It seems that we’re beginning to hear some recurrent themes from our friends that live closest to the border.

Gary: It seems that we’re beginning to hear some recurrent themes from our friends that live closest to the border.

Kristy: I’m reflecting on that too. Remember the beautiful challenge our cousin Joe Nebhan put before us just before we left El Paso? I think he said it this way:

“There are commonly-held misconceptions about the border that are based solely upon fear, not on knowledge. I recommend to those uninitiated Americans who, for whatever reason they have not spent time here ...

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Guest opinion: Cruelty and incompetence on the border

Like most Americans, we have been sickened by the sights and sounds of children torn away from their families at the border. President Trump’s separation policy was designed for maximum deterrence against immigrants seeking asylum or crossing the border. And whether by incompetence or by intent, Trump’s administration had no plan to keep track of children and parents in order to reunite them.

Trump blamed previous administrations, saying that he had no choice but to enforce the existing immigration laws. But ...

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Borderland Dialogue: Day Three

Gary: Oh, what an irony: We could hardly find the Southwest Key detention center for unaccompanied minors in Tucson, but when we met our Lebanese relatives at their historic Gardner Hotel in El Paso, they had a few surprises for us, didn’t they?

Kristy: I would say so. Another Southwest Key detention center was right next to the hotel, less than 50 yards from where the rooms were that our cousins graciously offered us. The windows are all closed tight, the ...

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We were at the Annunciation House where individuals are reunited with their families.

There is a lot of compassion here in the borderlands. Borderlanders are telling us that the only way to understand the complex situation is to “Come and visit. Eat the food. Talk to people.” Indeed. We spent time this morning at the Annunciation House where individuals are reunited with their families. Incredibly moving… expectant mothers from El Salvador, a father and son from Brazil, young men from across Central America.

So many people fleeing violence and disarray yet we are feeling ...

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Borderlands Dialogues: On Empathy & Accompaniment, Part 3

Gary: Do you know what really touched me today Kristy, while you were talking to the mothers from Guatemala and Mexico who were stranded, waiting to be processed at the DeConcini Gate at the Nogales Port of Entry?

Kristy: So much of what we saw and heard there was moving to me, since it was my first time at the border there. But what moved you?

Gary: It was the excitement of the face of the 8-year old boy from Guerrero, Mexico, ...

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Borderlands Dialogues: On Empathy and Accompaniment, Part 2

Gary: Tell me, cousin Kristy, what questions are going through your head right now.

Kristy: Thanks for asking this, Gary. I am wondering how we can fathom all we are seeing and hearing here:

How can we begin to understand what is going on at the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands today? How can those of us who live far from the border grasp the complexities of movements, detainments, humanitarian outreach, and even pro-wall proponents?

So indulge me by joining with me in an exercise in ...

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Borderlands Dialogues: On Empathy and Accompaniment, Part 1

Kristy: Well, cousin, we are finally out along the border… So what do you see as our task, or tarea, for this trip?

Gary: It seems to me that the U.S./Mexico has become more politicized that at any point in its 170-year history. So perhaps our task is not to further politicize the already volatile and politically contested conditions here. Instead, we are hoping to rehumanize, rather than dehumanize the many who have been caught in the crossfire here.

Kristy: From Nogales ...

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Pilgrimage for Justice Across Borders for All Children: Preamble

When Kristy Nabhan-Warren & I set off today (celebrating her birthday along the way), we will be traveling at least 600 miles along the U.S./Mexico border in a 1500-2000 mile pilgrimage to listen to residents from both sides of the border, to stand with them as they struggle for greater justice & to find a greater context for what is going on with our current refugee crisis than radio & tv sound bites can permit. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon ...

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Pilgrimage for Justice Across Borders for All Children – She’s on your case Mr. Sessions.

Don’t talk to me about your patriotism, Mr. Sessions,
When you won’t protect our country from the Russians,
From Koreans and from hate-mongers within our own country.

We’d rather see you express some patriotism,
a touch of compassion for those who need it the most.

After all, you’re an old post-reproductive man, Mr. Sessions,
& have nothing to lose by showing your feminine side (if any)
To demonstrate your full humanness.

No ...

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Pilgrimage for Justice Across Borders – Let’s put these Children’s Welfare Before our own Ideologies.

An overwhelming majority of Americans from all political parties want to see the entire range of minors in the so-called child detention camps—from infants in their first year of life to seventeen year-olds in those facilities— better cared for, and more quickly reunited with their parents, wherever they may be. However, our country seems divided about what is actually happening in those facilities—from infants in their first year of life to seventeen year-olds in those (often makeshift) facilities that are ...

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The Upcoming Pilgrimage for Justice Across Borders for all Children

Stay tuned the next two weeks at my cousin, Dr. Kristy Nabhan-Warren of the University of Iowa joins me on the border to blog together about what is happening on the ground to help the many Central American & Mexican children caught between a rock & a hard place.

They have been sidelined and set back by divisive immigration policies & developmentally insensitive child care protocols which have separated infants from their mothers, brothers and sisters.

Here is an image at the ...

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Restore the Spirit of the Human Commons in which we work and play…

With less than 7 weeks before my new book Food from the Radical Center is available to you from Island Press, I wanted to alert you to the fact that you can get a 20% discount using the discount code “4NABHAN” when you order through www.islandpress.org/radical-center.

But I also wanted to offer you the reason why I’ve spent two years doing fieldwork & writing about biocultural & eco-gastronomic restoration: “The ultimate goals of restoration are not merely to heal & ...

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Keep your eyes open for this fall, only you can make a difference.

It seems that our jefe’s entire regime is crashing & falling apart faster than a 250 pound bag of chickenshit thrown off of a tower. But we must keep one eye on this fall & the other on the ones already damaged and marginalized by months of bad policies, from the babies without mothers in the tent camps of Tornillo and Yuma, to the farmers who have just been caught in the crossfire of tariff wars.

It is easy to feel ...

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We need both kinds of work to come together as one, rather than being endeavors.

Many of us work to save species, habitats, seeds, breeds and the earth itself. Others work to ensure that the fruits of these labors—the healthy food harvested from restored landscapes—actually reaches our communities—including the elderly, infirm or otherwise disadvantaged—to benefit them, to delight them, to nourish them and to enliven their sensory responses to this beautiful, delicious world we live within.

Savoring the world does not mean consuming it as much as valuing its species and peoples and landscapes for their ...

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There is No Such Thing as the World’s Best Tomato!

Dear Jere Gettle and Friends at Baker Creek Seeds, Have you gone nuts or just gotten greedy? THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE WORLD’S BEST TOMATO. There is simply an astonishing diversity of tomatoes, each of which tastes great in different climates, under different growing conditions used in different recipes.

Now quit trying to sell us silver bullet “superfoods” and get back ...

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Fifty-Two Palestinians Killed and 2500 Injured by the Israeli Military in Just One Day

Fifty-Two Palestinians Killed and 2500 Injured by the Israeli Military in Just One Day, as Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump smile for a photo op at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem? I am inconsolable about the loss of life on the Palestine-Israel border today, and how Trump and Netanyahu have placed citizens of both countries in further danger.

After visiting Israel and the ...

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KCRW – Good Food – Tucson’s foodways

In 2015, Tucson was named the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the U.S. due to the region’s more than 4,000 year-old agricultural history, among other reasons. Gary Nabhan is an ethnobotanist and the founding director of regional food studies at the University of Arizona.

He recently authored a report on the state of Tucson’s food system and visits to talk about the significance of the designation.

 

 

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This originally broadcasted May 12, 2018 on KCRW.

 

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Be on the look for Mesquite: An Arboreal Love Affair my forthcoming book from Chelsea Green Publishing

Be on the look for Mesquite: An Arboreal Love Affair my forthcoming book from Chelsea Green Publishing, with a forewood by the legendary Petey Mesquitey.

FROM A PREVIEW ALREADY ON THE WOOD-WIDE WEB::

In his latest book, Mesquite, Gary Paul Nabhan employs humor and contemplative reflection to convince readers that they have never really glimpsed the essence of what he calls “arboreality.”

As a ...

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Saving Our Food Supply in the Face of Climate Change

In the already-scorching Southwest, a group of scientists, ranchers and farmers are figuring out how to adapt the current agricultural system for a hotter, drier planet.

A smoldering vista southeast of Tucson, Arizona—a city that saw 68 days of temperatures at 100°F or higher last year, and averages less than 12 inches of rainfall annually. Photos by Russ Schleipman.

Gary Paul Nabhan ...

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There’s more to agave than tequila

You can sip me, you can eat me and you can moisturize with me—what am I? The agave plant.

Today, this plant is widely known as the key ingredient in the alcoholic beverage that is taken with lime and salt or mixed in to make margaritas, but agave has a much greater importance in the Sonoran Desert than just tequila.

“We think about tequila as the major way we know the plant today, but up until a century ago more people ate ...

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