Thursday, October 22, 2009

Necessity is the Mother

Necessity is the mother of invention. So how much inspiration and invention can you expect from the person who has everything? For new ideas, turn to the person who has nothing.

This is the thinking behind an Utne Reader article that suggests the economically deprived city of Detriot may lead the way as a shining example of successful, sustainable, urban farming. According to historian Mark Dowie the fact that Detroit "is home to zero grocery chains or big-box stores—leaving 80 percent of the population to get their food from convenience stores, liquor stores, and gas stations—helps position it to 'become the world’s first 100 percent food self-sufficient city.'”

Dowie meets some forward-thinking Detroiters “who imagine growing food among the ruins.” He writes about people who share visions of “chard and tomatoes on vacant lots (there are over 103,000 in Detroit, 60,000 city-owned), orchards on former school grounds, mushrooms in open basements, fish in abandoned factories . . . livestock grazing on former golf courses, high-rise farms in old hotels,” and many other adaptive farming techniques.

Read more at The Utne Reader.