Mother Jones

PLOT FOR AMERICA

Locked in the worst economic slump in its history, Detroit is beset by unemployment and covered in abandoned lots. Surveying the ruins of a boom gone bust, an innovative mayor envisions a blooming city while a diverse population gets busy tilling the earth. A blighted landscape turns green and bountiful. Harvests arrive, alleviating hunger.

The year was 1894. Detroit’s “potato patch” program offered families abandoned land for

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