The constant evolution of the global marketplace has forced cities to reconsider and jettison countless industries. Industrial abandonment and infrastructural decay has struck Delray, Detroit. Once, a booming land for manufacturing, Delray is now affected by vacancy and residual industrial pollution from its heyday. The empty lots of land have become definite assets for the city to introduce the NITC [New International Trade Crossing] toll, a project for a new border crossing to Canada. It is estimated to generate significant revenue but the bridge will land in the center of Delray, ultimately dividing the neighborhood's preexisting urban fabric into two.
The proposal aims to balance the interests of protagonists who are for and against the NITC through the Michigan Ginseng Act of 1994. Issued and enforced by the Department of Natural Resources, it "regulates the harvest, sale, and distribution of American Ginseng in Michigan. The act covers both cultivated and wild ginseng, and makes it unlawful to take American Ginseng without a permit from the MNDR." With the help of Michael Hunter, 'the Modern day Johnny Appleseed of ginseng', SW Detroit Community Benefits Association, and Keep Growing Detroit, the project will reintroduce the endangered American Ginseng and redirect the landing of the bridge to a new location, keeping a larger portion of Delray intact for future development and harvest.
The proposed site for the toll is currently owned by the government. The ramifications of the bridge cannot be entirely predicted but it appears that the community will be divided into two, as long as the toll locates itself in the middle of Delray.
The flowers begin to blossom when the root is 3 years old and becomes in full blossom in mid-May. But it is only in the 5th year that mature fruits are produced, each containing one or two seeds. The seed germinates in spring, 18-22 months after it drops to the ground. It remains inactive during the first winter, matures during the next growing season, and endures a second winter before it can germinate. During the first year, the main root grows to about 2-5 inches in length. Size of the plant above ground is a good indication of the size of root below ground. When the above-ground stem dies with frost, a scar remains on the rhizome. Each successive stem leaves a scar above the previous year’s and counting them gives the approximate age of the root. During the first year one prong grows out from the main root which is composed of 2-3 leaflets. Typical mature plants develop 3 prongs but older plants can develop up to 5. As the root ages, the prongs will come to have 5 leaflets.
Because of the long and sensitive growth cycle of ginseng, other plants will play a part in aiding the proposal. Companion species will be planted to keep the soil in check of pollutants in the soil. Doppelganger species will be planted, in a sense, to provide ample time/distractions by prolonging the process of assessing the site as "ginseng-free". Both stratified seeds and ready-grown roots will be planted to hasten the presence of ginseng on site. Different types of trees will also be planted to provide extra shade and nutrients from foliage. Moist and shaded environments are best suited for the growth of ginseng and walnut or poplars provide the best environment. Leaves of trees like the oak are too tough and large for ginseng to cope with and decompose slower. Maple trees will compete for nutrients against the ginseng. Conifers do not provide favorable foliage.
Geotextiles, specifically geocells, have been implemented for its permeability, ability to separate soils, flexibility, and performance on slopes. The elliptical cells that the system generates will be appropriated to intermittently insert biotrays filled with suitable nutrients and soils for introductory plants. In the beginning, majority of the cells will be filled with existing topsoil and remedial plants. This will give clear indications of patches of soil that require phytoremediation and of patches that do not.
As the soil becomes remediated, more ginseng can be planted. Biotrays will decompose and degrade away. If ginseng does not retain its health, it can be moved to another location with better soil. The ginseng can become safe enough for human consumption. It will provide revenue for the local community. Ginseng products come in various forms including tablets, capsules, softgel, powder, extracts, teas, and creams. Dried wild ginsengs range from $500-$600 per pound and $50 per pound for cultivated roots. Seeds collected and dried for stratification are priced at $200 per pound.