• Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land

    Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land

    With climatic uncertainty now “the new normal,” many farmers, gardeners, and orchardists in North America are desperately seeking ways to adapt how they grow food in the face of climate change. The solutions may be at our back door.

    In Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land, Nabhan, one of the world’s experts on the agricultural traditions of arid lands, draws from the knowledge of traditional farmers in the Gobi Desert, the Arabian Peninsula, the Sahara Desert, and Andalusia, as well as the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Painted deserts of North America…

  • Desert Terroir, Exploring the Unique Flavors and Sundry Places of the Borderlands

    Desert Terroir, Exploring the Unique Flavors and Sundry Places of the Borderlands

    Why does food taste better when you know where it comes from? Because history—ecological, cultural, even personal—flavors every bite we eat. Whether it’s the volatile chemical compounds that a plant absorbs from the soil or the stories and memories of places that are evoked by taste, layers of flavor await those willing to delve into the roots of real food. In this landmark book, Gary Paul Nabhan takes us on a personal trip into the southwestern borderlands to discover the terroir—the “taste of the place”—that makes this desert so delicious.

  • Gary's Vision - The Big Picture...

    Gary’s Vision – The Big Picture…

    More than seventy years ago, Aldo Leopold first compared wholeness and health in the human body with those attributes in farmscapes. In a prophetic essay entitled “The Farmer as a Conservationist,” Leopold (1939, 1999) offered this analogy: “It seems to me that the pattern of the rural landscape, like the configuration of our own bodies, has in it (or should have in it) a certain wholeness.”

  • Gary Paul Nabhan: Mother Nature’s Foodie

    Gary Paul Nabhan: Mother Nature’s Foodie

    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 for helping to get it started. A Lebanese American living in the Southwestern United States, Nabhan has for more than three decades been writing books, directing research projects, forming farming alliances …

  • Chasing Chiles - Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail

    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 […]

  • Our Farm

    Our Farm

    Come on Down to the Farm Gary Nabhan and his wife Laurie Monti have recently purchased a five and a half acre farmstead above the Native Seeds/SEARCH growout farm, where they are demonstrating how desert-adapted agro-biodiversity can be integrated into water-conserving farming systems for climate-friendly food production. Their farmstead is named Almuniya de los Zopilotes—Private […]

Recent Entries

Dr. Barney Burns, Native Seeds/SEARCH co-founder, passes on, leaving us a legacy of hope and humor

Dr. Barney Burns, Native Seeds/SEARCH co-founder, passes on, leaving us a legacy of hope and humor

In the second week of August, the Tucson community, the Greater Southwest, indigenous peoples and farmers everywhere lost a good friend, an extraordinary seed saver and a historian of Southwest food and farming folkways.

Dr. Barney T. Burns was far more than a co-founder of Native Seeds/SEARCH. He spent over four decades linking native farmers and artisans to the audiences, human rights support networks, and applied scholars who cared about them and their future.

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

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

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 spices.

Nabhan delves into the origins of globalization; the “ecological imperialism” that began with Old World-New World trade in the 15th century; and recent lapses of cross-cultural civility, especially involving ethnic groups that collaborated to transport spices to far-flung locales for the pleasure of all.

Blake Edgar interviews Gary Nabhan about his “spice odyssey”

Blake Edgar interviews Gary Nabhan about his “spice odyssey”

A colleague of mine, ethnobotanist and food historian Gene Anderson, found a remarkable coincidence: an Arab/Persian lamb and garbanzo bean stew recipe that he and colleagues recorded in their Mongolian medicinal cookbook, Soup for the Qan, also made its way half way around the world to Hispanic communities in Northern New Mexico.

Only one ingredient, mastic (which was unavailable in New Mexico at the time), was different.

Water rationing for farmers? It’s on the horizon

Water rationing for farmers? It’s on the horizon

Regional water planners last month made a prediction that will likely be a game-changer for Arizona’s economy, revealing just how water scarcity will restructure the future of our food security. As early as 2017, drought in the Lower Colorado River’s watershed could lead to irrigation rationing for central Arizona agriculture.

Planners suggest that Arizona’s farms irrigated by Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs through Central Arizona…

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