A project of the Detroit Food Policy Council

For Growers

The Greening of Detroit

Contact: The Greening of Detroit: greeningofdetroit.com


Services offered:

Build a Garden program
Workforce training
Grow, Eat, Move classes
Farm Apprenticeships program
Landforum resource fair
School nutrition classes
Tree planting

What assistance do you offer for people or groups interested in starting an urban agriculture project? What types of projects (farm, community garden, market garden, household garden) can you work with?

The scale of our programs are at the individual and family level. We do offer resources to family gardens and we also work with a fair number of community projects on a fee-for-service basis.

How can growers access your services? Is there a specific staff person to contact? What route of access do you prefer (referrals, people already engaged with your organization in other ways, someone simply contacting you on their own, something else)?

People can come to us directly.   

Where should growers be in the process when they contact you? 

Our big thrust is support to newer and beginner gardeners. We found with the Garden Resource Program that people would have the seasonal plants and not have the garden, so our addition to the ecosystem is the Build a Garden program. We have trucks, we have soil and can build a garden on your lot for $25. More advanced people would access our community tool bank. We have shovels and rakes, and for more experienced growers we have tillers and wheelbarrows. 
We are implementers and can design and build a garden. We also do nutrition education. Our work is more for people newer to the food system and how food impacts diet and health. 

What kind of projects can you not take on due to funding restrictions, your scope of service, a lack of fit with your mission, staff availability, etc.? To whom would you refer in that case?  

We don’t necessarily maintain your garden, although we can give you some pointers or come out and show you a better way to do things. It’s important that people understand it’s solely their project and we are supporting them with their project.

What kind of lead time, if any, can people expect between when they contact you and when you can begin working with them?

You will hear back for Build-A-Garden within a week, and then have to go to an orientation, which could be anywhere from two to three weeks. 

What fees do you charge for your services?

$25 for Build-A-Garden; most Grow, Eat, Move classes are $5. 

What else should people know about your organization? 

Greening of Detroit is the major tree-planting organization in the city. Our workforce development program has an 85 percent job placement rate and we also are a major youth employment program, and also do nutrition and garden education in the schools. In our apprenticeship program, 75 percent graduate and become part of the food system or develop farms on their own. Greening has really substantially impacted the majority of organizations out there. We are a good nurturer and collaborator of all these other groups. We grew about 15 tons of produce last year at our three garden sites, and half of that was donated to food banks and other programs. 
We also run Landforum in partnership with several other organizations, including Michigan Community Resources. We have developed a core of people who are ready to acquire land in the city. Landforum is a college fair style event where people can walk around and talk to different groups. It’s mostly people who are just walking through those steps -- making sure they are gathering all the paperwork they need, making sure they are connected with a community partner – getting one on one help. 


Amy Kuras