Purple corn and “ugly” vegetables: how neighbors build sustainable urban farms

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Israel Ledesma of Habitat for Humanity Kent County and Maria Moreno-Reyes are proud of the garden the community has built. Adam Bird Israel Ledesma is neighborhood resident development manager at Habitat, Kent County. Adam Bird Build Institute Detroit Soup Kathy Antaya and Maria Moreno-Reyes live in two different cities in two different parts of Michigan. They probably don’t even know one another. But what they share is ingenuity, strength, and a mission to give added purpose to existing land in their own communities. In Battle Creek and Grand Rapids, Antaya and Moreno-Reyes are farming land and growing healthy, culturally-significant produce. But they’re also looking to the future by experimenting with sustainability to keep their gardens viable for years to come. From an empty lot in Grand Rapids’ Roosevelt Park It was five years ago when Moreno-Reyes broke ground with a few of her neighbors on a disused plot in her Roosevelt Park neighborhood in Grand Rapids. She was inspired after attending a conference in Muskegon for the Neighborhood Associations of Michigan , where she learned how people were beautifying spaces in creative ways. "The whole idea behind [the association] is to help residents within cities learn how to keep […]

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