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A Young Agrarian Land Covenant

Food for Thought, For Becoming at Home in Our Place, For Thoughtfulness in Producing Food

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.

May we work as “greenhorns” to offer dignity, reciprocity ...

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Let’s nurture Tucson’s burgeoning food-production initiatives

There is something exciting going on with Tucson’s food economy. Not only are new locally owned restaurants, food trucks and community kitchens proliferating, but these are creating new jobs in the eight areas of metro Tucson that the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared “food deserts” in 2010.

One goal of the social entrepreneurs involved in food and farm start-ups in our community is to work toward reducing poverty and food insecurity in these food deserts.

It is time that the three colleges ...

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Eating local isn’t just trendy – it can help stop poverty

Arizona is filled with farmers, businesses eager to help

It’s been 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on poverty. Might it be time for our state to figure how to best target its resources for the alleviation of poverty and hunger within our own borders?

That’s the question being asked by a hundred Arizonans — and hopefully answered through novel strategies. — at the first-ever Arizona Food and Farm Finance Forum this weekat Biosphere Two near Oracle.

With ...

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Arizona Food and Farm Finance Forum 2014

Dear  friends ,

I’d like to personally invite you to join us January 13th to 15th 2014 for a gathering that just may change the way Arizona feeds itself and does business locally. The upcoming Arizona Food and Finance Forum will feature naturally-acclaimed speakers to help Arizonans foster new farms and food micro enterprises as means to jump start the recovery of our local economies.

We are hopeful that use this historic moment we can collectively serve as matchmakers between social entrepreneurs ...

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Pioneer of the Local Food Movement Gary Paul Nabhan Speaks Oct. 31 at Appalachian State University

Oct. 25, 2013. Gary Paul Nabhan, internationally celebrated conservation scientist, writer, food and farming activist and proponent of conserving the links between biodiversity and cultural diversity, will speak at Appalachian State University Oct. 31 at 4:30 p.m. in the McRae Peak Ballroom in Plemmons Student Union.

Nabhan’s lecture is sponsored by the Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development with support from the Appalachian Studies Program. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 828-262-7248.

Nabhan ...

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Conservation You Can Taste

OVER THE LAST three decades, more than one-hundred thousand plant and animal varieties and species have become endangered around the planet, many of which formerly provided humankind with food or beverages. At the same time, a remarkable counter trend has occurred in America’s gardens and orchards, and on its farms and ranch pastures.

Although virtually unnoticed in some circles, more than fifteen thousand unique vegetable, fruit, legume and grain varieties and dozens of livestock and poultry breeds have returned to U.S. ...

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Fly-Fishing for Overland Trout

By: Gary Paul Nabhan

In celebration of Chef Greg and Jennifer LaPrad’s Overland Trout restaurant, Sonoita, Arizona

Can the freshwater fish of desert streams and dry overland channels embody the flavor of the desert itself, or is that very notion a contradiction of terms? The answer, I suppose, depends upon how you define terroir, that multi-faceted French term which has become international shorthand for “the taste of place.” If your definition of terroir only describes the influence of soil chemistry ...

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Take Your Vows: To Farm is To Be Married

We are not alone in our struggle to achieve food security in the face of climate change. We are all in this together, growing food in partnership with diverse seeds, breeds, soil microbes, pollinators and other beneficial insects. But we need to acknowledge our interdependence with these other lives, because our fates are intertwined. In a sense, we are married to them, cohabitate with them and cannot physically or spiritually live separate from them. That is why I suggested that everyone at ...

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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 ...

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Q & A – Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land

Ben Watson: What does global climate change have to do with America’s failure to produce more food than its people consume for the third straight year?

Gary Nabhan: For starters, we had over 2,200 counties declared national drought disaster areas in 2012, four times more than in 2011. Farmers applied for $13 billion dollars of federal insurance due to crop failures and reduced yields, more than twice the running average per year. Increasingly unprecedented climatic disruption is affecting farmers, ranchers, foragers ...

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Praise for Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land

Praise for Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land

“Gary Paul Nabhan offers a necessary guide to the ways of plants, and to managing water wisely in an increasingly unpredictable climate. Past civilizations could have used a book like this. And if we ourselves don’t want to become a distant memory, we would do well to heed the hard-won lessons of desert farmers from around the world, and learn the practical earth skills needed to create a permaculture oasis ...

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Coming Home to Eat Revisited

By: Gary Nabhan

Our mouths, our hearts, our bellies and brains
have been ruminating for centuries
over the same few simple questions:

Just what exactly is it that we want to have cross our lips,
to roll off our tongues, down our throats,
to fill our nostrils with hardly described fragrances,
to slide to a brief halt within our bellies,
to mix with our own gastric juices
to be transformed into something new
by the myriad microbes cohabitating in our guts,
to ...

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Agrarian Ecology

One might wonder whether any 21st century preoccupation with agrarian values, agrarian ecology and agrarian ideals comes as too little, too late.  Less than two percent of the North American public lives in rural areas outside towns, cities and suburbs, and less than half of the world’s population now lives outside cities. But the New Agrarianism which is emerging globally is not restricted to the rural domain, nor is it necessarily a romantic desire to re-enact social behaviors and morays ...

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The Story of Mission Grapes – Arizonas First Varietal

Arizona Vines & Wines
By: Gary Paul Nabhan
Download PDF

California can claim many firsts with regard to viticulture and winemaking, but the antiquity of wine and grape production in the Southwest is not one of them. It appears that the first cultivation and fermentation of grapes occurred in present-day Arizona at least 75 years before they took root in “Alta California,” and that vine crops had arrived even earlier in what we now know as ...

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Fruit Comes from the Archbishop

For the Table and the Soul

By: Gary Paul Nabhan

Home cooks and chefs of the Southwest have never lacked for delicious fruit, given the fact that native prickly pears, wild plums, elderberries, wolfberries, blackberries, hackberries, and persimmons grow along streams and in canyons from Texas to California. But a turning point occurred in southwestern agricultural and culinary history roughly 400 years ago, after the first Spanish-introduced fruit took root on American soil in the watersheds of the Rio Grande and the ...

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Cross-Border Credo

What We Want for Our Binational, Multicultural Foodshed

By: Gary Paul Nabhan

Values: We believe that the many traditional cultures and innovative individuals of this region have developed a rich heritage of both tangible resources and intangible knowledge, practices and values that need recognition, respect and safeguarding if they are to contribute to a just, equitable, sustainable and resilient food system for our region. We support the many communities in their efforts toward achieving food security, food sovereignty, food democracy and health ...

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Honoring Achievements of Hispanic Food Producers, But No Engagement With Their Struggles

Gary Paul Nabhan | Huffington Post

Earlier this month, when Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar designated 27 new National Landmarks, five of them were meant to honor America’s historic legacy of Hispanic engagement in agriculture and natural resources. While the César E. Chávez National Monument at Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz in Keene, California, rightly honored one of the twentieth century’s greatest advocates for the rights of Hispanic food producers and harvesters in the United States, Hispanics may ...

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Agrarian Poetry: Why We Need Its Prophesies and Imagery Now, More Than Ever

Agrarian poetry? Agrarian prophesies? Agrarian urgencies? One might wonder whether any 21st century preoccupation with agrarian values and agrarian ideals comes as too little, too late, for less than one in six of all Canadian and U.S. citizens live in rural areas outside of towns, cities and suburbs.

But listen up. Look again. The New Agrarianism is emerging in Western Canada and the United States, and it is not strictly restricted to the rural domain. Nor does it a necessarily stem ...

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Heirloom Apples, Heritage Orchards & Cideries Bring Back Food Diversity and Jobs to Our Communities

By: Gary Paul Nabhan

While some media reports assume that efforts to protect biodiversity in our landscapes inevitably cost jobs in our communities, heritage orchards and cideries prove otherwise. Since the economic downturn, study after study show that new food and beverage microenterprises have become one of the most effective means of jumpstarting local economies hurt since the 2009 downturn. They not only create jobs for local residents rather that outsourcing the work to distant places, but they purchase ...

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