Julie in Michigan

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

One thing always leads to another

I pick up a piece of thread and an hour later, I’m amazed to look around and see where I ended up.

Last week’s Free Press had an article on Farming Detroit. Wow, that’s positive. Things are looking up. The work of organizations like Detroit Garden Resource Program, Greening of Detroit, Detroit Agricultural Network, Michigan State Extension and Earthwork Gardens came to my attention when I simply Googled Farming Detroit.

A huge movement is underway in the city that I once visited only during daylight hours and escaped promptly at 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Having grown up in St. Clair Shores, Detroit had a reputation that only worsened after the sixties riots. When I left in 1981, I felt like a deserter and I was. I sought career opportunities in the Southwest and I found them. But now I’m back.

Having visited Lake Orion this past summer for the first time in my life, I fell in love with the abundant lakes, trees and curvy country roads. I live downtown and walk everywhere. I’m finishing up my degree from Texas Woman’s University and am looking into continuing my education in Oakland or Wayne County. Wayne State University attracted me because of the online distance classes. No, I really didn’t want to spend too much downtown Detroit, but there was a certain flavor to the air in the WSU area that I remembered fondly from the old days, especially at Traffic Jam & Snug, one of my all time favorite pubs that I was so glad to still standing and thriving. So, I am just so pleased to see the community gardens and the personal investment into the city of Detroit.

I’m already working on my garden here in downtown Lake Orion. I’ve got the green light from my landlord and collected twelve bags of leaves from my sister’s house in Ferndale that are waiting for the site to be ready. I’ve enlisted a fellow from the neighborhood to till up my spot and plan to get some landscaping timbers this week to frame it in. Full steam ahead as my mouth is already starting to salivate at the thought of home-grown organic Michigan tomatoes in the backyard, next to cucumbers, onions, squash and peppers.

I decided to Google community garden Lake Orion Michigan and found a blog post from someone looking to start a community garden here. Yikes, maybe there is even greater hidden treasure in this lush little village that I’m falling in love with, than I originally thought.

A new tenant, a lady about my age, is moving into the upstairs flat of this quaint house that I rent this weekend and I’ve already told her to feel free to take a patch of the garden for her own. But maybe, there are others. Who knows where this is going. I’m just following threads and enjoying all the flowers I get to stop and smell along the way.

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