Brainstorm at the Garden Party

Your Ideas & Suggestions:

From the discussions and the cards collected at the Food Resilience Project Potluck/Garden Party 3/25/17

Gardening Tips

  • Use locally adapted seeds, e.g., from Native Seeds/SEARCH or the Pima County Public Library Seed Library. (All are catalogued, so if your local branch doesn’t have the actual seeds you want, you can order them to be delivered to that branch.)
  • Container garden on “stilts” — Capture rainwater after it waters the plants and the containers, then re-use that water.
  • Raise chickens & rabbits — good for compost for your gardens and getting free eggs too! They’ll eat scraps too, so less goes to waste. (Comment from Gary: Great suggestion but remember that the expenses associated with raising & caring for these animals will not generate FREE eggs or compost material.)
  • Don’t waste it — Use it! (Actually a tip that goes way beyond just gardening)
  • Let’s get refugees involved, to support their gardens and also learn alternative urban farming methods from them!


Networking Ideas

  • Share seeds, seedlings, plant starts with neighbors (Exactly why we want to create more neighborhood garden networks and Neighborhood Resilience Teams!)
  • More potlucks in our neighborhoods — including music, poetry, along with the food; also: offer from Casa Goofy International to host a potluck — we’ll work with them to arrange that.
  • Form neighborhood listservs and/or to keep connected more effectively (see also Resource list below)
  • Use to share skills, know-how with schools (see also Resourse list below)
  • Share food/share labor (e.g., through a Neighborhood Resilience Team working with the Food Resilience Project)
  • Network with refugee gardeners (see Gardening Tips above). Share excess produce & fruit with refugees in our community by contacting Iskashitaa Refugee Network — they’ll arrange to come and harvest, if you wish.
  • Note from Dennis with Casa Goofy International: food to share; bulletin board; lawyers available for pro bono work; information for/about victims of code enforcement; info re city council people supportive of urban agriculture.


Suggestions for information collections/programs/actions/projects

(for at least some of these, see also the Resource list below)

  • Resource to collect & share information on excess food — where can it go to be used, who has it, who needs it? Perhaps some sort of Excess Food Bulletin Board.
  • Listing of restaurants that source locally — Also, encourage more restaurants to source locally. (Some information about this can be found in Edible Baja Arizona magazine & website.)
  • Possibility of communal gardening system in neighborhoods (not necessarily formally organized under Community Gardens of Tucson)
  • Form groups for helping with neighbors, e.g., with transportation (possibly connecting with existing organizations doing this).
  • Collect list of places to volunteer in order to get food, places to help get food to homeless, places to volunteer for food prep to feed homeless and/or at shelters
  • Identify/Share information about ways to make irrigation and rainwater harvesting easier to build and more affordable
  • Support sustainable transportation, water management, etc.
  • Create a program that works to locate and connect people who have land & would like a garden but are not able to make it, with individuals who want to work the land. They can share produce, check up on each other. (Perhaps can be developed with the use of networking that Food Resilience Project is proposing or with tools noted in Networking Ideas section above)
  • Create a movement to support local businesses



These are resource ideas that were shared on the cards and/or in the discussions at the potluck. There are, of course, many more. Others are posted on the Information Portal on

  • If you have excess food, contact Pivot Produce (a distributor) to get it to local restaurants. ( & on Facebook)
  • Abundant Harvest Cooperative helps gardeners & small growers sell excess at the Santa Cruz Farmers Market Thursday afternoons. (
  • Iskashitaa Refugee Network, to volunteer with harvests/gleaning or to have them come and harvest your excess and distribute to refugee families in Tucson (
  • Consider joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) — there are quite a few in Tucson; check out the list at
  • Community Gardens of Tucson is a great way to get access to a plot of land & get gardening advice, guidance, & support. Details at
  • Know your neighbors and work together to prepare for heat emergencies (and to build community) with Physicians for Social Responsibility–Tucson’s program, Building Resilient Neighborhoods.
  • Mission Garden — great place to learn, volunteer, get locally adapted fruit trees, etc. (
  • For networking —
  • For sharing skills in schools —
  • Support local businesses (& find local businesses when you need them) — Local First Arizona (;
  • Tucson Organic Gardeners (
  • Native Seeds/SEARCH (
  • Watershed Management Group (
  • Pima County Public Library’s Seed Library ( — search for “Seed Library”)
  • Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona — many programs, including free gardening classes (
  • Labor for food and housing:
  • WWOOFers, – – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, or Willing Workers on Organic Farms, is a loose network of national organizations that facilitate placement of volunteers on organic farms. WWOOF organizations connect people who want to live and learn on organic farms and smallholdings with people who are looking for volunteer help.
  • WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles. Volunteers give hands on help in return. WWOOF is a network of national organizations
  • net, — HelpX is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.
  • Workaway — or — is a site set up to promote fair exchange, volunteering and work opportunities between budget travelers, language learners or culture seekers who can stay with families, individuals or organizations that are looking for help with a range of varied and interesting activities.

Many of the organizations above also have Facebook pages — check those out as well.