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Betting on the Farm: Keep Growing Detroit Looks to Purchase Its Eastern Market Plot

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The nonprofit organization has been supporting urban agriculture for more than a decade. Here’s how you can help them acquire land of its own

By Courtney Burk
Detroit Eater
Apr 27, 2021

Keep Growing Detroit — a food sovereignty organization working with gardeners and farmers in Detroit, Highland Park, and Hamtramck —is fundraising to purchase the 1.3-acre lot in Eastern Market on which it grows its crops and runs its urban agriculture program.

The campaign, which launched in early April, aims to meet its fundraising goal this week with help from an anonymous donor’s dollar-for-dollar matching gift to the nonprofit’s For the Love of the Land fund, up to $20,000. Donations will be matched now through Friday, April 30.

Through various programs, Keep Growing Detroit has worked for more than a decade toward a vision of a city where the majority of produce consumed by Detroiters is grown by its residents. The organization operates the nationally acclaimed Garden Resource Program and Grown in Detroit, which help Detroiters become gardeners, community leaders, and food entrepreneurs. All of its work comes together on the KGD Farm, near Wilkins and Orleans, in the Eastern Market district.

COVID-19 increased the demand for Keep Growing Detroit’s produce, programs, and educational services, as Detroiters faced food shortages at grocers, unanticipated school closures, and longer lines at food banks. In 2020, KGD provided resources to nearly 2,000 urban farm and family gardens, a marked increase over the previous year. Keep Growing Detroit’s leadership was also influential inestablishing the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund last year — a herculean fundraising effort that brought in $60,000 to provide grants to local growers. Now, the organization is seeking similar assistance to secure its future within Eastern Market’s fast developing food district.

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