As part of the ‘Greening the Food Deserts of Tucson, Arizona’ applied research project, an online survey was administered via the ‘Tucson Backyard Gardening’ Facebook group page, which collected 80 individual responses. What we found is the gardeners included in the survey were overwhelmingly Caucasian females, and more than half of backyard gardeners surveyed live in a household with an annual income of $60,000 per year or less.
Through this project, we are exploring the connection between gardening, urban food production, and food security. We found that more than 75% of backyard gardeners surveyed reported sharing their produce with at least one other person every month, and nearly 50% reported providing produce for four or more people each month, indicating that backyard gardening activities can improve food access for household or family members not necessarily involved in the gardening activities themselves. Geographically, respondents were located throughout Tucson city limits, with some in Oro Valley. None of the respondents were located in South Tucson.
Map of backyard gardener locations in comparison to food desert and community garden locations. Created by Dr. Daoqin Tong, May 2017.
Environmental sustainability is also an important factor, especially in this research project context of Tucson, Arizona. Many of the gardeners cited taking water conservation and water requirements of plants into account as part of their gardening activities.
Additional information and details on the findings will be available in a full article, which will be linked here once published.