On a modest site downtown, Lafayette Greens yields a good deal more than just food.
By Linda McIntyre
Detroit is having quite a moment in the media at a time of renewed interest in the trials and tribulations of cities, but it’s still kind of surprising to find a small, trapezoid-shaped edible garden thriving among the towers of its downtown. This is Lafayette Greens, designed by Kenneth Weikal Landscape Architecture, on a block that, until now, was best known for its homegrown fast food rivals American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island (“Coney Island” is Detroitspeak for chili dog). Now the Coneys are improbably sharing the neighborhood with vegetables, herbs, fruit, and flowers, all grown on a scant half-acre at a busy intersection across from the historic Book Cadillac Hotel (now part of the Westin chain) and the city’s federal office building and courthouse.
Where I grew up and where I live now, though focusing on very different kinds of agriculture, were both very farm-focused communities, and I always encourage people to go out and see what a working farm is all about. It is a great way to learn about where your food comes from, different jobs, and all about nature.
Beyond simply stopping by to view the animals at your local farm, there are many other hands-on and creative activities you can do with your family — and the spring is a great time to go. Visiting your local farm during the spring comes complete with baby animals, plus the weather is warming up and it’s the perfect opportunity for outdoor learning time with your children. To get the most out of your springtime visit to the farm, you’ll want to explore it with a different lens and look at your local farm as more than just a place that keeps animals and agriculture. Read on to learn seven creative ways to experience your local farm this spring with your family.
They also offer talks, events (today was their annual pie eating contest!), and other ways to engage with urban farming. If you live anywhere near there, go check it out; it is amazing to see a true working farm in action, and to see it done in an urban environment is really exciting. Although, you might want to wait until the weather isn’t, you know, freezing!, to go visit:
The Farm is a bit windy & chilly this time of year, so we’re waiting ’til spring for visits. To register for a workshop, contact us Education@RooftopFarms.org.
What a great way to learn about where your food comes from, and it’s healthier and fresher since it doesn’t have to travel as far or receive so many pesticides or preservatives for transport. And apparently these urban farms are now popping up all over the United States; check out some of the links below to read about other city’s urban farms. Eat up!