magazine article and the bus

couple of quick things, i’m still working on a longer post on nuka bran pickles which may take some time to get finished.  trying to get back into the swing of work has me putting in extra hours.

this article came out this last week.  yet another article about john hantz and his urban farm.  i used to be hostile to this project and now i’m just tired of hearing about it.  at this point being the hater on this project, i’m interested to see just how far this will go.  i’m interested to see how many of the hurdles that have blocked even the acquisition of small plots of land by community groups someone with wealth and power can get though.  and maybe it will be for the good of us all, if hantz is able to fast track property for other farm projects, ones that are community minded.  maybe in the end we are all the better.  and while i still don’t want to see huge sections of the city become farm land owned by one individual if that’s the price we have to pay for more individuals to have access to land in the future, may be that’s the price we pay.  at a meeting with president of hantz farms mike score – who i have great respect for as a result of other very community minded projects he was involved with – i flat out told him, while i don’t agree with the methods, the one thing i know is that i know nothing, and maybe in the long run they are right. only time will tell

when reading this article i thought it was kind of strange cause i had been interviewed by someone at fortune magazine not long ago about my thoughts on urban ag. in detroit and then this came out.  in my inbox today was an email from the writer of this article thanking me for all my help and apologising to me for not making any reference to me in the article.  probably for the best, i think i’ve had enough media attention in which i say negative things about this project.

in the end, i think the article makes hantz look a little silly,  painting him as a cigar chomping, suv driving, gated community living, out of touch with the masses kinda guy.  which maybe he is and maybe that’s why we don’t seem to see eye to eye on much.

on another note, it’s so cold in the d and snowy as well, which means i’m off my bike and back on the bus.  this time accompanied by the newly published malcolm gladwell book “what the dog saw” on audio book.  it’s great and i’m loving my bus ride for it, and not looking forward to my audio book ending.  this morning i couldn’t sleep and ended up leaving for work at 6am.  something truly great about walking the snowy streets before dawn.

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One response to “magazine article and the bus

  1. It was helpful to read your current thoughts on Hantz Farms. We have had a good, honest discussion about the Hantz Farms model versus other approaches to large-scale agricultural ventures. I think the position you’ve arrived at is a good one… to express your concerns about the Hantz approach then to see what happens as the farm moves forward.

    There are competing models for urban agriculture moving forward in Detroit. SHAR has announced an interest in a large scale farm that can provide vocational and occupational training to people in their rehabilitation programs. In SHAR’s model, as I understand it, they also hope that income from the farm will broaden their organizational funding strategy. Majora Carter has also started moving forward with a worker-owned model. Majora’s model seems in line with what you advoacte as a leader within the Detroit urban agricultural community.

    If three or more competing approaches start simultaneously the odds improve that Detroit, in the end, will benefit from some form of larger-scale urban agriculture. We will all learn from each other. It would be great if we discover that there is more than one viable approach for integrating large-scale agriculture into the city’s plan for restructuring.

    Thank you for your willingness to remain involved in a dialogue.

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