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October NS/S Salon - Our Sacred Maiz Is Our Mother


with Dr. Roberto Cintli Rodriquez, University of Arizona

Monday October 20
6 pm

Join us and learn about Dr. Roberto Cintli Rodriquez's new book, Our Sacred Maiz Is Our Mother: Indigeneity and Belonging in the Americas. He will discuss the long history of maíz cultivation and culture, its roots in Mesoamerica, and its living relationship to Indigenous peoples throughout the continent, including Mexicans and Central Americans now living in the United States.

Native Seeds/SEARCH Salons happen every third Monday of the month at our Conservation Center at 3584 E. River Road, and have a little something for anyone who has ever wielded a fork or pitchfork.  Event is free and open to the public.

Recovering and Reviving Our Original Diet

By Elizabeth Pantoja, NS/S Conservation Intern. Published September 25, 2014.

Recently I came across some great information put together by Aztec Stories that talked about the importance of including our original foods in our present diet. By this I mean eating foods that have originally grown here in this western hemisphere prior to European contact, prior to 1492. Both a group of Indigenous educators and myself were having a discussion with students about why these foods were important and many of the young students were not aware of some of these foods and had never tasted what was once a common staple of their Ancestors. The answer to why is clear.

Fall Plant Sale at NS/S Retail Store

October 17 - 19, 2014
3061 N. Campbell Ave
Tucson, AZ 85719

Members only hours are Friday, October 17 and Saturday, October 18 from 9-10 AM. NS/S members take 10% off all plants as well as all other items. Sign up to become a member at the sale. Sale is open until 5 PM each day.

The cool months are a great time to grow plants in the low desert! The Fall season plant sale will offer a diversity of seasonally appropriate varieties for cool season planting. Come early for the best selection. Plants available at the sale will include a diversity of herbs, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, lettuce, wildflowers and more! Cool season seeds including carrots, peas, greens, garlic, onions, radish, wheat, and wildflowers will also be available.

Borderlands Restoration and Nighthawks Natives Nursery providing a diversity of wildflower and landscape plants perfect for attracting pollinators to your garden.

Diversity in Amaranth

By Joy Hought, NS/S Research & Education Program Manager. Published on September 20, 2014.

A few days ago we harvested mature stalks from about 15 amaranth accessions at the NS/S Conservation Farm, in preparation for our workshop on October 4th. Melissa, our Conservation Program Manager, then creatively rigged them up back here at the seed bank, upside down in grain sacks to catch any mature seeds as they dry. In our work we talk about diversity all the time, but it’s delightful to see it so clearly in a community of plants that have been stewarded over millennia among different peoples and geographies. It sort of overtakes you when you’re standing amongst them in the field, each one with its own particular beauty.

NS/S Conservation Farm Tours

Native Seeds/SEARCH is participating in the Fall Festival in gorgeous Patagonia, Arizona, home of our Conservation Farm. We will have a booth at the Festival in downtown Patagonia. In addition, we will be hosting tours and kid-friendly activities at the Conservation Farm on Saturday. We hope to see you there!

Festival Booth
October 11-12, 2014 from 9AM to 5PM (4PM on the 12th)
Downtown Patagonia

Farm Tours
October 11, 2014
Tours begin at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00
45 San Antonio Rd, Patagonia, AZ (north of downtown Patagonia)
Click here for a Google Map of the Conservation Farm location.

Barney Tillman Burns III, 1945-2014, a Native Seeds/SEARCH Founder and Noted Seed-Saver

by Ford Burkhart

When seeds were feared lost for a particular lemon basil, a young Barney Burns saved the day. His mother, Janet, an organic gardener in New Mexico, had preserved that heirloom variety since the 1930s, and one day ruefully reported the seeds were lost. By chance, Barney, then a University of Arizona student, had that basil growing in a flower box at his studio apartment, and was able to send some seeds back to her. That plant, now in the Native Seeds/SEARCH collection, is prized by chefs everywhere for its citrusy flavor and is known, of course, as Mrs. Burns’ Lemon Basil.

Barney Tillman Burns III, an anthropologist, archaeologist, dendrochronologist, climate scientist, ethnohistorian and advocate for native arts and handicrafts in northern Mexico, died on Aug. 14, 2014. He was 69 years old.

Dr. Barney Burns, Native Seeds/SEARCH Co-Founder, Passes On, Leaving Us a Legacy of Hope and Humor

by Gary Paul Nabhan, Native Seeds/SEARCH Co-Founder

In the second week of August, the Tucson community, the Greater Southwest, indigenous peoples and farmers everywhere lost a good friend, an extraordinary seed saver and a historian of Southwest food and farming folkways. Dr. Barney T. Burns was far more than a co-founder of Native Seeds/SEARCH. He spent over four decades linking native farmers and artisans to the audiences, human rights support networks, and applied scholars who cared about them and their future. Trained as an archaeologist, dendrochronologist, climate scientist and ethnohistorian, Barney knew more about Northwest Mexico than anyone I have ever known, both through his first hand experiences and his readings in one of the most extensive libraries of borderlands archives and rare books I have ever seen.

If these details alone suggest that Barney was a stuffy scholar, nothing could be further than the truth. With a wry sense of humor, fun-loving trickery and shaggy dog storytelling, Barney amazed nearly every poor soul that ever traveled with him or dined with him. From the days when he was growing up in Carlsbad, New Mexico in the Fifties, to his very last days in the Tucson Mountains, Barney had a museum curator's penchant for collecting and documenting the material cultures of our region, as if on some wild adventure to rediscover the Holy Grail.