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US (AZ): Food bank grows healthy food and teaches people how

Just off the banks of the parched Santa Cruz River in Tucson, Arizona, gardeners at Las Milpitas de Cottonwood Community Farm are harvesting a bounty of produce. They grow hot and sweet peppers, summer squashes, Nichols and Punta Banda cherry tomatoes, basil, okra, beans, corn, and the striped, oval Tohono O’odham watermelon: a desert-adapted watermelon with sweet orange-yellow flesh, cultivated by the Tohono O’odham tribe over generations in the Sonoran Desert region.

An urban community farm in Tucson? Guess again. This isn’t just urban permaculture—it’s a food bank.

In Pima County, which includes Tucson, one person in seven is food insecure—slightly above the national average. Food banks, including this one, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, have been starting gardens and farms where they teach people to grow their own food. These are local, small-scale initiatives that teach “food literacy”—nutrition, cooking, budgeting, grocery shopping and gardening—to communities that suffer from food insecurity or simply a lack of fresh produce.

Read more at Yes! Magazine (Sammi-Jo Lee)

Publication date: 10/6/2017

 


 

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