KALAMAZOO, MI — A new farm and food network is looking to bring more representation to Kalamazoo’s food ecosystem.

Remi Harrington created Zoo City this year to fill the racial gap left in agriculture. The most recent Census Agriculture report from 2017 shows that Black farmers make up 1.4% of the country’s 3.4 million producers.

Similarly, Black farmers in Michigan make up less than 2% of statewide producers.

Harrington sees Zoo City as a pathway for the Black community to participate in both land ownership and the food economy — something she says is part of their cultural history.

“Black people came to America to tend the land, to be stewards of land, and we come from agrarian culture,” she said. “The fact that we cannot participate in the industry ecosystem in that way, it’s a travesty.”

For Harrington, being a steward of her own land isn’t just about the historical roots of her ancestors but also her immediate family and the agency its given her as a single mother.

Being able to literally get her hands dirty and grow her own food while teaching her daughter about the environment has been both empowering and therapeutic, she said.

In 2014, she began work on Tegan’s Hopeful Storybook Garden, named after her daughter. The Jackson Street community garden came to life two years later as a project of Harrington’s nonprofit The Urban Folk Art Exploratory.

The Storybook Garden is no longer operational but Harrington’s vision for the land and the neighborhood has taken new shape in the Zoo City project.

Throughout the Edison neighborhood Harrington has plans for a food cooperative, an educational space and a micro-nursery with raised planter beds for rent.

Through Zoo City, Harrington is looking to tackle equity in the food industry from a neighborhood, city and

An hour away on the train from London, the cathedral city of Winchester has long appealed to people working in the capital and looking to move out. But the months of lockdown have sent the Hampshire town’s rental market into overdrive, with inquiries over this summer running at 19 times last year’s levels.



a house with trees in the background: Photograph: Alamy


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Alamy

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Data from two large estate agents, shared with the Observer, shows that the “race for space” and a desire to prepare for a winter spent mainly at home are rapidly reshaping the property market.

Prices are on the increase in green and pleasant commuter towns, while rents for flats in some areas of central London are sharply down, by up to 20%. The Nationwide house price survey showed the average price of a home in the UK last month was just over £226,000, up 5% on a year earlier, and the fastest rate of increase since 2016.



a house with bushes in front of a building: The small cathedral city of Winchester is showing a distinct shortage of properties as Londoners look to move.


© Photograph: Alamy
The small cathedral city of Winchester is showing a distinct shortage of properties as Londoners look to move.

Some of that increase is down to pent-up demand from those who would have moved during lockdown; some is down to the temporary stamp duty cuts. But Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, also points to behavioural shifts as people “reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown”.

Nationwide pointed in particular to the south-west of England and the commuter towns surrounding London, where house prices were up by more than 5% year on year in the third quarter of 2020.

The most important feature buyers are looking for is a garden. The second-biggest request is a study or home office

Dylan Kinsella,