Updated: Aug 23, 2021
The Arizona-Sonora desert is a beautiful and biodiverse place. It is also home to, and surrounded by, agricultural production of many kinds. Huge commercial operations in California, Yuma and Sonora provide much of the produce in the US. Smaller organic farms, community programs, home gardens, suburban orchards and desert foraging give us unique and distinct local products, while the warmer winters gives Arizonans a bonus growing season.
Through organizations like Native Seeds Search, and their collaboration with the Pima County Library, Arizonans have access, not only to multiple growing seasons, but to seeds and plants which will thrive right here. There is so much to learn about sustainability, ecology and global food and climate politics, it can feel overwhelming- learning to grow your own food and learning to cook seasonally is a great start because it's a project which will give back and, literally, sustain you. Last summer, Tucson sustained a historic drought. Throughout the world, the climate crisis is causing dramatic changes in growing seasons and water patterns. Will these changes be met with a shift in agricultural practices?
Whether you already have a green thumb, are just starting to garden, want to explore your local farmers markets, or simply want to use local ingredients with more intention- let this be a guide to what's new this season, how to preserve for next season and when not to miss peak seasonal collaborations.