Aleska Moss’ Story
I am putting a bid in on a plot of land on the east side of Detroit, the address is 3014 Lakeview and the land is empty and waiting for someone with a dream to make it live again. I want to put in a sustainable, organic orchard with the goal of providing food for a struggling community and a greener footprint for an industrial city.
As a schoolteacher in one of Detroit’s most challenged neighborhoods, I am faced with the difficulties that our city and communities cope with on a daily basis. In spending time in Detroit I have seen the wasted resources of land prevalent across all communities. With the bid for this property I hope to turn an unproductive parcel into an agricultural landscape. I will plant various fruit trees, berry shrubs and nut trees. I want to encourage a love of nature in my students and other Detroit public school children.
The families that are serviced by the school where I teach often cannot provide food for their children, so as a teacher I provide a snack at my own expense. I deeply understand the challenge of giving children healthy and plentiful food when money is scarce. But I also feel strongly about exposing children to be the best possible nutrition.
Recently during a field trip to an apple orchard, most of the children were sick to their stomachs from the pesticides. I would love to be able to provide a field trip experience that includes social studies, science and cultural experiences right in our own backyard. By planting and growing organic produce, I can give needy children an organic healthy snack; take them on field trips to see where the fruits they are eating come from and how they grow, and make an otherwise wasted area flourish.
I have budgeted out the moneys needed for the acquisition of the land and logistics like soil testing, title insurance and surveying using a personal savings account. I also have my regular income to factor in because I currently live rent free with my parents and can roll a fair amount of my earnings into the property. I have also reached out to farmers at Eastern Market and in other community groups for cuttings of raspberry, blackberry and other fruit shrubs. I plan use my membership with the Arbor Society to get low cost saplings, but have already sprouted over 50 sapling to keep the cost of trees negligible.
I hope to use any grant money to purchase trees, shrubs and building materials to build raised beds for general produce. 500 dollars would be a wonderful advantage in the purchase of saplings.