardens and microfarms in a piece published late last month. Click through to read about urban farms in old, roofless factories, and how the city and foundations actively support the new farming methods.
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In December, when Derrick Shareef, a young Muslim convert, was arrested near Chicago for allegedly plotting to blow up holiday shoppers with hand grenades, he was described as a homegrown "lone wolf" …