Restoration Economy

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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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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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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Historic Food Market Gets Torched in Syria’s Civil War

—By

Thirty thousand people have died in Syria’s civil war—and the killing is only intensifying. Obviously, human beings are any war’s most appalling casualties, but there are cultural conflagrations that matter, too—vital spaces laid waste, lost forever. Few alive today have experienced the reputed grandeur of old Warsaw, leveled by Nazi bombs in World War II. How would the celebrated Aztec city of Tenochtitlán have weathered the centuries? We’ll never know, because the Spanish flattened ...

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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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Financing Food and Creating Jobs from the Bottom Up

In the days between the 2012 Republican and Democratic Conventions, a group of eighty farmers, ranchers, grocers, produce distributors and food activists met in Carbondale, Colorado. They hunkered down in a big tent on a farm nestled below the drought-stricken peaks of the Rocky Mountains as dry winds gusted around them. Like many who spoke at the conventions, their goal was to discuss how to create jobs and help rural economies ravaged by the economic downturn get some rebound.

But unlike ...

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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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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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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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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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Street Food in the Desert’s Cities: Has Tucson Become the Hub for Lunch Wagons, Taco Trucks and Sonoran Hot Dog Carts?

By: Gary Nabhan, Regina Fitzsimmons, Amanda Webb and Maribel Alvarez

Did you know that Tucson and its Pima County suburbs have 12 times the number of mobile food services per capita than New York City?  The county reports some 941 mobile food businesses registered for business, including 235 full service food carts, 45 “dogero” push carts,  and 85 other mobile vendors in Tucson alone. Pima County appears to have tied with Los Angeles County in California for having the highest ratio ...

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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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High and dry: Southwest drought means rising food prices

Very few urban dwellers have paid attention to the catastrophic drought in the Southwest that began nearly a year ago. But last month, as farmers and ranchers assessed the year’s harvest, it became clear it had knocked back their yields and sales, while driving their costs higher than they have ever been. As the drought continues to drive both meat and vegetable food prices up over the next year, urbanites in the region and beyond will likely notice the change ...

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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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Old-style apples from yore making a comeback in US orchards

By Associated Press, Published: September 7
Old-fashioned apples are back in fashion.

After nearly disappearing from the marketplace, apple varieties that were popular decades or even centuries ago are making a resurgence. The varieties, known as antique or heirloom apples, number in the thousands and carry names such as Sheepnose, American Mother, Lady Sweet and Nickajack.

And thanks to growing interest in all foods local and heirloom, they increasingly are showing up at farm stands and markets, at pick-your-own orchards and ...

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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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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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Chile crisis of 2011 reveals need for more resilience and diversity on the farm

by Gary Nabhan

What a difference a few days of aberrant weather can mean to our food security, our pocket books, and our penchant for hot sauce. The record freeze that hit the U.S. Southwest and Northern Mexico in early February is still affecting vegetable availability and food prices in general more than 6 weeks after the catastrophe. Restaurants across the U.S. are rationing peppers and tomatoes on their sandwiches and in their salsas. Prices for peppers have jumped as much ...

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