IP – Local Food Network

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Food-related organizations serving metro-Tucson

The Abundant Harvest Cooperative is a means for small growers and backyard gardeners to aggregate their agricultural products, access a wide consumer base, and earn extra revenue in a low-risk way. Through the steady presence and diversity of CFB Abundant Harvest Cooperative products, community members have greater access to local, healthy food.

Bean Tree Farm is a 20 acre saguaro/ ironwood forest farm & learning center, supplying local desert foods to the community in and around Tucson, Arizona. We harvest, care for and teach about Sonoran Desert food plants and herbs, resource conservation, solar energy, water harvesting, green building, permaculture and appropriate technology.  Growing an innovative farm business and rich educational environment in our community since 1985, our mission and vision arise from a love of place, respect for the diverse cultures and traditions of this region, and the belief that what we do makes a difference- now and for the future.

Sitting at the edge of the Dunbar-Spring neighborhood, north of downtown, Caridad Community Kitchen lives in an ordinary, gray-block building. But what takes place inside is anything but. A program of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Caridad, Spanish for charity, has touched the lives of countless people for more than 15 years. Featuring a feeding program at congregate meal sites, a 10-week culinary training program for unemployed and underemployed individuals, and a full catering service, Caridad is built on the principle that hunger in our community can be solved in many ways.

Welcome to the new Center for Regional Food Studies! Tucson is buzzing with the news that it has become the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the U.S. and one of three cities selected to join the United Nations Creative Cities Network this year. While our research team played a key role in spearheading that effort over the last three years, the best is yet to come. With the creation of the new center—facilitated by John Paul Jones III, dean of the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences—we are now ready and willing to serve the needs of Tucson in making the City of Gastronomy designation a success. We believe this new designation will help all U.S./Mexico border states foster a more just, healthful, sustainable, and resilient regional food economy.

OUR MISSION: To develop student leaders who turn ideas into action.

OUR VISION: All graduates will be prepared for college, careers, and civic engagement to make an equitable and sustainable world a reality.

We Educate: Every student prepares for a college/university level education in a safe, supportive learning environment with small classes and dynamic, caring teachers

We Inspire: Students develop their unique voice and talents by working with innovators and positive role models at the cutting edge of science, technology, community development, and the arts.

We Act: All students are change-makers who apply classroom learning in real-world projects with real-world results that contribute value to the community.

The Garden Program believes the community has the power to create a healthy, abundant local food system. By building and sharing resources, skills and knowledge, we can grow leaders, partners and stewards of desert food cultivation. Together we can build a resilient, diverse and sustainable region that meets our needs, heals and respects people and the earth.

To create and support accessible community gardens with Tucsonans of diverse experience levels, abilities and cultures in order to educate, foster wellness, and enhance the environment for people, plants, and pollinators.

Desert Harvesters is a non-profit, grassroots effort based in Tucson, Arizona, USA. We strive to promote, celebrate, and enhance local food and water security by encouraging the planting of rain along with indigenous, food-bearing perennial plants (such as the velvet mesquite or Prosopis velutina, foothills palo verde, & desert ironwood trees, prickly pear cactus, saguaro cactus, barrel cactus) where we live, work, and play. We plant within or beside water-harvesting earthworks or rain gardens. This way these plants thrive and produce solely on passive rainwater irrigation – no imported surface or groundwater.

  • Edible Baja Arizona Magazine
    • Provide high quality reporting, writing, and photography that illuminate a wide range of food-related and food system topics specifically relevant to the Baja Arizona foodshed.
    • Promote people and organizations that are doing exemplary and passionate work in the areas of local food, sustainable agriculture and culinary heritages.
    • Connect consumers with producers and purveyors of locally-produced foods, beverages and comestibles of all kinds.
    • Empower area residents to participate in producing their own food through gardening, water harvesting and urban homesteading, and in ways that make sense in an arid land.
    • Advocate for the critical importance of rebuilding and re-localizing our “foodshed,” which means telling the stories of why local food makes sense as both an economic development strategy and as an environmental sustainability imperative, especially given the inescapable consequences of climate change.
    • Simply celebrate the joys of eating and cooking locally, seasonally and in ways that connect us with diverse food heritages and culinary heirlooms in this unique region of deserts and woodlands.

FERN is a growing network of farmers and educators in the desert Southwest who have come together to support the advancement of sustainable agriculture, local food systems, and healthy food choices through education. Our mission is to secure local food sources in the desert Southwest through educational exchanges between current producers engaged in diverse ecologically conscious agriculture, and a new generation of food producers.

Flowers are the art and bullets are the struggle. We are organizers creating outlets for underserved youth and communities, which highlight the life we live and the places that we come from. By sharing skills, promoting place-based connections in the barrio, and listening to each other’s stories we promote sustainable ways of living. These ways of life address some of the traumas in our community, caused by disproportionate minority incarceration, drug addiction, physical and mental violence, food insecurity, health issues, and economic disparity.

The Food Conspiracy Co-op was born in 1971, when a group of Tucson residents formed a buying club. These original members used their collective purchasing power to get natural food products, which were largely unavailable in stores at that time. The original co-op store occupied one storefront on 4th Avenue, and over the years expanded into three more adjacent storefronts. In the early years, the co-op was run as a collective, with all of the approximately 20 employees holding joint responsibility for decision-making. Eventually, the current model of a Management Team led by a general manager was adopted. Our store is open to non-members and members alike. We pride ourselves on our product quality, our excellent customer service, and our strong history as a cooperative business in Tucson. We invite you to come visit us and see for yourself what makes us special.

Iskashitaa Refugee Network is a grass-roots organization that helps rebuild the lives of United Nations refugees and asylum seekers.  We do this through partnerships within the community and food-based programming.  Iskashitaa empowers refugees by creating opportunities to use their knowledge and skills from their home countries to help their families become a part of the Tucson community.

Native Seeds/SEARCH conserves, distributes and documents the adapted and diverse varieties of agricultural seeds, their wild relatives and the role these seeds play in cultures of the American Southwest and northwest Mexico. We promote the use of these ancient crops and their wild relatives by gathering, safeguarding, and distributing their seeds to farming and gardening communities.

Pima College offers a Certificate in Culinary Arts. Courses focus on cold foods, hot foods, baking, nutrition, safety and sanitation, and general restaurant operations.

Cooperative Extension, an outreach arm of The University of Arizona and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), is “Improving Lives, Communities and the Economy” by serving as a statewide network of knowledgeable faculty and staff that provides lifelong educational programs for all Arizonans. We are part of a nationwide educational network of scientists and educators who help people solve problems and put knowledge to use. Arizona Cooperative Extension provides a link between the university and the citizens of this state.

The Pima County Food Alliance seeds to engage community partners to understand and develop our food system through Education,  Networking, Outreach, and Policy change.

The Seed Library is a collection of open-pollinated and heirloom seeds that you can borrow to plant and grow at home. By saving seeds as a community we help create local seed stocks that are better acclimated to our unique desert climate and which support an abundant and genetically diverse landscape. We support gardeners from beginner to expert, and help you learn how to grow, harvest, and save seeds. Our seed collection depends on donations and seasonality. You’ll see different seeds available at different times, so check in frequently to see what’s available. See a list of seeds you can borrow.

Pivot Produce aims to bridge the gap in an ever-expanding farm-to-table local food movement. For farmers, Pivot functions as a distributor, giving back valuable time on the farm where they can focus on growing and worry less about selling their vegetables, fruits and more. For chefs and restaurants, Pivot offers the unique ability to connect to an existing network of Tucson-area purveyors.

We teach workshops, classes, and courses on Permaculture and sustainable landscape design, as well as topics ranging from bee-keeping to water harvesting to growing food at home. We offer the Permaculture Design certification course each Spring in February and March in Tucson, as well as in another Southwest city in the Fall.  We also provide consultation and teachers to neighborhoods, schools, governments, non-profits, NGOs, and individuals to help them complete their grant, educational experience, or workshop.  We ally with other organizations that plan and create a sustainable future. Our office and ramada classroom are located one and a half miles north of downtown Tucson, AZ.

Trees for Tucson if a project of Tucson Clean & Beautiful. Trees for Tucson was form in 1989 to provide Low-cost shade tree planting for homes; street tree planting for neighborhoods; trees available for community sites including schoolyards, nonprofit organization sites and other public space restoration when planted by volunteers; educational presentations and tours. Over 160,000 trees planted to date, growing to an estimated 1,400 acres of new tree canopy. Program benefit estimates for the life of the program include 150 million kWh/over $16 million in energy savings, $43 million aesthetic improvement, over 7 billion gallons of stormwater interception, over 200 million lbs. CO2 reduction. TEP sponsorship began in 1993 and continued until 2016. Trico sponsorship began 2012.

The Tucson AquaPonics Project, an open-source, non-profit, community supported training and resource organization is designed to help individuals and communities achieve Food Freedom and Food Security.

Tucson Backyard Gardeners is the largest Facebook group in Tucson for trading information on local gardening.

Our mission is to promote sustainable gardening and composting in the Tucson community through meetings, lectures, and publications. COME TO OUR NEXT MEETING!

Tucson Village Farm (TVF) is a working urban farm built by and for the youth of our community. A program of the Pima County Cooperative Extension and the University of Arizona, TVF is a seed-to-table program designed to reconnect young people to a healthy food system, teach them how to grow and prepare fresh food, and empower them to make healthy life choices. To accomplish this, Tucson Village Farm offers year-round, instructional, hands-on programs for youth of all ages. We target urban youth from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. The farm, located at 4210 N. Campbell Ave., serves as a safe urban location where youth can come to be out of doors and engage in physical activity while contributing to and participating in local food production, preparation, and consumption.

Our compost has its roots in local businesses and organizations around Tucson. Our crew partners with the City of Tucson to collect food waste and scrap from local business, the University of Arizona, and manure from the Reid Park Zoo! The organic material is then taken to the San Xavier Cooperative Farm, where the waste is then laid out in windrows. From there, the Compost Cats water, turn, and nurture the piles until soil testing.

The University of Arizona main campus has almost 8,000 mature trees growing in the landscape and that number is climbing. While many of these trees are purely ornamental, about 1,800 of these trees produce edible fruits, nuts and seeds. Currently these are going largely unutilized, but LEAF hopes to change that.

Students for Sustainability is an ASUA program that empowers students, builds leaders, and pursues institutionalized sustainability at the University of Arizona and within the surrounding community.
Students for Sustainability became a formally recognized ASUA program in 2008 and has grown considerably since its inception, currently consisting of approximately 100 interns split among our 10 committees. SfS works closely with Compost Cats as well as many organizations on and off campus including UA Residence Life, UA Student Unions, UA Green Fund, Iskashitaa Refugee Network, and several Tucson area schools to advance our mission statement.

Watershed Management Group (WMG) develops community-based solutions to ensure the long-term prosperity of people and health of the environment. We provide people with the knowledge, skills, and resources for sustainable livelihoods.


Creating a Secure Food Supply with our rain