The legacy of this black gold has proved a saving grace for Detroit, a city long in decline. The combination of cheap land, abandoned buildings and a young population with nothing to lose has sparked the reinvention of a city neighborhood as an "agrihood." The largely volunteer Michigan Urban Farming Initiative has in a few short years transformed a down-at-the-heels neighborhood into resilient community centered around a two-acre working farm. The biggest challenge will be making sure that the people who made the magic happen can afford to stay. (Read more here.)
Closer to home, the Peterson Garden Project (PGP) is gearing up for another season in Chicago. Spearheaded by the well-named LaManda Joy, PGP is a collection of community gardens inspired by and modeled after the Victory Gardens of WWII. My Aunt Sue (Suzie!) had a Victory Garden—one of 14,000 children's gardens in the city. I can picture my grandmother helping her baby girl plant vegetables on a fine spring day—a day, perhaps, just like today.