Desert Farming Initiative

Raised toward our $15,000 Goal
37 Donors
days left
Project ends on December 31, at 11:59 PM PST
Project Owners

Desert Farming Initiative – Farm-to-Food Pantry

Did you know that nearly 25% of University of Nevada, Reno students are food insecure and lack consistent access to enough good-quality food for an active, healthy life? To help solve this crisis, the University’s Desert Farming Initiative (DFI) is working to grow and distribute more fresh regional produce to those who need it most. The need is even more urgent now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and your support is essential to help DFI double the amount of fresh produce it can grow to feed our most vulnerable and financially insecure students and community members. 

DFI is a demonstration and research farm on the eastern edge of UNR’s main campus. Powered by student employees, volunteers and three faculty, the farm produces over 20 tons of certified organic fruit and vegetables each year, as well as educating the region’s next generation of growers and providing support to farms across the region. DFI delivers high quality produce to food-insecure students and the community via a Farm-to-Food Pantry partnership with the University's Pack Provisions and other local food pantries. The farm relies on proceeds from fruit and vegetable sales, donations and grant funding to run this program. 

These deliveries occur weekly in summer and fall, and with your help, DFI can expand to increase food production in the colder months of winter and early spring. By retrofitting hoop houses, greenhouse-like structures that help control the climate around crops, DFI can increase yields, improve quality, and extend the production season. The retrofitting could increase food production by 100% for the 2021-2022 winter deliveries. 

We are relying on gifts from our community to help us raise the $15,000 needed in order to double winter produce production for Pack Provisions. Please make a gift today and help DFI provide students in need with nutritious food to eat.

Our goal of $15,000 would provide the following:

  • Replace plastic on 4 hoop houses. $800 per hoop house x 4: $3200
  • Retrofit one hoop house for winter production: 
    • One ventilation package, circulation fans, extraction fans, double layer poly inflation kit, a second layer of plastic: $1250
    • Environmental controller: $1300
    • Two greenhouse curtain motors: $600
    • Greenhouse heater: $1500
  • Direct more DFI wholesale certified organic produce to Pack Provisions: $7150 (approximately 2400 lbs fresh produce)
    1. This covers all the supplies, equipment, water, seed, soil amendments, tools, packaging and the wholesale cost of the 2,400 lbs of produce that is provided to Pack Provisions.


If you have questions or would like more information about supporting DFI or other CABNR initiatives, contact Christina Sarman at or 775-684-6009.

Our Crowdfunding Groups