Tag Archives: Neighborhood Resilience Teams

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!




Resilience Champions Network – meeting notes

Meeting NOTES
Resilience Champions Network
Date: 10/5/2016
Location: Rincon Market
With: Josefina Cardinas, Javier Lopez, Jim Lootens, Donya Meggs, Jack Strassberg, Dusty Jacobs
Discuss w/ Champions: What are you hoping to do? And how can we help?
Organize ETSFestival signup

Two Food Resilience Champions groups attended: Josefina Cardinas, Donya Meggs/Dusty Jacobs.
* Josefina has a neighborhood group with almost all pieces for a community garden, but there are internal conflicts that need to be overcome, in order to move forward.  Rcmd: Resolve internal conflicts (become NH President from VPres) and approach Ward 1 office to ask for assistance to move forward.
* Donya has a neighborhood group that is starting.  They are organizing a work party on Monday and can provide their flyer as blank form for other groups.  Their primary need is a cheap/free source of compost.  Work party on Monday (Oct 10) at 4pm at 2208 E 17th St.
Action: Javier L will connect them with source of sheep manure.  Jim L is master composter and will conduct training at later date.
* FRP will have a table at the Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival on Oct 16 to recruite potential Neighborhood Resilience Teams and Resilience Champions.
Action: Most people plan to participate.  Tres has prepared Doodle <http://doodle.com/poll/c27htrz5gcpqzn59> for people to choose times.

Jim: Develop list of composting resources (TOG pamphlet, video on composting, etc.) and send to Tres
Tres: Create/add to FRP Information Portal information on how to compost in desert.
Javier: Will provide contact info on sheep manure

Raw notes:
Q: Is there interest in gardening in your NH?
JLoo: Not really.  Used to be.  Some discussion about restarting.  There may be a piece of property that could be used.

Q: Champions – What do you need?
JC: There is a garden on City property, but we need a NPO to sign lease with City.  Was working with CGT, but they have withdrawn.  Has talked with Regina Romero, but there are internal politics within NH.  Need to restart garden under NPO and it will get going.  There was conflict over gardening policy with CGT.  There are a lot of resources in place, but there is personal conflicts that are preventing someone from signing contract with City.
TE: Clear up NA issues and go to Regina’s office and ask what is next?  Send letter to NEST.

DM: 3 households, 4 people.  (DM, DJ, John Jorgenson)  On Monday, we are starting with a planting party.  Will purchase NS/S seeds and plant garden.  Are working on flyer.  Will be a distributed garden group.  Goal is to share work.  Distribute flyers and invite neighbors to see gardens.  A few kids and an elderly couple in area.  Can offer flyer.  Need compost.
Sources of compost: Tank’s Green Stuff will sell 1CY (you pick up) for $38.  Beryl Baker has small sheep herd and will gladly donate sheep manure.  TOG prepared a video on desert composting, and Jim is a Master Composter.  Javier has a 7 HP tiller that could be used.  Also a small tractor.
JLoo: ** There is a video and pamphlet on composting.  Could do class on composting, once DM are farther along
JLop: **  Will help ID manure sources.

DJ: Our neighborhood group is holding a work party at 2208 E 17th St, on Monday at 4pm