Mark Winne was uninvited to the Arizona Food Summit by the ADA. They must reinvite and apologize to him!

After inviting the great New Mexican food activist Mark Winne to speak at an Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA) Summit this week, Mark was “uninvited” because the Farm Bureau and Cattleman’s Association thought he was “too controversial.” WHAAT?

Mark has voluntarily served on the boards of Southwest Grassfed Alliance, Community Food Security Coalition and other ...

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Four Vows for Food Justice: An Earth Day Prayer

Although the many beings lost or wounded in our foodshed,
somehow seem nameless & numberless,
we vow to remember their names,
to hear their needs & to never forget their faces.

For the many children who are hungry daily,
while perfectly useable food is thrown away,
inundating landfills & making methane,
we vow to curb our consumption & end of our waste.

For the many immigrant farmworkers
who harvest the bounty with their sweat & blood.
but are seldom offered a place ...

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Did you know that mezcala and tequilas were bottled and savored in Tucson over a century ago?

Did you know that mezcala and tequilas were bottled and savored in Tucson over a century ago? Ironically, only a small percentage of the current residents of Tucson realize that these wild plants were artisanally processed for food and beverages up through recent decades.

Most have never heard of Old Pueblo pioneer Julius Goldbaum who, from 1886 to 1903, distilled, bottled and marketed local mezcals and imported tequilas on the corner of Congress and Meyer in what is now downtown Tucson.

Also known as Julius ...

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Gary Nabhan: Solar idea is a viable, job-creating option to border wall

Because I have lived within 20 miles of the U.S./Mexico boundary much of my life, the complexity of the debate regarding President Trump’s border wall proposal is not lost on me. I have worked in communities on both sides of the Arizona-Sonora border, the border in the world with the greatest disparity for dwellers on its two sides.

There are horrific differences in access to clean water, healthy food and jobs with livable wages that currently divide Mexican and U.S. citizens. ...

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Howard Scott Gentry memory recognized the week of April 28th to May 7th

Let us now praise famous mezcaleros! It was 75 years ago that my mentor, the great plant explorer Howard Scott Gentry, published his Rio Mayo Plants, and 35 years ago that he published Agaves of Continental North America.

As a kid, I worked one summer at the Desert Botanical Garden in Metro Phoenix helping Dr. Gentry check herbarium specimens for localities of the ...

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Put a little wildness back into your food and drink, and you will likely become healthier for it!

Put a little wildness back into your food and drink, and you will likely become healthier for it! Ethnobotanists and archaeologists have uncovered cultural and culinary uses of wild agaves, prickly pears and mesquite that reach back at least 8000 years in the U.S./Mexico borderlands.

Just think about that for a moment: a nitrogen-fixing legume tree, a cactus and a succulent agave have offered food and drink to the hungry and thirsty of our region for a duration at least 25 ...

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Sanctuary cities, campuses and homes maintain safe places for individuals and families in transition.

Yesterday in Nogales just a few miles from where I was meeting on food issues with other county citizens, Attorney General Sessions did his “drive by” of the border region, disparaging Sanctuary Cities and pledging a crackdown on undocumented (Mexican-American) citizens. If he ate at any place in Nogales, and if he ate this last week in any restaurant in the entire ...

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Did you know that extensive prehistoric landscapes of mescal fields underlie much of the Tucson Basin?

Did you know that extensive prehistoric landscapes of mescal fields underlie much of the Tucson Basin? Archaeologists Suzanne and Paul Fish have also documented that at least one (or perhaps two) species of agave were prehistorically cultivated by the Hohokam in the Tucson Basin.

There, agaves covered tens of thousands of acres of desert landscapes, as they did from central Sonora to the south and the Grand Canyon to the north. Many of these agricultural landscapes still exhibit prehistorically constructed terraces, rock alignments, rock piles and roasting ...

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Through habitat recovery and population reintroductions, many have joined to bring back animals!

Awakening to the goobling cries of the once rare Gould’s turkey in the twilight, I realized how grateful I am that so many wildlife biologists and land owners have joined together to bring back (through habitat recovery and population reintroductions) so many of the animals that I know have weekly if not daily contact with: turkeys, pronghorn antelope, Gila top-minnow, desert pupfish, ...

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Let’s collectively plan a vision for the border that bridges us rather than one that further divides us.

Let’s collectively plan a vision for the border that bridges us rather than one that further divides us. To that end, I’m bringing in Homero Aridjis, James Ramey and Vasilis Fthenakis to the University of Arizona campus May 20th at noon for a forum on green, culture-and-wildlife friendly alternatives to Trump’s proposed wall.

For my part, I see the possibility of resolving the ...

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How can Tucson and surrounding Sonoran Desert communities revitalize a legacy of using plants such as mezcal both for food and for drink?

“Welcome to the Agave family!” was the way that late Arizona botanist Howard Scott Gentry used to greet aficionados of these wondrously-shaped and deliciously-tasting desert-adapted plants. Of course, many Americans are aware of the fact that is the popular name of a distilled alcoholic beverage, but how many newcomers to Southern Arizona know that it is also the common name for several kinds of native plants that are as good to eat as they are to drink?

Also known as the ...

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It is remarkable that governments are now debating their ethical role in wasting carbon, that we once took for granted.

It is remarkable that entire governments are now debating their ethical role in sequestering or wasting carbon, a resource so common and expendable when many of us were growing up that we took it for granted.

We know now that we need to cultivate allies in sequestering carbon, and among those most prone to do the job are mycorrhizae and the three quarters ...

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Michael Phillips wins this year’s There’s Fungus Among Us Award in his new book Mycorrhizal Planet

OK, ok, Michael Phillips wins this year’s There’s Fungus Among Us Award for this well-crafted sentence in his new book Mycorrhizal Planet:

“Beneath the imprint of one’s foot, extending down into the soil but mostly meandering nearer the surface, are 300 miles of fungal hyphae. Inconceivable. I could walk from our farm in the White Mountains of Connecticut to Montreal & back along ...

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This week a year ago, my friend Jim Harrison left life here in Patagonia to ingest in the Fourth World.

This week a year ago, my hilarious friend, ultra-curious mentor & Coyote-like trickster Jim Harrison left life here in Patagonia AZ to see red wine, chicken thighs & snakes to ingest in the Fourth World.

I miss his wife Linda as much as I miss him… he only gave her “five months alone of rest” before he joined her again. Fortunately, his post-humorous ...

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We need to make America grateful again, and safe for all neighbors, to the needs of all the generations yet to come.

“in the desert, every thing
sticks, stinks or stings.”
we used to say, but nothing
sticks, stinks & stings as much
as the political divisiveness,
ideological chasm & ethical perils
that this country
has hunkered down into.

i would take the deceptive bareness
& downright humbling austerity
of a real desert any day over
the impoverishment of good will
among otherwise caring human beings
that we have been hearing
day after day since november’s election.

we need to make america grateful again
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We need more bridges & equitable, fruitful collaborations, not more walls above us & pipelines below our feet.

It is becoming the rallying cry of an entire generation: “We need more bridges & equitable, fruitful collaborations, not more walls above us & pipelines below our feet.”

That’s why I am so supportive of the solar wall proposal for the border advanced by poet Homero Aridjis, scholar James Stamey and scientist Vasilis Fthenakis: Homero and James’ initial Solar Wall Proposal; but ...

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We need to design our own behaviors and constructed places, as if nature’s many graces matter.

While visiting Biosphere 2 today to see the agrivoltaics pilot project that Greg Barron-Gafford & others have implemented on our seed grant, I felt the presence of Rafe Sagarin, the brilliant tide pool ecologist and national security science advisor who was killed while bicycling at B2 a couple years ago.

If Rafe were living through this particular moment in history, he would likely be ...

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