HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – For years, Sterling Services have supplied compost and other material to Hamtown Farms in Hamtramck, Mich. Michael Davis and his husband Andy Rice ran the farm for seven years, opening it in 2012.
For those seven years, Sterling Services has transported and unloaded yards of compost to help the farm grow its fruits and vegetables. In addition, Hamtown Farms used that donation to start the foundation of a soccer field in Hamtramck near Keyworth Stadium. The company has also provided material to other community gardens in Hamtramck and Metro Detroit.
“I have always been invested in community projects,” explained Jason Eddleston, VP of Operations. “Hamtown Farms was one of those projects that I felt compelled to help. It is a sad day that the farm will no longer be in that neighborhood.”
In April 2019, Hamtown Farms closed. The closure was caused by recurring vandalism and the ever changing landscape of the neighborhood the farm was located in. Once a street with invested children and families caring for a community garden transitioned to a less inclined neighborhood that had little to no vested interest in the project.
The hope is that the paw-paw trees on the property continue to flourish for the neighborhood, providing fresh fruit for years to come. It takes anywhere from 2-6 years for paw-paw trees to become mature, so the hope is with the love and care that they were given during their maturation phase the trees will continue to produce fruit.
Davis told the Metotimes, “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.”
Eddleston began his own community garden in 2012 called The Havens Community Garden on city owned property. He obtained a gardening permit from the city of Hamtramck to start the project and since has purchased the lots to continue the gardens success. He created the green space to curb illegal dumping. It has been proven that by creating community gardens, it helps curb blight on those properties and the adjacent ones.