Spring is just around the corner and for Detroit gardeners of all types that means planning and anticipating a new growing season. Detroit is quickly gaining a positive national reputation as a food mecca. Visitors from all over the world are starting to turn to Detroit as a leader in the local, GMO-free food movement. In January of 2017, The New York Times listed Detroit as a top travel destination worldwide. In February 2017, National Geographic listed Detroit as “North America’s top Unexpected Food City.”
This is wonderful news for urban farmers of all types. Local restaurants are ready to turn our home grown produce into gourmet dishes that draw guests from all over the globe.
Southeast Michigan in season, spring time veggies include: Asparagus, Beets, Spinach, Carrots, Chard, Kale, Garlic Scapes, Onions, Lettuce, Peas and Parsley. The USDA classifies Michigan as Zone 4, 5 and 6 for plant hardiness. This means that Detroit growers are currently using Hoop Houses and germination chambers to start seedlings in February and March. In April and May, growers can begin moving those transplants outdoors for a good start on the season.
Spring gardening maintenance can be simple and enjoyable.
Typically in the early, warm weather day growers stay busy removing last year’s decomposing plant debris, raking leaves off bulbs, and applying mulch, compost, and fertilizer as needed. Spring is also a good time to prune fruit trees, manage irrigation, and plan for summer garden layout changes.
As 2017 starts, many more urban farmers and growers are connecting with local restaurants and food hubs like Detroit Kitchen Connect or Brightmoor Artisans Community Kitchen to bring our fresh, healthy produce to the discerning customer base looking for locally grown, GMO-free, and chemical-free food that used to be so commonplace. There is room for everyone to participate in Detroit’s Food Soverign Revolution. With a $20 yearly membership, Keep Growing Detroit currently offers over 60 started vegetable plants, distributed in Spring, Summer and Fall to Detroit growers of all types: market gardens, community growers and personal gardens. Their programs are constantly educational, encouraging, and a great way to get involved.