A Reason to Stay in Detroit

| 12/6/2013 3:00:00 PM

Tags: Urban farming,

hantz farms

Hantz Farms inspires transformation of Detroit with the world’s largest urban farm.

After five years of negotiating and planning, Hantz Farms is buying more than 1,500 vacant lots from the city of Detroit, with the dream of creating the world’s largest urban farm. In a push to transform the city’s lower east side and make it livable again, the company is putting over $500,000 into removing trash from the lots, demolishing abandoned houses, and planting trees. Hantz Farms CEO, Micheal Score, offers details about the project:

12/9/2013 3:50:38 PM

Far from the saving grace it hyperbolically claims to be, this project has faced formidable community opposition, being seen by many people as an effort to acquire a significant amount of land and then hold it until it is more valuable. I saw a Hantz representative speak at a professional conference, and not only did his statistics seem made up, but he referred to my neighborhood as a “backwater,” not realizing anyone from the community was present. The 1,500 lots Hantz acquired from the city were at a bargain-basement price, not even enough to run a major City of Detroit department for one year--a onetime lump sum that is not much help with our structural deficit. Google #hantzoff if you would like more information from those who worked more closely on the issue. I am a little surprised to see this in Utne! There are many actual community farms operated by those who are actually a part of Detroit, doing good work. These guys are just planting some trees.

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