The Story of Mission Grapes – Arizonas First Varietal

Arizona Vines & Wines
By: Gary Paul Nabhan
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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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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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A Meal Without a Mexican? Your Food Has Already Migrated!

CIVIL EATS – August 30th, 2012 – By: Gary Nabhan

Not even a decade has passed since Sergio Arau filmed A Day Without a Mexican, but 2012 may go down in history as the Year of No Meals Without a Mexican because of labor shortages in American fields and orchards. Since mid-year, there have been a growing number of state and nation-wide reports indicating that hand-picked vegetables and fruits produced in the United States will be unusually scarce this year.

This ...

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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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Gary Paul Nabhan: Mother Nature’s Foodie

by Keith Goetzman

Gary Paul Nabhan was chosen as an Utne Reader visionary in 2011. Each year Utne Reader puts forward its selection of world visionaries—people who don’t just concoct great ideas but also act on them.

Local and sustainable are on the tips of many tongues as more and more people try to eat food that’s good for them and the planet. If you’re a part of this important conversation, you can thank Gary Paul Nabhan ...

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Sabores Sin Fronteras Launches “Taco Diplomacy” Food Wagon

An artisan-crafted Taco Diplomacy Food Wagon was recently launched as a provocative food art exhibit to remind its viewers of the many flavors without borders that enrich the lives of our region. It was inaugurated the weekend of October 13 to 15, 2011, where over 100,000 Arizonans and Sonorans gathered at Tucson Meet Yourself to celebrate cultural diversity and its links to food and music traditions.

The 5000 pound mobile art exhibit was designed by Cade and Jesus of Dust Designs ...

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Grant Funds Endowed Chair in UA Southwest Center

By UA Foundation, August 10, 2011

Gary Nabhan, a research social scientist in the Southwest Center, has been named the Sustainable Food Systems Endowed Chair following a nearly $1.6 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

A generous investment from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich. is helping the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences create an endowed faculty chair to lead its new Sustainable Food Systems Program in Southwest ...

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Mom-and-pop vs. big-box stores in the food desert

by Gary Nabhan, Kelly Watters

A few weeks ago, when the Obama administration released its Food Desert Locator, many of us realized that a once-good idea has spoiled like a bag of old bread. If you go online and find that your family lives in a food desert, don’t worry: You have plenty of company. One of every 10 census tracts in the lower 48 has been awarded that status.

Two years ago, when one of us (Gary) moved to ...

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Climate Change, One Pepper at a Time

By Aaron Kagan

Ethnobotonist Gary Paul Nabhan is following food resilience in the desert Southwest.

Gary Paul Nabhan wears many hats, but when we recently spoke in his hometown of Patagonia, Arizona, he had on a khaki ball cap emblazoned with a caricature of a horned toad.

An ethnobotanist by trade, Nabhan is an enthusiastic desert dweller and a research scientist at the Southwest Center at the University of Arizona, where he helps run the program Sabores Sin Fronteras, aka Flavors Without ...

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High, dry, and up against a wall: Why water and food justice are key to ending border conflicts

Grist.org / Gary Nabhan

For someone who lives within 12 miles of the infamous wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, it was an odd feeling to travel along the wall between Palestine and Israel last week just as Osama bin Laden’s death was announced to the world. Odd, because the parallels between the two desert regions are so remarkable. Palestinian farmers I spoke with were not interested in talking about the wall itself, nor the killing of bin Laden, nor the ...

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Farming in the Time of Climate Catastrophe

The Atlantic

Facing wild weather and dwindling water resources, a pepper grower says it’s time to rethink agriculture

It is spring, and I am kneeling with a few friends in front of the composted soil of the hillside terraces in my orchard-garden in the desert borderlands of Arizona. It is planting day, and as we place each variety of pepper plant into the moistened earth, we say its name aloud, as if reciting a prayer in the face of uncertainty: Chiltepin, ...

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State of Southwestern Foodsheds

A Special Publication of Sabores Sin Fronteras of the Southwest Center with Edible Communities
Edited by: Gary Paul Nabhan and Regina Fitzsimmons

While this publication began as an imaginative exercise to chart the successes and joys of sustainable food, farming and ranching initiatives in the Southwest that began over the last decade, it now appears that such innovations may no longer be a luxury, but a necessity.

As this special “Edible” edition on the State of Southwestern Foodsheds goes to ...

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Chasing Chiles – Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail

Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agriculture through the lens of the chile pepper—from the farmers who cultivate this iconic crop to the cuisines and cultural traditions in which peppers play a huge role.

Why chile peppers? Both a spice and a vegetable, chile peppers have captivated imaginations and taste buds for thousands of years. Native to Mesoamerica and the New World, chiles are currently grown on every continent, since ...

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Gary Nabhan, the Gulf and the Power of Positive Eating

By: Crashing Vor
Published: July 16, 2010

Gary Paul Nabhan is a man of many hats. Geographer, ethnobiologist, conservationist, storyteller. That he won the MacArthur “genius” award should come as no surprise, as he has consistently uses his varied interests to find the profound truths hiding in the intersections between seemingly unrelated fields.

His 2002 book Coming Home to Eat , about a year spent eating only what could be found within a 250-mile range of his Arizona home, ...

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“Eat What You Want to Conserve” Says Arab-American Writer Gary Nabhan

Posts By: Green Prophet Guest
Published: June 4, 2010

Since the beginning of the green movement, there has been a rise in the number of organizations and businesses that are doing their part in the promotion of sustainability through conservation. This past Earth Day brought about the Earth Day Network, which has been playing its part to bring conservationist and green enthusiasts together, sharing ideas and discussing new ways to support the planet.

Other large organizations NGOS like Continue Reading →


Saving the planet means more pleasure, says ecologist Gary Nabhan

By: IPS, part of the Guardian Environment Network
Published: May 25, 2010

Saving the planet from environmental catastrophe is undoubtedly very important, but one of the reasons many people are not doing their bit could be that being green does not seem much fun.

Activists frequently tell us, with good reason, that things such as driving cars, eating red meat and jetting off overseas on holiday should be cut down or eliminated because of ...

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Saving the Planet Can Be Fun

By: IPSnews.net – Paul Virgo
Published: May 23, 2010

ROME – Saving the planet from environmental catastrophe is undoubtedly very important, but one of the reasons many people are not doing their bit could be that being green does not seem much fun.

Activists frequently tell us, with good reason, that things such as driving cars, eating red meat and jetting off overseas on holiday should be cut down or eliminated because of their hefty carbon footprints.

But influential United States-based ...

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Desert oases as genetic refugia of heritage crops: Persistence of forgotten fruits in the mission orchards of Baja California, Mexico

By: Gary Paul Nabhan, Jesus Garcia, Rafael Routson, Kanin Routson and Micheline Cariño-Olvera
Published: April, 2010

The first introductions of agricultural crops to desert oases of Baja California, Mexico were initiated by Jesuit missionaries between 1697 and 1768 and historic records from these Jesuits provided a detailed benchmark by which temporal changes in agro-biodiversity can be measured.

Longitudinal studies at the agricultural oases on the Baja California peninsula of Mexico can help determine whether such isolated “islands” of cultivation function as ...

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Forgotten Fruits Manual & Manifesto – Apples

By: Gary Paul Nabhan, Ben Watson
Published: March, 2010

As part of RAFT’s 2010 “Forgotten Fruits” initiative, this brochure details the history, decline, nursery practices and local restoration efforts designed to bring back the most endangered heirloom apples to orchards, backyards, farmer’s markets, restaurants, and home kitchens across the country.

Download Forgotten Fruits Manual & Manifesto – Apples (PDF – 32 pages, 2.5MB – Published March 2010)

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10 tips for living gracefully in the desert

By: Gary Nabhan Special To The Arizona Daily Star
Published: January 3, 2010

• Each time it rains, follow the flow of water through where you live, and see how it can be encouraged to nurture the most life.

• Find what is edible within a quarter-mile of where you live, track its seasons of edibility, and incorporate it into your diet.

• Make an interspecific peace pact with the wildlife that lives closest to you to “do no harm.”

• Reduce ...

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