“Starting with community based farms could not only generate jobs in short-term and long-term progress, but it would also address the issue of how we get communities involved. We must allow communities to define their own ownership of a project.” ~ Participant, Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Leadership Conference
“If you think it’s a great idea, try to achieve it. But, you cannot do it alone. For any community initiative to be effective it must involve the current leaders of a given community. Forcing an issue as an outsider will elicit a reactionary, and assuredly negative response.” ~ Rebecca Busk, Co-Founder of Detroit Goat Farm
These quotes both came up during activities and discussion during yesterday's workshop, Detroit: A New Land of Milk and Honey. A few patterns of ideas emerged, including the one illustrated by the above statements, which is that local leadership is crucial to the success of this kind of project. Other concepts shared were:
1. People don’t need complicated vocabulary or extensive training in agriculture to be able to discuss urban farming issues with a sophisticated level of thought, if provided the right framework.
2. These programs have the potential for positive social outcomes, especially building community, which generated a level of excitement for these kinds of projects, stemming from the belief that this could be an effective method of change for the city.
3. Residents of the neighborhood can and should be involved in the decision-making process, and their well-being should be the number one priority.
We were thrilled with the quality of responses during discussion and the diversity of perspectives represented. Detroit Goat Farm hopes to offer this workshop through several other venues, including high schools, college classes, and community or faith-based groups. If you're interested in booking a workshop, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.