The 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 grocery store a 2-hour drive away. The majority of the residents live well below the poverty level, with many making a mere $358 per month. In addition to limited income and lack of food sources, few have access to transportation. This makes already inaccessible food even more unattainable for GuVo community members.
Native American Advancement Foundation (NAAF) is currently helping to sponsor a Community Garden located at the GuVo Community compound on in the Southern part of Arizona on the Tohono O'odham Reservation. The garden currently holds six 8x3 foot planting boxes. Winter crops include lettuce, radishes, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, and orange jewel-toned beets. Beans and up to five fruit trees will be added during the spring growing season. All generations are participating in this garden project spearheaded by Community Elders and dedicated to food sustainability and cultural traditions. Ongoing costs will include seeds, tools, soil amendments, labor, and water.
In the arid conditions of the Sonoran desert, water is scarce and expensive. NAAF is committed to finding a long-term, renewable water supply for the garden, which will help feed approximately 60 Tohono O’odham families living below the poverty level. A rainwater harvesting tank and irrigation system would provide a local, consistent source of water, a low-labor watering system, and long-term storage for this most essential resource to keep the crops growing at a manageable cost.