ALI CHUGK 

FARM SITE

 

FOOD SOVEREIGNTY

GuVo Village is located in the Sonoran Desert of southwest Arizona, on the Tohono O'odham Reservation along the Mexico border. The Reservation, which is roughly the size of Connecticut, and Village are very isolated and painfully food deprived, with the nearest grocery store an hour drive away.  The majority of the residents live well below the poverty level, and few have access to transportation. This makes already inaccessible food even more unattainable for GuVo community members.

RUTH'S GARDEN

Along with sustaining regular meals, we are developing traditional food education in our

children’s garden, Ruth’s Oidag. An experiential learning site for all ages, Ruth’s Oidag is dedicated to an honored elder who recently passed. Among many vegetable and fruit crops and orchard trees, we plant the three foundational Tohono O’odham foods of bawi (tepary beans), hun (corn) and ha:l (squash). These plants are part of the O’odham food identity, combat diabetes and provide fresh food in the Sonoran climate. With GuVo’s remote location, there is a high dependency on low cost, non-perishable food. Part of this agricultural education is creating new choices and reducing

dependency on processed foods.

 
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ALI CHUGK FARM SITE

In partnership with NAAF, community members are in the process of reclaiming O'odham ancestral farmland in the village of Ali Chugk. In the Spring of 2022, approximately 7 acres of land have been cleared and fenced with posts made of mesquite harvested from the field. The canals and charcos for irrigation are revitalized and running with monsoon rains. This farm site will soon be growing traditional crops of bawi (tepary beans), huñ (corn), and ha'al (squash), as well as many other food crops and native grasses and plants used for O'odham crafts. Fresh produce will be shared with the community, and the farm will be a cultural learning space for preserving and teaching agricultural knowledge, sacred practices and songs.

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