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June 19 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Desert Harvesters Pre-Monsoon Harvesting events–Harvest your bean trees in June!
Santa Cruz Farmers' Market
Desert Harvesters is organizing events to help people dramatically enhance the quality of their harvests, what they make with them, and how to better rhyme with the Sonoran Desert’s annual cycles in a way that enhances our shared home and biome.
Two Events on Thursday, June 19, 2014
Hosted at the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market
100 S. Avenida del Convento West of I-10 at Congress and Grande, Tucson, AZ
1. Guided Harvests and Plantings
5pm harvest on foot
6pm harvest by bicycle
Led by Desert Harvesters including Amy Valdés Schwemm and Brad Lancaster
$5 to $10 per person (sliding scale)
These hands-on harvest tours show you how to:
• Identify and sample the best-tasting mesquite trees
(Every tree is different, but some varieties are consistently much better than others. Taste the difference, and you’ll only settle for the best). We will also likely harvest from desert ironwood and palo verde.
• How to harvest safely, ethically, and responsibly
(Harvesting pre-rains is the best practice to avoid invisible toxic mold, harvesting from the tree avoids fecal contamination of ground harvests, etc). See here http://www.ediblebajaarizona.com/calling-all-mesquiteros/for more on why pre-rain harvests are the traditional practice, and so important.
• Use cool tricks such as the harvest cane.
• How and when to plant the best bean tree (and other native perennial food plants) seed in a way that best ensures the growth of a vibrant, multi-beneficial tree with tasty and prolific harvests passively irrigated only with free on-site waters.
Everyone is strongly encouraged to bring sun protection (hat, sunscreen, sunglasses), a reusable water bottle, and something to carry their harvested mesquite pods in, such as a 5-gallon bucket with a handle, a pillow case, a cloth grocery bag, or better yet—a harvest bag.
Iskashitaa, an organization that helps resettled refugees integrate into the Tucson community, will be offering their beautiful hand-made harvest bags at a special price for the event, in addition to fresh squeezed juices from fruit they’ve gleaned to help mesquite harvesters stay cool and hydrated. And there will also be AravaipaHeirlooms’ prickly pear popsicles and native chiltepine-infused cold brews from Exo Roast Co.
2. Bean Tree Processing Demonstrations
Before and/or after the Guided Harvests and Plantings
4pm to 7pm
Taught by Barbara Rose of Bean Tree Farm (see their website for more awesome workshops)
These demonstrations by a desert foods farmer/fermenter/cook show you how to:
• Turn milled or whole desert ironwood seeds, palo verde seeds, and mesquite pods into numerous tasty dishes ranging from sprouts to edamame to desert peanuts to atole to sauces and beyond.
• Native foods such as mesquite flour; cactus fruit popsicles, drinks, and syrup; and cholla buds will be available for sale; along with seeds and seedlings of the best-tasting native bean trees and chiltepines, throughout the market