For the past five years, we have developed a two-acre urban farm located in the 12-acre vacant field at the corner of Freud and Newport, where we grow flowers and over 50 different types of organic, non-GMO crops, the vast majority of which are heirloom (non-hybrid) vegetables.
During this time, the project was financed through our seasonal CSA (community-supported agriculture) program. Members of the community bought “shares” from our local farm at the start of the season. In exchange for the shares, members received a weekly box of fresh produce from The Garden. Even though our CSA program was very successful, we will not be continuing the program next season, as we shift our focus to explore ways to direct-sell more of our produce in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood, including farmers markets, food trucks and partnerships with local businesses and restaurants.
We are driven by the belief that healthy food should have a place at every table and we support the growing realization that people should have the right to take food production into their own hands. We hope to someday turn our farm into a community food system for the Jefferson Chalmers area, which will allow all households to have access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.
Over the years, many people have come to The Garden as friends, volunteers, visitors and participants in programs we have sponsored. We also invite you to relax and enjoy the exquisite beauty of God's creation in our hidden oasis. At certain times of the day, especially dawn and dusk, the lighting is mystical. As you look out at The Garden and listen to birdsong, you just might feel like you're in Heaven - which may be true!
In the Spring of 2015, we purchased nine vacant lots from the Detroit Land Bank Authority on the 200 block of Manistique and Ashland. Shortly thereafter, we received a series of three LEAP (Lower Eastside Action Plan) Beautification grants which were used to clean up the lots, maintain them and install a cedar split-rail fence around the land's perimeter.
Last summer, in conjunction with Michigan Community Resources, we received a generous Kresge Foundation grant to launch a cut-flower business on these properties. The Garden Detroit was chosen because of our farming experience, our organization skills and our passion to transform vacant land for the betterment of the community by establishing a demonstration model of how non-edible crops can be cultivated to generate enough capital to pay property taxes and maintain the land.
One aim of Detroit Abloom is to popularize what we believe to be one of the world's most beautiful flowers – the dahlia. Their saturated colors, extraordinary shapes and hypnotic symmetry are only part of what makes them remarkable; they are also resilient when cut, lasting up to a week when vase water is changed frequently.
Detroit Abloom is proud to be a pioneer of cut-flower farming in Detroit. We hope our efforts will go beyond beautifying vacant land and creating meaningful jobs; our deepest wish is that Detroit will inspire the world by becoming a place where anyone can come for community, healing and love. We envision Detroit blooming from within, as more and more people express their love for one another, and outwardly, by growing dahlias, until we see love and dahlias growing everywhere.
We offer a flower bouquet CSA program (June through October), DIY buckets of cut flowers, and bouquet programs for businesses and events. For information about these programs, please Contact Us.