“We Don’t Just Plant Fruits & Vegetables. We Cultivate Better Communities.” says Darren Chapman, CEO and Founder of TigerMountain Foundation. This non-profit is making a huge impact managing Community Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona. The initiative teaches practical life skills to youth, adults and seniors, keeping them out of jail and improving their lives and community.
Darren shares his personal story. “I remember as a kid growing up around Vermont & Jefferson in Los Angeles.” The urban development quickly came our way with concrete everywhere. In the middle of this my grandparents grew their own food. As the urban density increased nutritional foods were not available.” It was the initial seeding of Darren’s experiences that got him thinking, “What can I do to be part of a different narrative?”
Farmers Market Community Gardens was formed. The gardens provide hands on experience. It starts with how to grow vegetables chemical free even in the desert. As the garden grows, conversation turns towards nutrition education and its importance for the body and mind to feel well. During the garden process, people learn workforce development skills such as irrigation system design, installation and repair. Everyone benefits from working as a team with others of very different backgrounds.
Get Involved! Every 2nd and 4th Saturday meet at the Garden of Tomorrow from 8am til noon for hands on gardening. Check out details in the TMF Opportunities link below.
The multi-cultural, inter-generational vision of Tiger Mountain Foundation means they don’t give a handout, they give the community a hand up. 80% of Tiger Mountain participants stay in school or out of jail. Growing food together works.