You Are Here: Sonoran Desert 101 – Sonoran Desert Series – with Desert Harvesters’ Jill Lorenzini and Friends, March 27, 2017 — Tucson AZ

 

Fruiting saguaro cactus

SONORAN DESERT SERIES

Sponsored by Desert Harvesters and Food Conspiracy Co-op






 

•YOU ARE HERE: SONORAN DESERT 101

Monday, MARCH 27, 6–8 pm 

Interactive exercises about where we are and where we come from using maps, info, and stories to build place-based awareness. We’ll explore from macro to micro, from global to regional to local, from the Southwest to the Sonoran Desert, and to the Uplands Arizona subdivision of the Sonoran Desert we experience here in Tucson. This is one of the most unique ecosystems on the planet! Welcome to the desert and the amazing plant life here! Sample prickly-pear lemonade.

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•REGISTER via THIS LINK

•All classes will be held in the Hoff building on the NE corner of 7th St & Hoff Ave, behind the Food Conspiracy Co-op

•All classes facilitated by Desert Harvesters‘ Jill Lorenzini and friends. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, please contact: jaelle@lorenziniworks.com.

•Up to 15 people per class, with a minimum of 4

•Class fee $10

•Desert Harvesters volunteer, member, and partner discounts offered

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LATER IN THIS SERIES:

Prickly pear with ripe fruit

•YOU ARE HERE: UPLANDS-ARIZONA-SUBDIVISION NATIVE FOODS

Monday, APRIL 24, 6–8 pm 

Use the Sonoran Desert Foods Calendar, Wild Foods Calendar, and Native Seeds/SEARCH‘s 5-seasons calendar wheel to understand seasonal cycles and to see the wealth of delicious native perennial plant foods available throughout the year. These nutritious foods—and the many other benefits they provide—will be discussed in detail in subsequent classes. Get familiar with the dynamics of winter and summer monsoon seasons; meet Sky Island mountain ranges, river and riparian areas; explore long-term climate change and ongoing drought cycles. Sample desert-flowers iced tea.



Ripening velvet-mesquite pods

•BEAUTIFUL BENEFICIAL BEAN TREES

Monday, MAY 22, 6–8 pm 

Meet the native mesquite, ironwood, and palo verde trees that anchor the Uplands Arizona plant palette. These trees act as nurse plants for other desert flora, and create rich environments under their canopies where both plants and animals survive and thrive. Desert legume trees provide bountiful harvests of protein-packed beans and tasty pods year after year. The “Be Like a Bean Tree” poster encapsulates many of their attributes. Taste mesquite flour and pods, and shell and taste green palo verde beans.



New growth on pencil cholla

•COOL CACTI

Monday, JUNE 26, 6–8 pm 

The Sonoran Desert is dominated by a large variety of cacti: cholla, prickly pear, barrel, saguaro, and pincushion cacti all have unique shapes, features and foods. All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. Learn about amazing areoles found only on cactus, dreaded glochids, mucopolysaccharide slime, cactus-fruit and -pad nutrition and benefits, harvest seasons, identification, best harvest tools and practices, and traditional and contemporary uses. Sample saguaro fruit and pickled cholla buds.



Hackberries and bush

•BERRIES, SEEDS, GREENS, HERBS, & FLOWERS

Monday, JULY 24, 6–8 pm

Berries, greens, herbs, and flowers—although less well-known than the bean trees and cactus foods—add unique flavors, textures, and health benefits to your diet. Wolfberry, hackberry, and canyon hackberry offer sweet and bittersweet treats. Summer and winter greens and herbs (mustard, lambsquarter, chickweed, malva, peppergrass, verdolagas, amaranth, aloysia, etc) and seasonal flowers (desert willow, chuparosa, palo verde, ironwood, ocotillo, etc) provide pungent and colorful additions to foods. Seeds (chia, amaranth, panic grass, plantago, etc) add crunchy protein and visual interest. All will be up for discussion. Try verdolagas salsa with seasonal ingredients.



Cholla-cactus blossom

•RESOURCES FOR REGENERATION, RESTORATION & RESILIENCY

Monday, SEPTEMBER 25, 6–8 pm 

Recommended reading, books to look at, local and regional partner organizations, sharing, ideas, brainstorming, Desert Dreams DVD. Sample mesquite chocolate chili sauce with fruit.



Bounty of assorted mesquite pods

•HOW TO LOCALIZE YOUR FOOD CHOICES

Monday, OCTOBER 16, 6–8 pm 

We have many choices when it comes to feeding ourselves—for now. Inventory these choices and understand the benefits, embodied energy, and consequences of your food choices, native perennial wild foods, traditional native cultivated crops, heritage foods, locally grown crops, regional foods, local seeds and plant starts, local soil amendments, etc. Explore the richness of edges and adjacencies: Sky Islands; Sonora, Mexico; Baja; Colorado River Plateau and other Sonoran Desert subdivisions; Mojave Desert; Chihuahuan Desert; and Gulf of California.



•USING SONORAN DESERT FOODS

Monday, NOVEMBER 20, 6–8 pm

Sonoran Desert foods, like the place they grow and thrive, are potent, pungent, and unique. Usually a little goes a long way. In this class we will review Uplands Arizona native foods palette, guidelines, seasonality, harvesting ethics, and best storage practices. Then we will prepare and sample a feast of desert foods! Series wrap-up, questions, evaluations and feedback, sharing, etc.