Well, my internship is over and I must say the summer flew by. There were so many things that I wanted to do as far as leaving my mark on Hope House. I suppose I should not discount all of the things I did do. Maybe I didn’t get to paint the bench in the back of the garden, but I did reset the pathway and clear the brush surrounding the bench. And I can always come back and paint it. I guess the point is that we should all be proud of the work we did this summer- no matter how big or small the task. Many of the organizations operating in Detroit are small and need more help than the bigger, more equipped organizations and companies. We had a four person crew this summer, that established and maintained a community garden, designed and facilitated a summer camp for youth and adults, hosted volunteers, communed with neighbors and enlightened each other to concepts and ideas that we may or may not have been exposed to. I will miss many things. Especially the daily visit from a little eight year old boy named Ahmed who 96% of the time just popped up to say “I’ll be back later”. He’s like family to Voice for Earth Justice and his father Abdul is a board member of the organization.
The garden was just about to explode with the fruit of many plants sown earlier in the year when my internship ended. The tomatoes were huge, but still green. The sunflowers were tall, but the heads weren’t mature. The wildflower garden that is located between the street and sidewalk was very much in full swing with all types of pollinators and beneficial insects. Some of my favorite wildflowers in the garden were the butterfly milkweed, spotted knapweed, and the chicory.
I still plan on helping out with VEJ; especially because I will be working across the street from them on my own project. My nonprofit, N.E.W. L.E.A.F. (No Earth Wasted – Living Ecological Awareness Farm), will be partnering with local Detroit vegan chef Bianca Danzy of Real Food by Bianca to establish an outdoor learning center where we grow food hydroponically in shipping containers. It will be called the Hydro-Station. VEJ has been helpful to us by letting us use tools and Hope House as a base of operations for the meantime. I am extremely happy to have our relationship grow and have their support for this initiative. Big things are coming to Brightmoor and I’m happy to be a part of it!