New research shows that urban farms in Detroit, Michigan have the capacity to produce the majority of the required produce for their region.
The study is found in the journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. The research was done by C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at MSU. “What’s clear from our production analysis is that even with a limited growing season, significant quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables eaten by Detroiters could be grown locally,” said Kathryn Colasanti, the graduate student who led the study at MSU. “And investments in produce storage facilities and hoop houses would increase this capacity substantially.” The study found that 75% of vegetables and 40% of fruits can be produced by urban farms. By using arial maps the researchers were able to identify around 4,848 acres of urban land that can be used for farming. “Our totals are conservative,” explained Mike Hamm, who leads the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems. “But it may be closer to representing the quantity of land more readily available for urban farms and gardens because these parcels are publicly owned and clear of any buildings.”