Our Supporters: Thanks!

 Desert Harvesters’ Big 2013 Thank You

2011 Dunbar-Spring mesquite millingTHANK YOU to the many amazing people and organizations that helped make this year’s 11th annual Desert Harvesters season and Mesquite Milling, Pancakes, and Fiesta a huge success!

First off, thank you to Cox Communications for the $10,000 Cox Conserves Hero Award presented to Brad Lancaster, who then selected Desert Harvesters as the environmental-nonprofit recipient of the financial award. And thank you to all of you who honored Brad with your vote. These funds enabled Desert Harvesters to repair our hammermill and purchase and install on the mill a new, easier-to-use, faster electric-start motor; to secure insurance for the organization (thanks to Megan Hartman’s relentless insurance search); and to hire Julie Zapolski as our dedicated full-season hammermill coordinator and Joy Vargo as the Mesquite Fiesta’s co-facilitator and volunteer organizer. These new members joined veteran Desert Harvesters core members Brad Lancaster, Amy Schwemm, Dana Helfer, Megan Hartman, Jill Lorenzini, Barbara Rose, Jeau Allen, and Omar Ore-Giron—to vision and organize our offerings for the season. For years these passionate and tireless core members (and others including Kimi Eisele, Lori Adkison, Sara Jones, and Anastasia Rabin who have now moved on to other great things) have volunteered their time organizing, volunteering at events, and promoting Desert Harvesters work throughout the year—Desert Harvesters would not exist without them. Nor would we exist without our great team of mill operators who stepped up to train, be trained, and provide our milling services and education; and the fantastic volunteers that power our events.

For our Mesquite Fiesta, we were blessed with rain the two days before the event (here’s hoping you harvested the bulk of your site’s rainfall rather than wastefully draining it), followed by clear sunny skies the day of. Perfect weather for celebration and collaboration.

That collaboration embraced and spread the expertise of many accomplished harvesters, growers, and educators presenting on a broad range of topics including the uses and potential of many native food/medicinal plants, fungi, planting/harvest strategies, and composting of “wastes” into resources—all interspersed with incredible music (including original harvest songs) by many local musicians and bands.

See here for a complete list of speakers and musicians.

And see here for the array of amazing vendors and tablers that expanded the sharing of information and local products/potential.

Watershed Management Group, its co-op volunteers, and chefs Janet Taylor (author of the Green Southwest Cookbook) and Elizabeth Mikesell, brought back mesquite pancakes to the event. Over 1,100 organic blue-corn/mesquite and heirloom-wheat/mesquite flapjacks were served and topped with local prickly pear syrup and honey! Local mesquite flour was procured at a discount from the Mesquitery. An enormous thanks for donations of local ingredients goes out to Hayden Mills for heirloom wheat; Cheri’s Desert Harvest for prickly-pear syrup; and Zenhens for home-raised eggs. Waste from the event was kept to a minimum, as reuseable—rather than disposable—metal forks were used, all paper plates and cups will either be composted or turned into a papercrete bench, and all food waste was composted.

Two hammermills (Desert Harvesters’ and that of the Cascabel Conservation Association) milled over 485 gallons of whole mesquite pods into delicious and nutritious flour throughout the day while the harvesting public was shown how to identify superior pods for eating, best harvest practices, and how to inspect their harvest to ensure all was ready for milling.

A Dunbar/Spring neighborhood walking/bike tour, guided by neighborhood residents Brad Lancaster and Ezra Roati along with Lisa Shipek and Tory Syracuse from Watershed Management Group, showed folks how, with individual and neighborhood efforts, we can plant the rain along and within our streets to grow many perennial native-foods plants in a way that also helps calm traffic, makes walking and bicycling more enjoyable and viable, mitigates the effects of heat islands and climate change, bioremediates/naturally filters pollutants, increases wildlife habitat and health, creates beauty, controls flooding, and builds community. This was all further enhanced with discussion of new City of Tucson public policy further that enables the reclaiming of public space—our public commons—for life.

This was followed by Food Swap Tucson in the community garden, and the Dunbar/Spring Porch Fest on front porches throughout the neighborhood. Dunbar/Spring, like most historic neighborhoods is blessed with a nice front porch on nearly every home. When visible from the street, these porches make for ideal gathering spaces that mix and enhance our private and public lives. The neighborhood garden and streets were full of people checking out the incredible live music, food (at the food swap and from food trucks), and goings-on such as the mural enhancement by Tucson Arts Brigade.

It was all amazing! I’ve never seen so many people—and such a wonderfully diverse crowd of joyful people—in our neighborhood all at once.

None of this would have been possible without the incredible efforts of Desert Harvesters staff and volunteers, and many years of community volunteer efforts and help from the City of Tucson, Pima County, and PRO Neighborhoods preceeding the event. This volunteer, City, and County support resulted in the creation of the Dunbar Project; the creation of the Dunbar/Spring mini nature park and community orchard; the planting of over 1,300 trees along and within Dunbar/Spring’s neighborhood’s streets; water-harvesting curb cuts, traffic calming, and basins turning street runoff into a free street tree irrigation source; incredible public art; and so much more.

I am so grateful for all of this, and all of you who live the change and life you want to see in the world. Keep it up, because as long as you do, things just keep getting better and juicier!

If you’d like to get involved with Desert Harvesters let us know by emailing us at volunteer@desertharvesters.org.

If you have any awesome photos of this year’s fiesta you’d be willing to share and let us post, please email us at hammermill@desertharvesters.org.

And if you’d like to make a tax-deductable donation to Desert Harvesters enabling us to continue and evolve our efforts, click here or email us at admin@desertharvesters.org.

We are soon to put the mill and other equipment away for off-season storage. Huge thanks to Mac Hudson, Amy Schwemm, Tucson CSA, Kerry and Charles Davis, the Dunbar/Spring community garden, the Lancaster household, and others for that storage.

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Typically the thanks yous on this page are authored by Desert Harvesters co-founder, Brad Lancaster, thanking you and all our various supporters for all you do to make Desert Harvesters tick. But we’d like to take this opportunity to turn the tables and thank Brad! This year (2013) Brad was nominated as a finalist for the Cox Conserves Hero Award, and when he WON (congrats, Brad!) he chose Desert Harvesters as the environmental non-profit to receive the $10,000 grant money from Cox Communications. Cox made a little video about the award, featuring Brad. You can watch it by clicking the video still below. Meanwhile, some of the grant funds have already been put to work researching and purchasing our first-ever liability-insurance policy (sounds boring, but it’s a big deal!) and upgrading our hammermill motor from the challenging pull-start variety to a new electric-start motor to increase the ease and efficiency of each and every milling we do. Much more will be possible with the remaining funds—THANKS, BRAD!
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Brad’s Big 2011 Post-Fiesta Thanks
I’m in awe. I loved the Desert Harvesters Mesquite Fiesta today, and was blown away by the incredible offerings and giving. The diverse array of delicious treats was sooo great! And they just kept coming. You wonderful bakers and cooks would just keep walking up with a platter, bowl, or plate of such YEAH! I can’t thank you enough.Then there was the joyous music of the Brambleberries, the snakes, the tortoises, puppet shows, the cookbooks, the waffles, the mesquite flour and prickly pops, native medicinals and teas, and demonstrations and info on solar cooking, native plants, planting of rain and stormwater for those plants, growing bicycle boulevards lined with those plants to encourage more human-powered transport through neighborhoods harvesting the food and medicinals from those aforementioned native plants while enhancing habitat for the tortoises, beneficial snakes, and myriad life! Makes me want to dance – and we’re back to the Brambleberries.Three hammermills running. One from the Tohono O’odham Community College steered by Clifford Pablo who first introduced me to the amazing flavor of Tucson grown and harvested mesquite flour. One from the Cascabel community who with their annual event  inspired Desert Harvesters to bring a hammermill with a celebration of mesquite and other native foods to Tucson. And our trusty Desert Harvesters mill funded nine years ago by PRO Neighborhoods.All at a community garden planted in 1998 within a former softball field turned parking lot on the grounds of the Dunbar school. A school that was built in 1918 during the days of segregation for Tucson’s Black community. The school building almost became an inner city jail after it was closed, and today is being turned into an African American Cultural Center, Museum, and Community Center by a partnership of the school’s alumni, the Tucson Urban League, the Juneteenth Festival Committee, and the Dunbar/Spring Neighborhood Association.And none of this would have been possible without the incredible volunteers who have stepped up to lead, share, support, and live this beautiful evolution. Today was 100% volunteer steered and powered. The giving of your time, skills, knowledge, passion, and love is at the heart of it all. It can transform any situation into something greater and more beautiful. What an amazing community. You/we have made something wonderful, and which keeps getting more wonderful as more step up, lead, share, support, and live it up as we did today.Thank you!
– Brad Lancaster, 10pm, 11-20-2011, Tucson, Santa Cruz River Watershed, Sonoran Desert

Desert Harvesters would like to directly thank the following for their generous support of our 2011 fiesta:
All the cooks and bakers for our bake sale
– the incredible diversity of delicious offerings
Desert Harvesters volunteers and staff
– the engines of greatnessDunbar/Spring neighborhood volunteer tree planters
– you plant the trees from which we harvestDunbar/Spring Organic Community Garden and the Dunbar Project
– for the fiesta oasisClifford Pablo and the Tohono O’odham Community College
– hammermill and millers

Cascabel Hermitage Association
– hammermill and millers

Brambleberries
– musical libations

Exo Roast Co. and Wilko
– for the locally-roasted fair trade coffee

Food Conspiracy Co-op
– donations of organic ingredients

Monsoon Kitchen
– waffle and fried banana demos and eats

Desert Tortoise Botanicals
– native teas and medicinals

Skeleton Creek
– prickly pear and mesquite popsicles, mesquite flour, prickly pear jams, and drink mixes

Native Seeds/SEARCH
– native seeds, foods, and courses

Watershed Management Group
– water harvesting and green streets info

Living Streets Alliance
– human-powered transportation

Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture (BASA)
– solar cooking demonstrations

Tucson Herb Store
– native teas

Mano y Metate

– Amy Schwemm is one of our key organizers, and creates incredible moles

Arizona Native Plant Society
– native plant promotion and conservation

Bean Tree Farm and Jill Lorenzini/Green Goddess
– native and wild foods, cookbooks, calendars, and salves

Robert and Arizona Herpetology Society
– live reptiles

Desert Survivors Plant Nursery
– living, native, food-bearing Christmas trees and saguaro totems

_________________________________________________________________________

A note from Brad, following the 2010 Mesquite Milling and Pancake Fiesta:

Now rested, I just want to thank you all for the incredible efforts you put into our 8th annual Mesquite Milling Fiesta and Pancake Breakfast on Saturday. I felt this year was the best ever. All flowed so well. I saw a sea of smiling faces. And a friend noted that he did not see a single cell phone in use. People were present and loving it.

This could not have happened without all of you superhero volunteers. Superhero is not an exaggeration. It is what you are – superheros! You step up to the challenge to make things better. To help. And to advance a better way. We exist only because of you – THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. And please continue to bless us with your superpowers of engagement. We never seem to be able to express the depth of our appreciation adequately. This email is just a small gesture.

I also want to thank everyone who just showed up. Showing up shows you, us, and the world what is possible. Showing up is sharing and shining on all the hard work that went into creating what occurred this past Saturday.

Amazing how such a thriving community event so quickly went up, and the quality of people it attracts. None of it would be possible without such an incredibly dynamic bunch of volunteers – the heart of Desert Harvesters. That heart is made up of choice community people, who attract and build still more choice community through their efforts enhancing this Place.

The Desert Harvesters event strikes me as unique in that at its core is the celebration of food native to this place, grown and harvested in neighborhoods, and fed by neighborhood rain and runoff. It nourishes the community that plants and cares for it — a life cycle. Made so much richer by those awesome mesquite and prickly pear pop cycles (ok, popsicles).

Y’all are planting, growing, and enhancing the culture here through your engagement and thoughtful action, and I love ya for it!

And all that thanks, acknowledgment, and wonder of course also flows out to the incredible team that put our new cookbook Eat Mesquite! together. Everyone who gave to the project — recipe submitters, tasters, testers, writers, editors, photographers, designers, illustrators, researchers — was key to it happening!

Now please help spread the word that our cookbook is available for sale with all proceeds going to the continuation of Desert Harvesters’ work. They make great gifts! We’ll be selling the cookbook via PayPal from our website (soon!) as well as at the following events:

Watershed Management Co-op & Desert Harvesters: Local Foods Potluck & Native Food Demonstration,  Nov. 11

12th Annual Cascabel Mesquite Milling Festival, Cascabel Community Center, Cascabel, AZ, Nov. 12

6th Annual Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market Mesquite Milling, Nov. 18

a  presentation on Desert Harvesters by Brad Lancaster and cookbook sale at Bookman’s Speedway location from 1-3 pm on Saturday, Nov. 27

and perhaps a December 10 presentation with Slow Food Tucson…. Keep checking our events page for more on this!

– Brad Lancaster
www.DesertHarvesters.org

………………………………….

Desert Harvesters would like to thank the following for their generous support of our 2008 season
and mesquite milling and pancake fiestas:

Desert Harvesters volunteers and staff
We can’t do it without you, and you’re such great folks that it’s always fun!

Dunbar/Spring neighborhood volunteer tree planters
Thanks to all those who have planted and cared for native food trees, we were able to harvest enough native mesquite pods primarily in the Dunbar/Spring neighborhood to provide enough mesquite flour to make over 1,300 mesquite pancakes at the Dunbar/Spring Mesquite Milling and Breakfast

Harvest Players
Huge thanks to our mesquite fiesta band Matt Weber, Ronny, Mark Febbo, Ted Warmbrand

Food Conspiracy Co-op

www.foodconspiracy.org
412 N. 4th Ave.
Tucson, Arizona 85705
624-4821
A huge thanks to the Food Conspiracy Co-op for the $300 2008 Cooperative Community Grant awarded to Desert Harvesters
The co-op is a great source of organic foods that regularly donates organic foods for our organic mesquite pancake breakfast

Crooked Sky Farms and the Tucson Community Supported Agriculture

www.crookedskyfarms.com
Crooked Sky Farms, owned by farmer Frank Martin in Glendale, Arizona grows and supplies fresh, organic produce for several Arizona Farmer’s Markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)s through subscriptions. Crooked Sky provides us with the locally-grown and ground wheat flour we mix with mesquite in our pancakes.

Dunbar Coalition

www.theDunbarProject.org
PO Box 86132
Tucson AZ 85754-4072
To rent event use of the Dunbar Auditorium contact
Shirley Hockett
Dunbar Project Operations Committee
622-6989
shirly@aztraveltips.com
The Dunbar Coalition has made the Dunbar/Spring Organic Community Garden possible in the effort to turn the Dunbar School at the southwest corner of 2nd street and Main Avenue into an African American/community cultural center and museum. In addition, the Coalition provides us with tables, chairs, the use of their restrooms, and a back up location of the Dunbar Auditorium should it rain.

Dunbar/Spring Organic Community Garden

NW corner of 11th Ave and University Blvd
Tucson, AZ
The garden provides us with the beautiful space for our annual fundraising mesquite milling and mesquite pancake breakfast

Community Food Security Center of the Tucson Community Food Bank
Promotes local food security through a farmers’ market program, creation of backyard and community gardens, hosts the Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market annual mesquite milling and mesquite pancake fiesta, and provides us with fantastic volunteers.
www.communityfoodbank.org/dynamic/foodsecurity.aspx

Moiagroup
For the latest upgrade of our website www.DesertHarvesters.org

Desert Tortoise Botanicals
418 E. 7TH Street
Tucson, AZ 85705
520-275-2105
desertortoisebotanicals@gmail.com
Provides us with prickly pear fruit, native foods, and demonstrations and sales of native medicinals

Tucson Herb Store
412 E. 7th St., Tucson, AZ 85705
520-903-0038
www.tucsonherbstore.com
Provides us with wonderful locally-made teas

Mano y Metate

www.manoymetate.com
Amy Schwemm is one of the key organizers of our mesquite pancake production. She also creates incredible mole offerings which she donates for our raffle.

Jill Lorenzini/Green Goddess
amphibiangrrl@gmail.com
Greens Goddess local organic produce and products; Wild Recipes cookbooklet; Wild, Native, Cultivated Desert Foods Calendar; sun-printed and local plant-dyed clothing/fabric; Desert Wisdom Herbal Salve.

Time Market
444 E University Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85705
(520) 622-0761
Provides our mesquite pancake breakfast with organic coffee

Clamdiggin
These artists/ecologists turn out wonderful creations connected to the natural world. Thanks for their custom T-shirts donated for our raffle
www.clamdiggin.com

Native Seeds/SEARCH

Provided our raffle with a generous gift certificate
www.nativeseeds.org

Antigone’s Books
This wonderful local book store provided our raffle with a generous gift certificate
www.antigonebooks.com

Sunflower Market
www.sfmarkets.com


Desert Harvesters would like to thank the following for their generous support of our 2007 season and mesquite milling and pancake fiestas:

Desert Harvesters volunteers and staff
We can’t do it without you, and you’re such great folks that it’s always fun!

Dunbar/Spring neighborhood volunteer tree planters
Thanks to all those who have planted and cared for native food trees, we were able to harvest enough native mesquite pods just in the Dunbar/Spring neighborhood to provide all the mesquite flour to make over 600 mesquite pancakes at the Dunbar/Spring Mesquite Milling and Breakfast

Slow Food Tucson
www.slowfoodtucson.org
A huge thanks to Slow Food Tucson for the $500 donation to Desert Harvesters. Slow Food Tucson is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic organization that supports a regionally-based, biodiverse, sustainable food supply, local producers, heritage foodways, and rediscovery of the pleasures of the table.

Food Conspiracy Co-op

www.foodconspiracy.org
412 N. 4th Ave.
Tucson, Arizona 85705
624-4821
A huge thanks to the Food Conspiracy Co-op for the $300 2008 Cooperative Community Grant awarded to Desert Harvesters
The co-op is a great source of organic foods that regularly donates organic foods for our organic mesquite pancake breakfast

Crooked Sky Farms

www.crookedskyfarms.com
Crooked Sky Farms, owned by farmer Frank Martin in Glendale, Arizona grows and supplies fresh, organic produce for several Arizona Farmer’s Markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)s through subscriptions. Crooked Sky provides us with the locally-grown and ground wheat flour we mix with mesquite in our pancakes.

Dunbar Coalition

www.theDunbarProject.org
PO Box 86132
Tucson AZ 85754-4072
To rent event use of the Dunbar Auditorium contact
Shirley Hockett
Dunbar Project Operations Committee
622-6989
shirly@aztraveltips.com
The Dunbar Coalition has made the Dunbar/Spring Organic Community Garden possible in the effort to turn the Dunbar School at the southwest corner of 2nd street and Main Avenue into an African American/community cultural center and museum. In addition, the Coalition provides us with tables, chairs, the use of their restrooms, and a back up location of the Dunbar Auditorium should it rain.

Dunbar/Spring Organic Community Garden

NW corner of 11th Ave and University Blvd
Tucson, AZ
The garden provides us with the beautiful space for our annual fundraising mesquite milling and mesquite pancake breakfast

Community Food Security Center of the Tucson Community Food Bank
Promotes local food security through a farmers’ market program, creation of backyard and community gardens, hosts the Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market annual mesquite milling and mesquite pancake fiesta, and provides us with fantastic volunteers.
www.communityfoodbank.org/dynamic/foodsecurity.aspx

Debbie Daly and Diane Daly
For original design of our website www.DesertHarvesters.org

Moiagroup
For the latest upgrade of our website www.DesertHarvesters.org

Desert Tortoise Botanicals
418 E. 7TH Street
Tucson, AZ 85705
520-275-2105
desertortoisebotanicals@gmail.com
Provides us with prickly pear fruit, native foods, and demonstrations and sales of native medicinals

Tucson Herb Store
412 E. 7th St., Tucson, AZ 85705
520-903-0038
www.tucsonherbstore.com
Provides us with wonderful locally-made teas.

Brooklyn Pizza
534 N 4th Ave
Tucson, AZ 85705
(520) 622-6868
www.brooklynpizzacompany.com
Provides us with complimentary pizza at many of our planning events

Mano y Metate

www.manoymetate.com
Amy Schwemm is one of the key organizers of our mesquite pancake production. She also creates incredible mole offerings which she donates for our raffle.

Time Market
444 E University Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85705
(520) 622-0761
Provides our mesquite pancake breakfast with organic coffee

B-Line Restaurant

621 N. 4th Ave
Tucson AZ
(520) 882-7575
blinerestaurant.com/
Provides our mesquite breakfast with butter

Wilko
943 E University Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 792-6684

Sunflower Market
www.sfmarkets.com

Dan Lehman – Blacksmith

801 N. Main Ave.
Tucson, Arizona
991-8684
Provides us with beautiful metalwork for our milling operation