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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    424

    Default In Detroit, urban farming waiting to take root

    Concerns over city planning, regulation delay urban farming

    When Detroit's city council approved the sale of 20 parcels of land to the proposed Hantz Farms project this month, it looked like commercial urban agriculture might be about to start in the city.

    But the council imposed restrictions on the sale of the land, which lies behind a warehouse owned by businessman John Hantz at 17403 Mt. Elliott. Hantz Farms, a subsidiary of the larger Hantz Group of financial service firms, cannot grow crops or sell any produce from the site without the city's permission.

    Instead, Hantz Farms will beautify the roughly 5 acres of blighted land behind the warehouse with landscaping, either with grass or some small plants, as a demonstration of how it can clean up an abandoned site, said Michael Score, the president of Hantz Farms and a former Michigan State University agricultural extension worker.

    Hopefully soon, Score added, the city will allow Hantz Farms to farm the site and others in the city.

    "This year, we'll focus on site preparation, and we'll begin planting the plants that will beautify the area and demonstrate our concept," he said. Hantz added, "The farm's no longer some pipe dream."


    Continued at: http://www.freep.com/article/20110329/BUSINESS04/103290329/0/COL01/In-Detroit-urban-farming-waiting-take-root?odyssey=nav|head

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    2,190

    Default

    What crops was Hantz planning to grow? Some crops have very deep roots which means a foot or more of land that would have to be replaced to ensure safe foods.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    83

    Default

    Plant flowers for local florists.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    2,545

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by maxx View Post
    What crops was Hantz planning to grow? Some crops have very deep roots which means a foot or more of land that would have to be replaced to ensure safe foods.
    Maybe his crops will help decontaminate the soil to some degree?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    7,511

    Default

    X-mas trees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    448

    Default

    Foresting could be pretty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitnerd View Post
    X-mas trees

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default

    http://www.stuyvesantenvironmental.c...%20Article.pdf

    http://www.stuyvesantenvironmental.c...%20Article.pdf a paper on brownfields by Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, Jan 2011

    http://books.google.com/books?id=TcM...fields&f=false

    Looks like mustard, poplar and willow are used to clean up brownfields.

    http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/ap...samples_q3.pdf
    Last edited by maxx; March-30-11 at 04:29 AM.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2009
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    2,190

    Default

    http://thewellrundry.blogspot.com/20...ulture_23.html

    When dealing with petroleum products, oxygenation and breakdown of compounds using bacteria and/or mushrooms is sometimes used. But this requires continual monitoring. The big questions for bioremediation, and indeed for all remediation, are “How long will this take?”, “How much will this cost?”, and “Who will pay for this?” These are often unknown until one gets into a project. Those who undertake such projects therefore take on a significant risk....

    . The more serious threat comes not from eating the vegetables, but from working the soil – digging, planting, then bringing contaminated soil into your home.

    http://www.epa.gov/NE/brownfields/su...ks_ct_agp.html


    http://www.pennsylvaniahorticultural...een/about.html

    http://www.pennsylvaniahorticultural...antmanual.html

    http://topics.nytimes.com/top/refere...ure/index.html




    Last edited by maxx; March-30-11 at 05:01 AM.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2009
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    The Hantz people have many soil samples tested and report small contamination overall.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWMAP View Post
    The Hantz people have many soil samples tested and report small contamination overall.
    What does this mean ? Is there a report available online? Where did they test? What contaminants?
    Did Hantz explain how they planned to clean up brownfields?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    2,596

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    Have worked several Detroit urban farms. Generally soil contaimination kits are provided by WCE. Surprising but true, mostly soil tests clean. Still many urban farmers prefer the raised bed method.

    If anyone wants a good laugh, I contributed labor to the Alter berm project. Someone donated straw mixed manure from the Hunt Club. I thought it was sanitized cow shit. I was knee and elbow deep in shit before the smell hit me.We used dead fish heads too from area fishermen. I was pretty randy when I got home.

    Sumas

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Hantz has acquired very little property to date. Mike Score has said that the testing they've done on property that they might buy shows surprisingly little contamination. They are not releasing specific information - their testing is part of their private due diligence and business case. They are afraid of what might happen to land prices in areas that interest them so very close- mouthed.
    I imagine that they won't buy a brownfield or if they find themselves with one - that's where the tree farm would go.

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