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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.

Celebration of Cotton

By Michelle Langmaid, Garden and Volunteer Coordinator. Published May 29, 2017.

Whenever I am showing a new volunteer through the seed bank I can’t help myself from excitedly grabbing the container which houses the cotton seeds and saying something obvious like “Look! We have cotton seeds!” just as a small child might point out a brightly colored candy. This could be because I’m a Northerner and seeing an actual cotton seed soon to be plant is a novelty. However, in researching the origins of these varieties and considering the history of cotton, it’s more likely that these seeds really are incredibly worthy of everyone’s excitement and unabashed enthusiasm.

Fun and Inspiring Introduction to Seed Saving Workshop!

By Carly Herndon, Program and Outreach Coordinator. Published May 18, 2017.

The Introduction to Seed Saving workshop held in early May was an exciting educational opportunity for all participants of different backgrounds. The workshop provided valuable lessons for educators, community garden planners, backyard gardeners, to those staring a seed library. Education Coordinator Melissa Kruse-Peeples led the class, with the help of retail staff Laura Neff and Chad Borseth, and Executive Director Joy Hought. Some more NSS staff even joined in the audience!

Squash Pollination

By Melissa Kruse-Peeples, NS/S Education Coordinator. Originally published July 25, 2014. Updated May 16, 2017.

One of the most common gardening problems from those growing squash, cucumbers, or watermelons is the abundance of baby fruits, but none that grow to full size. The baby fruits shrivel and wither away. The most common reason for this is that the fruits were not pollinated and therefore not fertilized to develop into a mature fruit. In this blog post we share information about how cucurbits are pollinated and provide instructions for hand pollinating squash that can be applied to other species in this plant family.

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