Food And Drinks

D-Town Farms starting Detroit Food Commons co-op and anyone from Michigan can join


They’re making some adjustments this summer at D-Town Farms in Rouge Park on the west side of Detroit.

Instead of their usual farm estate, their seven acres of fruit, vegetables, and herbs go online and work with Oakland Avenue Farms on the north end to feed the people.

D-Town Farms launches food cooperative

They call it a model of community self-reliance in a community that is too often forced to rely on unhealthy foods from elsewhere.

“People can order our products online and we are picked up on the roadside without contact,” said Malik Yakini.

Yakini is the executive director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. He says COVID-19 has changed food for all of us.

“People were shocked to see empty grocery store shelves when hundreds of people were lined up in food banks, and people realized how fragile the current food system is and they see differences,” he said.

To that end, says Yakini, they’re working on an even bigger project – in a city with no black-owned grocery stores, they’re building a Detroit People’s Food Co-op in Woodward and Euclid – it’s called Detroit Food Commons.

“People can see how we can work on our own with our neighbors to find ways to grow food, distribute that food, and retail it,” he said.

And anyone from Michigan can be a member.

“So you actually own this company because it’s a cooperative,” Yakini said.

Yakini called it a model of community self-reliance in a community that was too often forced to rely on unhealthy foods from elsewhere.

“People are interested in what we can do ourselves at the community level to provide at least some of the food we consume,” he said.

That brings us back to the farms in D-Town, where hundreds of volunteers typically work hard at this time of year. The farm had to close for a full month because of COVID-19 – these plants are just preparing to go into the ground.

And they will bring some of these volunteers back to help – according to COVID-19 safety protocols, of course.

“We’re back – a month behind where we normally are, so we now have fewer products than we usually do this time of year,” he said. “But we have some things ready and will be selling them in the next few weeks.”

Please visit the D-Town Farms Facebook page in the coming weeks More information can be found here and learn more about it by going to the website HERE.


Dusty Kennedy