Garden Kitchen Cooking

Photo by Jacob Chinn.
Photo by Jacob Chinn.

Cinnamon is in the spice grinder, fresh garlic and purple onions sauté over a flame, and a spicy pot of chai tea simmers on the stove. Welcome to Saturday morning cooking class at the Garden Kitchen.

Neighbors come together in the heart of South Tucson to tend the garden and learn to create healthful, inexpensive, and simply fabulous meals.

The Garden Kitchen is a seed-to-table health education program that demonstrates how to grow, buy, store, and cook nutritious food. The kitchen, which opened in the fall of 2012, was created as a partnership among the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, UA Pima County Cooperative Extension, the City of South Tucson, and Pima County.

Feliciano Leon and his wife, Barbara, sip steaming cups of chai as they learn to combine ingredients from the garden into a savory egg-and-veggie dish called Spanish Tortilla.

“It’s wonderful here,” says Feliciano Leon, a geological engineer. “It has changed the way we prepare food.”

He and his wife of 44 years have learned to incorporate quinoa and bulgur wheat into their diets, and Barbara Leon is starting a garden at their Barrio Anita home.

“Eating like this makes me feel good,” Feliciano Leon says. “And I think I’ve lost a little weight.”

The Garden Kitchen, funded in large part by a federal grant to battle obesity, is open to all and draws heavily from South Tucson neighborhoods.

Read the rest of this Spring 2013 UA Alumni Association Arizona magazine article at the link below.

Date released: 
Apr 5 2013
Contact: 
Cheralyn Schmidt