The Tucson Community Food Bank’s Youth Farm Project

fresh squeezed juice

It seems to be common for people in Tucson to have citrus trees that they water but do not harvest.  We harvested all of these oranges and grapefruits from a few trees around a neighborhood in the downtown area.

Today we visited the Community Food Banks Youth Farm Project located in the flood plains of Marana, on the outskirts of Tucson.  Here is the description of the farm from their website:

The Marana Heritage Farm, a 10-acre no-spray vegetable farm, is a project of The Community Food Bank’s Community Food Resource Center (CFRC). Now in our third growing season, we are dedicated to producing  fresh, organically grown food, while fulfilling the CFRC’s vision of “improving community food security for the people of Pima County by promoting, demonstrating, advocating for and collaboratively building an equitable and regional food system, which supports food production and strengthens communities.”

The purposes of the Program:

• To engage local youth in growing food for their community while addressing issues of nutritional poverty and hunger.

• To encourage nutrition and healthy food choices.

• To empower program participants to become voices and advocates within the food system.

• To introduce sustainable farming as a viable career option.

• To participate in daily farm activities and chores that support the Marana Heritage Farm.

• To bring together a diverse community of youth, to interact with the land in a positive way and to have fun!

This was a very inspiring project to see and learn about.  The land had been extremely degraded from decades of abuse from industrial monoculture agriculture, but it is slowly transforming into a sustainable farm that will provide nutritious food to needy people and educate the youth about how to grow their own food.  At the moment there is a group of AmeriCorps volunteers at the farm helping out.  I really liked the farm, it had a very hopeful and positive feel to it.  I am hoping that I will get to go back and work for a few days before I leave Tucson.  It is wonderful that the community food bank is involved with such a project.

Here are some photos of the farm…keep in mind that it is winter so not as much is growing

The Pizza Garden

The Pizza Garden in the youth garden grows vegetables that may be on a pizza, a fun idea for kids.

The Chickens and a Turkey

Pedro the Lamb and his goat friends

3 month old Piglets

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