Burnside Farm is an 8-lot urban farm on the east side of Detroit. In 2011, Kate Daughdrill bought a house for $600 and began working to make the house livable and cultivating the land around her home with her neighbors. Since then, Burnside Farm has grown into a hub for her artistic practice and a place for community activity in the neighborhood.
The farm is comprised of 6 lots that are gardened for sustenance, community, and beauty, a farmhouse/art gallery, and a garage that is being transformed into a community space for neighborhood girls. Half of the farm is cultivated as a block garden; the other half is cultivated as a gathering space and environment of living sculpture.
During the growing season, the neighbors of Burnside host regular dinners in the garden—most of the food coming right from the garden and grilled on a homemade cinder block grill. The farm is also a hub for activities such as larger artist-made dinners, a gardening club for young women in the neighborhood, guided medicinal plant walks through the alleys, workshops by visiting artists/farmers, musical performances, seasonal art openings in the farm’s tiny shed, and neighborhood vegetable trading events.
In 2013, Daughdrill, Jen David, and Jeffery Thomas, organized a creative CSA (community-supported agriculture) at Burnside Farm. Rather than simply providing vegetables for shareholders each week, the farm provided 20 shareholders with a variety of creative produce—from canned food to art objects, trays of sprouts to loaves of bread, creative writing to seasonal vegetables. The content of the CSA rose out of what comes from Burnside and what brings health.
The farm is also a place for making sculptural and print-based work, building the tools and spaces needed for living simply and self-reliantly, and cultivating daily rituals for soulful living. While the creative projects of Burnside Farm evolve each year, the spirit of the farm remains true—to cultivate a life-giving, healing space and an overall sense of well-being in the people, plants, neighbors, and animals who are a part of it.
* Burnside Farm is brought to life by many amazing neighbors including Jamin Townsley, Andy Miller, Brent "Blak" Smith, Jen David, Jeffery Thomas, Ali Lapetina, Mela Johnson, Sanchez Irwin, Zaria Pierce, Acasia Pierce, Macari Irwin, Koolaid, Richard Serafina, T-Man, Gretchen Gruenberg, Bryan Lackner, Emily Staugaitis, Ashley Michelle, Miles Stuart, Julia Loman, Bridget Bailey, Pat Ward, Marc Schwartz, Phreddy Wischusen, Patrick Costello, Erin Sweeny, and so many more! It is facilitated by artist Kate Daughdrill.