Friday, May 25, 2012

Money for Urban Farmers in Detroit, New York

Now that population losses have given Detroit vacant land equivalent in size to the entire city of Paris, some people are making lemonade out of a lemon situation and turning the vacant land to farmland.   Backyard horticulture in the D was always strong, as befitted a city with lots of relocated peasants and sharecroppers and their descendants, but now it's turned into bigger business.  It's reclaiming at least some of the land, and creating a chance to make healthful food available in a city where many of the supermarkets fled. 

Charter One Bank has announced the availability of some small grants for farmer's markets in the city, and vendors at Eastern Market, the city's biggest market.  The vendors at Eastern Market are eligible to apply for grants of between $500 to $3,000.  In addition, eight to ten grants ranging for $500 to $3,000 are available for urban farmers for equipment, land, or other materials. These are for farmers that complete farm training program at the Greening of Detroit, The Garden Resource Collaborative, Earthworks Urban Farm or the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network

In New York City, the Farm City Fund makes loans available to urban agriculturalists in the New York metropolitan area.  Loans for new ag businesses, or the expansion of existing ones, range from $5,000 to $30,000.  Only 5 loans will (and probably have been made) in 2012, but the program is expected to grow.

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