15th ANNUAL MESQUITE MILLING & FIESTA (Pre-Monsoon) with Desert Harvesters and Friends at the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market, June 22, 2017 — Tucson, AZ

We’re pleased to announce Desert Harvesters’


Date: Thursday, June 22, 2017
Time:4–7 pm

Venue:Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market @ the Mercado San Agustín
(Market is hosted by the Community Food Bank)
Address: 100 S Avenida del Convento | Tucson, Arizona

As always, we’re excited about this year’s event, timed to rhyme with the Sonoran Desert’s natural cycles, and hosted in conjunction with the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market—and we hope you are, too!


We are  also very proud to announce that in Fall 2017,  we will be publishing our second cookbook:

Eat Mesquite and More: A Cookbook for Sonoran Desert Foods and Living

This new book includes over 170 recipes featuring wild, native, desert foods, including mesquite, acorn, barrel cactus, chiltepin, desert chia, desert herbs and flowers, desert ironwood, hackberry, palo verde, prickly pear, saguaro, wolfberry, and wild greens. The recipes–contributed by desert dwellers, harvesters, chefs, and innovators–capture a spirit of adventure and reverence, inviting both newcomers and seasoned experts to try new foods and experiment with new flavors. The book also features stories of significant individuals, organizations, and businesses that have contributed knowledge, products, and innovation in the planting, harvesting, and use of wild, native desert foods. Additional essays reveal the poetry of the foraging life, how to plant the rain, and the medicinal uses and ethnobotanical histories of desert plants. More than a cookbook, Eat Mesquite and More also encourages a renaissance of “wild agriculture,” one that foregrounds the ethical harvesting and selection of wild foods and the re-planting of native food sources in urban and residential areas without imported water or fertilizers.

Pre-orders  and deposits for this fabulous cookbook will be taken, starting at our 15th Annual Mesquite Fiesta Milling, June 22, 2017, in the middle courtyard. Stay tuned for more details as to how to order online. You can also email us at : cookbook@desertharvesters.org  to get on our list of people to notify when Eat Mesquite and More is published.


We’d love to get some more volunteers to add to the greatness! Can you help out? All those volunteering the whole event get a free Desert Harvesters t-shirt and community appreciation. If you can help please let us know in advance by emailing us at volunteer@DesertHarvesters.org, and including your name, phone number, and times you are available to help on ThursdayWe strongly recommend that volunteers attend our Mesquite Pods 101 training on May 20.

This event made even better due to generous support from Lush Cosmetics & The Sustainable Lush Fund.

Mesquite (and carob) pods will be milled BEFORE THE SUMMER RAINS to encourage harvesting before the rains (as recommended by the Mesquite Harvest Working Group) for a higher-quality harvest, with less insect predation and far less potential for invisible molds more common in post-rain harvests.

See here www.ediblebajaarizona.com/calling-all-mesquiteros for more on why pre-rain harvests are the traditional practice, and so important.

About the Milling: Bring Your Own Pods!

Pods for milling must be clean, dry, and free of mold/fungus, stones, leaves, and other debris.
Cost: $3/gallon of whole pods, with a minimum of $10.

One gallon of whole mesquite pods mills into about one pound of flour, so the price averages $3 per pound of flour—a bargain considering that the flour usually sells for $14–$20 per pound. After pod inspection and prepayment, you may leave your pods in sealed food-grade containers (preferably 5-gallon plastic buckets with lids), with owner’s name and phone number written on each container. Flour will be ready within a week and must be picked up. No refunds.

Mesquite flour is a naturally sweet, nutritious, and delicious addition to recipes for cakes, cookies, pizza, bread, tortillas, granola, dog biscuits—you name it! And like many other native foods, gluten-free mesquite is great for people with hypoglycemia and diabetes as it regulates blood-glucose levels.

We will also offer at the Fiesta:

  • Mesquite-pod tastings so you can experience the diverse array of flavors from different mesquite trees. This will help you enhance your awareness of different trees’ pod characteristics, thereby improving the quality of your harvest.
  • Barbara Rose of Bean Tree Farm will again be offering Bean-Tree Processing Demonstrations from 4–7 pm. Barbara, a seasoned desert-foods farmer/fermenter/cook, will show you how to process 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. (These demonstrations are part of the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market’s ongoing Desert Harvest Series designed to teach the public how to identify, process, and use native foods.)
  • Mesquite Cold Brew Coffee by EXO Roast Co
  • Southwest-Solar will be on hand with a Solar-Powered Evaporative Cooler
  • Aravaipa Heirlooms’ Jeau Allen will have her famous Prickly Pops
  • Hands-on native bean-tree propagation with the Pima County Public Library Seed Library staff. You get to go home with a newspaper pot planted with your chosen seed from a food-producing native bean tree.
  • Iskashitaa with locally made, reusable cloth harvest bags for sale .
  • Additional contributions will be listed as they are confirmed, so check back for updates…

See www.desertharvesters.org/how-we-run-mesquite-millings for more information.

BEFORE YOU COME, BE SURE TO read the pod-harvesting and -preparation guidelines online at: www.desertharvesters.org/mesquite-in-the-kitchen/harvesting-processing and

Not yet a member of Desert Harvesters?Join us!
Not yet volunteering with Desert Harvesters?Sign up!

Questions about any of the above? Email Desert Harvesters.