project leader
Gabrielle K
1105 alger
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the project

Joy , TheProject.

 The mission of this garden is to create a space for stories from the soil to live.

  More than a community garden not exactly a farm,  The Joy Project is a living archive of african atlantic agriculture and foodways in Detroit’s North End.This space invites guests, family ,teachers and community to open themselves to remember indigenous practices, taste rarely grown produce and hear stories about Black and Brown peoples’ current and historical relationship to the soil.

Using their separate yet extremely related fields in food Josmine and Gabrielle  will work together to bring Joy and study to engage with ourselves and the community in conversation of history and heritage through food, embracing and acknowledging what we eat as our legacy and heritage


Joy, TheProject; a mixed use space open daily to visitors , volunteers and community members. A museum of plants ready to engage you with their stories. We offer an inviting location with low fencing , trellis vertical gardening, wide accessible pathways , tall raised beds and a 9 ft wide roadway.  signage with pictures and raised word characters readable to all ages and abilities,  working with the environment and local community where we already live and work to continue to add value and love to our neighborhood here in the North End. A seed library, sensory garden, educational center and healing space, The Joy Project is based on 4 major pillars


(4) Major Pillars



Here we explore a mix of traditional and more modern techniques of growing and engaging with the soil in our perennial circle. We collaborate choosing a variety of herbs and Flowers of medicinal value arranged to support this space of healing and restoration. The center of this circle features a paved patio area for community activities that invite nature into healing practices that restore the balance of the mind, body and spirit. 



A section of raised beds, curated by Josmine, featuring plants that have been integral and influential in the diasporic culinary cultural experience, think: okra, watermelon and cotton. This heritage section offers visitors an opportunity to commune with our plant ancestors and share their stories along with our own as we remember 



This section of garden has 50 ft long in-ground Row beds, a mixing of perennial, yearly annuals , with seasonal highlights and experiments Curated by Gabrielle Knox.

Our land is a Museum. In all sections reflected in the garden you will find plants that speak to the very personal relationships of plants to cultural foodways and tradition.  utilizing some no-till techniques adding organic materials and cover crops .  

Its important as we Steward this land, to acknowledge how the plants we display have been used in the oppression of humans and even today for some plants is a relationship of manipulation and exploitation. Cared for with the intention of reparations and atonement we remember AND we Reconcile. Here, giving more life to the conversation and more freedom to the plants, from this land, whose seeds we save and store.    



Though The Joy Project centers the African Atlantic experience we are ever aware that our experience here is not happening in a vacuum. The entry to the farm will be marked with an altar/offering/demo garden displaying the 3 sisters method of Indigenous agricultural practices recognizing the original and true stewards of this land. The 3 sisters garden will serve as a living land acknowledgment and a celebration of the Anishinaabe.


the steps

With the support of community partners and the Detroit black Farmer Land Fund, we have already begun the process of purchasing land from the Detroit Land bank. That purchase comes along with an agreement to execute this project within a certain time frame and meet deadlines assigned by the city of Detroit. 

The donations we receive through this fundraiser will ensure we meet those goals and maintain ownership of the land. 

Once we receive funds we will be able to 


  1. Show the Detroit Land Bank that we have proof of funds to finance and complete our project as planned

Beginning March 2022 (when the winter breaks)

1.Consult with and pay contractors to design and build accessible roadway/entrance and pathways

2.Manicure the land, cut back overgrowth and clear the area underneath existing trees and maintain the land in accordance with city requirements

3. Mark and flag plot plan/blueprint

4. Place landscaping fabric over row bed area, perennial circle and 3 sisters garden  

5. Install raised beds for the Heritage Garden

6. Begin Irrigation installation, including hiring contractor to dig and install city water lines

We also have community partners pledged to install a rain water catchment systeM

Beginning April 2022

  1. Install fencing
  2. Build out compost area


  1. Erect 2 10x20 structures (processing barn and storage shed)
  2. Introduce starter plants to the Heritage raised beds, perennial circle and 3 sisters garden(weather permitting)
  3. Install signage 
  4. Lay pavers for patio area in the center of the perennial circle for an activity space and also next to the processing barn for an outdoor kitchen


why we're doing it

This project is our way of using our particular skills, knowledge, interests and curiosities to join with the strong, already existing network of Co-Ops ,farmers, culture creators, designers, programmers, legacy holders and doers of Detroit’s North End who collaborate to imagine and work, creating the neighborhood we want to live in everyday.


This project also adds to a global effort by indigenous peoples to collect, record and archive our stories, thereby affirming our identities and claiming our cultural capital in a colonial world that would otherwise seek to erase us. Collecting seeds, Remembering ,Recognizing,Reconciling and Restoring the land and its people.



Disbursed Budget: 

We already took soil samples of our 130x130 land which came out to be 15 samples at 30 dollars g  each ) to be sent to the laboratory which is $450 not the $120 dollars we estimated. 

Brick patio paver 720.63 increase 

Soil testing 450 increase

Storage shed $5,000

Processing Barn $5,000

Excavating  for Pathways and beds $3,000

Gravel and materials for pathways: $1,600

Raised bed installations $1,700

Perennial  Circle: $1,100

Fencing: $600

3 sisters installation: $500

Row beds: $1,000

Additional $161.50 will be used towards miscellaneous expenses related to this project

TOTAL RAISED = $21,928.56
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $1,096.43
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $657.86 waived
TOTAL TO DISBURSE= $20,174.27 



Original Budget:

Storage shed $5,000

Processing Barn $5,000

Excavating  for Pathways and beds $3,000

Gravel and materials for pathways: $1,600

Raised bed installations $1,700

Paver patio: $300

Perennial  Circle: $1,100

Fencing: $600

Soil Testing: $120

3 sisters installation: $500

Row beds: $1,000


ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $1,087
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $652

Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised by this campaign.


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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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