Week 2: Getting in the Groove in North End

With a little over a weeks work under my belt, I have much more of a grasp on what this internship will require from me. For the most part, most of the work will be done by me or Tyson (my boss) on most days of the week, with the exception of Saturdays (our open for anyone volunteer day) and days in which companies scheduled ahead of time to come and help out. Those days in which we do have volunteers, most of my time is spent coordinating them, answering questions, helping them out, taking pictures, and giving tours. Days with volunteers can actually be harder than days alone, as the sheer mass of people (some days well over 100-200 people show up) requires you to be constantly bolting from one place to another and constantly helping people find work to do. The volunteer days are definitely tough, but they are some of the most fun and rewarding.
My work has mainly transitioned from fixing up the mural building, as we’re pretty much done with shuttering the windows. I really expected it to take one maybe two days to put up the boards, but, as it turns out, things take much longer on a farm than one might expect. After setting some volunteers to finish up the last of the windows– — I finally was able to get started on “actual” farm work. There was a lot to be done, mainly with pulling an absurd amount of weeds that grew since the last harvest, but we had quite a few volunteers this week and it made it go much faster than Tyson and I could have done alone.

On a more personal note, I’ve also begun to understand and fit into North End Detroit much better. The area is undeniably extremely impoverished, blighted, and somewhat dangerous, yet it still had prevailing beauty. The people were almost all incredibly friendly, the vibrant art culture showed through beautiful murals on many buildings and vast intricate spray paint, and the music scene was as impressive as one would expect for the city that birthed techno (a fact I found out on a trip to the techno museum with another volunteer).

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