Originally published 3/18/2014
In the recent book Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land (PB1058), Native Seeds/SEARCH co-founder Gary Nabhan discusses how farmers and gardeners are desperately seeking ways to adapt how they grow food in a world of climate change. One solution promoted by Nabhan is to to grow varieties that are best suited to warmer, drier climates such as those originating from the Greater Southwest region conserved in the NS/S Seed Bank. Many are traditionally dry-farmed, surviving on rainfall and soil moisture without the use of irrigation, and are well adapted to the extreme heat and drought that are part of “the new normal” of global climatic uncertainty.
Here are some of our favorite heat and drought tolerant varieties. Click on the descriptions to purchase seed from our webstore or visit the NS/S Retail shop in Tucson. We offer over 450 varieties of open-pollinated, GMO-free seeds of landrace and heirloom varieties from the Greater Southwest. Your membership and support of Native Seeds/SEARCH allows us to continue our increasingly important work in conserving unique arid-adapted crops. Consider becoming a member today.
Tepary Beans The world's most drought adapted beans, known to survive on summer rains alone. Protein and fiber rich. Try Sacaton Brown (PT004), Big Fields White (PT109), and Black (PT082) in the low desert, or Blue Speckled (PT079) and Paiute White (PT084) if your climate is milder.
Tohono O’odham “U’us mu:n” Cowpea Excellent for green beans in the low desert, or let them mature and dry for beautiful black & white dry beans. Cowpeas originate from the desert regions of Africa. V006
What are some of your favorite varieties that thrive in hot, dry conditions? Are you experiencing "the new normal" in your area?