Recent Articles

Water rationing for farmers? It's on the horizon
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Water rationing for farmers? It’s on the horizon

Regional water planners last month made a prediction that will likely be a game-changer for Arizona’s economy, revealing just how water scarcity will restructure the future of our food security. As early as 2017, drought in the Lower Colorado River’s watershed could lead to irrigation rationing for central Arizona agriculture.

Planners suggest that Arizona’s farms irrigated by Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs through Central Arizona Project…

A Young Agrarian Land Covenant
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A Young Agrarian Land Covenant

With future generations in mind, may my family and friends never leave the land we steward poorer, nor its water scarcer than conditions were before we acquired responsibility for their care.

May we keep land meant to be farmed from being de-veloped, and re-envelope it with people dedicated to keep its inherent productivity in tact into perpetuity.

Food Chain Restoration: Reconnecting Pollinators with Their Plants
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Food Chain Restoration: Reconnecting Pollinators with Their Plants

At dawn on this year’s spring equinox, a group of people gathered in Patagonia, Arizona, to declare the Sonoita Creek – Upper Santa Cruz River watershed the Pollinator Capital of the United States. An interpretive sign, erected in a pollinator garden on Patagonia’s village green, noted that hundreds of species of native bees, dozens of species of butterflies and moths, fourteen species of hummingbirds, and two species of nectar-feeding bats regularly frequent the native flowers in this semi-arid landscape.

But the Patagonia community has not merely been interested in how much pollinator diversity has been recorded throughout this watershed. Its citizens and its nonprofit and for-profit organizations have joined forces to catalyze the Borderland Habitat Restoration Initiative, which aims to ensure a safer place for pollinators, their nectar sources, and, in the case of butterflies and moths, their larval host plants.

Heritage Foods of the Borderlands
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Heritage Foods of the Borderlands

Please join us for a field course of Heritage Foods of the Borderlands!

Our journey begins in Tucson at the San Agustin Mission Garden, follows the Santa Cruz River south (upstream) toward the border visiting the San Xavier Coop Farm, Santa Cruz Chili and Spice Company, and Avalon Gardens, up to Patagonia and the Native Seed/SEARCH Conservation Farm and ends at the Overland Trout Restaurant in Sonoita.

Heritage Agri-tourism as a Strategy for Promoting the Recovery of Heirloom Vegetables, Grains, Fruits and Rare Breeds
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Heritage Agri-tourism as a Strategy for Promoting the Recovery of Heirloom Vegetables, Grains, Fruits and Rare Breeds

Heritage tourism offers a very real way to know the unique character and flavors of a place, and the mere act of tasting these foods is key to the revitalization of our local foodways culture.

Traditional foods hold more than the imprinting of the people who have made them over time; they are filled with the stories of generations, if not millennia of the bond between humans and the place itself.

The Origins of Heritage Foods Revivals 1980-1985
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The Origins of Heritage Foods Revivals 1980-1985

A third of a century ago, an unprecedented grassroots movement emerged from American soil.It is a movement that is still alive, one for which Heirloom Gardener magazine has become the freshest and mostly-widely read source of information and inspiration. It may well be worth your while to reflect on the origins of the social change movement to which you belong, for it is a wellspring of food diversity, and as such, an important counter-current to modern agriculture.

Can Southern Arizona be protein self-sufficient in the face of climate change?
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Can Southern Arizona be protein self-sufficient in the face of climate change?

On a hot June day in the Flowing Wells neighborhood of northeast Tucson, 45 ranchers, farmers, chefs, butchers and range ecologists met to talk about the future of meat production, processing and local distribution in Southern Arizona. Most of the participants knew that meat prices and demand were at an all-time high in Tucson and North America as a whole, but they also some of the reasons for why that was true: drought had knocked back rangeland cattle numbers; the use of corn for subsidized ethanol production had made it scarce in feedlots; and most of the cattle produced in state is shipped off to be finished someplace else before being butchered, packaged and shipped back into the state at a relatively high cost.

Farm-Scale Pollinator Habitat Restoration
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Farm-Scale Pollinator Habitat Restoration

Join Gary Nabhan and Paul Kaiser, award-winning farmer of Singing Frogs Farm as we install a pollinator-attracting hedgerow at Avalon Organic Gardens & Ecovillage in Tumacácori, Arizona. We’ll start with a short presentation on reintroducing diversity to agriculture (bring a pen & paper) then plant the native hedgerow incorporating the building of a rainwater harvesting berm & swale (also bring gloves, a hat and a water bottle.)

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