Urban Farming Improves Food Sovereignty

When vacant lots become farm plots in the city, the local community benefits from seizing more control over their nutritional options.

Humans have a right to define their own food and agriculture systems. This food sovereignty is the right of humans to have culturally appropriate food that is healthy and produced through ecologically-sound, sustainable methods. The DYGUP & Sustain program we sponsor at Chihuahuan Desert Charities is a crash-course in sustainable farming methodology. With a strong focus on soil health and techniques for cultivation in a desert environment.


Food sovereignty is an affirmation of who we are as indigenous peoples and a way, one of the most sure-footed ways, to restore our relationship with the world around us. -- Winona LaDuke

Our current food system is killing us.  We have high rates of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.  We are becoming more sedentary as a society. Organic sustainable farming is offering a solution.   It did start out of necessity but organic farming could supersede conventional agriculture. There is a lack of federal subsidy in the U.S. for organic practices. It is time to acknowledge that organic/sustainable farming practices benefit the environment and the people who live in it.   

The idea of urban farms in public spaces was abandoned by mainstream western society in the 17th century in favor of ornamental gardening.  However, many people in communities are beginning to grow food close to where they live and taking control of their food systems back.

Urban Farms are more than just organic healthy food sources, they also make use of abandoned and vacant pieces of land by transforming it into amazing growing spaces, bringing new life to many communities, especially underprivileged ones.  There is a multitude of benefits like reconnecting people, rebuilding communities, encouraging self-reliance, teaching valuable skills and even providing community-based employment through the sale of surplus community grown food.  Even donators of the land at our own local Legacy Farm in Las Cruces, First Christian Church, has had nothing but an outpouring of positive responses from their congregation. One member shared, “I’m no longer embarrassed by the church out back.  Instead, I’m thrilled by its use and productivity as well as service and education within our larger community.”

Our bodies are our temples and we only get one.  It needs more than high fructose corn syrup. Join Chihuahuan Desert Charities and support urban farming in our communities.

Roots of Change: Food Sovereignty, Women, and Eco-Justice

It is the fight for a new economy, a new energy system, a new democracy, a new relationship to the planet and to each other, for land, water, and food sovereignty, for Indigenous rights, for human rights and dignity for all people. When climate justice wins we win the world that we want. We can't sit this one out, not because we have too much to lose but because we have too much to gain.  We are bound together in this battle, not just for a reduction in the parts per million of CO2, but to transform our economies and rebuild a world that we want today.”

— Naomi Klein

The DYGUP & SUSTAIN Program is a non-profit dedicated to regenerative organic agricultural practices to teach the benefits of land stewardship in the Paso del Norte Region. DYGUP, an acronym for Developing Youth from the Ground Up, is available to youth ages 14-17. The SUSTAIN program targets adults over 18 and combines "Roots Of Success" Environmental Literacy Curriculum with intensive farmer training. The DYGUP/ Sustain Program has many partnerships in the community including Taylor Hood Farms, Backyard  Farms LC, First Christian Church, and Las Cruces High-School. Chihuahuan Desert Charities is proud to be the fiscal sponsor for DYGUP & Sustain and support their important work in the Las Cruces community.

Support the DYGUP & Sustain Program at Legacy Farm in Las Cruces by visiting ChihuahuanDesertCharities.org