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Detroit News Roundup for Thursday July 26, 2007

VEGETABLES AND CONCRETE: Urban gardeners are turning vacant lots …

Greg Willerer raises specialty organic produce — burgundy bush beans, pungent herbs for flavoring teas, edible flowers — and sells them to restaurants.

It’s unusual fare, “stuff you just can’t buy off a truck,” he says.

The fact that he grows this produce in Detroit, near Tiger Stadium, might strike some as unusual.

Across Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck over the last decade, an urban gardening movement has taken hold in backyards and community gardens. The harvest is good-tasting and nutritious fruits, vegetables and herbs, produced at reasonable cost and in areas where fresh organic produce can be difficult to find.

For extra cash or to launch niche businesses, an increasing number of gardeners are beginning to sell their produce at farmers markets and elsewhere under a new Grown in Detroit label. Several will be on an Aug. 1 urban garden tour.

The Henry Ford in Dearborn is buying a lot of what urban farmers in Detroit are growing because they are committed to buying as much local produce as possible. They can sell their fruits on Saturdays at the Eastern market, which will hopefully be open three days a week soon, but it’s important I think to have a stable buyer in the Henry Ford.
[via Detroit Free Press]

Ford swings to surprise profit; auto ops improved

Ford Motor Co on Thursday swung to a surprise second-quarter profit after seven quarters of losses on cost-cutting and a turnaround in its core automotive operations.

[via Reuters]

Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouseto open at Seven Mile, Haggerty

Eliane Turner wants to bring the tastes of her native Brazil to the Detroit area.

The Metro Detroit resident plans to open Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse, hopefully in mid-August, in Northville Township.

Gaucho (pronounced in Portuguese gow oo choo) will be in the building formerly occupied by the Bonfire at the Bistro restaurant near the northwest corner of Seven Mile and Haggerty roads.

The fireside roasting of the meat at Gaucho originated in southern Brazil in the region of Pampas.

Servers offer 14 different types of beef, pork, chicken, sausage, lamb and fish.

Meals are all-you-can eat, with diners signaling the server with a red/green token as to whether they want more or their appetite is satisfied.

“Desserts will include papaya creme, caramel apple cobbler, apple cherry crips, cheesecake, a Portuguese flan called pudim, chocolate cake and fudgy brownie.” Mmm, I bet the pudim is delicious.
[via Northville Record]

Playing way above the rim

This is the And 1 Mix Tape Tour, a streetball entertainment franchise that features players with names like Hot Sauce and the Professor, pumps out annual best-selling DVDs, gets plenty of play on ESPN and even spawned a video game for XBox and PlayStation 2.

This is the And 1 Mix Tape Tour, a streetball entertainment franchise that features players with names like Hot Sauce and the Professor, pumps out annual best-selling DVDs, gets plenty of play on ESPN and even spawned a video game for XBox and PlayStation 2.

Where: Cadillac Square-Farmer Lot, Detroit
When: 3 p.m. Saturday tip-off
[via Detroit Free Press]

Mae West, 2 kings and a pesky bat

“Bottle of Red: Uncorked”: *** Gifted Second City alumnae Margaret Edwartowski and Nancy Hayden in a couple of dozen sketches, most of which they tie together before the show is through. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday (final performance). Planet Ant Theatre, 2357 Caniff, Hamtramck. 313-365-4948, www.planetant.com. $15, $10 students and seniors.

[via Detroit Free Press]

State pledges $1.5 million for Ann Arbor commuter rail line

Money and near unanimous support from local officials are bringing the proposed U.S. 23 commuter rail line close to becoming the first rapid transit system in Metro Detroit in decades.

“There’s no reason that I can see why we couldn’t be operational this fall or early next year,” says Mike Cicchella, Northfield Township Supervisor and a founding member of the Washtenaw and Livingston Line, commonly known as WALLY.

The Michigan Department of Transportation pledged $1.4 million on top of the $375,000 it has already committed to the project. Local government officials –from the townships to the feds– as well as members of the chambers of commerce and institutions like the University of Michigan, are all backing the plan that would establish a commuter rail line between Ann Arbor and Howell along the U.S. 23 corridor.

Great Lakes Central is also interested extending the line as far north as Traverse City and as far south as Milan in the long term if the initial project proves successful.

WALLY, the proposed commuter rail line from Ann Arbor to Howell is really coming together with pledges from more municipalities coming in and I did some from MDOT. We may know by August for sure if the federal government will be kicking in their million. And the whole thing has a partner and the Great Lakes Central railroad company which is even interested in a longer line. There are plenty of people in Milan who commute to Ann Arbor and I’m sure Traverse City would love the boost in tourism they would receive if reachable by train.
[via Metromode Media]

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