detroit is perhaps one of the cities i was most looking forward to coming to. everyone i’ve told that to has asked “why?”

well, detroit is one of the most broken cities, at least in the U.S. its a place that few people think of with redeeming qualities. which is exactly what i love about it. here is a city that has a glimmer of hope amidst a vast sentiment of despair and hopelessness. hopelessness may be a state of mind, but its hard to crawl out of.

that’s why detroit is so alluring to me. the urban farms and the things going on and growing there are hope in dim places. they are small pictures of redemption that breathe life and hope into a city that forgot what it feels like to take a deep breath. to see green or light or good.

as we drove through detroit to get to Eastern Market on Saturday morning we saw several dilapidated buildings. the rife’s had dinner in town the night before and said there are parts of the city that look like a war zone. i was prepared for that, but it still broke my heart to see so many homes and businesses abandoned and in shambles. to think of the life that was once there and wonder about all the circumstances that lead to this…think i need to read up on my detroit history.

cooking demonstration at Eastern Market

Eatern Market is a six-block market that sets up all day every Saturday from 5am to 5pm. there are a ton of plants and flowers for sale. lots of produce (though not much from local farms) and prepared goods. probably the best finds were the guy that runs The Brinery. he knew of the guy that does pickling out of Gainesville and supplies Homegrown Co-op. we bought sauerkraut from him to try later on. and the Hampshire Farms booth – they had so many dried goods, including several types of flour! and the Grown In Detroit booth, who we bought kale from.

i later realized that the Grown In Detroit booth was produce from one of the farms at the Catherine Ferguson Academy for Young Women, which is a charter school for young pregnant teens and includes an orchard, animals and a garden and a daycare for the kids. definitely an alternative to hopelessness. actually, there is a trailer for a documentary about this place.

also, ventured across the street from the market and found Germack. which is a pistachio company and a micro-roastery with a beautiful interior. it also has spices to buy in bulk and other prepared foods. bought a decaf coffee to warm up since the market was breezy. good, but didn’t compare to the pour over i had a 9 bean rows in traverse city.