Detroit couple starts working farm 'Hoodstead' for sustainability on east side

Dakarai Carter working in his garden while Kamaria Gray shows off the seed starters.

"We're growing beets turnips and radishes," Gray said.

The young couple are the proud owners of a large property on Detroit's east side, one they plan to cultivate into something big.

"We want it to be a fully functioning farm/homestead," Gray said.

The two met while working at a non-profit, providing nutritious food for children - and that's what they want to do there - with an eventual orchard and farmstand for the community.

"I think that's a real tangible way of getting food, healthy food, locally grown food to people in our surrounding community that otherwise may not have had that," Carter said.

The two are now blogging about their journey as new homeowners and urban farmers at their website:

"We are documenting our process and learning how to do all these things so that more people can take it upon themselves to do the same thing," he said.

They talk of sustainability and autonomy - building up this community for this community - one that's happy to have their youth, their energy, and their ideas.

Kamaria Gray and Dakarai Carter.

Kamaria Gray and Dakarai Carter.

"You can tell that they're proud that some young Black people are being stewards of the land and of this house, so yeah, they welcome us with open arms," Carter said.

"Home provides so much more than a place for you to stay," said Gray. "It's a place where you can build a business - a place where you can build a family - you can build friendships."

"Roots - a place where we can feel rooted, " Carter said.

It is something she says is too often out of reach for people of color.

"With redlining and racism it's a lot harder for Black people to attain it so I think it's incredibly important," Gray said. "I thought it was of the utmost importance - especially in this area - on the east side to create something that was for community good, by people in this community - who look like people who serve this community."

And they plan to serve - excited to teach the children in the neighborhood about farming.

"They're interested in seeing what we've got going on and I'm excited to show them," Gray said.

They know it's going to be a lot of work.

"This is back-breaking work - by no means is it easy," Carter said.

But with the help of friends, family, and community - they are committed to making this dream for this homestead - this 'Hoodstead' come true.

"This is a perfect community especially with all of these lots existing -to create something that's really sustainable and useful for the folks who live here," Gray said.

"We're ready and we're down for the ride," Carter said.

If you would like to follow along with their efforts go to