Investors See Farming as a Way to Grow Detroit


A community garden project in Drtroit

Reporting from Detroit – On the city’s east side, where auto workers once assembled cars by the millions, nature is taking back the land.

There’s so much land available and it’s begging to be used,” said Michael Score, president of the Hantz Farms, which is buying up abandoned sections of the city’s 139-square-mile landscape and plans to transform them into a large-scale commercial farm enterprise.

It is the size and scope of Hantz Farms that makes the project unique. Although company officials declined to pinpoint how many acres they might use, they have been quoted as saying that they plan to farm up to 5,000 acres within the Motor City’s limits in the coming years, raising organic lettuces, trees for biofuel and a variety of other things.

The project was launched two years ago by Michigan native and financier John Hantz, who has invested an initial $30 million of his own money toward purchasing equipment and land.

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