Who We Are
We, KEEP GROWING DETROIT, are a combination of the agricultural past and future of Detroit. We are the groundwork for a new food/agricultural organization in the city. We are believers and supporters of the changing and growing needs of Detroit’s urban gardeners and farmers. We are guided by and in service to the great community of Detroit. We are the continuation of the work of well-established programs including the Garden Resource Program and Grown in Detroit.
We exist to promote a food sovereign Detroit where the majority of fruits and vegetables consumed by Detroiters are grown by residents within the city’s limits. We achieve this mission by fostering relationships to food, growing the knowledge of food and farming, building leadership skills and capacity, changing the value of food, and developing community assets.
Keep Growing Detroit Board
Phil Jones has roots spanning the Midwest, East Coast, and St. Croix. Phil has been in the Detroit food scene for over three decades, starting as a line cook in a small Christian center on Detroit’s West side before opening Fishbone’s in Greektown, creating the soups for Zoup! and founding Edibles Rex, a local catering company. Phil is the chef and general manager of Colors Restaurant located in the Carr Center in Paradise Valley, and owner of Jones Urban Foods, a retail food company that sources a variety of ingredients and unique food preparation equipment. He currently chairs the Detroit Food Policy Council and volunteers for Cooking Matters as a chef/instructor. In addition to the Wayne State Farmers’ Market cooking demos, he can be found regularly at the Eastern Market showing how to prepare recipes using great local ingredients.
Mark Covington is a lifelong resident of Detroit and City Airport Neighborhood on the city’s east side. He is founder of the Georgia St Community Garden/Farm and founder, President, and Director of the Georgia St Community Collective, which is dedicated providing residents with health, education, leadership skills, protection, and to rebuilding and sustaining the community. Mark has served as a board member of the Detroit Agriculture Network, on the cluster leadership team of the Garden Resource Program, and is the East Side Regional Resource Center Leader.
Bob Hoey is a native Detroiter. He and his wife, Evelyn, have a large family garden on West Grand Boulevard in Southwest Detroit. They also have a school garden at the Charlotte Mason Community School, (a K-8 school that Evelyn founded and where she serves as Principal). This school is hosted by Messiah Church, where Bob serves as Pastor. Between the two of them, Evelyn is the avid gardener and innovative cook and food preparer of all things grown locally, whenever possible. Bob has become an enthusiastic learner in these areas, especially over the last few years, and is a willing laborer in whatever needs to get done. Bob brings a wealth of local community board experience to KGD. He has been serving for many years with Covenant Community Care (a local FQHC offering primary care and dental) in this community and also with Southwest Counseling Solutions.
Carolyn Leadley has been growing healthy food (and food access) in Detroit for 7 years. Beginning her work with the Greening of Detroit, she has also participated in the projects at Earthworks Urban Farm as well as Seed Wayne at Wayne State University. In 2009, Carolyn and her partner Jack VanDyke started Rising Pheasant Farms, a family farm on Detroit’s eastside. Their farm business specializes in naturally-grown microgreens and vegetables and can be found at Eastern Market year-round. In their commitment to modeling a truly sustainable urban farm, the couple moves all their produce (and their two young sons) by bicycle.
Jerry Ann Hebron, is a former real estate broker and retired circuit court manager having worked both careers simultaneously for thirty years. Since 2008 she’s been working as the Executive Director of the Northend Christian CDC, the non-profit that oversees the work of the Oakland Avenue community garden, green house market garden, and the farmers market. The organization is currently renovating a house that will be used to prep food from the garden, host cooking demo, and host community meetings. Jerry Ann is also a member of the Detroit Food Policy Council and has presented at community listening sessions about land acquisition with the City of Detroit.