In April 2008, Mark Covington started the Georgia Street Community Gardens in the neighborhood near Harper and Gratiot on the eastside of Detroit. He began the garden as a way to stabilize his neighborhood. He started with cultivating a large variety of vegetables. The goal was for the gardens to be free and open to the community, where people are encouraged to pick and eat the food.
Now the Georgia Street Community Collective (GSCC) includes a neighborhood orchard, goats, several chickens that provide fresh eggs, and bees that produce honey. Mark keeps 5 hives and extracts 8–10 gallons of honey a season.
As a part of the Keep Growing Detroit Garden Resource Program, Mark has hosted the Sweet on Detroit Bee-ginner Beekeeping Program at GSCC for the last two seasons. The program is a series of hands-on workshops designed to introduce students to the art of beekeeping (apiculture). The 6-part series is designed to address the essentials of starting and maintaining a hive including: the biology of bees, building hive equipment (supers and frames), installing bees in the hive, hive maintenance, honey extraction, and winterizing hives.
Some of the honey is sold, some is given to neighbors, and some is used to make goats milk soap through a partnership with City Girls Soap.