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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Growing Food and Latino Culture in Tucson’s Barrio Centro

The Midtown Farm in Tucson, Arizona, is an offshoot of the Flowers & Bullets Collective in the Barrio Centro neighborhood. Tito Romero and Jacob Robles, friends since childhood now in their early 30s, launched the organization in 2012 to provide healthy food alternatives, to improve their neighborhood, and to share their Latino and Indigenous cultures. “The idea of growing food, being sustainable, has been a trend for some time in predominantly White, middle-class communities,” Robles says. “For communities in the barrio, communities of color, those trends don’t reach us as easily.”

The friends spent about five years planting gardens and installing rainwater harvesting systems in people’s backyards before they and other members of the collective began leasing a 4-acre portion of their closed former elementary school to grow crops and build a sense of community. Where the friends, as youngsters, used to kick around a soccer ball and dangle from monkey bars, they now harvest fruits and vegetables, raise goats and chickens, and put on gardening workshops for their neighbors.

Read the rest at YES! Magazine


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