Over 9 years ago, Magnetic Sun’s late great-aunt commented on the overgrown grass around her home. Because of this, Erin Cole and her husband, Sun, began slowly developing the property, one plant at a time. “In the beginning, all we had in the start was seeds and a mission,” says Cole, owner of Nurturing Our Seeds Urban Farm in Detroit. With the help of time volunteers and word-of-mouth support, this community initiative now covers 9 vacant lots producing fruits, vegetables, and herbs, all blossoming from a flower garden.
Cole believes that “people, like seeds, have to be nurtured and loved.” That’s why Nurturing Our Seeds is more than an urban farm; it’s an agriculture education center. Part of their mission is to hire people from the area as apprentices to learn how to reconnect with the land and work with their hands. The concept of seeds is rooted in everything they do.
Additionally, during a non-coronavirus year, the farm hosts classes and events to bring their community together. Activities like prayer, meditation, dancing, yoga, painting and more take place in their Worship Garden space (follow them on social for future event information!). In the future, they hope to start a Community Kitchen as a way to share their harvest and decrease the food desert crisis in Detroit.
On their farm, they grow over 30 different crops, from apples to zucchini. One of the ways they provide healthy food to their area is through a generous Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. It offers 20 weeks of seasonal produce to its members with different sizes to accommodate varying family sizes. Find out more about the CSA program here.
Also a math teacher, Cole believes in planting seeds of knowledge and new skills within her community. A huge focus of Nurturing Our Seeds is to act as food justice warriors to provide healthy food and lessons in their neighborhood. “As a teacher, I don’t know what the outcomes of my work will be, but I know what I can plant and inspire today.’