Northend Christian CDC – Celebrating 20 Years of Success in the Historic Northend Community

Northend Christian CDC is dedicated to youth engagement, workforce development, sustainable agriculture, arts and culture, as well as economic revitalization of the Historic Northend community of Detroit.


Our mission is to develop the historic Northend community by implementing interactive youth development programs for students 8 to 24 years of age, developing green jobs, providing quality housing, disseminating resources for the underserved, and supporting healthy lifestyles through sustainable agriculture, education, and beautification of the community.

Oakland Avenue Urban Farm – Building a Healthy Community, Advancing Health Equity

For the past decade, against a backdrop of extreme social and economic need, the Oakland Avenue Urban Farm has established a reputation as a stabilizing anchor for the community. Growing healthy food, providing mentorship and educational programs, supporting gathering and outdoor art spaces, and generating jobs, the farm helped create a safety net where virtually no other was available. 


  • Hosted 21 weekly farmers markets, each featuring culturally appropriate hands-on cooking demonstrations.
  • Celebrated our 200th participant in the Michigan State University Extension Service Youth leadership training, which pairs our local urban youth with rural Michigan farm youth for educational opportunities around food systems, health and personal growth.
  • Through our partnership with the 4H Club and the Michigan State Fair Association, we helped 42 local youth apply for and win scholarships from the Michigan State Fair Association, culminating in their meeting with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Program graduates are pursuing careers in environmental science, culinary, medical, veterinary science, and health fields.
  • Achieved GAP certification for the Farm and for 5 Farm Team members from the USDA which will allow us to sell our produce to schools, government agencies and wholesalers.
  • Installed new 30×92’ hoophouse, funded through the USDA Equip Program
  • Installed the area’s first community bread-oven through the support of the Hazon Foundation.
  • Coordinated and hosted the first North End Block Party as a part of the citywide 2019 City of Design Festival, with live music, pony rides, and a Farm Table dinner featuring traditional African cuisine.
  • Commissioned 4 local artists to paint “Healing Walls” representing Food Justice, Environmental Justice, Racial Justice and Economic Justice through the support of Ally Bank.
  • Installed a new cedar wood composting unit supported by Detroit Dig…
  • Received the 2019 Farmers of the Year Award…


2018 Programing

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for Families receiving Food Assistance (Bridge Card)

2019 Programing

Oakland Avenue Urban Farmers Market 

Since 2011 the Oakland Avenue Urban Farmers Market has increased access to locally sourced  fruit,  vegetables, produce and other value added products to Norhtenders and surrounding communities. In partnership with  the Eastern Market Corporation we are  Detroit Community Markets members.  We are a USDA Approved vendor site accepting Snap Benefits, Double Up Food Bucks, Project Senior Fresh Coupons and WIC benefits. Our farmers market has many activities during market season such as cooking demonstrations  by the Henry Ford Health System, Michigan State University Extension, and local Chef’s. We also feature health and fitness drop in events such as yoga in the yard, community dance, senior exercise, youth arts and craft and sports activities, and so much more. 

4 H Club Urban Chapter 

The Oakland Avenue Urban Farm 4-H Urban Youth Chapter was created for youth ages 7-21 living in the Historic Northend and surrounding communities of Detroit. The purpose of the the 4-H urban Chapter is to improve their learning and leadership through educational programs and applied research. Supported by the Michigan State Fair and Michigan State University Extension, the ultimate goal is to provide high-quality, engaging programming for urban youth to drive their current and future success by exposure to urban agriculture practices, introduction to food systems, building 21st century leadership skills, and developing a sense of global citizenship by bridging the urban and rural gap in Michigan. The critical issue that drives this work is the need for at risk youth, particularly those from low-income households, to learn how to overcome economic, educational, and social barriers, including barriers to STEM career paths.

Michigan State Fair Urban Youth Council

The Michigan State Fair has been the catalyst for bridging the gaps between youth living in rural areas and youth living in urban areas.  Jerry Hebron has been serving as a member of the Michigan State Fair Steering Committee for the past six years in the capacity of Urban Agriculture Scholarship Chairperson.  To date over $200,000 has been awarded to more than 100 youth between the ages of 5 to 21.  The awards are for contributions to volunteer service in community, family, school and church gardens during the year.  These youth are learning about growing food, harvesting, food safety, pest and giving back to the community.  We believe the biggest advantage of this program is providing opportunities for youth from the rural community and urban communities to establish relationships that break down barriers.

Nutrition and Health Programs

  • Cooking Demonstrations
    • Chef Philp Jones
    • Chef Nick
  • Native Plant Education
    • Lottie Spady

For over a decade, Oakland Avenue Urban Farm has supported a food sovereign Northend community, where the majority of fruits and vegetables consumed by local residents are grown locally within the city’s limits. Participants in our Health and Nutrition programing receive resources for their personal gardens, nutrition education through cooking demonstrations and native plant workshops. All of our health and nutrition workshops are offered during our Farmers Market hours. 

Green Infrastructure Workforce Training Program 

  • Green Roof Installation
  • Water Line Irrigation
  • Compact Agriculture Equipment 
  • GreenHouse Installation
  • Landscape Maintenance
  • StormWater Management

Our Green Infrastructure work is an innovative approach to environmental management practices that protect and restore our water, soil and air quality. We are composting, planting trees, native plants, building innovative water catchment systems, building green roofs, researching rain falls and documenting the data, planting rain gardens and designing bioswales. Our goal is to train and hire community members, particularly hard to higher individuals and prepare them for a career path in the green infrastructure industry. 

Grow Detroit Young Talent Summer Youth Employment

Oakland Avenue Urban Farm’s GDYT program provides local youth ages 14-24 with a meaningful summer employment opportunity. Each youth participant receives hands on training in the Food and Agriculture Industry. Those skills include but are not limited to: commercial kitchen, business management, money management, comprehension skills, time management, organizational, technology skills, animal husbandry, and urban agriculture.   Each youth participant also has access to receive Servsafe Certification through MSU extension to build workforce skills in the areas of safe food handling and customer service. Each Youth worker is given access to our  4-H urban chapter program, where youth participants are given further opportunity to build the following soft skills: Leadership, Relationship Building, Public Speaking, Communication, Critical Thinking, Teamwork, and Work Ethic. 

Food Safety Training Program

  • GAP Standard Training
  • ServSaf Training

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification is a food safety procedure that is practiced to ensure there is traceability in the event of a food recall.  Oakland Avenue Urban Farm is the only urban farm in Detroit that has this recognition acknowledging there is a food safety plan in place.

Cosmopolitan Chicken Program

The Cosmopolitan Chicken Program is a youth specific program that introduces community members to  local commercial chickens bred for genetic diversity to provide increased nutritional capacity. We offer educational programs exposing youth to possible career paths in the field of veterinary and animal husbandry.  The Planetary Community Chicken  program has proven to positively impact the community by also providing a sustainable protein source via the eggs and meat sold at our Farmers Market, including established partnerships with local retailers and restaurateurs.

University of Michigan Urban Agriculture Resources Internship Program

Oakland Avenue Urban Farm serves as a work site for college students seeking to work in the field of agriculture or environmental studies. The key result of our internship program is that our interns gain a far greater understanding of the day-to-day professional responsibilities in their field and strengthen their professional network. 

Partner Programing

Hazon Detroit

  • Bread Camp
  • Farm to Friday Dinner Series

Stafford House

  • Global Youth Day

2020 Programing/Future Programing

Fiber Works and Plant Dye – Workshop

Bags to Butterflies – Workforce Development Training Program

Basic Cabinet Making and Millwork – Skill Trade Training Program

Garden of Love – School Garden Program

2019 Volunteerism

Our volunteers are integral contributors to the work we do. With over 3.5 acre of production land on our 6 acre campus along with three production hoop houses, the work of growing healthy food is never done. In 2019 we are happy to report that we received a total of 1,909.5 hours , which is the equivalent of 79 days of volunteerism.


  • 18 Individual Volunteers – 579.5 hours


  • Vice Media Group – 40 volunteers, 3 hours – 120 total hours
  • Mahindra – 60 volunteer, 5 hours, – 500 total hours
  • R1 RCM – 30 volunteers, 4 hour – 120 total hours
  • DTE Energy – 100 volunteers, 5 hours – 300 total hours
  • Detroit Medical Center, 30 volunteers, 3 hours – 90 total hours
  • 36th District Court, 20 community service volunteers, 7hours – 140 total hours
  • The University of Detroit Mercy, 20 volunteers, 3 hours – 60 total hours

2019 Eco Tourism

This is a natural outcome that has resulted from our work, attracting up to 5,000 visitors year-around annually.  In 2019 we received 3,800 visitors and conducted 36 scheduled tours along with several walk-in tour requests as well. We average 5-10 tours during the non-peak season (Jan-Apr, and Dec) and 20 – 50 tours during peak season (May-Nov).  This is amazing for our visibility and for sharing information with others.

2019 Supporters

We raised $275,769.00 worth of grants, sponsorship, and individual donations. We are so grateful to all of our 2019 supporters.


Culture Lab Detroit

FlagStar Bank

ALLY Financial

The Platform

LISC Detroit

Detroit Future City

Vanguard Community Development Corporation


Detroit Community Market

Community Connections


The Pink Elephant

DTE Energy Foundation

Neighbor Hub Detroit

Michigan Good Food Fund

Jewish Federation

Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan


Mi State Fair Association

Fellow Citizens

Barbara and Fred Erb Foundation

Detroit Eastern Market

Total $275,769.00

Ongoing Projects

The Landing

The Landing is a mid-sized hostel and intimate gastronomic performance center. The ground floor hosts cultural and food-centered events and educational experiments. The second and third floors provide accommodations for visiting students, gardeners, agriculture aficionados, and eco tourists. The architectural, infrastructural, and programmatic elements contributing to the project have emerged from many years of fieldwork, pilot projects, public planning, collective development, and collaborative visioning.

Red’s Jazz Shoe Shine

The Oakland Avenue Urban Farm is restoring and reactivating the historic Red’s Jazz Shoe Shine Parlor at 8148 Oakland Avenue. For over half a century, the space was a cultural and commercial epicenter in the North End. A mixing chamber for the city’s top performers, politicians, and luminaries, the shoeshine provided a storefront cover for a speakeasy where the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, and Aretha Franklin made regular appearances. By Spring 2020 the farm plans to reopen the space as a hybrid urban attractor combining services (shoeshine & cobbler) and a speakeasy event- space.

2019 Produce Sales

Oakland Avenue Urban Farm grows over 33 different varieties of produce, provides cage free bio-diverse eggs, various types of value added product including our famed Afro Jam as well as swag items. We source to the community at our weekly farmers market, several local chefs, restaurants, as well as three Fiat Chrysler plants. Last year our product sales were over $20,000.00.


Thank you for taking the time to learn about the impactful work we do at Northend Christian CDC. Due to the contribution of supporters like you, we are able to continue our work… We would gladly appreciate your contribution.

Donation can be made in the form of check, money order, debit card, credit card, Cashap, Zelle, as well as Pay Pal

Donation Methods:

Paypal –

Cashap – $cultivator

Zelle – 313-903-0049

Northend Christian CDC is a non-profit organization. All contribution are tax deductible

Northend Christian CDC

9354 Oakland Avenue

Detroit, Mi 48211