New project seeks to provide purpose and produce

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Pueblo Viejo Fields is in south Phoenix and adults with special needs learn life skills. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Pueblo Viejo Fields is in south Phoenix and adults with special needs learn life skills. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Pueblo Viejo Fields also helps address the food desert issue facing this part of south Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Pueblo Viejo Fields also helps address the food desert issue facing this part of south Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The crops grown on site will be sole on site too, along with produce from other smaller farms. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The crops grown on site will be sole on site too, along with produce from other smaller farms. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A vacant lot that was once home to an ancient Hohokam Village in south Phoenix is seeing new life as a sustainable farm and training space for adults with special needs.

It's called Pueblo Viejo Fields. On Wednesday, several of the people behind the project were on site finishing up the field ahead of Thursday's grand opening event.

"It's an on-going process," Paris Masek said. "If we do everything there's nothing left for our clients to do."

Masek is the Agricultural Programs Director at Quincea, a nonprofit social enterprise initiative. Their clients are adults with special needs.

"We are designed to help people with developmental disabilities and returning veterans acquire job place skills and basic life skills to be better self-empowered in their daily lives," said Masek.

They run a day treatment program for adults.

"We wanted to be unique and something different, rather than being just a babysitting clinic," Scott Verfurth, DDD Programs director for Quincea, said.

So they came up with this innovative agricultural concept, working with the City of Phoenix and others to transform the lot at 5025 S. Central Ave. into a demonstration farm, food hub, farm stand and training facility.

"It's creating different jobs within the agricultural industry that the clientele can use to acquire interpersonal and job place skills," said Masek.

Pueblo Viejo Fields will also help address the food desert issue facing this part of south Phoenix. 

"There's low access to fresh local food, transportation issues and sometimes socioeconomic barriers," Masek said. 

The crops grown on site will be sole on site too, along with produce from other smaller farms.

It's one concept meeting the needs of many.

"We want to help the disability community become self-sustaining," said Masek. "While at the same time helping the community improve nutrition and the idea of using fresh local food." 

The grand opening will take place Thursday, April 20 at 9 a.m. at the field which is located at 5025 S. Central Ave. in Phoenix. 

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