It all started in Macon, Michigan on a Conventional Farm when the founder, Jamie, was an apprentice farmer at 16. Learning about conventional farming the “hard way” made Jamie forget about farming for much of his professional life. Then in 2001 he began to explore the city of Detroit by bicycle. This led to the discovery of the Virgin Oak Beech Forest of Palmer Park, the History of its land use and to historical books written about Senator Thomas Palmer including, ‘Guardian of the Light’. These explorations introduced him to Detroit’s vast and sprawling Park System. The parks visited were filled with wondrous natural beauty and 7 virgin forests, that no car window or sunken freeway system had ever allowed anyone to see. Jamie toured each and every park, 643 in total, spread out amongst the 143 square miles of Detroit. From there Jamie began to study, question, and invent a new way forward. How could we help the City of Detroit reinvent/revaluate itself from the ground up? How could/would Urban Agriculture work for everyone? How could we motivate similar minded young progressives to move here with us?
In 2009 a bomb finally went off, corruption was fully exposed, the mayor went to Prison, and the ugliness of Detroit was made plain and clear for all the world to see. The City of Detroit suffered not only from racism, but also most notably from a lack of Quality of Life. 100,000 homes were foreclosed on, fast food containers and plastic wrappings were scattered all over the ground, and the city’s once magnificent parks looked like landfills. Senator Palmer’s (The Founder of the Department of Agriculture) once Log Cabin Farm was abandoned decades ago. Nobody cared; drugs, prostitution, and crime was the normal “Park Life” in Detroit. What Jamie saw everywhere he looked, were the ones who suffered the most; the children. They were already imprisoned by a culture of self-absorption and processed food, filled with an excess of Red Meat and Potatoes, “leading to a dumbed down materialistic society” (Steiner, 1924).
Jamie and his family decided to take a stand, practice in plain sight, and went all in by setting up in the once Log Cabin Farm turned Palmer Park. The best thing Jamie could do was to test and scientifically prove out Dr. Rudolph Steiner’s theories on Agriculture, Biodynamics. He wanted to see if he could redesign an entire local and sustainable economy not only for his own children, but for Detroit and its children too. Instead of growing up as little mesmerized consumers, he would help grow strong kids, (Trees) by infusing them with food that was as nutritional as possible. We decided to start our self-sustainable journey formally in 2009. After being led through the racist and corrupt ‘Cronyism of the Entitled Few’, into the City’s Planning and Recreation Departments, we began in Rouge Park then Owen Park, until we finally landed in Palmer Park. We, like many others, heard a calling back to the land and decided to take the necessary steps to create a foundation of Health and Vitality. First unto our families, then onto our neighbors as well! Jamie established ROI Urban Farms to promote Health and Vitality and share the beauty that was waiting to be re-discovered outside of the automobile and its unsustainable fossil fuel agenda. We re-imagined what sustainability and farming could be in a world that consumed little to no fossil fuel, in an attempt to create our very own Permaculture. We did this all right here in Detroit; the place where the Department of Agriculture, Urban Sprawl, the Shopping Mall, and the Automobile Agenda started in the first place.
We are honored to be Detroit’s first and only Certified Biodynamic Farm and Certified Biodynamic Compost Producer. Our farming practices have set new benchmarks in the form of weight and yields, well above all previously published North American Crop Studies and Reports 2008-2010. We only grow 100% Heirloom traced Historic Seed Stock in our Demeter-certified biodynamic compost that we create. This allows people the opportunity to consume fresh, living, elemental-enzyme-enhanced food 365 days a year. Fertility-Creation is never lost, instead it is completely regenerated year after year through the compost we make and use every season. We have created Detroit’s first Zero Carbon completely closed regenerative circle from the soil to the food we eat and back again; cradle to cradle!
ROI Biodynamic Benchmarks
State of Michigan, Ohio, and World Biodynamic Community
2nd ‘Michigan’ Certified Biodynamic Farm, 1st in Metro Detroit
1st ‘World’ Certified Farm-City-Park (Senator Thomas Palmer, Founder of the Department of Agriculture, Palmer Park)
1st ‘Michigan’ Certified Biodynamic Compost operation
1st ‘World’ Certified Biodynamic Zero Add Medicinal/Cannabis Compost
1st ‘Michigan’ Certified Biodynamic Cannabis, (3rd cannabis certification in North America, 1st outside of Oregon)
1st ‘World’ Biodynamic Certified CBD RSO, Cannabis Essential Oil, (Cure for Cancer)
1st ‘World’ Certified Biodynamic Mobil Farm, (above ground pots, parking lots studies 2016-2018)
1st ‘Ohio’ Certified Biodynamic Farm, (Drummond Road Toledo Ohio)
1st ‘World’ Biodynamic Certified Truffles
1st ‘World’ Biodynamic Certified Mead, (made possible by Cellarmen’s Meadery) Beet, Watermelon, Sweet Potato, Cucumber and Carrot Meads