Building Agroecological Systems at D-Town Farm

Client Organization: 
Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN)
Project Location : 
Detroit, MI, USA
Summary of Project Idea: 

Goals & Objectives: 

Determine the best agroecological methods to address the severe aphid and cabbage moth problem on urban agricultural farms in Detroit

  • Increase D-Town farm production of brassica crops by controlling aphid and cabbage moth populations. 
  • Understand how other Detroit farms – are approaching aphid and cabbage moth – problems in their production cycles. 
  • Develop an educational network of Detroit farms using agroecological strategies on their farms where they can exchange knowledge on various agroecological methods for pest management 
  • Develop a user-friendly how-to guide on agroecological applications for management of aphids and cabbage moths on Detroit farms 

Theoretical Justification, Social Benefit, or Significance:

  • In order to increase brassica production at D-Town farm, which is one of the highest selling crops to Detroit consumers, a scientific strategy will be helpful in determining how to best manage pest populations. In addition, it is important that other Detroit area farms contribute their knowledge on what works and what hasn’t worked and benefit from suggested strategies to control these pest populations. 

Specific Activities & Duration:

  • Agroecological experimentation such as experimental plots assessing the factors of each experimental method.
  • Semi-structured and structured surveys o Focus groups o Given the scale of brassicas planted to meet consumer demand and the plethora of factors that impact controlling pest populations, this is a reasonable project for 4 students

Integrative Approach:

  • A variety of skills of needed to plan and implement this project: agroecology planting and pest management methods, qualitative data collection and analysis and non-academic data representation and publication development.
SEAS Program Areas: 
Conservation Ecology (Aquatic Sciences, Terrestrial Ecosystems, and Conservation Biology)
Behavior, Education, and Communication
Sustainable Systems
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Ivette Perfecto
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Linnea Carver
  • Ardra Venugopal
Project Status: 
In Progress