Assessing the Local Food Supply Capacity of Detroit, Michigan

  • Kathryn J. A. Colasanti Michigan State University
  • Michael W. Hamm Michigan State University
Keywords: Food Supply, Local Food Systems, Season Extension, Urban Agriculture, Urban Sustainability

Abstract

Urban agriculture is touted as a strategy for more locally reliant food systems, yet there is little under­standing of its potential food provisioning capacity. Using Detroit, Michigan as an example, we use secondary data to develop a methodology for estimating the acreage required to supply, as far as seasonally possible, the quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed by city residents. We com­pare these requirements with a catalog of the publicly owned, vacant parcels in Detroit to assess the feasibility of producing significant quantities of the fresh produce consumed within city limits. We demonstrate that if high-yield, biointensive grow­ing methods are used, 31% and 17% of the sea­sonal­ly available vegetables and fruits, respectively, currently consumed by 900,000 people could be supplied on less than 300 acres without incorpo­rating extraordinary postharvest management or season-extension technology. This indicates that urban agriculture could play an important role in food provisioning in many places.

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Author Biographies

Kathryn J. A. Colasanti, Michigan State University
Kathryn J. A. Colasanti, MS, Dept. of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies, Michigan State University, 303 Natural Resources Building, East Lansing, MI 48824 USA; tel. +1-517-353-0642
Michael W. Hamm, Michigan State University
Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies, Michigan State University, 312B Natural Resources Building, East Lansing, MI 48824 USA
Published
2010-11-24
How to Cite
Colasanti, K. J. A., & Hamm, M. W. (2010). Assessing the Local Food Supply Capacity of Detroit, Michigan. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 1(2), 41-58. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2010.012.002
Section
Urban Agriculture Call Papers

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