Collaborative Conservation

Gary Paul Nabhan, “pioneer of the local food movement”, to speak at Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park’s Green Team is pleased to announce that Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan, award-winning author, conservation biologist, farmer, and “pioneer of the local food movement” as he has been called by Time magazine, Utne Reader, and Mother Earth News, will be presenting special programs at the park on July 21 and 22, 2012.

His first presentation, National Parks, Food Security & Heritage Crops in a Time of Shifting Climates, will be held on Saturday, July 21, at 8:30 p.m. ...

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Why Desert Foods are the Most Fragrant & Flavorful in the World

An Interview with Gary Nabhan by Casey Kittrell

Casey: In your new book Desert Terroir , you make the claim that some of the foods from the Desert Southwest are among the most flavorful and fragrant in the world. Why is that?

Gary: Well, the very chemicals that we love to taste and smell in a well-prepared meal of herbs, vegetables, grass-fed beef and wine produced in our region are present because they play roles in the survival and adaptation ...

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Earthen Oven & Rain Garden Terrace Workshop

Design and Build Earthen Ovens & Rain Garden Terraces with local materials – Bill & Athena Steen

Join Bill & Athena Steen from The Canelo Project will lead a hands-on workshop on how to build wood-fire earthen ovens and beautifully sculpted agricultural terraces using local and natural materials and pigments. Written materials, lunches and snacks provided! Hosted by Gary Nabhan, Laurie Monti and Caleb Weaver.

Saturday & Sunday, June 9-10 from ...

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Healing the Lands of the Border

By: Gary Paul Nabhan

Around the time that Joe Quiroga turned 60, he began a new endeavor that has ultimately had more land conservation impact than most of us will ever achieve over in our lives.

Joe looked out over the uneven cover and ailing forage quality of the Sonoita Plains in Santa Cruz County near Elgin, AZ, and decided that he wanted to try to heal the landscape. He built stone check dams called trincheras wherever he saw watercourses down-cutting into ...

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The Return of the Natives: Designing and Planting Hedgerows for Pollinator Habitat to Bring Wild Diversity Back to Farms and Gardens

By: Gary Paul Nabhan and Amanda Webb
Patagonia, AZ

Native pollinators, it seems, were once forgotten as playing an essential role in providing ecological services for food security, but no longer.  We have witnessed a surge in grassroots interest in returning pollinators to their proper place in sustainable agriculture, as witnessed by the enthusiastic participation recently seen at a workshop regarding on-farm pollinator habitat restoration in the U.S./Mexico borderlands.

The workshop featured practical teachings from Sam Earnshaw of Community Alliance of Family ...

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Coalition Receives Grant to Promote Arid-Adapted Heritage Grains in Southern Arizona

A ground-breaking collaboration of farmers and organizations in southern Arizona has been awarded a two-year, $50,000 grant by the Western SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) program to revive the production, milling, distribution, and marketing of the oldest extant grain varieties adapted to the arid Southwest: White Sonora soft bread wheat and Chapalote flint corn.

Native Seeds/SEARCH, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Hayden Flour Mills, Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance, Cultivate Santa Cruz, Tubac Historical Society, Amado Farms Joint ...

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The Return of the Natives: Designing and Planting Hedgerows for Pollinator Habitat to Bring Wild Diversity Back to Farms and Gardens

By: Gary Paul Nabhan
Patagonia, AZ – Workshop Highlights

Native pollinators, it seems, were once forgotten as playing an essential role in providing ecological services for food security, but no longer.  We have witnessed a surge in grassroots interest in returning pollinators to their proper place in sustainable agriculture, as witnessed by the enthusiastic participation recently seen at a workshop regarding on-farm pollinator habitat restoration in the U.S./Mexico borderlands.

The workshop featured practical teachings from Sam Earnshaw of Community Alliance of Family ...

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A Brief History of Cross-Border Food Trade

By: Gary Paul Nabhan and Regina Rae Fitzsimmons

Many U.S. residents are amazed to learn that three-fifths of the fresh produce eaten in the U.S. comes from the West Coast of Mexico, and that much of the saltwater fish and shrimp they eat may come from Mexico’s reaches of the Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California. However, we should not belittle New Yorkers or Minnesotans for this lack of knowledge, since few of us who live much ...

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‘Seed schools’ can help nurture local heirloom plants

Written by: Jim Ewing

A novel approach toward helping young people ensure biodiversity in our world is studying seeds in the wild and planting them for food in the garden.

Called “seed schools,” they should be in schools everywhere.

According to Native Seeds SEARCH’s Seedhead News, Gary Paul Nabhan, sometimes called “the father of the local foods movement,” was recently named to an endowed chair at the University of Arizona’s Sustainable Food Systems Program.

Nabhan helps seed school students name their own plant ...

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Going with the Grain, Occupying Our Food Supply

As someone who grows nearly a dozen acres of heritage grains in the desert—including the oldest corn and oldest wheat varieties in North America– I recently learned a fact about cereal commodity trading that knocked me off my feet.

The most powerful transnational corporation you’ve never heard of—Glencore International PLC, the world’s largest diversified commodities trader—currently controls one tenth of the world’s wheat supply, and one quarter of the global harvest of barley, sunflower and rapeseed. You may have never heard ...

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Bookshelf – NYTimes

By STEPHEN HEYMAN
 

All roads lead to Rome, but chief among them was the Via Appia, a storied path from the capital to the heel of Italy traveled by everyone from Cicero to Monty Python. Robert A. Kaster traces their footsteps in ‘‘The Appian Way’’ (University of Chicago Press, $23).

In ‘‘Desert Terroir’’ (University of Texas Press, $25), Gary Paul Nabhan forages in the borderlands, where he connects dishes like capirotada, a Mexican ...

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The Food Movement Speaks With one Voice: Occupy our Food Supply

Willie Nelson, Anna Lappe, Vandana Shiva, Michael Pollan, Raj Patel, Marion Nestle and Many Others Join 60+ Occupy Groups and 30+ Environmental and Food Groups for Global Day of Action, Monsanto and Cargill rise to top of food movement

SAN FRANCISCO: On February 27, an unprecedented alliance of more than 60 Occupy groups and 30 environmental, food and corporate accountability organizations have joined together for Occupy our Food Supply, a global day of action resisting the corporate ...

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Desert Terroir, Exploring the Unique Flavors and Sundry Places of the Borderlands

Why does food taste better when you know where it comes from? Because history— ecological, cultural, even personal—flavors every bite we eat. Whether it’s the volatile chemical compounds that a plant absorbs from the soil or the stories and memories of places that are evoked by taste, layers of flavor await those willing to delve into the roots of real food. In this landmark book, Gary Paul Nabhan takes us on a personal trip into the southwestern borderlands to discover ...

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SRP, Phoenix neighborhood find palm-tree solution

Rare palms too near power lines

by Ryan Randazzo
The Arizona Republic

Salt River Project has mostly resolved the conflict in an east Phoenix neighborhood where rare black-sphinx date palms growing close to power lines threaten to cause fires or blackouts.

A year ago, SRP offered several residents in the Mountgrove subdivision in the Arcadia area $100 each to remove their trees, but many balked because they prize the heirloom date palms, which are not found in a grove anywhere else.

Now, SRP ...

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Drakes Estero oyster farm a natural fit

By: Gary P. Nabhan, Jeffrey A. Creque
Sunday, December 18, 2011

Is an oyster farm compatible with wilderness values?

The purpose of the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act – under which the National Park Service alleges authority to prepare an environmental impact statement on Drakes Bay Oyster Co. operations – was “to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony.”

The 80-year tradition of shellfish aquaculture in Drakes Estero is a quintessential example of exactly such a ...

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Gary’s Vision – The Big Picture…

Caring Capacity versus Carrying Capacity

Re-Designing Borderland Food Systems for the Health of the Land and the Health of Its Multicultural Communities

By: Gary Paul Nabhan, Kellogg Chair in Food and Water Security for the Southwest Borderlands, University of Arizona

THE CHALLENGE

More than seventy years ago, Aldo Leopold first compared wholeness and health in the human body with those attributes in farmscapes. In a prophetic essay entitled “The Farmer as a Conservationist,” Leopold (1939, 1999) offered this analogy:

“It seems to me that ...

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Pollinators as Social and Ecological Capital in the Pollinator Capitol of America

When most people think of the “birds and the bees,” they are inevitably thinking about relationships… romantic or otherwise. But what few conservationist advocates remember is that their neighbors, friends and kin who may be unschooled in the details of conservation biology almost intuitively “get” that the conservation of relationships may be as necessary as the conservation of species or of habitats. Most people will agree that the relationships between pollen-carrying animals and plants are worthy of our respect, protection ...

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Capturing Synergies to Build Healthy Communities in the Southwest Borderlands

By: Gary Paul Nabhan, Sabores Sin Fronteras Foodways Alliance &, Kellogg Chair in Southwest Borderlands Food and Water Security, University of Arizona

The term food hub  has become used more and more frequently as one of several means to build and strengthen regional food systems. The USDA’s working definition of a food hub  is a “centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and/or marketing of locally/regionally produced foods.”

As I hear more and more food ...

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What are the Heritage Foods of the Rio Santa Cruz and Why Do They Matter?

by Gary Paul Nabhan, Kellogg Endowed Chair in Southwest Borderlands Food and Water Security, University of Arizona

The cultivation and harvest of domesticated foods began in the Rio Santa Cruz watershed began more than 4100 years ago, making it one of the oldest continuously-farmed cultural landscapes in North America. Surprisingly, some of the same crop varieties that were prehistorically cultivated in the watershed continue to be raised nearby. In addition, Avalon Gardens and Tumacacori National Monument as well as Tubac Presidio ...

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Agrarian Poetry: Why We Need Its Messages and Beauty Now, More Than Ever Before

Quite literally, from Biblical times to the 1950s, agrarian poetry, story and song helped to shape the underlying values of any culture, society or community which had strong ties to the land.

Now, with less that 1.5% of Americans self-identifying as farmers or ranchers, not only has the value of their poetic expressions been marginalized, but their overall contributions to American culture have also been marginalized as “nostalgic, romantic or retro.” Nothing could be further from the truth; in fact, as ...

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