As Compuware's first Garden Manager, I feel so fortunate to work and play in the heart of Detroit's downtown corridor. Lafayette Greens is Compuware's first urban garden, sitting on the site of the former Lafayette Building, at the corner of Michigan, Shelby, and Lafayette. About a half-acre of land, the garden features raised beds with a multitude of organically-grown, beautifully delicious produce, including a small orchard on the Michigan Ave! A living, green, edible space, right in the heart of the city!!! And, as a self-proclaimed quality-control agent, I have the happy job of ensuring what we grow tastes great, and is distributed throughout the community. Most of the produce we grow goes to Gleaners Community Food Bank, and the rest goes to volunteers.
Urban agriculture drew me to Detroit. In college, I found myself reading and writing a lot about the values inherent in growing food for oneself, within one's community, and in cooperation with nature. My move to Detroit directly responded to my collegiate understanding of food justice: I had great academic sense surrounding the topic of urban agriculture, community supported agriculture, and organic growing, but I had no physical experience. My Detroit experience has, and continues to, legitimize my undergraduate work.
Detroit offers such amazing richness, life, and culture when it comes to food. Naturally, this solidified my desire to stay in the city: with local farmers markets (Eastern Market, Wayne State, and more!), the many great garden projects of the city (D-Town Farms, Earthworks Urban Farm, and Georgia Street to name a few), and the wide variety of restaurants, I am happy to say I've found "home."