Thursday, June 18, 2009

Retailers Abandoning Detroit

Detroit has been declining for years, but the failure of the American car industry has sent the city into a death spiral:

There was a time early in the decade when downtown Detroit was sprouting new cafes and shops, and residents began to nurture hopes of a rebound. But lately, they are finding it increasingly tough to buy groceries or get a cup of fresh-roast coffee as the 11th largest U.S. city struggles with the recession and the auto-industry crisis.

No national grocery chain operates a store here. A lack of outlets that sell fresh produce and meat has led the United Food and Commercial Workers union and a community group to think about building a grocery store of its own.

Where do you buy food when trade comes to a halt? Can you rely on anything as socialistic as a labor union to manage your grocery supply? The basic survival problems confronting Detroiters will, sooner or later, demand the attention of city dwellers across the country. Really it boils down to two options: (1) relocate to an economically viable community or, if you lack the means and mobility to change residence,; (2) start raising your own produce and small livestock. The second option yields benefits even if your city doesn't go down the tubes.

I have no experience in animal husbandry, but I can recommend Jim Rawls's SurvivalBlog as a starting point in your information gathering. Gardening I do know about, so I'll be devoting the next several posts to the subject. This won't be expert information from a master gardener, as I still have much to learn, but it will be useful in getting readers started.

Without local food retailers, life in the cities and suburbs becomes difficult or impossible. If you can't move out to the country, then do what you can to bring the "country" into your backyard.

(The photo of the closed tire store is from the Detroit Daily Dirt blog)

1 comment:

  1. I understand Detroit city planners never heard of "diversification". If I had to carry it all on my back, I'd have left there long ago.

    (Changed plans on my computer situation, BTW)