(CBS DETROIT) – A new project is underway on Detroit’s north end to connect the community with fresh food and stories from the soil.

“There also contain some things that are stories of ours,” said Gabrielle Knox, co-founder of the Joy Project.

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“When I think about black eyed peas, when I think about exploring hibiscus and cotton.”

There’s a new vision being drafted for an empty lot, that’s currently filled with nothing but snow.

There is four sections that’s being curated here,” Knox said.

“One of which is specific to perennials. Flowers, edibles, herbs, healing herbs.”

And the blueprint was not designed by a developer.

The concept came from the minds of two residents who wanted to make a difference in their neighborhood.

“We’re right here on the corner of Cameron and Alger and just across the way over there is where King meets Cameron and we live on King Street, like literally walking distance from here,” said Josmine Evans, The Joy Project co-founder.

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They’re proposing to transform three city lots into what’s described as, “more than a community garden, but not exactly a farm.”

Other parts of our garden, one that’s dedicated to three sisters growing which includes squash, it includes beans and it includes corn and the relationship that they have in growing with each other,” Knox said.

After a successful crowdfunding campaign, the pair raised over $20,000 to bring their dream to life.

The space will be used to grow produce with historical ties to black and brown people.

Something like nine million, maybe even more than that, acres post-Civil War were owned and operated for farming purposes by black people and over 90 percent of that land has been taken from them in one way or another,” Evans said.

“This 130×130 lot is a drop in the bucket compared to all the land that has been taken or lost.”

Development on The Joy Project is set to start this spring.


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