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Detroit vet to head giant urban farm

Thursday, April 02, 2009, 9:59:08 PM
A new farm may revitalize DetroitAn urban farm is taking shape in Detroit, starting with 70 acres of vacant land and underutilized properties in the lower east side of the city, and the lead man on the project served as an MP for more than 13 years.

Matt Allen, who served in the Army, is the lead man for Hantz Farms, which will grow produce locally using harvested wind, geothermal and biomass energy to provide for cleaner production.

Hantz Farm founder John Hantz says the project will provide more than fresh food, increasing the tax base for the city, promote employment and turn the neighborhood into "a viable, beautiful and sustainable area."

Allen himself is hopeful that the project, which is set to become operational in six months after city approval, will combat the blight suffered by the city and reduce reliance on municipal services, helping Detroit to become a "progressive, world-class leader" in locally grown agriculture.

Detroit had more than 12,000 abandoned homes three years before the current economic crisis, Free republic reported, because of "white flight" and car factory layoffs.

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