Barns & Barns

Catherine Ferguson Academy, Detroit.

The Academy is one of the only schools in the Detroit Public School System that serves young mothers and expectant mothers.  The farm takes up the full city block with an orchard, horse paddock, goat and chicken enclosures, bee hives and vegetable beds.  The students tend to the animals and the running of the farm as part of their school curriculum.  A strong emphasis is placed on care and responsibility with the hope that the skills learned on the land will translate into healthy care and tending of their children.  A film about Catherine Ferguson has just been produced – Visit the film’s site Grown in Detroit for more details:

Other barns in Michigan have seen better days and are slowly fading back into the grassland or worse being demolished to make room for mic-mansions.  My hope is to trespass some more in this particular barn – enjoying the smell dry hay and the creak of the old sliding doors.  The richness of character of this old barn exudes is tangible and far from dead.   Hopefully, the developer will think twice before tearing this old barn down.  Hopefully, they will see that the swallows are still at home and wish not to be made redundant.


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