Urban Farming as an Investment?

We’ve all heard and read plenty about how Rust Belt cities can use their vacant lands as space for urban farms and community gardens.

This article from the Los Angeles Times says some folks believe they could even make a profitable investment. Michigan native and financier John Hantz has invested an initial $30 million of his own money toward purchasing equipment and land in Detroit, according to the article.

-KG

3 Comments

Filed under Economic Development, Good Ideas, Green Jobs, the environment, U.S. Auto Industry

3 responses to “Urban Farming as an Investment?

  1. Check out the article about the idea in Fortune magazine– and look at the ilustration.

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/12/29/news/economy/farming_detroit.fortune/?section=magazines_fortune

    Clearly this ain’t your daddy’s farm. I actually give this thing some pretty good odds providing they start slow and remain flexible and sensitive in the way they do this. All kinds of potential here for spin off horticultural research, tourism and perhaps craft related industry.

    The core problem is that I have serious doubts as to the viability of much surviving in Detroit’s toxic political environment.

  2. Love the concern in the LA Times story about zoning laws.

    You mean the codes and people who helped turn Detroit into the legendary clusterf— it mostly is are worried about zoning?! You really can’t make this stuff up.

    Normally when people screw up on the scale the political class has in Detroit they admit it and at least step aside to give others a shot.

    First step will no doubt be to tell him he has to pay minimum wage or better yet “prevailing wages” in a city the mayor admits has a 50% unemployment rate.

    The whole thing could be a great learning experience for all involved at let lot’s of local kids get their hands in a very inovative concept. My guess— fat chance.

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