In Detroit, nature is beginning to reclaim urban areas. There are pheasants roaming in some of the city’s 40,000 vacant lots and even a tree rising from the roof of the fifty year old Packard auto plant. There’s also no major national or regional grocery store in the city’s downtown. It is what Mari Gallagher calls a food desert, a place where it is easier to get fast food than real food.

On day nine of his Red State Road Trip, Chris Hume documents the rise and fall of this great American city and what its residents are doing to grow their own food. Today in downtown Detroit, on land reclaimed by the city, local inhabitants are growing grapes, asparagus, currants, and gooseberries. And they’re raising honeybees in an attempt to create the first twenty-first century green sustainable city in America. Red State Road Trip is a Shoot and Run Productions. More episodes can be seen online at

And coming up tonight on GRITtv, subprime 101. Our roundtable dissects the current mortgage crisis.

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders, author, and host of RadioNation on Air America Radio, has built a reputation for courageous investigative journalism coupled with compassion and a sense of humor. In writing her last book, Blue Grit, she traveled the country reporting on grassroots success stories and broadcast live to over 150 radio stations from community centers in places including Helena, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee. In her television appearances (Lou Dobbs, Larry King Live,) on radio and in her many books (including Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species) and articles (The Nation and others,) Flanders calls for a new politics of fairness, equality and citizen action. Articulating the human dimension of American communities in trouble, her programs have become destinations for those seeking the skills and the will to make a difference. Flanders is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and CNN. Before joining Air America, where she was part of the original lineup, and hosted “The Laura Flanders Show” for three years, Flanders was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call” weekday mornings on public radio, KALW in the Bay Area and CounterSpin, the radio show of the mediawatch group, FAIR.