Monday, July 19, 2010

HAVEN Garden Project

Urban agriculture isn't just about Detroit and Flint.  I was excited to learn recently about the garden project at HAVEN, a domestic violence shelter located in the City of Pontiac.   The project, which seeks to produce food for consumption by HAVEN residents and the community, was launched this past April by a coalition of community members and urban agriculture activists.

The Michigan Young Farmers Coalition, founded by MSU senior horticulture student Benjamin Gluck, is taking a leadership role in the project, along with Alexis Bogdanova-Hanna of Abundant Succession, an urban agriculture consulting and education form, and women’s health website founder Allison Stuart Kaplan.  Community residents and schools provide additional support to the project. The harvest thus far has exceeded all expectations. Bogdanova-Hanna writes on :

Since the initial planting in mid-April, the HAVEN Garden has been growing abundantly and beyond all expectations. Perhaps it’s the infusion of love and care from the HAVEN Community, the careful execution of an innovative crop plan, or the swell of support from generous donors that has brought us to the point of surplus and success. More likely, it is a combination of all of these – the perfect mix of the tangible (remay row covers) and the intangible (synergistic energy). Whatever it is, it’s working.
A notable success of the project has been the creation of a job for local Pontiac resident Aaron Kyle. Kyle, who has no prior horticultural experience, manages the daily operations of the garden, building technical and leadership skills in the process. 

Read more about the project here and here, and view pictures here.

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