I just saw the new documentary Urban Roots, about the growing interest in urban farming in the economically stressed city of Detroit, MI. It was made by a young film-maker from Detroit who wanted to tell the story of local people who are turning vacant lots into places to grow food and build back the community, where old and young alike can have a role. The most inspiring stories were of people in a drug rehabilitation facility who had to do community service hours. They worked at a local urban garden, and got so much out of it that they kept working there even after they completed the required hours. One said, “what I once took from the community I now am giving back.”
It also covered the obstacles faced by urban farmers in terms of cooperation from the city, even despite the benefits the urban farms bring. The city zoning laws aren’t necessarily keeping up with the will of the people to feel the empowerment of being able to grow their own food. See UrbanRootsFilm.com for ways to be involved.