DETROIT, Mich. – Inner city Detroit has been called a food desert. Many of the city’s residents have trouble finding fresh fruit and vegetables in their local stores, a problem that’s also shared by residents of Chicago, Cleveland and other urban places across the region.
That’s ironic, because Detroit is also a major hub for some of the best agricultural products in the country, thanks in large part to the Detroit Produce Terminal. Built by the railroad in 1929, the terminal market comes to life in the middle of the night, when the streets of southwest Detroit are otherwise desolate. It’s safe to say many Detroiters don’t even know that it’s here, just a few blocks from the Ambassador Bridge.
Dozens of trucks arrive at the market on work days (or rather, work nights), carrying produce from all corners of the nation and the world. The market in turn supplies wholesale dealers, chain stores and the greater metro area’s thriving independent markets, like The Produce Station in Ann Arbor. Some, like Popa Joe’s in Rochester Hills, are destination locations.
It all starts very very early in the morning. You might not want to get up at that hour, so Changing Gears did it for you. Click on the slideshow below to meet the Michigan workers who help put Thanksgiving on our plates, and enjoy your holiday.