Family, Community & Place

A True Keeper of the Desert’s Treasures Passes On

Amalia Astorga one of the most charismatic and quixotic singers, storytellers, artists and visionaries of the Comcaac (Seri) passed away in Desemboque this week, stranded by the hurricane damage to Sonoran coast and left without medical help.

One of several daughters of Jose Astorga, the artist who began the Seri ironwood carving tradition, Amalia grew up in the desert at Pozo Coyote and Desemboque, but later lived for periods of time near Puertecitos, Baja California and on the midriff islands in ...

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Desert wisdom and agriculture

By Kay Watt

A miller’s daughter spun gold thread from hay. Stone soup fed an entire town. A farmer grew tons of juicy melons in one of the harshest desert climates in the Americas. In each story, something is created from nothing. Of the three, only the story of the Chihuahuan melon farmer is neither fairy tale nor parable. Centuries-old technology known as olla irrigation breathes life into acres of melon vines, enabling them to thrive in an otherwise inhospitable ...

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Rose to Damascus: A book about spices, their trade routes, and more

Santa Fe + New Mexican
By: Paul Weideman

Gary Paul Nabhan weaves a fascinating story in his new book, Cumin, Camels, and Caravans: A Spice Odyssey. He tracks the pathways along which traders carried spices — piquant and pungent, delicious and dreamy — from their places of origin to the rest of the world. His account is peppered with recipes as well as essays on cardamom, cloves, Damascus rose, saffron, vanilla, tuocha pu-erh, and 20 other ...

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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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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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Four Tangible Federally-Funded Programs You Can Support for Climate Change

Adaptation in Agriculture, Foodscape Restoration, Ago-forestry and Rangeland Use

In response to the widespread and overwhelmingly positive responses to the opinion-editorial by Gary Nabhan in the Monday July 22nd New York Times, “The Coming Food Crisis,” we have been asked what concerned citizens can do in addition to applying the heat and drought adaptation strategies mentioned in Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land. We feel that one of the most critically-important efforts you can make ...

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Lessons from the Desert

A new book explores sustainable agriculture in in dry climates

By Ari LeVaux

Recent years have brought spikes in the frequency of strange weather patterns and severe storms, with many blaming the increase on human-caused climate change. If this new normal, as it’s being called, is here to stay, it will have profound implications on food production.

There are two basic ways that this threat to food production is being addressed. One is to develop new ...

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Ten Things that Tucson can do to redesign our food system for health, environmental resilience, social justice and economic well-being

By: Gary Paul Nabhan

  1. Get more of the beef, fruits, nuts, and vegetables already grown in So. Arizona to be processed & delivered in or near Tucson.  Today, less than 2% of Tucson’s food budget comes from the 5 county area of Southern Arizona, and profits from foods grown nearby but processed elsewhere benefits corporations and economies other than our own. Mandate that beef grown on Pima County-owned ranches be used in our schools, prisons and nursing homes. Use credit unions ...
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Slow Money’s Pivotal Role in the Next Stage of the Local Food Movement

Remarks Delivered on November 9 at the Inaugural Meeting of Earthworm Angels in Sausalito, Calif.

The food re-localization movement is coming of age, for it was 21 years ago that visionary Robyn Van En began CSA North America, the first organization to promote community-supported agriculture across the continent. From her own collaboration with Susan Witt and others in Great Barrington, Mass., while establishing CSA Gardens in 1990, the CSA movement has grown to at least 4,570 documented American farms offering food ...

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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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The Art of Fermentation

The Art of Fermentation

Join the Wizard of fermentation, Sandor Ellix Katz, for
a Hands-on workshop in Patagonia, Arizona

• Learn the basics of food & beverage fermentation from best-selling author, Sandor Ellix Katz
• Learn how to make the delicious & nutritious fermented corn drink of the Tarahumara, tesquino
• Learn how heritage crops from the Native Seeds/SEARCH Farm & the Nabhan Orchard can be
fermented in your own kitchen

9am-12:30pm on Tuesday, October ...

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World Food Day: A Franciscan Prayer Service on Behalf of Farmers, Farmworkers & Fishers in a Year of Drought & Immigration Debate

By Gary Paul Nabhan

Call to Worship

Let us remember the words of Saint James:

“The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of Our Creator, Our Lord of Hosts” (5:4).

During this season of harvest, in the year in North American history when 71 percent of our rural communities saw their crop seeds and livestock breeds damaged by drought, let us call all cultures, faiths and nations together to celebrate that which the earth did yield, and to ask for repentance for ...

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Food Justice: An Interview With Gary Nabhan About Borderland Foods

Original Article: KNAU

One of the founders of the Center for Sustainable Environments at Northern Arizona University is out with a new study on borderland foods. Gary Nabhan – now with the Southwest Center at the University of Arizona – has just published a study about the geopolitical disparity along the U.S./Mexico border in terms of poverty and food supply. He told KNAU’s Gillian Ferris Kohl that more than a dozen researchers went into ...

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When Local is Binational: Borderland Food in Nogales

When the food relocalization movement revved up its engines a dozen years ago, I would often see maps that circumscribed “local foodsheds” by county, state,  or region of our sprawling nation, but they never crossed international boundaries. But when I recently moved to southern Arizona to plant an heirloom orchard just twelve miles north of the U.S./Mexico line, such maps suddenly made little sense to me.

As I searched for low chill fruit and nut varieties to plant in my orchard, ...

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Chris Bianco Writing Pizza Cookbook with Local-Food Movement Guru Gary Nabhan

Word’s been out for a while that Chris Bianco’s writing a book — but Chow Bella just got the scoop on his co-author: local-food movement guru Gary Nabhan.

When it comes to understanding flour, dough, yeast, tomatoes, olive oils and other artisanal ingredients, heat sources and the whole pizza shebang —Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco is the indisputable MAN. He’s the only pizza-maker to ever win a James Beard Award (Best Chef Southwest, 2003), and his cramped but cozy pizza ...

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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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