Sara Johnson, recently transplanted from Detroit to St Louis, today shared this NPR interview with Riet Schumack.

Riet is growing gardens in Detroit.  Brightmoor is on the northwest side of the city, and in very rough shape.  The Salvation Army used to operate a corps out of a building in Brightmoor but several years ago made a strategic retreat.  Now this transplanted Dutchwoman is there.Riet Schumack

Riet is not only growing gardens in Brightmoor but is also teaching young people gardening and how to market their produce to turn a profit.

Gardens.  Industrious children.  And a deterrent to drug dealing.  brightmoor-gardens-model-djpg-4fc911c4ab016e5d_largeWithin half a year Grayfield Street was clear of dealing, prostitution.  Dealers valued what was taking place with their nieces and nephews, and respected the transformation taking place in the neighborhood.  They showed their respect by moving.

Sometimes, can I say much of the time, the most effective way to deal with an issue is obliquely.  Not direct, smack, straight ahead, dead on.  Money, police, legislation, grandstanding by public figures creates a lot of noise and flash.  Results always seem discouragingly lean.

But a child shall lead them.

There are two types of power at work in our world.  Threat, violence, clout.  And a vulnerable figure bent over a row of string beans on a hot summer day.  child gardening 2

Check out Neighbors Building Brightmoor.