Hundreds of Vacant Lots to Become World’s Largest Urban Farm in Detroit

by , 11/01/13
filed under: Design, News, Urban Farming

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Hantz Woodlands, World's largest urban farm, Detroit urban renewal

Hundreds of vacant lots in Detroit, Michigan will soon be transformed into the world’s largest urban farm. Governor Rick Snyder has just approved the plan proposed by a private company that has bought up 150 acres of land. Hantz Woodlands will turn the sites into workable farmland to produce fresh food for the Detroit area.

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Hantz Woodlands, World's largest urban farm, Detroit urban renewal

Hantz Group owner John Hantz conceived of the giant urban farm idea five years ago. Since then, he has been battling the city of Detroit for permission to buy up the 1,500 parcels of vacant city-owned land. Although officials were concerned about selling Hantz so much land for such a small sum, the council finally voted it through with the introduction of the urban farm idea- albeit just barely with a 5-4 vote.

Hantz Woodlands purchased the land for just $500,000, but the company plans to invest an additional $3 million over the next three years. The company first plans to remove the trash, tires and debris from the plots, then begin planting hardwood trees by next year. Fifty homes have to be razed, and food crops will soon follow.

Despite being perhaps naively ambitious, the plan could transform some of the poorest neighborhoods in Detroit into sustainable farming centers and mitigate the city’s food desert. Should the project prove successful, Hantz Woodlands will have the option to buy 180 more acres in two years.

+ Hantz Farms

Via M Live

Image © MMW Horticulture Group

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  1. capt. planet January 14, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Hantz is not a farmer, just a real estate speculator. Of course that makes sense, because Snyder is a governor, he’s a crook. I know a lot of urban farmers in Detroit and none of them like Hantz.

  2. DetroitBertha September 6, 2014 at 12:46 am

    What a bunch of phoney CRAP ~ Hantz tried three times to buy these properties, mostly disconnected lots, mostly to hold them until land values go up. He changed the company name to Hantz Woodlands, supposedly to grow trees, and saying he would hire local teens, etc to work. He did not REMOVE the debris ~ only shoved it to one side, and planted STICKS, asking for people to DONATE their time, in exchange for pizza. A greed grab by a greedy speculator.

  3. Oloph Fritzén September 4, 2014 at 10:34 am

    There is a 400 acre farm within the city limits of Stockholm, Sweden, I’ll used to run it!

  4. feline74 February 6, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Don’t raze them, deconstruct them for materials to refurbish the parts of the city that are still standing.

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