Last month, Detroit Major Mike Duggan named longtime urban farming activist Tepfirah Rushdan as the city’s first director of urban agriculture.
Through the nonprofit organization, Keep Growing Detroit, she and other community activists and stakeholders have been working for years to cultivate vacant or under-utilized land within the city for local food production, with the ultimate goal of making Detroit a food sovereign city.
So, what exactly does a food sovereign Detroit look like? And what are the challenges local farmers and growers are facing in the city today? Rushdan joined Detroit Today on Monday to discuss all of this and her goals in her new role.
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Tepfirah Rushdan is Detroit’s first director of urban agriculture and the co-director of education and capacity building at Keep Growing Detroit. She says she joined the food movement in Detroit not because she grew up with a green thumb, but rather because she believes it’s important for residents to maintain that connection to the growing process and where their food comes from so those skills can be passed on to younger generations.
“We’re very disconnected from where our food comes from; what it looks like when it’s growing out of the ground,” she says. “That’s scary when you think about it, that within a couple generations of us moving up here from down south right, like we don’t know where our food comes from.”
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