It is a truly remarkable irony that most Americans have never even heard of the name of the oldest heirloom maize variety on the continent, Chapalote, let alone tasted its earthy, flinty cornmeal.
Corn farming in the foodscapes within the present-day United States did not begin in the Midwestern or Southern “Corn Belts,“ nor along the East Coast where Pilgrims first encountered this new staple crop. Instead, the oldest evidence of maize cultivation north of the Tropic of Cancer comes from a desert valley known as the Tucson Basin in southern Arizona, and near the Zuni and Hopi villages of northern Arizona.
For decades, Aldo Leopold’s writings have been assigned readings on college campuses across the country, in classes across a wide range of disciplines. Generations of students have read Leopold to gain a solid footing in conservation science,
history, and ideas.
He serves, perhaps uniquely, as a common link across time. The background and legacy of the land ethic is passed along from one generation to the next—for them to analyze, criticize, and extend according to their own insights.
Arizona Vines & Wines By: Gary Paul Nabhan Download PDF California can claim many firsts with regard to viticulture and winemaking, but the antiquity of wine and grape production in the Southwest is not one of them. It appears that the first cultivation and fermentation of grapes occurred in present-day Arizona at least 75 years […]
Home cooks and chefs of the Southwest have never lacked for delicious fruit, given the fact that native prickly pears, wild plums, elderberries, wolfberries, blackberries, hackberries, and persimmons grow along streams and in canyons from Texas to California.
But a turning point occurred in southwestern agricultural and culinary history roughly 400 years ago, after the first Spanish-introduced fruit took root on American soil in the watersheds of the Rio Grande and the Rio Colorado.