Tag Archives: Food Resilience Project

On a bright, sunny day, Tucson took an important step toward Resilience

On a bright but windy day, 46 people from all over Tucson met to share delicious local food, share ideas, and take the next step to make Tucson more food resilient.

If you missed it, don’t worry. You’ll get other chances. There will be more.

After a tour of the garden of our host, Gary Vender, three members of the Food Resilience Project’s Champions Network outlined the objectives of the Food Resilience Project.

Paula Schlusberg gave a brief overview of the program and why it is important. Because companies around the world have adopted a “Just-In-Time” inventory system, Tucson has only a few days of food in all our stores. But we know that we can produce a lot more local food and build a strong community in the process. Food resilience can also allow us to tackle other problems, like aging in place and climate readiness.

Gary Vender gave a brief overview of how easy it is to grow lots of food in Tucson.

In a few hundred square feet of garden he grows hundreds of pounds of tomatoes and lettuce. Not only does he grow enough for his own family, but he shares it with many neighbors and provides lots of fresh food to the Community Food Bank. And the water bills are only $30-$40 per month.

Donya Meggs related her path to creating the first Neighborhood Resilience Team.

Even though she didn’t feel she had the time, her neighbors were able to help her dig and water her initial garden. Now that 5×5 garden is providing lots of vegetables and which she is now able to share. Their NRT started with a dozen people, and now they are planning a potluck, and garden exchange. And sharing the load makes it possible, even with her busy schedule.

After these initial presentations, and over the delicious food that people brought to share, there was a lively discussion of the many ways that we could work together to make Tucson more Food Resilient. The answers ranged from

  • * Seting up a garden exchange to share extra produce from neighborhood gardens, to
  • * Doing an inventory of food trees in the neighborhood, to
  • * Organizing a tour of some gardens in your neighborhood.

A more complete list can be found here.

The next step will be to find new Resilience Champions who want to take on the task of creating their own Neighborhood Resilience Teams. And to continue to develop the resources needed to help them succeed.

If you want to join us, our next meeting will be during the week of April 10-16. Contact Tres English <tres@feedingtucson.org> to get the details.

Next Step – Learning to Grow, Eat, and Share more delicious, local food

What if you could live in a neighborhood where

  • a rain-watered, Permaculture food forest shades our streets and makes them beautiful?
  • you know your neighbors because you often share delicious locally grown food in neighborhood potlucks and garden exchanges?
  • kids play and adults gather in neighborhood micro-parks created by the traffic-calming chicanes that create the space for that food forest?, and 
  • community gardens and commercial market gardens are widespread, and thousands of people are employed in creating a resilient local food supply?


The first steps to transforming Tucson into this Beautiful, Delicious, Safe, and Fun home starts with Learning to Grow, Eat, and Share lots of delicious, local food. You can take that first step on March 25 at the kickoff Community Potluck of the Food Resilience Project of Feeding Tucson /Sustainable Tucson .


The Food Resilience Project of Feeding Tucson is an initiative to encourage and help small groups of neighbors to form Neighborhood Resilience Teams that share local food, help each other garden, and much more. You can start one in your neighborhood, or help others who are willing to take the plunge now.


On Saturday, March 25 from 4:00 to 6:30, people from all over Tucson will gather to share locally grown food. You can bring something from your own garden, or check out these links to local Farmers Markets). You will find out how you can either start your own Neighborhood Resilience Team or join the Resilience Champions network to help others who want to try. You hear about the experiences of the first NRTeam. And you will enjoy a friendly meal made with lots of fresh local ingredients on a beautiful spring evening. (The potluck is near 22nd St and Country Club.)


Please let us know that you are interested by using this Doodle link. Or if you prefer, you can use this FaceBook event page. Even if you can’t attend, it will let us know you are interested. We will send you the actual address when we hear from you.

First Neighborhood Resilience Team kickoff

The Food Resilience Project supports small groups of neighbors who get together to enjoy locally grown food, help each other, and generally create a more cohesive local community. This is the report of the first Neighborhood Resilience Team.

The Arroyo Chico Neighborhood Gardening Collective (ACNGC) held our neighborhood kick-off event on Saturday, February 18th.  Twelve people attended, in spite of the blustering rainy weather, and we quite enjoyed ourselves! 

Our event included time to get to know each other a bit, an introduction to the ACNGC and why it was created, an overview of the Food Resilience Project (FRP) that we are part of, and sharing basic gardening information and resources.  Then we visited three gardens in our neighborhood, discussed specific approaches for each garden, and shared some of our delicious home-grown produce.  Neighbors were invited to schedule work parties to install home gardens with our assistance.  

We will be planning work parties and following up with each person who expressed interest in getting involved with the ACNGC or the FRP, as well as planning future neighborhood events.  In addition, two people from the adjacent Broadmoor neighborhood attended; and we have been invited to collaborate with their neighborhood as well. 

This was indeed a very successful kick-off to the Arroyo Chico Neighborhood Gardening Collective, and we look forward to working more with our neighbors!




Food Resilience Project meeting notes (9/22/2016)

If you are interested in the next Champions Network meeting, fill out this Doodle link <http://doodle.com/poll/wkd2t3zhkzr9i5kp> and let us know your availability.  I will post the final date on the Feeding Tucson FB page.

The global Just-In-Time supply system has left us entirely unprepared for disruptions to our local food supplies, and Global Climate Change threatens long term global food supplies.  Communities will have to produce a significant fraction of their food in the future.

Metropolitan Tucson receives roughly 85 billion gallons of harvestable rainfall and has over 100,000 acres of land without structures. In theory, we could harvest more water than utilities pump from the ground and produce more food than Tucsonans eat.

As a result, neither water nor land impose the least upper limits on the amount of food we can produce.  We do.  The process of increasing our food resilience will allow us to create a more cohesive community, beautiful neighborhoods and lots of delicious food.

Twenty four people from all over Tucson and surrounding communities participated in the kickoff meeting of the Resilience Champions Network.

Five individuals/groups volunteered to be the first Neighborhood Champions and try to organize Neighborhood Resilience Teams in their neighborhoods.

Winston Larkins – Needs information in how to set up community garden
Josefina Cardinas – Needs to form or partner with 501(c)(3)
Donya Meggs/Dusty Jacobs/John Jorgenson – Wants guidance on how to contact neighbors
Gary Vender – Volunteered after meeting
Steve French – Volunteered after meeting

Initial information/services to help initial Neighborhood Resilience Teams
Winston – Assistance in setting up community garden
Josefina – Set up NPO to allow to keep community garden.  (NEST Inc could be fiduciary agent)
Donya/John/Dusty – Ways to meet neighbors & organize teams
Information Portal – Community contacts
Develop FAQ
Sources of free compost – may be course in how to do NH composting (TOG has DVD on composting in Tucson)
How to set up harvest potluck
How to set up work exchange
How to set up determine group’s capacities
How to set up buying co-op
How to set up community garden
Create template for flyers to announce kickoff meeting
Develop skills assessment tool for new groups – may be able to get ideas from former PRO Neighbors staff (Judith Anderson, Joanie Sawyer)

Additional issues
We need to set up several ways to communicate with people – email, FB, phone
Potential information source – FoodIsFree.org
Ask for answers to questions about what we want to do to help NRT

Future tool kit elemets
Need video on Gardening 1 (not even 101) – DM will check CFB
Develop tools for networking contacts

Minutes of Food Resilience Project Working Group

Minutes of Food Resilience Project Working Group

Attending: Paul Tynan, Josefina Cardinas, Winston Larkins, Paula Schlusberg, Donya Meggs, Tres English, Camille Kershner

TE: Draft script/questions for resource survey of food-related groups. Provide list of food-related groups that might provide some assistance to FRP Neighbors Groups. Set up Listserv group.
PT, DM, WL: Review/revise draft script
WL, JC, DM: Write ¶ of what possible assistance their neighbors groups might need from potential resource group
All: Contact 4-5 resource groups, using the script, to develop Resource List for Food Resilience Portal

Next meeting: Two weeks. Organize thru Doodle

Starting suggestion:
Provide information for how to:
• Organize FRP Neighbors Group
• Determine current capacities of group
• Set up Garden Exchange
• Set up Work Exchange
• Set up Harvest Potlucks

Online Information Hub
• Calendar of events and classes
• List of local resources

Focus on defining the “Minimum Viable Product” which is the least we can do that will be of sufficient value to a sufficient number of people we serve.

Things that might belong in a starting product:
• Information on how to preserve and use local ingredients
• Buying co-op to get reduced prices on mulch, …
• Tool exchange
• Coordinate list of advisors/ mentors/consultants
• Provide “white papers” on things like legal issues (ex: health codes and potlucks)
• Promoting the use of local/seasonal ingredients
• Information “Clearing house” or “Portal”

• Calendar of events and classes
• Resource contacts on:
• Vetted individuals (Start with recommendations. Need ways to aggregating feedback)
• Organizations that provide _____________ (Q: What do you do? How can you help? Who do you serve? …)
• Reading list (Need to get people to share their knowledge)
• Networking between FRP Neighbors Groups and others
• Stories – videos, written. Success stores.

Next steps:
• begin to develop the Resources section of the Food Resilience Portal. Everyone will contact 3-5 existing groups (Tres/Paula have list of ≈15 local groups) and use a common script to guide questions. We can use the three neighbors groups represented in this working group to provide a focus for some of the questions.
• Develop an online calendar for the Resilience Portal that can be updated by partner groups

We will ask about help for specific groups:
• Barrio Kroger Lane
• Nobles Oblige Mobile Home Park
• Proto-neighbors group (Donya)