A Farm Future for Detroit?

Agricultural investors are buying up abandoned and empty land in Detroit -- making a big wager on the future of the city as a farm town.
December 30, 2009, 7am PST | Nate Berg
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Hantz Farms is buying up property in the city and hoping to establish a large-scale commercial farming operation.

"Large gardens and small farms -- usually 10 acres or less -- have cropped up in thriving cities such as Berkeley, where land is tough to come by, and struggling Rust Belt communities such as Flint, Mich., which hopes to encourage green space development and residents to eat locally grown foods.

In Detroit, hundreds of backyard gardens and scores of community gardens have blossomed and helped feed students in at least 40 schools and hundreds of families.

It is the size and scope of Hantz Farms that makes the project unique. Although company officials declined to pinpoint how many acres they might use, they have been quoted as saying that they plan to farm up to 5,000 acres within the Motor City's limits in the coming years, raising organic lettuces, trees for biofuel and a variety of other things."

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Published on Sunday, December 27, 2009 in Los Angeles Times
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