We grow more than vegetables, we grow people

Nov. 4, 2023
Boy with zucchini

David Gilmore

Tucson Village Farm garden

David Gilmore

Tucson Village Farm (TVF) is a seed-to-table program designed to reconnect young people to healthy food systems, teaching them how to grow and prepare fresh food, and empowering them to make healthy life choices.

A program of the Pima County Cooperative Extension and the University of Arizona, TVF is a working urban farm and healthy living center that fosters life and leadership skills in young people through agriculture, culinary education, outdoor adventure opportunities, and community engagement.

In 2018, Angel Charity for Children selected Tucson Village Farm to receive a $445,000 grant to help build TVF’s capacity for teaching area youth how to prepare healthy meals and snacks with the produce they grow.

“So many things are connected to having access to nutritious meals, like being able to focus and do well in school,” said Carla Keegan, Angel Charity’s 2018 general chair. “Children need to learn to prepare healthy meals and snacks for themselves, instead of just sticking something in the microwave. Building the Culinary Center would allow the Farm programming to truly carry out its seed-to-table mission.”

Youth learn cooking skills at the Tucson Village Farm's culinary Kitchen

David Gilmore

Angel Charity’s funds renovated the former Kartsten Turfgrass Research Facility. The turfgrass research program had recently moved to Maricopa County, and by renovating instead of building new, the final facility is much more expansive and flexible. The Angel Charity Culinary Education for Children Center spans nearly 3,600 square feet, featuring a state-of-the-art teaching classroom, workspaces for staff and volunteers, outdoor spaces for education programs, and room to grow. In addition to the Angels’ investment to construct the center, a family with Arizona ties fully funded the commercial kitchen equipment, in memory of Theodor and Margaret Troller.

By the numbers

  • Each year Tucson Village Farms reaching 15,000 people.
  • Delivering 65,000 hours of programming annually in the form of camps, classes, field trips and more
  • Nearly 500 young people take part in summer camp programming each year