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Detroit’s good food cure

By John Kavanaugh

I am old enough to remember when our family had a “Victory Garden” during the Second World War. It was a patriotic thing to do. Ours was part of a large section of Victory Gardens on the southwest corner of Greenfield Road at Michigan Avenue in East Dearborn. The Dearborn Police station is on that property now.

During a Depression many years ago the city of Detroit had a mayor, Hazen Pingree, who told the citizens to plant potatoes in order to survive the Depression. Many residents did as he suggested and they survived the Depression.

That mayor was given the nickname of “Potato Patch Pingree.” You can see his statue on the southeast corner of Adams and Woodward in Grand Circus Park

Our nation and the world are confronted with a different sort of crisis: Drought due to global warming.

I have three suggestions as to how to deal with the raising of the temperature — and the drought that accompanies it — in order to be able to survive next year:

1) Read the article “Detroit’s Good Food Cure” by Larry Garbriel of Metro Times and start planning a food garden for next year. In it, Mr. Gabriel is performing a service to our city. I guess we might call him “Gardner Gabriel.” The article can be found at

2) Contact Greening of Detroit for advice as to how to garden. Don’t make the dumb mistake I did the first time I tried to put in a garden. I put the wrong fertilizer on the garden. I did not pay attention to the kind. Weed and Feed killed the entire garden!

3) Put in a rain water collection system: If drought is going to be the problem, the price of water will be going up. Let nature provide water for your garden.

This information needs to get to everybody in the city. Next spring will be too late to do it right. Gardening takes planning.

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