Digging In: Land Rights, Food Sovereignty and a Pop-Up Restaurant in Detroit

The specter of decades of population decline — empty fields where neighborhoods used to thrive persist – is an internationally recognizable symbol of Detroit, Michigan. Emptiness also serves as a key talking point, central to positioning the city as a clean slate — sheer potential for entrepreneurs and investors from elsewhere, available to any of the highest bidders. But empty fields are not always what they appear. In fact, in Detroit, they often come with a nearly impenetrable complex of restrictions, rules and regulations that result in committed, invested locals being unable to access land that entrepreneurs and investors seem to come by so easily.

“Digging In” is part of our investigative comics journalism series on barriers to water, housing and land access in southeastern Michigan and the first installment in our graphic miniseries on land. We talk to caterer Meiko Krishok, whose popular North Corktown eatery navigates a wide array of concerns facing many young entrepreneurs in this city, as well as the other cities across the nation experiencing population decline, land misappropriation and infrastructure failure. Luckily, Krishok’s business ethics and enduring patience offer a glimmer of hope to young, local up-and-comers. So does her food. But while we can introduce you to Krishok and show you around on a warm summer day, one thing comics can’t do is tell you how good the food is. For that, you’ll have to come visit.

Digging In

Digging In

ENDNOTES:

1. The Pink Flamingo menu is posted to its Facebook page. Accessed January 9, 2018: https://www.facebook.com/pinkflamingodetroit/

2. Personal interview with Meiko Krishok, conducted on December 6, 2017.

3. Loveland Technologies, http://makeloveland.com.

4. Testing Garden Soil,” Keep Growing Detroit, April 19, 2017.

5. “Digging Deep: Detroiters work to clean up city’s toxic soil.” Nina Ignaczak, Model D Media, December 12, 2016. Accessed January 9, 2018: http://www.modeldmedia.com/features/digging-deep-soil-121216.aspx

Copyright, Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes