Keep Calm and Farm On

[8/6 Update: The Planning Commission has now completed 5 study sessions on this issue and has scheduled a public hearing on August 19th September 16th at 6:00pm (the meeting was pushed back) after which they will vote on whether to approve the amendment and send it on to mayor and council. If you want to support more urban agriculture in Tucson, please sign our petition and see the bottom section of this page for more ways to help.]

Keep calm and farm on. Support Tucson's proposed urban ag zoning changes.


You may have heard that the City of Tucson is considering changes to the zoning code that would make it easier to practice urban agriculture. That means things like allowing people to raise more (and different kinds of) animals, making it easier to have a market or a community garden, and even just clarifying that you CAN grow food in your yard…  Exciting, right?

Unfortunately, not everyone thinks so.  In a recent public meeting, one such resident spelled our her nightmare scenario, in which “Sustainable Sam” moves in next door and begins growing vegetables in his front yard, raising miniature goats in the back, and keeping rabbits indoors.  Unfortunately, this resident (and 1-2 more) have become a vocal (and persuasive!) minority strongly influencing the debate.

We’d like to suggest that Sustainable Sam would actually be a very good neighbor, and might even share his food!  We created a calm hen graphic (above), but as cute as she is, she may not change the hearts and minds of the current opponents.

But you can help!  How?  By doing these things:

  1. Take a minute to SIGN our online petition and we’ll deliver it to both the Planning Commission and City Council.
  2. Encourage our Planning Commissioners to approve the urban ag amendments.  You can download our letter of support and send it in to this physical address or email address.
  3. Attend the Public Hearing on Aug. 19th September 16th at 6:00pm in the mayor and council chambers and support with your presence, by wearing a “Keep Calm Chicken Button” (we’ll provide them!!!), or by making a statement.  (To best support the amendments, in 3 minutes or less use any of the talking points from the above letter of support, or tell a personal story about how urban agriculture has positively affected you, a neighbor, or your neighborhood.)
  4. Join the Tucson CLUCKS Facebook page to link up with other like-minded people, browse their resource links, and geek out on urban agriculture.
  5. Share this post with as many people as you can (Facebook, twitter, email)

12 Comments on “Keep Calm and Farm On

  1. Nothing beats fresh eggs, & I love the sound of chickens.

  2. I see no reason for people not to be permitted to raise chickens for their own use. Being an old farm girl, I do draw the line on roosters. There’s nothing like a really fresh egg.

  3. There was a link I clicked on to your Change petition on a Facebook page of which I am a subscriber, There was a button to share, but no way to sign. See the comments here: . If signing the petition requires changing browsers, I do not know how to do that. I would suggest this might be the reason your petition has collected so few signatures. If this glitch can be overcome, I will be more than happy to sign and promote it!

    “Sustainable Sue”
    Backyard gardener
    Working on putting up front yard garden trellis
    22 Chickens, ducks, and geese
    One duck is setting on over a dozen eggs, so we could soon be over limit
    6 rabbits who used to come in through the doggie door (so I had to remove it)
    4 miniature (3 bred Netherland dwarf does and one buck) goats, 2 legally at Grammy’s Farm (see website)
    and (shhhh) 2 near kidding time in our backyard

    Haha, sound like your poster child?

    • I meant Nigerian dwarf goats. The Netherlands were rabbits my daughter raised in 4-H. Anyway, to update, we now have added two bucklings to the backyard critters. Now that they are more independent we will be moving them to our C-2 zoned property where they are legal.

  4. Ok, I sent the link to my husband, who also uses Chrome, and he could and did sign the petition. He then logged out and back in again, and there was no option to sign the petition, since he had already signed it. This petition was started two months ago, so it is most likely that Lorien Tersey and I had already signed it. My husband then changed browsers and once again he was given the option to sign, but doing so would have added his name to the petition a second time. Mystery solved.

  5. Pingback: It's Time to Update Tucson's Zoning Codes: Urban Agriculture is Here to Stay — Edible Baja Arizona Magazine

  6. I grew up on a small organic hobby farm outside of Tucson and we used to sell our fruit and veggies, duck eggs, honey and goat milk to local people and shops. Local agriculture brings in money to the local economy, keeps it here longer, and avoids costly public health and food safety issues.

  7. Pingback: Come Meet the Pima County Food Alliance at Food Day! | UA Food Day Fair

  8. Pingback: Tucson's Proposed Urban Agriculture Zoning Codes Need Your Help — Edible Baja Arizona Magazine

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