Tamales are the quintessential Southwestern Holiday treat. Around this time of year fresh made tamales fulfill our cravings for a taste of regional traditions. Blue or white masa, meat or veggie filling, sweet of savory, the taste of tamales is like no other. Preparing tamales is a multistage process. Although each step is individually simple, gathering family and friends to lend a hand makes preparation of tamales light work and reminds us of what holiday traditions are all about.
Fall has been very busy at the Conservation Farm. With the help of friends and volunteers from the community, the apprentices harvested thousands of pounds of seed from the farm, and hosted the straw bale workshops and harvest festival. Native Seeds/SEARCH loved working with the 2013 farm apprentices and are happy to call Danielle, Matt, Pablo, Travis, and Francesca life-long friends.
Spring wildflower season is one of the desert’s most colorful periods. But planning for those multicolored displays in the spring requires planning in the Fall. The prime time to plant spring flowers in the low desert areas of southern Arizona is during late September through early December. Most spring blooming wildflowers benefit from the cold temperatures of winter and begin their life cycle when the winter rains come.
As part of their Native Seeds/SEARCH experience, the 2013 farm apprentices have been learning about the bounty of the Sonoran Desert. In early July, Francesca, Matt and Travis took part in a Saguaro cactus fruit harvesting trip, the efforts of which are being enjoyed as part of smoothies, on top of breakfast and as a snack in between weeding sessions. Here apprentice Danielle shares a few of their favorite recipes.
By Chris Schmidt, Director of Conservation
Every region of the world requires unique solutions to building and sustaining its own system for seed security, but practices that work well in one context can often be informative in others. With such cross-pollination of ideas in mind, I recently had the great fortune to visit the stunning nation of Nepal to exchange experiences with farmers, community seed bank members, and staff of local and international NGOs.