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Monsoon "Weeds"

Article by Melissa Kruse-Peeples, Education Coordinator, published July 21, 2017.

The monsoons are here! A local Arizonan’s favorite time of year. The desert comes alive as do our spirits after extreme heat induced hibernation. All of the rainfall makes long dormant seeds sprout and many new plants are popping up all over the landscape including our backyards. This is always the time of year when we get numerous plant identification questions. The term weed generally assumed to be unwanted, undesirable wild growing plants. What is unwanted or undesirable is really a matter of personal preference as many of the plants identified as weeds appearing this time of year are considered edible and delicious plants that have a place in the garden. Hence the use of quotes around the word weed in the title of this post. But others wild plants appearing at this time can be are toxic or a potential nuisance.

Everything Mesquite

Article by Carly Herndon, Americorps VISTA Program and Outreach Coordinator, published June 22, 2017.

What comfort food is sweet, nutrient-dense, has double the protein of the average bean, and helps prevent and treat diabetes? From the title, you probably guessed mesquite! This desert legume has been a food source to Native Americans for thousands of years. But it now seems that mesquite pods are an almost-forgotten food.

Conservation Center Garden Updates: June 2017

Article by Michelle Langmaid, Americorps VISTA Garden and Volunteer Coordinator, published June 21, 2017.

There has been a lot of summer gardening activities at the Native Seeds/SEARCH Conservation Center. While the high temperatures, ground squirrels, and other pests have been a challenge, crops are thriving and we are looking forward towards the monsoon.

Varieties for Heritage Gardens

By Melissa Kruse-Peeples, Education Coordinator. Published June 7, 2017.

The discovery of 2,500 year old ancient agricultural canals and other features along the Santa Cruz River north of Tucson last year has enchanted many with the history of ancient farming in the desert. The site, located at I-10 and Sunset Road, had unprecedented preservation of ancient field surfaces including numerous footprints. The prints detail how an ancient farmer walked among their crops and tended irrigation canals. There are even foot prints of a toddler sized child and a dog, giving a glimpse of this everyday scene. The preservation of the footprints allows us to literally walk among the ancient agricultural fields with these farmers.

Conservation Farm Updates: May 2017

By  Melissa Kruse-Peeples, Education Coordinator. Published May 31, 2017.

Activities are in full swing at the Conservation Farm this May. Cool season crops like peas, favas, and garlic are maturing in the field. Summer crops of corn, beans, and sunflowers have been planted in the fields. Chiles and tomato plants are increasing in size in the greenhouse and getting ready to transplant soon. Conservation Farm Intern Orion Yazzie-Nightwalker has started his 6-month training in seed conservation and has jumped right into the work.

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