Food & Drink » Food News

Hamtramck's Hamtown Farms shuts down after it's repeatedly vandalized


Hamtown Farms. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Hamtown Farms.

Hamtramck's Hamtown Farms is shutting down following a series of incidents in which the .75-acre urban farm was vandalized.

Michael Davis, who runs the farm with his husband, Andy Rice, tells Metro Times that about a dozen of Hamtown's fruit trees were destroyed on multiple occasions, the rain collection system was damaged, and they've dealt with other similar issues in recent years.

They pay for the farm out of their own pockets and with small donations, so the cost of repairing the damage coupled with the frustration of having to deal with it led to the decision. Davis says they also chose not to install fencing because Hamtown is a community space, and that would wall it off from the neighborhood around it.

The farm is one of the more welcoming corners of Hamtramck that provides public picking beds along with private beds for Rice and Davis, who got married there a few years ago. They started the farm in 2012, at which time neighborhood kids got involved, but many of those who helped have moved, Davis says. He suspects that they didn't have these problems in the early years because the neighborhood kids had some ownership of Hamtown. The kids that live in the area now haven't shown the same interest.

The news has been a gigantic bummer for many in town. Davis says that people have been getting in touch to let them know how sad they are about the news, but he says he's looking at the positives.

"I've been telling people not to feel sad — the important part is to reflect on the last seven years ... because we did make a difference with that space," he says.

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest Detroit dining news with our weekly food newsletter delivered every Friday morning.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.