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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Discover Urban Renewal in Detroit


3. What to Do

Up to 40,000 people head to Eastern Market on Saturdays for fresh meats and produce.  

Explore the city’s expanding set of urban gardens on a two-and-a-half-hour bike tour ($35 including rental) with Wheelhouse Detroit. The small group stops at private farm plots in Corktown and Hamtramck as well as the cafes and restaurants that serve their goods. Stops vary by season, but potential destinations include Rising Pheasant Farms, a family-run garden of blooming flowers, rows of berries, and dozens of other crops near an abandoned car factory, and Brother Nature, where you’ll find batches of microgreens, garlic, and zucchini flowers.

Get your hands dirty by volunteering in a community garden through Urban Farming, an organization that makes it easy for visitors to lend a hand. Sign up for a two-hour shift via email and be assigned to one of more than a dozen urban farms where, depending on the season, you’ll spend an afternoon seeding, weeding, or harvesting crops that are given on the spot to needy locals who reside in the gardens’ communities.

Join the crowds at the enormous Eastern Market every Saturday, when 250 vendors fill the open-air stalls to hawk everything from flowers to grass-fed meats to maple syrup. In addition to vendors selling specialty food products, many of the city’s farms and gardens have booths where you can sample their produce and learn more about their urban operations. The market opens at 5 a.m. and stays open until 5 p.m., so show up as early as possible for the best selection.

Published on Mar 23, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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