Creating an Urban Farm in Detroit

What do you think of when you hear Detroit? Take a second and visualize it. If you are plugged into recent political and economic news, you might envision a cement jungle, abandoned buildings, graffiti and possibly some rough neighborhoods. If I’m completely honest, that is what I think of.
What about a farm?
There’s a 99% that a farm is not what you were picturing. If you were, I salute you. One social entrepreneur is changing up the landscape by building an urban farm in the heart of Detroit. Going beyond that, Alex Bryan is actually working to create a local food movement throughout all of Detroit with Farm Field. In the complete spirit of a movement, he is helping others who care deeply about local fresh produce to start their own urban farms.
As I interview Alex, he paints a completely different picture of Detroit. This picture includes vibrant green spinach, red radish blossoms, neighbors who care if lawns are mowed, kids playing with chickens, catfish swimming and honeybees with fresh honey. It’s an incredible picture. And the best part is that this is a reality in several Detroit neighborhoods.



Type of Service

  • AmeriCorps
  • Conservation Corps


Key Takeaways

  • Don’t let your surroundings limit your vision, have them spur innovation (like a farm in urban Detroit);
  • Often time and an unparalleled commitment are the keys to building trust within a community;
  • Social enterprise is often a side job, with multiple other jobs to sustain you while the business grows (a very common theme throughout the event).


My Favorite Parts

  • Trying to navigate through a hydroponics question from a very informed audience member;
  • Learning about how you can sustain a farm (and hydroponic systems) through the winter.



What were your takeaways from this interview? Let us know in the comments.
This interview was apart of a comprehensive Journey to Social Entrepreneurship event. We are releasing the recordings FREE to aspiring social entrepreneurs. Unlock the other recordings here.