• Cumin, Camels, and Caravans: A Spice Odyssey

    Cumin, Camels, and Caravans: A Spice Odyssey

    The closest we armchair travellers normally get to the olfactory sensation of walking through the globe’s most fragrant souks is opening the doors of our spice cupboards. The bottles may be sealed shut but the aroma of their contents —cardamom and cumin, cinnamon and saffron, turmeric and vanilla — wafts towards our nostrils and for a brief moment we are not in our kitchens but strolling through the spice markets of Arabia, Asia or Africa.

  • 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 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

Sustaining Water

Sustaining Water

This summer, regional water planners announced a game-changer for Arizona’s economy and already-fragile food security status.

As early as 2017, we are likely to see the rationing of river irrigation water available for Arizona agriculture as a result of the pervasive drought that has plagued the Colorado River watershed for most of the last 15 years.

Honey, Don’t Forget the Pollinators

Honey, Don’t Forget the Pollinators

Go to the produce section in any Whole Foods, AJ’s, or Sprouts in the Tucson area, and at least 237 of the 453 fruits and vegetables found there were brought to you by a now-imperiled fleet of flying pollinators.

While scientists and farmers in Baja Arizona were among the first in the country to sound the alarm about pollinator declines, they are also leading the way in on-farm pollinator recovery that may ultimately ensure our own food security.

Desert wisdom and agriculture

Desert wisdom and agriculture

A miller’s daughter spun gold thread from hay. Stone soup fed an entire town. A farmer grew tons of juicy melons in one of the harshest desert climates in the Americas. In each story, something is created from nothing. Of the three, only the story of the Chihuahuan melon farmer is neither fairy tale nor parable.

Centuries-old technology known as olla irrigation breathes life into acres of melon vines, enabling them to thrive in an otherwise inhospitable environment.

Ann Haymond Zwinger, 1925 - 2014

Ann Haymond Zwinger, 1925 – 2014

I am sorry, but I cannot comment on Ann Haymond Zwinger unless I tell you how I met her and how she sent many of us on altogether new trajectories.

Imagine yourself a scruffy, somewhat lazy and spacy seventeen year old trying to make sense of the world at a time when the country is immersed in regrettable wars, when race riots are erupting on the streets, and when drugs and demons are plaguing your closest friends. That moment is now, but it also describes what was happening in the spring of 1970

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