Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Urban Farming in Phoenix, Arizona

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to visit an urban garden in Phoenix with my urban food systems class.

The Tiger Mountain Foundation is a 501c3 organization that "utilizes ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) to bring sustainability back to the community."

Phoenix is not a place where I imagined community gardens to flourish, but the Tiger Mountain Foundation garden has grown from one location to two and they even supply the Hilton Hotel, local restaurants, and several farmer's markets.


They grow several crops like: okra, carrots, basil, swiss chard. They have a bee hive where they collect honey to sell and a hen coup where they collect eggs to sell.

It was inspirational to hear the stories from the young men who went from having anger management issues to being soothed by the plants to pursuing careers in agriculture. Working in the garden has helped the children in the neighborhood learn about healthy foods and managing a business. The garden also allows the families in the neighborhood to have a place to socialize and gather.

What I thought was interesting was that stores in the neighborhood experience theft and break-ins, but the garden has never had supplies or food stolen. The neighbors are extremely invested in the garden and even call the police when they suspect illegal dumping or other illegal activities.

This shows that gardens can bring a sense of pride to a neighborhood and create a sense of togetherness.

Tiger Mountain Foundation's slogan is a 'passage to a stronger community' this was evident during my visit.

Below are some photos from my visit.

***Lisa-Marie


Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre

Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre

Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre

Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre

Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre


Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre

Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre


Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre

Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre


 

1 comment:

Bob Brinkmann said...

Great post Lisa. So interesting to see what is happening in Arizona!