DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) — “I come down every summer and they let me pick all the vegetables. I cook with them, they let me pick what I want,” said a farm visitor Zada Barbe.
There is a special feeling growing at the corner of Brush and Custer in Detroit.
“Fruit trees, we have our cherry, apple, peaches, pears,” said Michigan Farm Initiative Manager Olivia Kinczel.
“We try to do as many varieties as we can we do, 350 varieties of produce,” said Kinczel.
It begins with these crops, but it doesn't end there.
“Something captured your heart as to why you still want to come back and give,” WXYZ’s Glenda Lewis asked Volunteer Savannah Guinyard.
“Just being from the area I know we are big on food deserts, and I believe everyone should have access to fresh food,” said Savannah Guinyard. “Just being able to give that away, seeing how it's grown being part of the process.”
Welcome to the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, a place where comfort and proper care through nutrition is key... kind of like, family!
“I think knowing your community is extremely important, maybe beyond all else, actually,” said Kinczel.
In the 10 years this urban farm has been operating, they have given away 50,000 lbs. of produce to about 2,000 different households within a 2 sq. mile around it.
“We’ve had over 100,000 hours of volunteer work that's gone into this. 10,000 different volunteers total over the years,” said Kinczel.
“There's an issue with food security in the area so we try and have just a point of access really, so that people can get some new produce try some new things. Meet the community and above all else we really want people out here learning,” added Kinczel.
Lessons Wayne State University Medical Students are eager to learn. Cullen Hudson and Abigail Kuplicki are now partners with the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative.
“We knew that Detroit is a huge hub for urban gardening,” said Abigail Kuplicki from Wayne State Medical School.
“We created the medical student garden organization,” said Cullen Hudson from Wayne State University.
“This is something that I always hope spreads. I hope people come here and learn how to garden and take home a tomato plant, so they have that little,” said Kinczel.
“It’s really like a little piece of power if you are able to grow your own stuff then you can. That's one less dollar you are giving to grocery stores,” added Kinsczel.
To volunteer or donate find out here: Michigan Urban Farm Initiative