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JAN/FEB 2014 • Issue No. 4 • GRATIS


BAJA ARIZONA Celebrating the foodways of Tucson and the borderlands.


Eating Bugs · Family Farm · Feeding Kids Member of Edible Communities

2  January - February 2014

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January - February 2014


Voices We asked 13 local leaders: Why should Tucson be designated a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy?

Gleanings Students make olive oil from campus trees; Food for Ascension Café lifts


off; Integrative Medicine Clinic comes to Tucson; new micro-markets set up shop.


In the Business Q&A with the Tucson CSA founder, Philippe Waterinckx.


Meet Your Farmer Leo Dunaetz has been farming for most of his 88 years—and he has no plans to stop soon.


Community Cultivators At South Tucson’s Garden Kitchen, Cheralyn Schmidt is cultivating vegetables and seeding cooks.


The Dish The one thing they should never take off the menu.


What’s In Season


Policy Recognizing the value of local food producers.


Fork in the Road A visit to St. Anthony’s Monastery offers a reminder of food’s origins.

48 above: Roasted white sphinz caterpillars photographed by Charles Hedgcock on the cover: Oak-leaf grasshopper illustrated by Robert J Long (NearsightGraphite). Special thanks to Gene Hall at the UA Insect Collection


edible insects finally go mainstream?


grasshopper harvest and you might get hooked.


Chef Ryan Clark is turning local into cutting-edge.

Artisan At Zona 78, Kevin Fink is butchering and curing meats in-house.


Sabores de Sonora Magdalena, Sonora, is ten miles farther from Tucson than Phoenix is— and what a difference those miles make.


Buzz After two decades, Nimbus Brewery isn’t monkeying around.

Field of Dreams The economic and physical well being of small-scale farmers and their families is a crucial component in the resiliency of our local



Gather Round, Grasshoppers Edible insects are consumed extensively worldwide; try a backyard


Acacia Restaurant is thriving in a corner overlooking Tucson.

Don’t Bug Me As entrepreneurs and academics show the benefits of bugs, will


food system.

Family Dinner As they juggle time constraints, finances, and organic awareness, some parents discover that feeding kids is all about finding balance.




The Homestead


Last Bite

Book reviews: Ancient grains, modern cooking, and a food lover’s guide.

Winter gardens, the Co-op scoop, and taste-memory through marmalade Simmons B. Buntin splits a garden bed into five parts.

edible  Baja Arizona 



grist for the mill


ore than 41 cities around the world have been designated by

UNESCO as “Creative Cities.” In categories from literature to design to music to film to gastronomy, these cities have been recognized for their contributions to promoting local creative industries and fostering worldwide cooperation for sustainable urban development. Here at Edible Baja Arizona, we think Tucson—and its surrounding Baja Arizona communities—should become a UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2014. This honorific designation can literally put a city on the map for its cultural contributions. We asked 13 local leaders to weigh in on those contributions. We’ll keep you updated on the process during the year. The quest to make our local food system more resilient, sustainable, and diverse relies on the hard work of farmers willing to weather the many challenges and travails of making a living under the sky. But as young farmer Debbie Weingarten notes in her feature story, “Today’s family farmers are faced with challenges that not only endanger our operations, but strike at the well-being of our families. The sustainability of our local food supply depends on famers being able to continue producing food. As such, the physical and economic well-being of our family farmers is essential to the sustainable food conversation.” Founded 10 years ago by Phileppe Waterinckx, the Tucson CSA was a pioneer in supporting local food production. With nearly 500 members, the CSA fosters vibrant community and encourages its members to make a shift to shopping and cooking patterns that are aligned with our Sonoran seasons. It’s a model that has spread all over Baja Arizona. Joining a local CSA in 2014 would be a great New Year’s resolution to make and keep! In South Tucson, a program founded by Cheralyn Schmidt, with the support of the University of Arizona, has become “a weekly minor miracle.” Promoting gardening and healthful cooking, the Garden Kitchen has become a locus for people from all over Tucson who flock to classes and demonstrations. It’s a great example of how to empower people to change how they think about food and the ways better choices can make a world of difference in our overall health and well being. Three profiles of local chefs show a range of approaches to notions of locality and sustainability. At Acacia—named after the resilient desert tree—Chef Albert Hall and his wife Lila have built a loyal following with a menu that focuses on seasonality and local sourcing. Rising culinary star Ryan Clark, just 28 and formerly the chef at the Lodge on the Desert, has opened Augustín Kitchen. He’s built a farm-to-table menu that relies on local sourcing without sacrificing innovation. And at Zona 78, chef Kevin Fink, 29, continues Zona’s long commitment to local sourcing with his new in-house charcuterie program, the first restaurant in Pima County to legally do so. From charcuterie to entomophagy: Maybe it’s time we consider adding creepy crawlies to our food supply. You could start with a backyard grasshopper harvest and do like our writer Marci Tarre and make tacos! We head south of the border for a taste of food stands along the road to Magdalena, just 10 miles farther from Tucson than Phoenix, but a world of culinary discoveries away. And Gary Nabhan heads north to St. Anthony’s Monastery near Florence and discovers a literal oasis in the desert. There’s much more to read and discover in this first issue of the New Year. As always, we heartily encourage you to patronize the amazing array of advertisers that support our mission of celebrating the foodways of Tucson and the borderlands. We’ll see you around the table! —Douglas Biggers, editor and publisher

6  January - February 2014






Gary Paul Nabhan AD DESIGNER

Leann Cornelius COPY EDITOR


Becky Reyes, Stephanie Chace, Kenny Stewart CONTRIBUTORS Molly Kincaid, Moses Thompson,Roxane Ramos, Ford Burkhart, Merrill Eisenberg, Romi Carrell Wittman, Gretel Hakanson, Norah Booth, Marci Tarre, Debbie Weingarten, Shefali Milczarek-Desai, Lisa O’Neill, Dena Cowen, Simmons B. Buntin PHOTOGRAPHERS Steven Meckler, Jeff Smith, Bill Steen, fotovitamina [rosanna salonia+matthew yates], Liora K, Omer Kreso, Moses Thompson, Charles Hedgecock, Melissa Gant, Robert J. Long (illustration), Danny Martin (illustration), Pasqualina Azzarello (illustration), Simmons B. Buntin WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. 307 South Convent Avenue, Barrio Viejo Tucson, Arizona 85701 520.373.5196 Edible Baja Arizona is published six times annually by Coyote Talking, LLC. Subscriptions are available for $36 annually @ Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without the express written permission of the publisher. Research and community outreach for Edible Baja Arizona is co-sponsored and funded by the W.K. Kellogg program in Borderlands Food and Water Security at the University of Arizona.

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Heritage City Tucson’s nomination as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy can help build a vibrant local foods economy— and make Baja Arizona a worldwide destination.


ew people would fail to

place the Southwest borderlands cuisine of Tucson and Baja Arizona among the top three most influential culinary traditions that have emanated from North America to the rest of the world. To celebrate the unique multicultural cuisine of our city and its regional foodshed that extends into all of Baja Arizona, we propose nominating Tucson as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, part of the Creative Cities Network fostered by the United Nations around the world. We would join cities in Sweden, Colombia, China, South Korea— and perhaps, soon, New Orleans—in sharing such an honor. In addition to touting the singular cultural amalgamation and cross-pollinating innovations in our local cuisines, such a designation can directly contribute to our community’s economic prosperity. Our extraordinary food traditions, and the innovations that are still emerging from Baja Arizona, can play a huge role in helping to grow a strong and vibrant local foods economy, building upon our traditions to benefit everyone who lives here. Tucson—and the ring of rural communities that help to feed it—continues to be an incubator for culinary innovation by promoting the use of unique regional ingredients of the Southwest borderlands. This city has more street food carts and wagons per capita than any other U.S. city except Los Angeles. And notably, the Tucson area has more heritage foods on the Slow Food International Ark of Taste grown within 100 miles of it than any city in North America.

8  January - February 2014

In the last 50 years, Tucson has become the epicenter of transnational Sonoran Desert food traditions, bringing together many influences: Native American, Northern Mexican or Sonoran, Mission-era Mediterranean, and American RanchStyle Cowboy cuisine—to name just a few. Chimichangas, prickly pear margaritas, and flat enchiladas are but three of the many signature foods of the Southwest that can now be found on every continent—from Almaty, Kazakhstan to Cuzco, Peru, We wish to celebrate this epicenter of desert culinary traditions by working with the mayor and our many cultural institutions, tourism agencies, businesses, and food organizations to designate Tucson and its surrounding regional foodshed as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2014. In doing so, we hope to galvanize the many talents found in our chefs, farmers and ranchers, our educational and cultural institutions, non-profit organizations, and many food-related businesses, to make Tucson the most attractive culinary tourism destination point for Southwest borderlands cuisine on the planet. Why is such a nomination for Tucson as deserving as the one that Iowa City, Iowa received as a UNESCO City of Literature? The Tucson basin may be the oldest metropolitan area in North America (north of the Tropic of Cancer) where agriculture has persisted uninterrupted for four millennia. A continuous history of 4,100 years of farming and gardening of annual and perennial crops has been found in the archaeological record within 12 miles of downtown Tucson.

Local know-how and culinary practices surviving from the pre-industrial era have been retained, passed down, celebrated, and innovated upon. Many local, regional, or “endogenous” ingredients are still incorporated into the cuisine of Tucson and Baja Arizona. Tucson boasts a vibrant gastronomic community, with well-known and awardwinning chefs, restaurants, food writers, publications, tourist destinations, and annual events that celebrate local food. There is respect for the environment and active participation in its stewardship demonstrated among the region’s food producers and purveyors—with farmers, ranchers, chefs, and food artisans tangibly advancing their commitment to sustainability. There is also widespread promotion of a glorious biodiversity in the foods of the region for their nutritional value and contributions to community health, advanced by the city’s educational institutions, cooking schools, beloved nonprofits, and public events. We encourage all Baja Arizona citizens, farmers, food educators, historians, chefs, enthusiasts, and food writers to contact us at Edible Baja Arizona with your willingness to support such a nomination, and your ideas for explaining to an international panel of evaluators what makes Tucson’s gastronomic traditions and innovations so worthy of recognition. We will work with the mayor and other institutions to pursue this objective in 2014. Are you with us? Email —The Editors

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What culinary traditions, innovations, ingredients, celebrations, or institutions make Tucson worthy of being designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy?

With a history going back at least 4,000 years, Tucson is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited places in the United States. At one time part of Mexico, we have a rich tradition of Tohono O’Odham, Yaqui, Spanish and Anglo influences, which can be seen in our architecture and food. Tucson has a strong locovore movement—a preference for locally-grown, locally-prepared food and drink. With ingredients

Photography by Steven Meckler

ranging from pinto beans to cactus buds, Tucson cuisine is unique and deserving to be included in UNESCO’s World Cities of Gastronomy.

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, City of Tucson

10  January - February 2014

Tucson is located in the Santa Cruz River Valley, one of the

Take cumin, coriander, garlic, and cilantro, grind it up, and add beef

longest continually cultivated regions in the United States, with an

that spent its life munching desert grass and jojoba leaves. When

agricultural heritage extending back more than 4,000 years. Over

tender, pile on a tortilla and sprinkle with a crushed chiltepin. There

that long timespan it has also been a corridor for cultural diffusion

you have the original Southwest cuisine—a mélange of flavors

and exchange of foods and culinary traditions. This reciprocal

deliciously our own. Serve with a Tucson micro-brew. Buen provecho.

exchange of Old World and native foods resulted in a uniquely

Carolyn Niethammer, author and food blogger

blended cuisine that is worthy of the City of Gastronomy title.

Vanessa Bechtol, Executive Director Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance

Many dishes we eat here are the cultural culinary icons of the region.

Ever since the introduction of corn about 4,000 years ago, Tucson

These are dishes like chiles rellenos, burritos, and the local version,

has been absorbing new foods, new crops, and new techniques. By

the chimichanga, tacos, autumn’s green corn tamales, sizzling

now, we pretty much have it all. If you’re looking for cuisine, we

marinated meats a la parilla, and the simple, flour tortilla, first

have lots of talented, innovative professional chefs, many of whom

developed here with Sonoran white wheat. These dishes symbolize

work with local ingredients. And if it’s food you’re after, there’s

our gastronomic heritage. The most amazing part, when you

the Sonoran hot dog and the wonderful O’odham combination of

consider the rugged vastness of the Sonoran desert and the drought

fiery chile colorado and potato salad. What more could you ask?

conditions in which we often find ourselves, is that these foods exist

Jim Griffith, co-founder of Tucson Meet Yourself, former director of the Southwest Folklore Center at the UA, columnist, and author

at all. That they do is a testament to their victory in the struggle to survive and a tribute to man’s ability to not only create sustenance, but also to coax great flavor from what at first appears so meager.

Janos Wilder, Chef and Owner, Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails

edible  Baja Arizona 


When talking about access to good food, what emerges are the stories

The Old Pueblo—authentic, layered, complex and un-quaint—is at

about the challenges of reintroducing flavors that are no longer

the center of a centuries-old agricultural basin which, like close to

commonplace. Because of these stories, we can now map a tour of the

50 percent of the earth’s terrain, is categorized as arid landscapes.

farms, ranches, orchards, and sacred places—environmental and cultural—

So when we eat local we are not only supporting the long-term

that make this regional heritage alliance worthy of the highest world

sustainability of our region’s family ranches and farms, we are also

class UNESCO designation. Metropolitan Tucson spends $4.9 billion

modeling arid-landscape agricultural production methods with

per year on food grown mostly elsewhere, and that’s a missed economic

truly global ramifications—we are doing good by eating well.

development opportunity. We need to buy more from nearby family farms

Derrick Widmark, Owner, Diablo Burger

and ranches, from the markets that stock what they grow, and from the culinary magicians that make a point of cooking with their products.

Jaime de Zubeldia, Owner, ReZoNation Farm

In this sparse, often harsh Sonoran desert which appears to the outsider as unable to support life, we live amid an abundance of food sources and inspirations. Our ancestors—indigenous, European, African, and Asian—understood that this arid earth, with care and dedication, could yield rich plant life to sustain them and their animals. Our predecessors developed a desert-based diet in this giving and fragile environment. Our food is special and endearing.

Ernesto Portillo Jr., Reporter, Arizona Daily Star

12  January - February 2014

One of my favorite culinary traditions in Tucson is the season of fresh green corn tamales, which brings together families, community, food, and best of all, deliciousness! Green corn tamale production involves the whole family, starting with the buying of the white corn, to laying out fresh husks, charring green chiles, and preparing masa. Everyone that is part of a tamalada, after sharing the meal, is sent home with a few dozen fresh green corn tamales to enjoy later. Carlotta Flores, Owner, El Charro Café

Historically, Tucson has been the focal point for the integration of

The diversity of the food scene in Tucson reflects the diversity of its

Native American, Hispanic, and early settler culinary traditions. During

people and the care of the excellent local chefs in building menus

the past 30 years Tucson has experienced the remarkable rise in local

based on history as well as vision. We are fortunate to have such local

farms, ranches, wineries, and farmers’ markets. They bring fresh local

talent highlighting 4,100 years of farming and its edible products.

products to our home tables and local restaurants. More and more

Joaquin Ruiz, UA Vice President of Innovation and Strategy and Executive Dean, Colleges of Letters, Arts and Science

if we raise these products in Tucson, we savor them in Tucson.

Don Luria, founding president of the Tucson Originals and the Tucson Culinary Festival, and chair, Slow Food Southern Arizona

The most wonderful flavors of the Southwest as well as the combination of the influences of Mexico make Tucson unique. We use spices, chiles, and nopales to create unusual and savory fare. The aromas and the intensity of the flavors are exclusive to Tucson. Suzana Davila, Chef and Owner, Café Poca Cosa

Archaeologists have documented more than four millennia of continuous cultivation here, demonstrating that our food history has an unrivaled depth in North America. Over time, waves of different arriving cultures on top of an indigenous Native American base have created a complex, layered cuisine that blends multiple foodways in both traditional recipes and innovative contemporary dishes using heritage ingredients. The distinctive flavors of this place differentiate us from everywhere else. Jonathan Mabry, City Archaeologist and Historic Preservation Officer

edible  Baja Arizona 


Dozens of UA students, like Ty Trainer (left), came out to harvest olives from campus trees. They collected almost 400 pounds to press into olive oil.

From Olive Us Students at the UA are harvesting olives from campus trees to make olive oil. By Molly Kincaid | Photography by Moses Thompson


here is no dearth of enthusiasm for local foods here in Tucson, judging from the turnout of olive-pickers for a Veteran’s Day harvest on the UA’s campus. Forty-one volunteers came out and helped rake olives from the trees that dot the campus. When graduate students Angela Knerl and Alex Arizpe got a University of Arizona Green Fund grant to fund the project, they advertised locally that they needed volunteers. “The community was primed for accepting local food rather than letting it go to waste,” says Knerl. “We’re just wanting to harvest foods that are already growing on campus, in hopes of promoting a sustainable campus overall.” Knerl and Arizpe proposed making olive oil and selling small bottles of it at the UA bookstore, but when they realized that it takes 250 pounds of olives to make one gallon of oil, they decided they would serve the olive oil through UA Dining Services. Knerl says that when the olive oil is used, students will see a sign that says, “You are eating UA olive oil!” 14  January - February 2014

Melanie Lenart, a professor in UA’s Soil, Water and Environmental Science Department, coordinates LEAF (Linking Edible Arizona Forests), a group that helped the students obtain the grant and carry out the harvest. “In this technological age, we’re getting tired of never touching the ground,” Lenart says. “What was amazing to me was how many people were interested in taking part. It’s great that people look around and see there is food in their environment. I think that’s sinking into the larger consciousness.” The olive harvest represented colossal community collaboration—the Campus Arboretum and UA Green Fund played an important role in allowing access to the trees, and Queen Creek Olive Mill processed the olives. LEAF already collaborates with Iskashitaa Refugee Network to harvest citrus on campus and with the Campus Arboretum to harvest mesquite pods. Mesquite flour has already been incorporated into the UA Dining Services to feed students.

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While harvesting on campus may fit with the modern local, low-carbon-footprint ethos, the practice actually dates back to at least the 1970s, recalls Joseph Patterson, Ph.D., founder of Desert Survivors. He remembers a fellow graduate student from Crete marveling at all the olive trees on campus that no one seemed to pick. “He said, ‘In Crete, if you have bread, olive oil, and olives, you’re considered rich!’” So Patterson and a gaggle of other grad students helped gather and brine olives. “It was a lot of fun and they tasted great too,” Patterson says. “I’m glad to see it being revived.” Patterson, who went on to forge a career out of helping developmentally disabled find “real work for real pay,” working with plants for Desert Survivors, echoes Lenart’s views of the stifled modern condition. “People need those primitive human behaviors. Doing things in the dirt with our hands is probably wired into our brainstems. There’s a lot of good sensory feedback— smells and touch and sounds,” he says. “I’m convinced that if we measured the blood pressures and heart rates of people who garden and people who live the crazy modern life, those who work in the soil have a much more healthy lifestyle.” To learn more, viist ✜


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aja Arizona loyalists brace yourselves: Queen Creek Olive Mill sits on the north side of the Gila. What then could possibly possess three Tucsonans to load up a University of Arizona truck with a 392 pounds of Tucson heirloom olives and make the hour and a half drive north? For starters, Queen Creek Olive Mill is Arizona’s only working olive mill and farm. “We considered the idea of purchasing a mill and trying to produce oil ourselves but cost and the issues of running and storing a mill turned us off,” says Alex Arizpe, a graduate student at the UA in natural resource management. What made more sense to the student group was Queen Creek’s Co-Op Pressing Program. Co-op pressing only happens during olive harvest season, which runs from October to December. To qualify, olives must be harvested directly from the tree, delivered to the mill within 24 hours of harvest, consist of a 60 percent green and purple mix, and hit a 300-pound minimum. Under the co-op program Queen Creek cold presses olives at no cost but retains 50 percent of the oil. For more than a decade Queen Creek Olive Mill has been sustainably growing olives at the base of the San Tan Mountains and pressing artisan oils. For Queen Creek, location is key. The northern flood plain of the Gila River is extremely fertile and the desert Southwest is devoid of olive insect predators, which makes pesticide-free production a no-brainer. Lucky for us in Baja Arizona, Queen Creek Olive Mill recently opened Oils and Olives at La Encantada, bringing their northern grown olives and handcrafted oils south across the Gila into Tucson. — Moses Thompson

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By Lee Allen


ow can you improve Fourth Avenue, that milelong street that bills itself as “The Heart of Tucson’s Nightlife” and features 21 restaurants? You add another one that showcases food fresh-from-the-farm and menus that change based on what was picked in the field that day. “We are a new paradigm for the restaurant industry, supportive of the community, and representing an amalgam of people who do things in a different way,” says executive chef Rani Olson as she whips up a dish of garden-fresh beets on creamy polenta. Olson, a culinary artist skilled in slow food preparation, beams as she talks about her new restaurant; she says the Food For Ascension Café is a plant-based, farm-to-table eatery where fresh is the key word. Food will be harvested from Avalon Organic Gardens in Tumacacori and other area farmers, resting only briefly in a walk-in cooler before a dish of “something made with the day’s ingredients” shows up on the menu board that evening. Although refusing to be typecast as a pure vegan restaurant, Olson says it will come “pretty darn close” with the occasional egg and honey finding a place in a few offerings, though there are no meat items on the menu—just toxic-free, organic edibles, served in a tasty fashion. The menu is split into “cold fork” and “hot fork” plates. A recent evening’s offerings included a marinated mushroom or pesto plate appetizer, lettuce lentil soup, roasted eggplant on baked polenta, and a rustic open-faced sandwich with oyster mushrooms. The Chef says her savory offerings will be ever-changing. “We rely on seasonal spontaneity, whatever is ripe and ready for picking in the field,” she says. “Our gluten-free baked goods will be a fairly reliable staple because there are lots of grains grown locally and regionally, but for the rest, it’s whatever is in season. “Let food be your medicine,” advised Hippocrates and, indeed, that’s what the new eatery is doing. “Food For Ascension Café will be a locavore’s paradise, a space of inspiration and education,

“We rely on seasonal spontaneity, whatever is ripe and ready for picking in the field.”

Photo by Serena Tang

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Food For Ascension’s menu changes weekly. In late November, the mixed baby green salad comes with alfafa sprouts, radish, red onion, black beans, and a farm-fresh soft poached egg.

evolving from the concept that the food we eat not only maintains and heals our bodies, but affects the mind as well because healthy foods help the brain work better,â€? says marketing manager Amadon DellErba. The cafĂŠ offers inside seating for three dozen diners with more outdoor patio tables for al fresco dining. As a non-alcoholic venue, Food For Ascension will serve organic kombucha on tap along with home-made nut milks, juices, teas, “and some unique elixers,â€? says Olson. “We’re excited to have the Food For Ascension CafĂŠ joining the Fourth Avenue scene,â€? says Kurt Tallis on behalf of the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association. “Our little street of dreams continues to attract the best entrepreneurial spirits and the CafĂŠ is a welcome addition.â€? ✜ Food For Ascension CafĂŠ. 330 East 7th St. , 520.882.4736.

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Integrating Medicine By Molly Kincaid


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here are a few new primary care docs in town, and they’re doing things a little bit differently. Rather than relying heavily on prescription medications, they focus on preventative care, lifestyle change, and holistic wellness before turning to traditional medicine. They’ll be at the Tucson Integrative Medicine Clinic, a branch of Andrew Weil’s Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, set to open in May 2014. The original Integrative Medical Center opened in 1994, and already provides consultative care to patients and trains medical professionals in integrative medicine. But Executive Director Victoria Maizes, M.D., says, “There has long been a desire to have an integrative primary care center.” Patients who will benefit from the new center range from those who seek help managing stress, losing weight, and changing their diet to those who have already been diagnosed with chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes. “Everyone can benefit from integrative health,” Maizes says. “It’s really a team approach to care.” Each patient might see a variety of specialists including primary care physicians, nutritionists, manual therapy specialists, and mental health practitioners. They may also recommend patients take part in group visits, lifestyle seminars, tai chi, and yoga classes on site. Maizes explains that goals of the new center are two-fold. Its first priority is to improve the overall health of the community in order to prevent stroke, diabetes, and heart disease, because these conditions are exceedingly preventable. Even some cancers can be prevented through lifestyle change. Secondly, she says, “Our goal is to do outcomes research to prove to insurance companies that integrative medicine is worth covering.” The center will take most insurance plans and will work with patients to find an affordable monthly membership plan (starting at $500) that allows them to use the gamut of services. Already, integrative medicine is gaining ground in the mainstream medical world. The Center’s 200-hour training program is offered in 45 residency programs around the country. It may be combined with traditional medicine to achieve the best plan for each patient. And of course, Maizes does not forget about food. “In integrative medicine, we see humans as physical, mental, and spiritual beings,” she says. “Nutrition is a foundational piece of health. I’ve truly been struck over the years I’ve been practicing by how much it benefits a patient if they are willing to change their eating habits to anti-inflammatory diets.” This includes whole foods, particularly those without pesticides and chemicals. “There is a direct link between the health of the soil and the health of the people,” she says. Visit ✜

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ucsonans know that our desert lands can provide edibles all year around, but eating locally isn’t always convenient. Enter FoodInRoot, a start-up that hatched in the University of Arizona’s Eller MBA program. Concerned that eating locally appealed only to the small slice of society that actively sought out farmers’ markets, FoodInRoot co-founders Clayton Kammerer and Jon Hall had the idea to “bring the market to the people.” The two pilot “micro-markets” are strategiDennis & Deb Moroney cally located in places where people already mill about on the 47 Ranch, McNeal, Arizona weekends—El Con Shopping CenterSky and Santa Fe Square Island Brand Meatson the east side of town. Progressive Conservationists “Many people don’t yet seek out&shopping at Growers farmers’ marLocal Food kets,” Kammerer says. “We hope to convert those people into What we’re about. where farmers’ market shoppers by taking the market toall locations there’s a captive audience.” In other words, when your weekend plans include errands at Home Depot or Target, you can stop in for a bunch of bok choy grown locally and some hot tamales rather than hitting the drive-through. At a recent visit to the El Con market, there were a handful of quality vendors, selling locally made jams, salsas, gluten free goods, and produce. There are twice as many vendors at the Santa Fe market, Kammerer says, but he also cites attracting quality vendors as one of the greatest challenges thus far. “For small farmers, their time is so valuable, they can only afford to go to

Jaime & Kara de Zubeldia ReZonation Farm Avra Valley, Arizona Raising chickens, hogs & honeybees. Advocating for local foods & food justice for all. What we’re all about.


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market one day a week, so as a community we have got to support them by buying their produce,” he says. As a community-minded businessman, Kammerer believes that Tucson can easily support all its local farmers, so long as people have visible access to them in a convenient setting. In the long run, he hopes the business training behind FoodInRoot will help it to “build a better blueprint for building a farmers’ market.” ✜ Santa Fe Square Farmers’ Market, 7000 E. Tanque Verde Road, Sun. 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. El Con Shopping Center Farmers’ Market, 3601 E. Broadway Blvd., Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 520.261.6982.


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Ally for Food

ith th r ee years of work under its belt, the Pima County Food Alliance is looking to bring new voices and members to the table. Founded in 2011 as part of a federal stimulus grant called Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW), the Pima County Food Alliance (PCFA) is a coalition of community members working to create an integrated, regional, and secure food system by supporting farms, access to healthy foods, and positive changes in local food policy. Open to the general public, the PCFA was launched as a collaborative effort between staff at the University of Arizona College of Public Health and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, and continues to work with dozens of organizations, farms, and other institutions, including the City of Tucson. “We want to encourage and facilitate critical conversation and activities that intentionally define and guide how we want to eat in our region,” said Jaime de Zubeldia, owner of ReZoNation Farm and a founding member of the alliance. “Historically, food and agriculture have been the foundational pillars of a community’s local economy, and the most direct path to understanding a region’s culture and values which must be protected.” The general membership is guided by the 16-member Leadership Council that serves two-year volunteer terms. The council is now accepting applications for new members to replace those whose terms are ending in January. The position is open to any community member with experience and expertise in the local food system, although this year, “We’re also interested in applicants who have event planning and facilitation experience, as well as those who can help with the organizational and communication side of things, whether or not they have significant experience with local food.” Apply to serve on the PCFA Leadership Council at Applications are due January 26. Email ✜


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Cultivating Community Interview by Roxane Ramos

As the founder of the Tucson CSA, Philippe Waterinckx shortens the distance between farm and table—and between Tucsonans.

What is a CSA? A CSA—which means Community Supported Agriculture—is a subscription to a local farm. Members pay up front for a certain length of time during which they each pick up a share of fresh, locally grown, organic produce every week. It’s an efficient system—the farmer knows how much to plant and how much to harvest, so there’s no waste. It’s also good value for members.

What made you decide to start the Tucson CSA when you did? Back in late 2003, when I was a UA geography student, I learned about CSAs while interviewing Frank Martin of Crooked Sky Farms for a class project. He was supplying CSAs in Flagstaff and Prescott. I offered to start one in Tucson. Within a week, I had rounded up 15 members from among my classmates and we started distributing produce shares on my front porch.

Besides Crooked Sky Farms, what other local producers does the Tucson CSA work with? When our members started to ask about products other than veggies, we looked around for local and regional sources. One of our vendors is Josh Koehn, who grew up on a farm in Willcox and has been raising chickens since he was 6 years old. He just loved chickens. Now Josh is in his mid-20s and raises poultry and cattle on land leased from his dad. He practices sustainable ranching methods and provides us with grass-fed beef and lamb, pastureraised chickens and turkeys, and the most amazing, truly free26  January - February 2014

range eggs I’ve ever tasted. We get delicious goat cheese from Black Mesa Ranch in the White Mountains. We also have incredible, naturally leavened, organic bread from Barrio Bread, a Tucson CSB (community supported baker). Don Guerra, the owner and baker, is a true artisan and he now also works with local flours, like Sonoran wheat.

Was there a watershed moment for the local food movement? The interest in the Tucson CSA was immediate. Within a year, we grew to close to a hundred from the original fifteen. All by word of mouth. But the watershed moment came in 2007 or so. Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma came out, and also Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, a former Tucsonan. Those two books got a great deal of press and generated a lot of interest in local foods. As a consequence of that momentum, our membership went from 200 to about 500 in about a year. Our membership now oscillates between 300 and 500. In the summer, many people are out of town and membership drops. It’s highest in the fall, when people return and the produce diversity is at its highest. That’s the time of year when the CSA is really at its most glorious.

Does the Tucson CSA have any competition these days? When we began, we were pretty much the only CSA in town. Now there are many. I think it’s great. To have a healthy and resilient local food system, you need many producers and many outlets. If we were the only CSA and something happened to our

Photo by fotovitamina

Philippe Waterinckx is a constant presence at the CSA’s Tuesday and Wednesday pickups, greeting regulars and offering tips and tricks for new produce.

edible  Baja Arizona 


farmer, we would collapse and that would be the end of a major source of local organic products in Tucson. Luckily, the local organic food system here has become a lot stronger in recent years.

What can a member expect when they join the Tucson CSA? Besides the wonderful, organically grown produce, they’ll join a vibrant and supportive community of people who want to eat and shop locally. This shift usually creates a positive impact in people’s lives. They feel like they’ve adapted their shopping and cooking habits to our Sonoran seasons and like the challenge of cooking predominantly with the veggies they receive each week. But it can be a new experience to cook with veggies you’re not familiar with. That’s where our newsletter and online recipes come in (at Most of the recipes are written by ourselves or our members, people who are creative cooks and come up with interesting, easy recipes.

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What have been the chief rewards of running the Tucson CSA? Without a doubt, I would say it’s the community that the Tucson CSA has created. The CSA is a happy place. It’s incredibly gratifying to meet these people who have chosen to buy local organic food. Many members joined because they wanted to start a family and eat healthy food. Over the past decade, we’ve watched members’ children grow up—we call them CSA babies. They come every week with their parents to pick up their veggies. It’s great to see those little kids know their vegetables. And then there are the CSA volunteers who make it all happen. Week after week, they unload the farm truck, distribute produce, and provide helpful cooking advice to members.

You mention the CSA babies. What sorts of foods did you grow up with?

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I grew up in post-colonial Belgian Congo. The economy had totally collapsed and there were few food outlets and not much choice. Many people grew their own food. I baked bread for my family. I grew tomatoes, avocados, and citrus, which I traded for chickens and eggs from a neighbor. My mom would buy a cow every year, and we’d split it among several people, one of whom was the daughter of an Italian butcher who knew how to cut a steer and make sausage. So I grew up fully immersed in a local food system. Starting a CSA was enormously appealing because it was like going back to my roots. ✜ Join at Pickups are Tues. and Weds. 4 – 7 p.m. in the courtyard of The Historic Y. 300 E. University Blvd. Roxane Ramos is a local writer who also volunteers at the Tucson CSA. She loves the way getting fresh ingredients each week sparks creativity in the kitchen and inspires delicious meals to share with friends.

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The Wisdom of Big D Leo Dunaetz has been farming for most of his 88 years, with no plans to stop soon. By Megan Kimble | Photography by Liora K


n September , when Leo Dunaetz of Big D Farm turned

88, many farmers’ market customers congratulated him. He’d have none of it. “I said, well it’s not near as great as 99. Question is, will I be here at 99?” Dunaetz plans to be—and if he is, he’ll be farming. “My basic thing in life is to provide, as long as I can, really good tasting stuff to the people of this Tucson area,” he says. “They need it. There are a lot people who can’t afford to pay five dollars a pop for a regular tomato, no matter how good it tastes. And ours do taste excellent, by the way.” Dunaetz grew up on a farm near Millburg, Michigan, on a plot of land his grandfather bought after immigrating to the United States from Russia during World War I. He farmed that same land with his father for 25 years before moving on—though not of his own volition. (“I ended up in a divorce court. She got the farm and I got the highway.”) After 18 years of taking up railroad track throughout the Midwest, Dunaetz moved to central California and worked on a farm his cousin owned. In 2004, Dunaetz’s oldest son, Forest, 60, who was living in Vail, called him up and said he’d found some land nearby that he thought his dad would like to farm. “I said, ‘I’m already farming.’ But I came over here and signed on with him for a 30-year mortgage,” says Dunaetz. On Big D Farm’s 40 acres in Cochise, 12 of which are actively

cultivated, Leo and Forest grow “everything from zucchini squash to apples,” says Leo. Their 700-tree orchard includes three varieties of peaches, three of apricots, six kinds of apples and a variety of pear-apple. Dunaetz has another son, Neil, 58, and a daughter, Laurie, 56. Neil came down this past summer to help his brother and father run the farm. Although several of their management decisions rankled Leo, their presence allowed him to rest and recuperate after eight years of working 80-hour weeks from March to November. Still, he struggles with arthritis and diabetes, which frustrates him. “I regret the fact that I’ve got this arthritis,” he says. “I’m going to try to get it fixed. It’s not a good situation in trying to do what I want to do. I really don’t want to stop. I have no desire to stop.” With the help of Neil and Forest, Leo sells Big D produce at four farmers’ markets every week—three in Tucson and one in Oro Valley. Dunaetz been going to farmers’ markets his whole life; he says the first time he ran his own stand was in 1946. How have farmers’ markets changed since then? Mileage has increased—the miles farmers drive to get their produce to market. And, he says, customers are pickier, more skeptical. “The American people have been hurt so bad by poor tasting food that they’re suspicious of everything,” he says. “You’ve almost got to hand them a sample to show that it can taste this good. One lady said, ‘I never had a melon this good

“We need more people who have their heart and soul in working with fruits and vegetables and living on a farm.”

30  January - February 2014

Leo Dunaetz has been selling at farmers’ markets as long as he can remember; he loves the direct interaction with customers who, he says, have been damaged by the poor quality and taste of supermarket fruits and vegetables.

edible  Baja Arizona 


La Posada del Rio Sonora


(Above) Leo’s son, Forest, who owns and operates Big D alongside his father, helps out at the Sunday farm stand at St. Philip’s Plaza. (Below) Leo shows off the farm’s diversity of late season heirloom tomatoes.

Surrounded by majestic desert mountain ridges, Banámichi is a community that time forgot. The Hotel was built for the socially and environmentally conscious guest using local materials and built by local tradesmen. Just 5 hours from Tucson in the Rio Sonora Valley. 32  January - February 2014

in my whole life!’” He pauses, a good long pause, and shakes his head. “What a tragedy. “Good nutrition comes from good taste, which come from people who really know how to grow stuff,” he says. “And you’ve got to train these people to do it, because it just doesn’t happen.” Luckily, there are farmers in southern Arizona who care about Dunaetz’s plight and the importance of successional farming— passing land and knowledge from one generation of growers to another. The Farm Education Resource Network was created to train a new generation of food producers in the desert Southwest by connecting them with established farmers and ranchers. “Our goal is to keep farmers in the Southwest,” says Tina Bartsch, who co-owns Walking J Farm and started FERN with the help of Debbie Weingarten of Sleeping Frog Farms. Incorporated as a 501(c) (3) in 2012, FERN is working to create internship opportunities to train potential food producers. “You need to have local farmers to create a local foodshed,” says Bartsch. “But if you want to grow more farmers, you need to have a place for them to farm.” Although a frequently cited barrier to entry for new farmers is access to land, Big D Farm has been on the market for more than three years. Dunaetz says he’d gladly stay on the farm to train whoever wanted to take it over. “I’d gradually turn the thing over to them,” he says. “That way, you have someone producing after I’m gone, to fill the needs of these folks. You’ve got so many people in the Tucson area that would like to buy the very best and can’t afford it. That bothers me. “We need more people who have their heart and soul in working with fruits and vegetables and living on a farm. It wouldn’t hurt to have another couple of million more organic farmers in this country.” Dunaetz sees his work as “tied to the health of the American people,” which he says, concerns him. “I want to help as many people get nutrition through fruits and vegetables as I can. It’s not just important to me or to them. It’s important to the whole country.” According to the National Young Farmers’ Coalition, in the next two decades, more than two-thirds of the farmland in the United States will change hands. “One of FERN’s goals is to keep good agricultural land out of development,” says Bartsch. To that effect, FERN is launching LandLink, a database to connect farmers like Dunaetz, who’s trying to sell farmland, with new producers who might want to buy that land. “I feel a sense of urgency to get this going, so we don’t lose farms like Leo’s,” says Bartsch. In the meantime, as he waits for the farm to sell, as he waits for “Jack Frost to roll in,” Duneatz will prepare for the next season. “Whether I’m here or there’s a new owner; it’s immaterial. The land should continue to produce.” ✜


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Find Leo and Forest at the St. Philip’s Farmers’ Market on Saturday and Sunday, at Broadway Village on Friday, and Oro Valley on Saturday. (“If I live and the creeks don’t rise, I’ll be there.”) Megan Kimble is the managing editor of Edible Baja Arizona. For the latest on food in Baja Arizona, follow her at or @megankimble.

edible  Baja Arizona 



Sprouting Kitchen At South Tucson’s Garden Kitchen, Cheralyn Schmidt is cultivating vegetables and seeding cooks. By Ford Burkhart


ently, her spatula lifts

the edge of a small demo pizza. Almost done. Who’d know it’s another secret weapon in the arsenal of Cheralyn Schmidt, the founder of Garden Kitchen in South Tucson. She’s out to get more vegetables into our diets, so in this pizza crust she substitutes fiber-rich zucchini for the white flour. The fiber promotes good digestion and keeps cholesterol at proper levels, she says, and the veggies deliver vitamins and minerals. Her Saturday morning audience at the Garden Kitchen is skeptical. That is, until four cooks in white coats deliver their justcooked samples. Oh, yeah. Tasty. A keeper. With cheese and sauce, Schmidt tells the moms and dads, kids will love to eat veggies. “I call these stealth veggies,” she says. “Freeze a few of these pizzas for whenever. Just take out and bake.” The core gospel of the Garden Kitchen, a collaboration by the University of Arizona, Pima County and the City of South Tucson, emphasizes fresh, healthy, inexpensive food. After the pizza demo, Schmidt segues to some survival tips: How to find zucchini at two pounds for 99 cents. And why we should plant only Armenian cucumbers. (They’re tough immigrants from Egypt and Pakistan and love our desert. Never bitter.) The demo unfolds weekly here in Cheralyn Schmidt’s world. A few yards away grow lush stands of pomegranates, peaches, lemons, Armenian (of course) cucumbers, okra, squash, mint, lavender, and sage. Visitors spot kale, collards, quinoa, holy basil, Mrs. Burns’ lemon basil, oregano, and Papago Bob squash (the really big ones). There’s fig, apple, honeydew, and the oddly named heirloom squash: Magdalena Big Cheese. Some garden. Anyone can come on Saturday mornings to learn gardening

34  January - February 2014

and cooking. The staff also perform demonstrations and training in nutrition and culinary and gardening skills for community groups, churches, civic groups, schools, and even hospital staffs. Schmidt devised the Garden Kitchen from scratch. Here her staff of chefs and educators teach food basics, slipping in ideas for national food policy, to outdoor audiences of up to 80. Many are from South Tucson, about half of them on food stamps. Several are faithful attendees every week. Schmidt shares tips on soy chorizo and turbinado sugar; the crowd is on the edge of their seats, taking notes. As the boss of this tiny paradise on South Fourth Avenue at 28th Street, Schmidt knows her audience. Many are mothers with zero extra time. A few of the men are chefs, curious about the buzz Garden Kitchen is creating; others are heads of their own households, like Francisco Tellez. He arrives with his wheelchair-bound mother, Socorro, in her big straw hat. They attend the garden demo from 9 to 10 a.m., and then the 10 to 11 a.m. cooking demo. After Socorro lost her husband and became too ill to cook, Frank moved in. He had to learn, fast. To economize, he’s starting a garden at their home on West Sandy Street. For him, the Garden Kitchen is a lifesaver. Before landing in Tucson, Schmidt ran a cooking school in Austin, Texas, working for Whole Foods headquarters, rolling out themes for stores around the United States. Four years ago, she took on Cheralyn Schmidt, top left, Tucson’s anti-hunger project founded Garden Kitchen in for low-income families under 2012; since then, it’s gained a the Supplemental Nutrition Asloyal following of gardeners, sistance Program (SNAP), from cooks, students, and parents. the USDA’s Food and Nutrition

Photography by Melissa Gant


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Service, drawing on her policy wonk side to design ways for parents to involve kids in healthier home menus. Then she got her big break. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control wanted to channel funds to Pima County to distribute to a project like the Garden Kitchen, aimed in part at preventing obesity. The CDC was establishing centers in 50 communities under its Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) initiative. Schmidt was tapped by Ramón Valadez, chair of the county board of supervisors, to make it all work. “We all had different chunks of the pie, government policy, food policy,” Schmidt says. “There were not really any demo kitchens like this around. They came to me, wanting me to do the idea.” A federal grant covered refurbishing the building, a failed Mexican restaurant called Lili’s Cocina, at 2205 S. Fourth Ave. The Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang had wanted to buy it for a clubhouse. Instead, the county bought it, for $225,000 with federal funds marked for improving low-income neighborhoods, and put in $200,000 to fix it up. South Tucson helped prep the site. In ten months, in the fall of 2012, it was ready to open. Schmidt enlisted UA faculty and staff like Dominque Henry, a specialist in nutrition and diabetes at the UA College of Medicine. As a result, at every demo Schmidt stresses tips for children and for kitchens where a person is struggling with, say, diabetes. The kitchen also draws upon the UA Department of Nutritional Sciences and the School of Geography and Development. For a year now, people from the fashionable foothills, from nearby schools, from the neighborhood have become fans. They gather in this area of auto shops, bars and modest homes to learn

from Schmidt and her team. She’s the senior program coordinator of the kitchen, working for the UA Cooperative Extension program, an arm of the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, while she completed a master’s in public health. The kitchen has eight employees and 30 volunteers, and draws on students and faculty from the UA Department of Nutritional Sciences and the School of Geography and Development. It’s just the first of several planned UA efforts to expand outreach in South Tucson. Amid tall sunflowers and ubiquitous melon vines, some growing out across the sidewalks, her staff members begin the weekly sessions with garden demos on topics like composting or water harvesting. Visitors sit on bales of straw under a shade. After the garden hour, everyone shifts to the outdoor demo site, drawn by aromas of cooked broccoli, cauliflower, and onions. In short, it’s a weekly minor miracle on South Fourth Avenue. The impact of Schmidt’s gardeners and cooks is spreading like the squash vines outside her demo kitchen. Groups of parents from low-income schools schedule trips to learn about how to “eat a rainbow” and how to find ingredients that are muy barato (very cheap). To a Muslim visitor, Schmidt recommends Babylon Market on Speedway Boulevard. “They have halal meat, cheap, and good, and they take the fat off.” Schmidt aims to take budget-gourmet lectures anywhere people want to learn how to stay thin and eat well. “We want this woven into the food knowledge of the nation.” Most of the advice is preventive, focusing on obesity and illness. But she offers intervention tips as well. “If people are already ill,” Schmidt says, “that can require pretty big changes in your life. I am happy to help. I meet with people who are going through a health catastrophe, a gastric bypass, cancer, diabetes. I can’t treat illnesses but I can help them a lot.” Her health-oriented classes are among the most popular, sometimes with a focus on cooking for family members with hypertension or high blood pressure. She shows how to make dishes “sabrosos (tasty) without sodium.” The staff members occasionally teach at a specialized diabetes facility at the old Kino Hospital, now the South Campus of the UA Health Network. There, doctors prescribe cooking classes that go beyond traditional medical systems. “We look at the entire person and why they have an illness,” Schmidt says. Meanwhile, today’s class is wrapping up. Just minutes left for a lesson on cookies. “Mix in the whole wheat and regular flour,” Schmidt says. “Some nutmeg, fresh grated in a spice grinder. Whisk it up.  Add the zucchini and the chips.” As her assistants distribute what look like sinful chocolate chip cookies, Schmidt adds: “The kids will never know they’re packed with veggies.” ✜ 2205 S. Fourth Ave. 520.626.5161.


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What’s In Season 1. GARLIC 2. BRUSSELS SPROUTS 3. ORANGE 4. GRAPEFRUIT 5. CABBAGE 6. LETTUCE 7. CAULIFLOWER 8. CILANTRO 9. BROCCOLI 10. RADISH (DAIKON) 11. BOK CHOY To find out where you can buy seasonal produce, visit for a complete listing of CSA programs and farmers’ markets.  41


Zoning into Urban Agriculture Proposed new land use regulations recognize the value of local food producers and distributors. By Merrill Eisenberg


hh, Baja Arizona

in the wintertime—the time of year when we can open the windows, play outside in the daytime, and take those silly sun shades off our windshields. It is also a time when our gardens flourish, and many people take advantage of our region’s year-round growing season to produce food in their backyards. Food production is no longer strictly a rural endeavor. Cities like New York, Seattle, Chicago, and many others are becoming havens for local food production. Whether you are concerned with access to nutritious food, knowing exactly where your food comes from, preventing obesity and diabetes, creating green spaces in the city to combat heat island effects, reducing the carbon footprint of the food you eat, or just getting back to nature, the urban agriculture movement offers a solution. In the Tucson region, neighborhood-based food-producing activity has been expanding rapidly in recent years. According to the Pima County Health Department, from 2010 to 2012, 49 school and community gardens were installed, more than 500 new home and container gardens were created, 3,500 residents enrolled in gardening classes, and 600 people joined the Pima County Food Bank’s gardening cooperative. Judging from participation in the Food Bank’s chicken raising classes and attendance at the Food Conspiracy Co-op’s annual Coop Tour, interest in keeping small animals like chickens or miniature goats for food production is also on the rise. While interest in local food production has been increasing,

our local laws and regulations have not kept pace. Public policies that restrict urban agriculture activities include land use and zoning rules, ordinances about the treatment of animals, public nuisance codes, and public health regulations. When these policies were originally developed, agriculture was assumed to be a rural issue and the vision of an urban area being used for food production wasn’t considered. Today, probably every neighborhood in the Tucson region contains some form of urban agriculture—a flock of chickens, a community garden, a backyard vegetable patch—whether it is technically legal or not. Judging by the low number of code enforcement complaints, these activities are causing few problems. For example, the Pima County Animal Control Center reports that from 2008 through August 2011, it responded to just eight situations throughout the entire county that involved chickens; of these, only three were related to chickens being kept for food purposes. Local government is in the process of catching up to community norms by crafting new policies. Some policies have already changed. For example the Pima County Health Department’s Community Health Improvement Plan recommends urban agriculture as a strategy that supports physical health and wellness. And the newly voter-approved Tucson General Plan includes an entire chapter dedicated to urban agriculture, which recommends a reduction in barriers to local food production and distribution. The General Plan also recommends the development of new markets for small-scale farmers and gardens, zoning and land use regulations that support the

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safe, equable growth and distribution of locally produced foods, and collaboration with key partners to develop new opportunities for urban-scale gardens, farms, gleaning, and distribution systems. Documents like the Tucson General Plan and Pima County Community Health Improvement Plan are visionary—they present a long-term view of what we want our community to become. These plans must be implemented through specific policies and programs that support their vision. With regard to the General Plan, the vision is implemented through the Land Use Code and other city ordinances. Opportunities for citizens to participate in developing local codes and rules include participating in committees that draft recommendations, commenting on proposed rules in writing or at public hearings, and communicating directly with elected officials who will have the final say. The City has been working on updating its land use policies for more than a year. Under the auspices of the Sustainable Zoning Code Integration Project, the City’s Department of Planning and Development Services convened an informal citizen’s committee to help develop a series of draft recommendations for Zoning Code revisions that the Planning Commission, and then the Mayor and Council will consider. These draft recommendations include rules that: Identify where community gardens, farmers’ markets, and urban farms may be located; Create workable rules for keeping small farm animals, such as chickens and miniature goats; Provide parameters for the sale of locally produced food. As of this writing, the draft revisions are under discussion with a group of neighborhood advocates who have raised concerns about the impact of urban agriculture on neighborhoods. A spirited community process is under way to resolve these concerns. Interested citizens are encouraged to visit the Sustainable Zoning Code Integration Project website, where documentation of the Urban Agriculture Task Force is provided. Task Force meetings are open to the public; the final recommendations will go to the City’s Planning Commission and then to Mayor and Council sometime in the spring. Although the specifics of the proposed new regulations are not yet complete, it is certainly a step forward for our local governments to recognize the value of local food production and distribution. The process of developing specific policies that reflect the vision for our community as one that fosters household and community sustainability and food security is well under way. These efforts will bring our local food producers out of the shadows and legitimize food-producing activities that are already part of the fabric of our community. ✜

P I Z Z A / PA S TA / G R E E N S / S A N D W I C H E S / W I N E / B E E R / C O C K TA I L S


Located behind reilly, entrance off of scott

For more information, visit: Merrill Eisenberg is an applied anthropologist who is retired from the University of Arizona Zuckerman College of Public Health. Her interest in food policy comes from her commitment to community empowerment and participation in policy development. She will be contributing a regular food policy column to Edible Baja Arizona.

101 E. PENNINGTON STREET 5 2 0 . 8 8 2 . 5 5 5 0 • R E I L LY P I Z Z A . C O M

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44  January - February 2014


Oasis Rising A visit to St. Anthony’s Monastery outside Florence offers a reminder of food’s sacred origins. By Gary Paul Nabhan | Photography by Liora K


ow many times

have I heard from both desert dwellers and tourists that there is nothing noteworthy to see, smell, or eat between Metro Phoenix and Metro Tucson? Well, that may appear to be true only if you never veer off Interstate 10, but there is a wealth of culinary and cultural wonders hidden in Pinal County halfway between Arizona’s two largest cities. A number of those surprises come from an enclave of Greeks who make some of the best olive oil, artisanal bread, and stuffed grape leaves I have ever tasted. It is not merely their way of preparing food that excites me, but the care with which these Greek immigrants grow this food in an arid landscape which others might dismiss as inherently unproductive. While their call to a contemplative and prayerful life is the core reason that six Greek Orthodox monks of St. Anthony’s Monastery came to this desert in 1995, they have also excelled in producing fruits, vegetables, pistachio nuts and olive oil in this land of little rain. What’s more, they have attracted to Pinal County a number of other Greek Orthodox devotees whose family businesses now enrich the lives of Arizonans, as well. Along with a pilgrimage to chapels, gardens, a gift shop, and acres of orchards and vineyards at St. Anthony’s south of Florence, you may want to consider a

(Left) The shady grounds of St. Anthony’s Monastery offer a strikingly lush contrast to their arid surroundings. (Top) The monks harvest and cure olives to sell under their own label; you can find olives and olive oil in the gift shop.

day-long culinary tour of the county by adding on visits to the Mount Athos Restaurant and Cafe in Florence and the superb Mediterra Bakehouse in nearby Coolidge. First, a word about arriving at St. Anthony’s in the proper state of mind and appropriate attire. While the monks and their abbot do indeed welcome visits to see their gardens and orchards and to purchase their food products and live fruit tree saplings, St. Anthony’s is, first and foremost, a spiritual sanctuary and is not suited to the boisterous tourist or inquisitive foodie. The monks are cordial and generous in orienting visitors to the lush gardens, orchards, and vineyards, but they insist that both men and women are conservatively dressed, reserved in their behavior, and restricted to certain pathways through the gardens. Before you go, look at the Day-Visitor’s Guide posted on their website, which outlines the proper code of conduct as well as the hours of permissible visitation (typically 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. seven days a week). That said, the monastery is well worth visiting, not only because of its beauty but also because it reminds us how important contemplative traditions have been to the development of cultures and cuisines of desert oases all around the world. The monks not only grow most of what they eat, but also contribute extraordinarily fine food products to other communities through their relationship with Dan and Diego Rosado, the founders of the Local Natural Foods distribution network. After crossing miles of creosote bush flats and saguaro cactus

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forests, it is a rather stunning surprise to come upon a true oasis rising up from the desert floor, replete with date palms, olive orchards, vineyards, and vegetable gardens. Twenty-four acres of farmlands, ornamental gardens, and fountains surround beautifully constructed chapels, cathedrals, dormitories, guest houses , and the trapeza dining hall. As soon as a guest arrives, they are offered a cup of water and the confection known as loukoumia (Greek or Turkish delight) made with fruit juices, nuts, gelatin, and powdered sugar. After checking in at the gift shop for a brief orientation by a monk, visitors are free to follow the designated trails on their own through all the greenery. Nevertheless, many visitors linger in the gift shop for a moment longer, looking at all the hand-crafted foods prepared by the monks and their desert neighbors. The tall glass bottles of unfiltered olive oil first caught my eye, for they virtually glow with golden hues when a sunbeam reaches them. But there is a kiosk stacked with jars of honey and citrus marmalades, mango chutneys and hot pepper sauces, baklava pastries and koulourakia cookies, which one may purchase and take home. The monks offer bags of dried herbs of exquisite quality, including some of the most aromatic rosemary, oregano, basil, and sage I have ever come upon. The searing sun of the Sonoran Desert has surely heightened the intensity of fragrances concentrated in these herbs. As I came out of my orientation at the gift shop, Father Mark signaled me over and offered a freshly bagged gift of Greek sage tea, a mixture of sun-dried desert herbs. He also sold me a vigor46  January - February 2014

ous 18-inch-tall fig sapling, which produces pale greenish fruits. Then he directed me to the orchards and gardens while I placed my newly purchased fig tree in the shade. After meditating in the Byzantine-style chapel for awhile, I followed a designated trail toward a series of vegetable gardens which were producing an abundance of produce greater than I have ever seen from French-intensive beds placed in the desert. Netted or screened to reduce bird damage and to offer partial shade, the monks have developed such fertile soils for these gardens that they produce massive watermelons, squashes, cucumbers, and tomatoes on drip irrigation alone. Despite the searing heat, they also grow artichokes, asparagus, spearmint, basil, green beans, and many kinds of chile peppers in these shaded gardens because of the moisture-holding capacity and tilth they have nurtured in the soil. Gazing out beyond the gardens, you see acre after acre of citrus, pistachio, and olive groves. The monks grow four kinds of olives, including the most ancient variety in the Sonoran Desert, the Mission olive, which is celebrated for its flavor and antiquity in Arizona and California on the Slow Food Ark of Taste. In addition, they grow the Manzanilla de Sevilla and Kalamon varieties, the latter of which has begun to offer harvestable quantities of Kalamata olives, a rarity in desert climes. In late September and October, when the monks are cold-pressing the first run of olives into an unfiltered oil which they sell, it is possible to request a guided visit to the press and sample the freshest and mostly deeply

flavored oil you might ever taste. As I left St. Anthony’s, I couldn’t help but be amazed at the curious juxtapositions: recent Greek immigrants conserving the oldest variety of olive to grow in North America; and saguaro cacti towering alongside date palms and the belfry of St. George’s chapel. This is the way the desert itself wakes us up and keeps us alert: Sometimes what at first appears to be a mirage is an oasis of life. After purchasing some baklava at St. Anthony’s, I had a craving for Greek food for lunch so the monks’ pastries could serve as my dessert. Fortunately, the Mount Athos Restaurant and Cafe, located just eight miles north of the monastery in downtown Florence, has a menu with ample options for those who love Greek food. When I mentioned to the waitress that I was trying to decide between a Greek salad and the dolmadakia plate of stuffed grape leaves with rice, she noted that the salad came with grape leaves, so that I did not have to choose between the two. I make stuffed grape leaves regularly in the warak inab style of the Lebanese, but must admit that the Mount Athos Greek version was among the most flavorful I have tasted in some time. I cannot vouch for their pasticio, mousakka, or roasted leg of lamb, but Mount Athos is well worth a return visit in order to sample its other fare. My final stop for the day was in the heart of downtown Coolidge, a former farming hub that has been hit hard by Arizona’s economic strife. And yet, along Main Street there is one of the most wonderful bakeries—the Mediterra Bakehouse—that has graced Arizona in years. Opened in 2012 by Nick Ambeliotis, a Greek baker from Pittsburgh who had already honed his shaping of artisanal breads into a fine art form over the previous five years, the bakehouse was offering eight exquisite kinds of loaves when I arrived, including a paisano, a ciabatta, and Mount Athos Fire Bread, with its dark crisp crust. Ambeliotis has received national recognition for reviving the tradition of mass baking an ethnic Easter bread, tsoureki, with volunteer parishioners from Greek Orthodox churches in Pennsylvania. At Nick’s second location in Florence, associate baker Antonio Campana exudes the same enthusiasm for hand-made, long-fermented breads. The bakery’s kitchen is in open view of the counter, so you can see four or five bakers working at their craft during your visit. These experiences reminded me of how much faith-based communities contribute to the food diversity of our state, a fact that most Arizonans recognize only when they frequent the many ethnic church-sponsored food vendors at a festival like Tucson Meet Yourself. That growing and sharing food are considered sacred rituals by many should not be lost on us. Eating itself is a scared act, one through we may either celebrate creation, or when done carelessly, damage the very world which nurtures us. ✜ Visit for driving directions, hours, and to access the Day-Visitor’s Guide. Gary Paul Nabhan is an internationally celebrated nature writer, food and farming activist, and proponent of conserving the links between biodiversity and cultural diversity.

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After relocating and rebranding, Acacia co-owner and chef Albert Hall has found his stride in casual fine dining with a focus on sustainability. 48  January - February 2014


Sustainable Acacia Much like its hardy namesake tree, Acacia Restaurant has survived recession and relocation to thrive in a corner overlooking Tucson. By Romi Carrell Wittman | Photography by Steven Meckler


estled in the Catalina Foothills with an expansive view of the city below, Albert and Lila Hall’s Acacia Restaurant fills a specific niche in the Tucson food world: casual fine dining with a focus on sustainability. “We chose the name ‘Acacia’ because the acacia tree is sustainable,” Hall says. “It’s a tree with a hundred varieties that can survive in nearly every climate. It can tolerate drought, flood, and blistering sun.” The analogy is apt given the restaurant’s history. Hall, along with his wife, Lila Yamashiro, started Acacia eight years ago in a space at St. Philip’s Plaza and, for a time, the business thrived. Then the 2008 recession hit and “the world collapsed,” Hall says. With diners scaling back, he knew he had to make some serious changes to the business in order to survive. In 2010, the pair moved the restaurant a mile north, to Gallery Row at Skyline Drive and Campbell Avenue in the space formerly occupied by Sur Real. “We lowered our prices and focused on lounge and casual fine dining,” he says. As for the menu, the focus has always been on what Albert refers to as “good, real food,” something he defines as fresh and local fare, with ingredients produced using organic and sustainable practices. “Whenever possible we buy local, pesticide- and herbicide-free ingredients. We meticulously source everything,” he adds.

Hall uses different vendors for particular items. He has a favored seafood vendor to ensure the fish he serves has no colorant or antibiotics. He purchases some of his produce from Sunizona, a family-owned, certified organic farm in Willcox. While he would like to use local ranchers for all of the restaurant’s beef needs, he uses some commercial vendors in order to keep up with demand. Acacia’s menu changes as many as eight times a year to adjust to what’s available. “Our menu is always a reflection of what’s available seasonally,” he says. “Diversity is the key to being happy with food.” Hall’s devotion to local foods stems from a simple philosophy: Sustainable, naturally produced foods are just better for you. “You should know what you’re eating,” he says. Hall has worked in the restaurant industry for some 40 years. Born in Arizona, Hall grew up in California and landed his first job at 14: washing dishes. “I was in the right place at the right time,” he says of that first job. He was soon working as a cook, something he found he enjoyed immensely. “I liked the immediate gratification of it, the deadlines.” He interned at the Statler Hilton in Washington, D.C., and attended the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York. Over the years, he has worked everywhere from a luxury rail line to a flight kitchen, from high-end resorts to country clubs. It was while working for the luxury rail line that he was intro-

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The Edible Baja Arizona Magazine launch party at MOCA. Photo by Christian Ramirez.

50  January - February 2014

duced to Tucson. The train, Twentieth Century Rail Tours, traveled coast to coast over seven days, with layovers in New Orleans and Tucson. After he got to know the town and decided to stay, he was unable to find a job, so he moved to Phoenix to work at the Biltmore and, later, to Sedona, to work at L’Auberge de Sedona, a high-end resort and spa. While working at the Biltmore, he and his brother-in-law opened two Japanese-style express restaurants in Phoenix. It was his first taste of owning and operating a restaurant, and he found he was suited to it. Several years later, when he moved back to Tucson to take a position at Hacienda del Sol, he started kicking around the idea of opening his own restaurant. So, he and Lila opened Acacia. Lila runs the front of the house and manages all group sales and catering. She strives to create a familial environment for patrons as well as employees. “Some of our staff have been with us since we started,� she says. “One lady has been with us since high school. To us, everyone that works here is family.� With the economy rebounding, business is good for Acacia. The catering side of the business is thriving; Acacia made an appearance at the Tucson Fashion Week as well as the Tequila and Salsa Challenge. Hall plans to offer cooking classes again this fall, with different themes such as vegetarian, harvest foods, and holiday cooking. Lila best sums up Acacia’s philosophy: “We want to feed people good food and to give them a unique visit and to make them feel comfortable.� ✜ Acacia Restaurant. 3001 E. Skyline Drive. 520.232.0101. Tucson native Romi Carrell Wittman is a marketing and communications director by profession and a freelance writer for fun.


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A Moveable Feast By Gretel Hakanson | Photography by Steven Meckler

52  January - February 2014

From Lodge on the Desert to his new Agustín Kitchen, Chef Ryan Clark is proving that cutting edge cooking and farm-to-table cuisine aren’t mutually exclusive.


hen I interviewed

chef Ryan Clark in the rear dining room at the Lodge on Desert, he was patient and relaxed. He listened to my questions, gave thoughtful answers, and seemed to be completely stress-free, but his plate was astonishingly full. He was in the midst of preparing for the World Margarita Competition, finishing a cookbook, running the food and beverage service as the (former) executive chef at the Lodge on the Desert, and overseeing the construction, finalizing details, and opening of his new restaurant, Agustín Kitchen. At age 28, this talented young chef is one of Tucson’s rising culinary stars. “It’s been a wild year,” says Clark. Clark is the picture of calm, although he might just be used to the flurry. He won the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Tucson Iron Chef competitions; the 2012 and 2013 World Margarita Championships; the 2009 and 2010 Tucson Meet Yourself Iron Chef; the 2010 Copper Chef; and was named by the American Culinary Federation as one of the top 16 junior chefs across the nation. Food & Wine magazine nominated him as People’s Best New Chef 2013. Although he’s obviously talented, Clark works hard, too. He started preparing for the margarita competition six months before it happened. His typical work week runs Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and involves not only cooking and prepping but also scheduling, meetings, ordering, managing finances, booking events, and interacting with guests. Clark’s culinary career began at Fuego Kitchen (which has since closed) while he was a student at Sabino High School. He worked his way up to sous chef at Fuego while he was playing soccer for Pima Community College and considering a career in architecture or business. But working at Fuego Kitchen ignited his passion for food and, with encouragement from chef-owner Alan Zeman, Clark decided to attend the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). The CIA is often considered the most prestigious and rigorous culinary school in the United States, and the institution has churned out many celebrity chefs. Known for it military-like precision and high standards, Clark was one of seven of his class of 33 to graduate. “Every single morning the chef would make sure that your whites were pressed. He would smell your breath not only to see

if you brushed your teeth but to check if you were drinking the night before,” says Clark. “He checked your nails to make sure they’re clean, and you had to be clean shaven. If any of that was not right, you’re gone.” After completing an externship with Beau MacMillan at Elements in Scottsdale and finishing the CIA program, Clark returned to Tucson and did stints at Canyon Ranch and Dish Bistro before taking the reins at the Lodge. It’s easier to get Clark to talk about food than it is to get him to talk about the awards he’s won. (I don’t recommend chatting with him on an empty stomach.) Last year, the secret ingredient of the Tucson Iron Chef Competition was cuts of lamb. “It was tough literally because they weren’t tender cuts, so we had to grind them, we had to mince them very finely, we had to braise them, all to manipulate the tenderness of the meat,” says Clark. All that effort paid off when Clark and his team defended their title for the third year in a row. To do well in cooking competitions, the contestants need to be able think on their feet quickly, cook à la minute, and come up with creative, tasty dishes on the fly. “One thing you can do to prepare is sharpen your knives,” he says with a laugh. “I always say if you’re not nervous, you have no passion or you don’t really care about it. So of course we’re nervous, every year we go into it. Once you start cooking, the butterflies go away, and you’re in your zone. Then, we’re able to do what we do: cook.” Perhaps working with MacMillan, an Iron Chef America winner, set up Clark for his winning streak, although Clark wasn’t directly involved with the preparations or the competition. With the trajectory he’s on, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Clark on the Iron Chef America someday, but Clark says he’s retired from the Iron Chef Tucson competition. In October, Clark defended his title at the World Margarita Championship for the second year in a row. His winning cocktail, the Salted Lime, won the people’s choice award. It begins with blanco tequila infused with “black limes,” a technique from Middle Eastern cooking where fresh limes are juiced, cooked in salt water, and dried outside in the desert sun until they turn black. The result is a bitter, earthy, umami-like flavor. The infused tequila is mixed with a citrus simple syrup and Grand Marnier, and the winning concoction is finished with a jalapeño tincture spray.

“Just because it’s farm fresh produce doesn’t mean you can’t use the most modern techniques. You can play with food and make it really good.”

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54  January - February 2014

espite his youthfulness and rising-star status, Clark does not fit into the egocentric celebrity chef mold. “I never asked to be in the spotlight, so it’s kind of weird to win competitions and get all of the publicity. I hope it inspires people more than anything.” Clark just released his first cookbook: Modern Southwest Cooking, published by Tucson-based Rio Nuevo publishers. “The whole book is driven toward the Southwest with a little bit of modern twists in the dishes,” says Clark. Inventive recipes include southwestern ingredients such as chiltepines, mesquite flour, prickly pear, heirloom vegetables, local game, ostrich, and, of course, chiles. “It’s a sweet spot in my life, I guess,” says Clark when reflecting on all that’s transpired in the past year. Opening Agustín Kitchen was perhaps his most ambitious project yet. Located in the space formerly occupied by Agustín Brasserie, the new restaurant features Clark’s farm-to-table modern American cuisine. “I’m about to turn 29, and a lot of people would say you’re crazy for trying to open a restaurant,” says Clark “It’s a very tough industry, but I feel like I’m young and have the energy and passion to do it, so what better time than right now? I’d rather start now than do it 10 years down the road.” The Agustín Kitchen menu will feature a few of Clark’s poplar dishes from the Lodge, including the brûlée goat cheese appetizer, but the menu also features new and creative offerings. “We have a couple of cool high-tech gadgets, including a kickass immersion circulator,” he says. Called sous vide, this method of low-temperature cooking prevents cell walls in the food from bursting, which keeps meats tender and moist, while thoroughly cooking vegetables, leaving them firm and crisp.


622.0761 · 444 E. UNIVERSITY


A new creation of Agustín Kitchen: Seared sea scallops and pork belly served atop edamame risotto with hoison pork glaze.

But at the heart of the Agustín Kitchen’s menu is locally grown and produced produce and products. That’s what Clark has been specializing in since 2009, when he created the food and beverage menu at the Lodge. Some, like Clay Smith, co-owner of Sleeping Frog Farms, might say that Clark was a pioneer in the local food movement. “He’s a young, inspired chef and has had a large impact on the local food movement in Tucson,” says Smith. “He’s always reaching out to us to see what we have available and building his menus around that.” Chefs who use local produce need to be creative in the kitchen and skilled with stocking the kitchen because they’re not simply ordering all of their fruit and vegetables from one supplier, says Smith. “Using the traditional supplier model doesn’t have the same challenges as using local suppliers, nor the same result.” “When I started at the Lodge, farms were just starting to get going here in Southern Arizona, so I thought farm-to-fork and using local ingredients would be the best way to go,” says Clark. At Agustín Kitchen, Clark will tweak dishes on menu slightly based on the season to keep them fresh, seasonal, and local. Some dishes will stay on the menu year-round, like the local goat cheese brûlée, but the homemade topping will change seasonally: tomatoes in the summer, figs in late summer, and grapes in the winter. Clark built the farm-to-table menu by finding the comfort foods that Tucsonans like and putting his own twist on them using local products. A few of the highlights from Augstín Kitchen’s menu include: pork chop with prickly pear barbeque sauce, spinach salad with Green Valley pecans, salmon with local vegetables, fried oysters with kumquat, and chicken and spaetzle with roasted chiles. “Even though it’s a new American restaurant, we focus on


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local; therefore, it’s new American with southwestern nuances.” Local produce and high-tech cooking may seem like an unusual pairing for those who have been inspired by the local food movement since the rise of Alice Waters. But along with sous-vide cooking, Clark is no stranger to molecular gastronomy techniques like smoking guns and dry ice. “Just because it’s farm fresh produce doesn’t mean you can’t use the most modern techniques,” says Clark. “It doesn’t have to be old school. You can play with food and make it really good.” There are some challenges to using local produce and products from small farms and purveyors, Clark admits. But the service aspect is key. “When a server can say to a guest, ‘I’m sorry, but we don’t have the heirloom carrots because groundhogs ripped them out of the ground last night,’ people like that story and like knowing where their food comes from.” Editing the menu is another easy solution. “If the arugula is starting to flower, we’ll just take it off without changing the whole menu.” More than two dozen local purveyors (not including alcohol) fill the larder at Agustín Kitchen, so the logistics of making sure the restaurant is fully stocked and ready for service is a bit different than the traditional model. For most restaurants, all of the ingredients are delivered to the restaurant’s back door by semi-trucks representing a handful of usually national companies. Clark’s model is more of the Slow Food movement variety. “A lot of time, I’ll go pick it up [from the farmers’ market], just like an old school chef would,” says Clark. Using local food means his dishes are fresher, healthier, and tastier than conventionally purchased produce, which travels on average 1,838 miles to become part of a meal. Using local usually cuts down on processing and packaging, reducing materials, energy, and landfill waste. But mainly, using local foods means investing in our own community. According to studies by Local First Arizona, locally owned community-minded companies create a greater economic impact in the state, indirectly supporting more jobs, payroll, and output locally. They also create a greater revenue impact because more of the taxes they and their employees pay stay in Arizona. Clark has stayed local himself. “I’m from Tucson, born and raised here; I’ve lived here my whole life,” says Clark. I would do anything to support the people that are around me. I think that’s really important to build a strong community.” Clark has had offers to leave Tucson, but since he was born and raised here, and has family here, he wants to stay. “Tucson’s food and beverage scene, I think, is one of the most underrated in the nation. I’ve seen it progress and grow. I feel like I’ve been part of the progress of Tucson’s culinary trend, and I want to follow it through. It’s a great time to eat and drink in T-town!” ✜ Agustín Kitchen is located at the Mercado San Agustín. 100 S. Avenida del Convento. 520.461.1107. Gretel Hakanson does a little freelance writing and a lot of freelance book editing. She lives in a zero-net-electricity house in Sam Hughes with her husband and two dogs. 56  January - February 2014

RECIPE Excerpted from Ryan Clark’s Modern Southwest Cooking

Local Vegetable Terrine There is no right or wrong to this madness, so get creative. Start at the local market and see what vegetables inspire you. Ask yourself what flavors will work best together, and don’t forget to think about robust colors that will create an amazing presentation. ½ cup kosher salt 4 baby beets, assorted colors
 2 zucchini
 2 yellow squash
 1 small eggplant
 1 red bell pepper 1 yellow bell pepper
 1 orange bell pepper
 2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced 1⁄4-inch thick 1 dozen asparagus tips, trimmed to 4 inches ¼ cup herb oil or blended oil
 1 tablespoon salt
 1 teaspoon pepper 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
 Zest of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon minced garlic

Preheat the oven to 350º. Place the kosher salt in a baking pan and place the beets on the salt with the skins on. Roast for 1 hour or until tender. Remove from the oven, cool, and peel. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Preheat the grill to medium high. Slice the zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant lengthwise into slices 1⁄4-inch thick. Cut the red, yellow, and orange bell peppers into quarters and remove the seeds. Toss the zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, bell peppers, portobellos, and asparagus with the herb oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the vegetables on the grill and cook until tender. Remove from the grill and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the thyme, oregano, parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. Sprinkle the mixture over the cooked vegetables. Line a 4 by 8-inch terrine mold with plastic wrap, allowing excess wrap to extend past the sides of the mold. Layer the vegetables in the terrine, being sure to press each layer down evenly. Once the terrine is full, fold the plastic over the top and set the weight on top of the terrine. Place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. To serve, remove the weight, use the plastic wrap to lift the terrine from the mold, and then remove and discard the plastic wrap. Slice the terrine into 2-inch pieces with a sharp knife. Serves 4.



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edible  Baja Arizona 



A Cure for Pork At Zona 78 Italian Kitchen, Kevin Fink is butchering and curing meats in-house—the first restaurant in Pima County to legally do so. By Megan Kimble | Photography by Jeff Smith

58  January - February 2014


round the hostess stand, behind the openface prep line—a glimpse of cured olives, bright red bell peppers, and cilantro pesto—past the glowing orange heat of a broad wood-fired oven, Kevin Fink is butchering a pig. This pig arrived frozen—Fink usually gets them fresh from a farmer in Aguila, outside of Phoenix—so he’ll get it down to its primal cuts and wait to smoke and cure the meat tomorrow. “Look at that,” he says, patting a cross section of pork shoulder with a glove-adorned hand. “That’s going to be delicious.” The director of operations at Zona 78 will have to wait three months to find out just how delicious it’s going to be, as cured meats like this coppa are cooked by time and fermentation rather than the quickness of heat. In late October, Zona 78 became the first restaurant in Pima County—and maybe Arizona—to legally be able to serve cured and dry-aged meats made in house—in kitchen, that is. As he begins to carve apart the primal cuts—using nothing but a butcher’s knife and a cleaver—Fink says, “We’ll break cuts into the coppa, jowl, the boston butt or pork shoulder, and then the picnic—the bellota once we cure it,” he says. “They call it the

picnic because it’s a small cut of meat you can take on a picnic with you.” With entrees priced in the $12 to $19 range—a pork chop butchered today will sell for $17—Zona 78 offers “casual concept dining,” says Fink. “But sometimes that hurts us, because people don’t realize what they’re getting for the price—something that was butchered in the kitchen and, in the case of the charcuterie, cured in-house.” Indeed, Zona 78 has been sourcing locally before sourcing locally became a selling point. Their first location on River Road and Stone Avenue opened 11 years ago; the second spot, the place where pigs become prosciutto, opened in 2008 on Tanque Verde Road, just past Sabino Canyon. “We were taking deliveries from local producers 11 years ago,” Fink says. Today, one of those producers is Sleeping Frog Farms, which has worked with the restaurant to develop a menu flexible enough to incorporate seasonal produce. In return, the restaurant invests in the farm through a CSA model, paying three months in advance for produce yet to be planted. Fink estimates this kind of investment meets 50 percent of the restaurant’s produce

Fresh from the farm: In the kitchen at Zona 78, Kevin Fink cuts apart a pig that will soon become part of a spread of in-house cured charcuterie board.

edible  Baja Arizona 


needs—and sometimes more. A few weeks ago Sleeping Frog Farms brought in 700 pounds of Asian pears. “We pickled some and poached some, took it back to them, and they sold it at the farmers’ market.” The restaurant doesn’t get a cut of sales—but they do get pears. Back at the butchering table, as Fink swings a cleaver into the carcass, the kitchen doesn’t stop moving. On a prep table nearby, a sous chef arranges platters full of giant meatballs and drowns them in marinara sauce. Waiters call “corner” while bussers sort clattering silverware for the dishwasher. Although the charcuterie program is very much a cornerstone in the bustling restaurant, the restaurant continues to bustle around it. With the help of waitstaff or cooks, Fink can butcher and cure two pigs over the course of a “very long 12-hour day.” Once he’s selected the cuts he’s going to cure, Fink adds three percent salt relative to the weight of the meat, plus sugar and any spice mixture he’s concocted. Initial curing happens in the refrigerator; after about seven days, he’ll rinse the meat, pat it dry, and move the cut to the curing fridge—the larder—where it’ll hang for anywhere from three weeks to a year. “In the case of a meat like pancetta [which will eventually be cooked], the cut is able to be used immediately; it just matures in flavor over the period of drying. It develops a complexity of flavor, with a much stronger umami note,” Fink says. A cut like coppa—lightly seasoned and dry-aged, traditionally made from the shoulder or neck—will be cured for nine days and then aged for a minimum of 90 days. Although, “it’s more about a water activity level than a time level,” says Fink. In the curing room—a former walk-in fridge that now also holds bottles of red wine—“You want it to be 70 and 70. Seventy degrees and 70 percent humidity.” 60  January - February 2014

baja arizona edible  Baja Arizona 


F In the Heart of Wine Country

A Farm to Table Restaurant by Greg LaPrad 520.455.9316

3266 Highway 82, Sonoita


ink’s been working the restaurant business since he was 14—which might explain how he’s done so much by 29. He started as a dishwasher at Hacienda del Sol and later worked as an assistant manager at the original Zona 78 location. He got a degree from NAU in Hotel and Restaurant Management; after a stint at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in California and Noma in Denmark—once named the best restaurants in the U.S. and the world, respectively—Fink returned to Tucson and Zona 78. But this time, to the kitchen. Although he’d had an interest in cured meats for years, it wasn’t until he met a dishwasher who’d gotten a degree from the UA Meat Lab that Fink started thinking about curing his own meats. “It was huge to have the accessibility to learn from someone who had all this fresh knowledge,” he says. Two years ago, when they started experimenting with cures at the restaurant and realized they were onto something good, Fink realized he needed an official stamp of approval. “There was no precedent for something like this.” So he called the Pima County Health Department. Gary Frucci, a supervisor with the Consumer Health and Food Safety division of the Pima County Health Department, was happy to hear from Fink. “I’m very happy that producers are coming forward and taking the time to ensure they’re making a safe product,” Frucci says. “In the past, people would do this under the radar. What happens during a routine inspection is that if we see these processes happening, we have to cite them and tell them to stop until it’s safe.” After talking to Frucci, Fink got to work on what became a 25page Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HAACP) Plan. Although he had a basic understanding of the biology at work in fermentation, he says he learned “a ton” about water activity, crucial to controlling bacteria in a cure, and air flow—“which is often where most people go wrong when they’re curing at home.” “Pima County has never approved a HAACP Plan for something like this,” says Fink. “We’re the first in Arizona, I believe, to be approved for shelf stabilization through fermentation, with no process of cooking involved.” Frucci says that in the past two years, “We’re seeing more and more of these specialized processes—smoking for preservation, curing of meat products, drying things, making jerky. It’s become more common that people are talking about doing these on a smaller scale, at a restaurant, when before they were always done by a manufacturer on a larger scale.” Now that Zona 78 is legally certified to produce charcuterie, the biggest challenge for Fink is sourcing pigs. Although he’s

“What’s exciting to me is that all our charcuterie is made from local, heritage pigs. That’s not something you find even in Italy anymore.”


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Fink (left) says that Zona 78 general manager Paul Weathers (right) is on a first-name basis with all of the restaurant’s regular customers.

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worked with a family farm in Aguila for two years, which provides the restaurant with six animals once every six weeks, the restaurant often sells a whole pig in as little as two weeks. In-house curing is definitely a money-maker for Zona 78. Most restaurants pay $9 a pound for wholesale cuts of prosciutto and $7 to $12 a pound for salami. Fink paid $560 for the 260-pound pig currently sprawled on the stainless steel prep table; if he utilizes 70 percent of that weight—taking into consideration the considerable shrink that occurs during aging—he’ll end up with organic, locally raised cured meats that cost him $3.85 a pound. “What’s exciting about this to me is that all our charcuterie is made from local, heritage pigs. That’s not something you find even in Italy anymore,” says Fink. His wife, Alicynn, has been living in Italy for the past year, studying food anthropology at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, so he’s had ample excuse to visit and sample cured meats at their source. “What’s so great about Italy is that you can hang [the meat] in your barn and it’ll be 70 and 70.” Italian cuisine prepared in Italy also benefits from a long tradition of artisan production. That lesson hit home when Fink was 19 and doing an internship abroad at Tredici Gobbi, a restaurant in Florence. He asked why they didn’t make their own mozzarella in-house. “They said, ‘Well, there’s a guy down the road whose family has been making mozzarella for 500 years. Why would we try to make it here?’ That principle doesn’t exist here. You’re forced to outsource it or create it on your own.” Indeed, in Italy, Fink says, the cuisine evolved “based on how far you could travel on your horse that day to collect food. We’re trying to do that here—to base our menu on what we can find in this local foodshed.” Which starts with a pig in the kitchen. ✜ Zona 78 Italian Kitchen. 78 W. River Road and 7301 E. Tanque Verde Road. 520.296.7878.

520 441 9081 St. Philip’s Plaza 4320 N. Campbell Ave, Ste 40 NEW - 520 638 5000 Plaza Escondida 7854 N.Oracle Rd

64  January - February 2014

Megan Kimble is the managing editor of Edible Baja Arizona. For the latest on food in Baja Arizona, follow her at or @megankimble.

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Quick Pancetta 1 kilogram pork belly (skin on or off depending on what you want to use it for) 3 percent kosher or sea salt (30 grams) 2 percent sugar white or 3 percent brown (20 – 30 grams) 1 tablespoon black pepper 5 bay leaves hand cracked ½ teaspoon salt peter #1 4 sprigs fresh thyme (3 grams)

Put pork belly aside. Combine all other ingredients. Salt the belly with the mixture and apply it uniformly on all sides. Place belly in curing container, preferably plastic or ceramic. Place in refrigerator and let cure for four days and then flip belly. Remove from cure after 7 total days (9 days if the belly is thicker than 2.5 inches). Rinse belly of cure mixture and pat dry. Age belly in a cool, dry place for 2 days to 1 month to mature and intensify the flavor.

66  January - February 2014

Pancetta Amatricania ½ pound pancetta (ground or fine dice) ¼ pound smoked guanciale (Bacon will work as well, fine dice or ground) 2 ounces canola oil (for cooking) 1 teaspoon red chile flakes 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1½ cups minced yellow onion 4 cloves garlic (crushed) 1 can (28 ounces) of San Marzano tomatoes (whole is preferable but they can be cut) ½ cup grated pecorino 7 ounces chicken or pork stock 7 ounces white wine 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil (for finishing)

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add pancetta and guanciale to brown and slightly caramelize. Be careful not to burn or you will end with a bitter sauce. After

pancetta is browned, add red chili flakes and black pepper. Cook for 10 seconds to open up flavor of spices. Add onion and garlic and cook on medium heat until tender, but not browned and dark. Deglaze with chicken or pork stock and white wine and reduce until 1/3 of original volume. Hand crush tomatoes into sauce and cook until the sauce tightens up; tomatoes will release quite a bit of water. Add pecorino and olive oil right before you toss the sauce with your pasta. Season with salt to taste (although you shouldn’t need any because of the cured meat). The olive oil has an amazing flavor in its raw state, which is why we finish with it. Serves 4. Note: Spend your money on good olive oil, but never cook with good olive oil, as it will change what makes it great. You can easily substitute a blended oil or non GMO canola (rape seed). Recipes by Kevin Fink.

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828 E. Speedway


WHITE SONORA WHEAT edible  Baja Arizona 


Don’t Bug Me By Norah Booth

With entrepreneurs and academics leading the way, we may all soon be enjoying the benefits of edible insects.


efore you know it, entomophagy, or insect eating,

will be a familiar media topic. Fancy Paris restaurants already feature insects as novelty food items. High-end chefs in New York prepare dishes of scorpions and tarantulas that cost upwards of $100. Bloggers, like Daniella Martin of Girl Eats Bug, share their experiences and expertise with preparing insect meals. Seattle chef David George Gordon promotes insects-asfood at food fairs along with his Eat-A-Bug Cookbook. Don Bugito is a San Francisco food truck business serving you-know-what. Semi-retired University of Arizona entomologist Carl Olsen, known as the Bugman, used to regularly dish up insects to his students as part of his courses. Changing public perception of this class of creatures has been a lifelong pursuit for a man who still works the temporary entomology job he took 38 years ago. “They

68  January - February 2014

are animals. They have tiny hearts, a respiratory system, a digestive system. They are like us.” It’s a hard sell, even for someone so knowledgeable and passionate about his subject. “We have,” he says, “been conditioned to get out the insecticide at the sight of a bug.” How do crawlies like crickets or mealy worms get rebranded as dinner fare? Olsen starts with the facts. “Insects are a healthy source of protein, low in fat, low in cholesterol. “We’re so tunneled in the way we look at things—it’s amazing what other countries have learned from the bug world.” Olsen sees the issue as, “How can we culture insects to put them into

production for food?” UA graduates Pat Crowley and Seth Davis have more than a suggestion. “Join the Revolution” is the slogan for Chapul, the first business to offer cricket-powered energy bars. With Ruth Arevalo and Dan O’Neill, they started their company out of Salt Lake City with a Kickstarter campaign that raised $6,000 beyond its requested $10,000. The partners spent time in Tucson grinding crickets into their confections and selling their fare at the Loft Farmers’ Market. Phoenician Crowley says the first response to Chapul’s product is often the learned revulsion the thought of eating bugs evokes in most faces. But he says Tucsonans just took it in stride. “‘It’s about time’ one woman told me. Others said, ‘Thank you for doing this.’ That’s the kind of response that keeps me going.” Crowley’s interest in bugging the planet about its food habits comes out of his UA degree in watershed management. “I saw how much water goes into raising food for our food. Seventy percent of arable land is used in this production.” Chapul now donates 10 percent of profit to water conservation in the Southwest. “Insects convert grain and grass into edible protein as much as 10 times more efficiently as cows and pigs, and are rich in key nutrients such as omega-3 acids and low in fat,” he says— and they do this on a 10th of the water needed by cows. Although 80 percent of the cultures in the world include insects in their diets, when it comes to bugs on our Western plates, most arthropods, or insects, have a serious image problem. There are, however, a few, such as the water bugs we know as lobsters, crabs, and shrimp that have been successfully rehabilitated. Consulted about how cultures develop food preferences, UA anthropologist Brackette F. Williams says, “Get rich people to eat them. It worked with lobster.” It seems that people are much more agreeable to the idea of eating bugs if they don’t see the bugs. It also helps when the public is reminded that we already eat bugs with the amounts of insect parts that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits in foods like peanut butter and frozen vegetables. (There are currently no FDA regulations governing growing insects for human consumption.) Baja Arizona has a climate suitable to bug farms, or insectaries.

While none catering to human consumption has opened here yet, it could be just a matter of time. The bugs and workers will need to be cooled in our summers and heated in the winter, but the up to five temperate Sonoran Desert months will help make such an enterprise viable. With a long-time ambassador named Jiminy, crickets are the darlings of edible insect enthusiasts. A seminal Austin business offers a model for how cricket farming is done (and is looking for partners in the Southwest). Harman S. Johar hatched his fledgling insect protein enterprise out of his Atlanta dorm room closet less than four years ago. He was invited by nonprofit entomophagy promoter Little Herds’ Richard Nathan Allen to set up in Austin. The two co-founded World Entomophagy, an edible bug processing company that has current capacity to produce a few million organic-quality crickets a week. Much of the product so far is cricket flour. “It’s easy to blend with other products. People say it tastes like regular food,” Johar says. All insects are cold-blooded. When the crickets are about five weeks old, before they develop wings (which can leave debris in human teeth), they are harvested by a gradual lowering of their ambient temperature, lulling them into natural stasis. It’s the same principle native peoples used when they gathered crickets and grasshoppers slowed by the cold in the early mornings. In the insectary process the temperature continues to drop to freezing. Frozen crickets are transported to the processing plant for cleaning and random testing for contaminants, and then washed, dried, and roasted. Three and a half ounces of cricket retail at $9. “The products are expensive because the process is labor intensive,” Johar explains. Educating the public and Western cultures to accept insect consumption as a staple and as “normal” is one of the goals of Little Herds. “We can’t continue to eat meat the way we do. Insect production improves nutrition across the world. We don’t have to put them on a skewer. We can adopt them into our food in approachable ways. They don’t have to look like bugs,” Allen says. Norah Booth is an omnivorous writer living in Tucson. Her most recent articles and interviews have appeared in Poets & Writers, Tucson Weekly, and

edible  Baja Arizona 


Fried Green Tomato Hornworms Yield: 8 servings 3 tablespoons olive oil 32 tomato hornworms 4 medium green tomatoes, sliced into sixteen ¼-inch rounds Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste White cornmeal 16 to 20 small basil leaves

1. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the hornworms and fry lightly for about 4 minutes, taking care not to rupture the cuticles of each insect under high heat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. 2. Season the tomato rounds with salt and pepper to taste, then coat with cornmeal on both sides. 3. In another large skillet or wok, heat the remaining oil and fry the tomatoes until lightly browned on both sides. 4. Top each tomato round with 2 fried tomato hornworms. 5. Garnish with basil leaves and serve immediately.

White Chocolate and 
Wax Worm Cookies Yield: about 3 dozen cookies 11/3 cups all-purpose flour ¾ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt ¾ cup butter, softened ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar ⅓ cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 large egg 2 cups white chocolate chunks or morsels ¾ cup (about 375) frozen wax worms, thawed

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. 2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In

a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, brown and granulated sugars, and vanilla extract until creamy. 3. Stir the egg into the butter mixture, then gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the white chocolate chunks and half of the wax worms, reserving the rest for garnishing the cookies. 4. Drop the batter by rounded teaspoonful onto nonstick baking sheets. 5. Gently press 2 or 3 of the remaining wax worms into the top of each cookie. 6. Bake until the edges of each cookie are lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes. 7. Let cookies cool on the baking sheets for 
2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Reprinted with permission from The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook, Revised by David George Gordon (Ten Speed Press, © 2013). Photo Credit: Chugrad McAndrews. 70  January - February 2014

Gather Round, Grasshoppers edible  Baja Arizona 


Edible insects are consumed extensively worldwide; try a backyard grasshopper harvest and you might find yourself hooked. By Marci Tarre Photography by Serena Tang


used to be terrified of insects. As a teenager, I threatened to move out of my house because there were carpenter ants in the kitchen and, occasionally, grain beetles in the breakfast cereal. Memories of childhood travels to Sri Lanka, where we were served (and ate) maple syrup infested with ants, had grown dim, giving way to fear and disgust of six-legged creatures. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-20s, and enrolled in a graduate degree program in entomology, that I became aware of the widespread use of insects as food around the world. This new knowledge bolstered my growing fascination with traditional foods and food systems, challenged my Western bias against insects, and inspired an ongoing interest in experimentation with eating local insects. Naturally, when my yard exploded this summer with band-winged grasshoppers, it occurred to me to eat them. And why not eat the grasshoppers? Grasshoppers are a ubiquitous food source among those who eat insects. At least 30 different species of grasshopper are, or once were, consumed extensively worldwide in as many countries. The nutritional composition of grasshoppers is arguably superior to that of hamburger meat, and 72  January - February 2014

they are relatively easy to harvest (and free!). Additionally, grasshoppers are quite versatile for cooking, and there are a multitude of traditional methods of preparation. In some cultures, the cooperative harvest of grasshoppers serves an important mechanism for building community cohesiveness. And significantly, the use of grasshoppers as food encourages many peoples to avoid the use of chemical pesticides in their agricultural fields. The developed world is experiencing a boom in interest in entomophagy: The United Nations is exploring food security through insect breeding programs, and CABI (Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux International), a multinational government backed science research organization in the UK, is investigating and endorsing the widespread use of insects as human and animal feed. Although insect festivals, often with entomophagy information booths, have become quite popular on university campuses across the United States, there is still little momentum toward utilizing insects as food. One way to jumpstart this movement is to harvest your own insects—perhaps even in your own backyard.


n early November, my husband and I invited a half dozen friends and their children to participate in a grasshopper harvest in our backyard. November is late in the grasshopper season, and the number of grasshoppers in the yard had dwindled. But there were still enough for a decent yield and, armed with butterfly nets, the children quickly formed a small band of relentless hopper hunters. After some frustrating moments and disappointing escapes, they figured out how to use the nets and caught 25 grasshoppers in an hour and a half. It was wonderful to watch the kids, our daughter in particular, shed their trepidations and joyfully engage in this elemental human activity. Our processing methods were inspired by traditional techniques utilized in central and southern Mexico where red-legged grasshoppers and spur-throated grasshoppers are collected and soaked until their bitter, perhaps toxic, gut contents are expelled. They are then marinated in lemon juice and spiced with salt and chili. These crunchy critters, known as chapulines, can be found in almost every market and restaurant in southern Mexican cities such as Oaxaca City. They are sold as whole insects as well as powder that is used as a condiment. We dropped live grasshoppers into an empty jar immersed in ice, which served to numb them (insects can also be frozen completely). Then we lit a fire and placed a cast iron pan on a rack over the fire to preheat it. When the pan was hot, we placed the grasshoppers into it and dry roasted them for about five minutes. They turned a lovely shade of red as they cooked, much like lobsters do. We then removed the pan from the heat and seasoned the grasshoppers with lemon juice, Guajillo chile powder, salt, and roasted garlic. With the cooked grasshoppers, we made tacos—tortillas filled with avocado and grilled onions and red peppers. Almost all of the children partook of the novel cuisine, including an 18-month-old who was not one bit fazed by the experience. The grasshoppers themselves have a subtle flavor: There is a slight hint of grassiness,

Nutritional Value of Grasshoppers Grasshoppers are a rich source of many important nutrients, outperforming ground beef in many categories. Grasshoppers provide more energy per 100 grams than soybeans and may contain significant amounts of vitamin B2 and zinc. The fatty acid composition of grasshoppers is similar to poultry and fish: Some insects are even higher in essential linoleic (omega-6) and alinolenic (omega-3) acids. Nutritional comparison:


80% lean ground beef























Precautions for eating grasshoppers Never eat grasshoppers from an area that has been treated with insecticides or may be otherwise contaminated. Grasshoppers will accumulate heavy metals in their exoskeletons, so avoid collecting grasshoppers near mine tailings or dilapidated buildings that might contribute such contaminants to surrounding soil. Keep in mind that bright colors (including black) are indicators of toxic compounds in insects. Pay attention to the plants in the area of your harvest, and do not eat grasshoppers that may be feeding on toxic plants such as datura. If in doubt, remove the head and gut content of the grasshoppers before eating them to minimize the risk of ingesting toxic compounds, or feed them known, edible plants for 24 hours before cooking them to eliminate potential toxins from their gut. Insects share some important chemical compounds with their crustacean cousins, so people with a shellfish allergy should avoid eating grasshoppers. Always cook grasshoppers before eating them; they can carry parasitic worms that can be passed on to humans. Consider removing the wings and legs of grasshoppers, which can cause intestinal obstruction due to their high chitin content. Be a conscientious consumer. Many birds, lizards and small mammals rely on grasshoppers as food, so don’t over-harvest. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least as many insects as you take from any given location.

edible  Baja Arizona 


but otherwise they take on the essence of the spices they are seasoned with. The texture is pleasant; not crunchy, but not at all squishy. They reminded me of spiced pumpkin seeds.


lthough our methods for catching and cooking the grasshoppers were guided by methods utilized in Mexico, there are a variety of traditional techniques employed around the world. Many cultures remove all wing parts, legs, and heads of grasshoppers before eating them. Bodies are then boiled, lightly fried, or roasted, and then either sun dried for storage or seasoned for immediate or later consumption. Once dried, grasshoppers can be stored whole or as flour. In the present-day United States, as in Latin America, many indigenous people continue to rely upon grasshoppers as a regular part of their diet and each group developed its own unique strategy for collecting and preparing them. In his book Butterflies in My Stomach, Ronald L. Taylor refers to one interesting tactic historically used by indigenous peoples in the western United States. A large pit-fire was built and allowed to burn to coals. A group of people then formed a large circle around the pit and converged on it, beating branches against the ground to drive swarms of grasshoppers into the coals. The already-cooked grasshoppers were eaten on the spot or carried back to villages to be stored for later use. In eastern California, the Washo Indians are said to have collected grasshoppers in the early morning before it was warm enough to activate wing muscles for flight. Taylor says that the roasted grasshoppers were eaten plain, stored away in bulk, strung on sticks, or ground into a highly nutritious flour to be combined with other foods. Ancient Mexicans not only ate grasshoppers as everyday food, but they also used them medicinally. They reportedly crushed the hind legs of grasshoppers, mixed them with water, and then

drank the solution as a powerful diuretic to treat kidney disease or to reduce swelling. Rural people in the state of Oaxaca also use grasshoppers to treat certain intestinal disorders. There are over 200 species of grasshopper identified in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, most of which are likely candidates for safe, reliable, and nutritious meals. The edible species include locusts as well as spur-throated, slant-faced, band-winged, and some lubber grasshoppers. Not only are these grasshoppers abundant in Baja Arizona, but the majority of the edible species occur during mid- to late- summer when other desert foods sources are becoming scarce. It is therefore difficult to imagine that indigenous populations from the region did not utilize this resource, at least in times of desperation. The absence of written examples of humans eating grasshoppers in Baja Arizona is conspicuous. This deficit may be due to lack of documentation by researchers and academics, or it is possible that early explorers simply overlooked or missed sporadic episodes of grasshopper collecting and eating. In any case, we can certainly take advantage of this food source now. Exploring the rich history of entomophagy around the world illuminates the reality that our national abhorrence of insects, and our endorsement of chemical warfare against them, is misguided. As my friends and family experienced during our own experiment with wild entomophagy, harvesting and eating insects affords a rare opportunity to interface with our natural environment while promoting our collective food security. And, as we learn about the global reliance on insects as food, we open our hearts and minds to cultures and options we might otherwise dismiss.

[Grasshoppers] take on the essence of the spices they are seasoned with. The texture is pleasant; not crunchy, but not at all squishy. They reminded me of spiced pumpkin seeds.

Marci Tarre works as an adjunct in biology at Pima Community College. She received her master’s in entomology from the University of Arizona in 2001. Marci and her daughter and husband enjoy life as urban pseudo-farmers, raising chickens and vegetables in their backyard.

edible  Baja Arizona 


The economic and physical well-being of small-scale farmers and their families is a crucial component in the resiliency of our local food system—yet it’s often overlooked. By Debbie Weingarten Illustrations by Pasqualina Azzarello


n a cool November evening, my son and I stand watching over our lower fields. I point out the San Pedro River, marked by a line of cottonwood trees. Below us, our farm dogs charge through the fallow fields, their tails moving above the amaranth like white flags. Eli’s mouth is an “o” as he tracks the dogs with his eyes. These are the moments when I can see brand new worlds cracking open for him like precious stones. Standing on the hill together, we are both 2-year-olds. We shriek at the breeze that creeps inside the collars of our jackets, we listen to the coyotes on the ridge, and as the light turns to dusty gray, we watch as our harvest crew returns from the field. As a mother and a farmer, I am consumed by the realities of small-scale food production. There are, of course, thousands of starkly beautiful moments. They come in the form of abundant harvests, summer flowers, babies learning to toddle in the greenhouse, and the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. And then there are the more difficult times—when production costs seem

to forever outweigh the profits, when our own exhaustion meets a string of bad luck, when failure seems imminent. Today’s family farmers are faced with challenges that not only endanger our operations, but strike at the health and well-being of our families. The sustainability of our local food supply depends on farmers being able to continue producing food. As such, the physical and economic well-being of our family farmers is essential to the sustainable food conversation.


n 2006, Paul and Sarah Schwennesen returned to the Schwennesen family’s Double Check Ranch in Dudleyville. Their first child, Katherine, was just 2 months old, and the couple dreamed of giving her a life outside of the chaos and pollution of the city. Paul and Sarah were at the end of demanding Harvard graduate school programs and felt staleness and a disinterest in their Air Force careers. Though returning to the ranch

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meant giving up the stability of regular paychecks, it also meant that Paul and Sarah could live the life they had been dreaming of. Paul says they found peace in knowing their children would be exposed to “grass, sunlight, and soil, instead of smog and daycare.” “Moving to the ranch was absolutely the best thing for our family and for our kids,” Sarah says emphatically. Though a major adjustment in itself, ranch life gave Sarah precious time to bond with her new baby and to learn the ropes of motherhood without the pressures of a job outside the home. Though Paul knew well the rigors of ranch life from growing up on a ranch in Willcox, they both admit to arriving with a romantic vision of what their life would be. Having left a two-story house in Cambridge, the family settled into a modest doublewide trailer in the small mining town of Dudleyville. They had been eager to join a community of other young farm families for support and friendship, but were disappointed upon finding no such community. Sarah says, “I had—and still have—fantasies about a time when there were more agrarian families. I imagined there would be other women to grow, learn, and share experiences with. Mothers talking to each other and sharing the challenges of raising children on the farm.” The isolation experienced by the Schwennesens is just one of the unique challenges experienced by farm families. There may also be limited access to schools, play groups, sports teams, grocery stores, or libraries. In addition, frequent power outages, broken water lines, limited phone and internet services, lack of trash collection, poor road conditions, and limited mail delivery are all constraints that affect the daily lives of rural families. For farmers, these constraints have meant learning to be as self-sufficient as possible. The vast amount of skillsets that are required to be a successful farmer is seemingly infinite, for they must also be competent welders, carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, electricians, veterinarians, masons, and so on. Tina Bartsch and Jim McManus, owners and operators of Walking J Farm, know well the isolation of rural life. For over a decade, the family lived on a remote two hundred acres of the San Rafael Valley, outside of Patagonia. “There were times when I literally wouldn’t see another human being for two or three weeks,” Tina recalls. “It was just us— just our little family.” When their daughter, Maggie, was 4, and their son, Colm, was 2, the family decided to move. The move to Amado not only gave the family the ability to put their polyculture farm ambitions into practice, but it gave them access to a marketplace for their farm 78  January - February 2014

products. Still, the Amado property was over an hour from Tucson, where Tina was teaching and the kids were attending school. The distance meant that Tina and the kids had to leave before dawn, spend all day in school, and often finish the day with a slew of errands for the farm. Often, they would arrive back to the farm after dark, still with homework and lesson plans to finish. After an exhausting two years of commuting, Tina quit her teaching job, and the family opted to homeschool. Even though Tina was trained as a teacher, the transition to homeschooling was challenging. Tina and the kids navigated printed curriculums, rigid online programs, and looser experiential lessons based around the farm’s many cycles and tasks. But eventually, the farm grew to a size that demanded more of Tina’s help in the garden, caring for the animals, hiring staff, attending farmers markets, and keeping the books. As such, Maggie and Colm went back to school in Tubac. The Schwennesens faced many of the same issues as their children grew older. When Katherine was 5 years old, it became clear to the Schwennesens that their daughter was craving social interactions beyond their small rural community. Sarah was about to have her third child, and she greatly desired access to a community of mothers. Because Sarah was already commuting to Davis-Monthan for her military job, the family chose to move into Tucson. Though it alleviated some of the challenges the Schwennesens had faced, the move put a different kind of strain on the family. Paul now commutes to the ranch, or spends days on the road driving cattle. And though Sarah is grateful for the Tucson community she and kids are now able to enjoy, she misses the time they shared as a family when they lived on the ranch.


here is a strong matter-of-factness when talking to fellow farmers about the economic insecurities of farming. Everyone agrees that the burden of financial stress takes a toll on the overall happiness, health, and cohesion of their family unit. Everyone worries about their children, about their dwindling savings accounts, or if the market will continue to support local producers. Money is a huge stressor for farmers globally. When vegetables or animals are raised on a small and relatively unmechanized scale, the quality of product is higher, as animals and plants are harvested at the ideal weight, age, or ripeness. On our farm, hands nurture our vegetables at every step from seed to table. But this means that our production costs are higher per unit than on an

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industrial farm. Heirloom seed is more expensive, as are organic soil amendments and pest controls. Labor costs are exorbitant, because nearly everything is done by hand. For direct-market farmers, the market can be economically undependable. Poor weather, competing events, holidays, or too many markets diluting the overall sales potential, can mean frustrating farmers markets for those of us who depend on a certain amount of direct sales to pay our bills. For a farmer, poorly performing markets translate to a waste of labor and fuel, product sitting unsold on the table, and a scramble to make up the difference through other sales avenues.

Jessie Deelo, Farmer Resource Specialist for national organization Farm Aid, knows firsthand about the economic uncertainties in direct-market farming. A farmer herself, Deelo was forced to leave the Massachusetts farm she started after four years of trying to make the finances balance out. After her son was born last Thanksgiving, she and her husband made the decision to leave the operation. “We couldn’t raise a family on our farm income,” Deelo says. In her work at Farm Aid, Deelo sees firsthand the connection between the insecurity of a farming livelihood and farmer stress. “I see a lot of people starting farms and then

“Moving to the ranch was absolutely the best thing for our family and for our kids.”

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getting burned out after a few years. Clearly, that’s not a sustainable system. They’re saying ‘I have to cut my losses. This isn’t working financially, and I can’t continue to risk my family’s security.’ ” The Schwennesens remember working the numbers over for months before making the decision to move back to the ranch. Not wanting to make an unfounded decision, they needed a sure bet that the ranch would generate a steady income for their growing family. “We were running business model projections, and we were starry-eyed. We were thinking we could make as much as we could make with State Department jobs if we were really good at selling beef,” Paul says. “And what have you found?” I ask. He laughs. “That has proven to be absolutely untrue.”


n their early days on the ranch, the Schwennesen family purchased high-deductible, temporary insurance for themselves, but the cost was outrageous, and the coverage was limited. “I remember watching Paul drive off on the tractor and crossing my fingers,” Sarah says. According to the University of Vermont Extension Service, tractor rollovers are the leading cause of death on farms nationwide. Sarah lists the potential for accident as one of her biggest stressors, and access to affordable quality insurance as the primary reason she chose to return to a part-time position with the military. Kirsten Workman, a Vermont extension agent, says that this model is widely used by farmers in order to access health care. “I’m working with eighth generation dairy farmers, who milk a thousand cows a day,” Workman notes. “And the women will milk in the morning, and then go off to work for twelve-hour nursing shifts. And nine times out of ten, it’s not to supplement income. It’s for the health benefits.” It’s easy to understand this as a priority, as any farming town 82  January - February 2014

in America will have sobering accounts of farm accidents. These accidents become emotional reminders of our vulnerability as farmers, and can be responsible for crumbling entire families and their farm enterprises. Tina Bartsch recalls such stories from her farming childhood in rural Saskatchewan: her grandfather getting stuck in an auger, a woman sucked into a combine, and an aunt whose brothers were all killed in accidents, most of them farmrelated. According to a U.S. Department of Labor study, a farmer is 800 percent more likely to die while working than are individuals in other professions. In fact, the National Safety Council ranks farming and mining as the two most dangerous occupations in the United States. In addition to accidents, farmers and ranchers are at an incredibly high risk for stress-related illnesses, depression, and even suicide. Robert Fetsch, professor emeritus at the University of Colorado, has been studying the effects of stress on family farmers for over 30 years. Fetsch credits a farmer’s self-reliance with his or her ability to overcome potential setbacks, but also makes a point that it’s the same attribute that keeps them from asking for help when things get tough. And things do get tough. The uncertain variables inherent in farming are enough to wind us into tight-lipped, white-knuckled balls of stress—and stress can have dire consequences. As such,

“Farmers are resilient. They’ve learned from their dads and moms and grandparents that you just keep on keeping on. You get up the next day and keep going.”




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farm owners and laborers were the two occupations with the highest incidences of death due to stress-related illnesses, such as heart attack, hypertension, or nervous disorders, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

WHAT YOU CAN DO There are ways to support small producers beyond the farmers’ market. If you want to get involved, consider joining some of the following local initiatives:

LEGAL AND MEDICAL SUPPORT FOR FARMERS In October of 2013, a group of Southern Arizona farmers launched the Southern Arizona Young Farmers Coalition. A chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition, the group was developed in order to support, connect, and celebrate young, beginning, and innovative farmers in our desert region. One of the first SAYFC projects aims to seek out legal and medical professionals willing to provide low-cost or free services to Southern Arizona farmers.


or Walking J Farm, unforeseen setbacks and disasters seem a regular occurrence: the fall freeze turns benign grasses into a toxic pasture for cattle, cows die of bloat, vegetables freeze, and trucks break down over and over again. Two years ago, four Walking J pigs died from a condition called Glässer’s Disease, an unpreventable condition caused by a sleeper spore in the pig’s environment. Jim and Tina estimate that a single pig costs them $1,325 to raise and slaughter, not including labor costs. At market, that same pig can be sold for a meager $1,650, which generates a mere $325 back to the farm. To lose four pigs in one day was a substantial setback, requiring Jim and Tina to recalculate their season’s margins and market plans. Paul Schwennesen blames the majority of his farm disasters on mechanical failures. “So much of what we do is based on vehicles, refrigeration, and walk-in freezers,” he explains. “A big storm will come in, power will go out, and the power company won’t be able to get to us because the river is too high.” This sets in motion a panic, requiring Paul and his crew to ford the river for dry ice to prevent losing thousands of dollars worth of product. For vegetable and fruit farmers, cold weather brings a collective holding of breath. This past October, nighttime temperatures plummeted into the 30s, and our fields began showing signs of winter burn. One early morning, a damaging frost unexpectedly reached the pumpkin field. We had just harvested our winter squash and piled them in the field before shuttling them to storage. I remember holding my son and watching out the kitchen window as the crew filled truckloads of butternut squash. They could not move fast enough. I remember the sinking feeling in my stomach when my husband called to me over the radio. “We’re picking them up as fast as we can,” he said “But they’re literally freezing before our eyes.” It is a feeling that Dwight and Karla English, of English Family

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If you’re a legal or medical professional or for more information about how to support this project, contact

SLOW MONEY Slow Money, a personal investing concept developed by Woody Tasch, has become a sweeping movement for individuals wishing to invest their dollars in grassroots projects contributing to soil fertility and small-scale food production. Local food producers are ideal recipients for low-interest loans from individuals who believe in supporting farmland preservation, community food security, and community health. Money invested in our community stays in our community. For more information about this inspiring movement, visit

LANDLINK PROGRAM The future of local food depends on supporting new and existing generations of food producers. As such, farmland must be accessible and affordable. The Farm Education Resource Network (FERN) is beginning a new project to link Southern Arizona farmers with land owners. If you own farmland—of any acreage and with access to water—and are interested in seeing your land preserved as farmland through a lease, sale, or other creative means, contact FERN at to be included in an upcoming LandLink directory. Visit



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Orchards, know all too well. The English family has been growing fruit in Willcox for 33 years. For the couple and their grown son, Paul, the insecurity of shifting weather patterns has them questioning their future as fruit growers. Dwight regards the last five years as the worst stretch of luck since they began their business in 1980. Two of the last five years saw the orchard losing 80 to 90 percent of their entire crop, despite the $30,000 purchase of two wind machines, which the English family had hoped would fight a hard freeze in the orchard. And recent years have been just bad enough that the English Family Orchards has been officially dropped by their crop insurance company until their production averages come back up, which may be two to four years away. “As weather patterns continue shifting for the worse, the risk factor isn’t shared by the insurance company,” Dwight says. “Instead, [the insurance company] figures out a way to slowly disengage or completely disappear when a farmer needs them the most.” As a result, for the first year in many, the English family will have to cross their fingers and hedge their bets against Mother Nature. And the family is no stranger to weather catastrophes. Dwight remembers a particularly devastating hailstorm just eight or nine years after they had moved to Willcox. “We had the prettiest crop of Golden Delicious apples,” Dwight says, “We babied them. We did everything right. We spent so much on labor to thin them so the fruit would be nice and big, and those apples were beautiful. We said we were going to pick them on Monday. And on Saturday afternoon, a storm came up and brought hail the size of marbles.” He pauses, thinking. “I remember turning and looking at my kids and at Karla. And Karla was looking out the window with tears rolling down her eyes. We didn’t say anything to each other, and I’ll never forget that.” The English family guesses that, in that span of 15 minutes, they lost 100,000 pounds of “high-priced, premium-quality, store-grade” apples. It is a loss that still makes their heads spin. “We want to keep farming,” says Paul English, “But how many

times can a farmer take such a loss and continue to stay in business? [Small-scale] farmers carry an unfair amount of risk compared to most other types of businesses.”


armers are resilient,” says Fetsch, the farm stress researcher at the University of Colorado. There is admiration in his voice. “They’ve learned from their dads and moms and grandparents that you just keep on keeping on. You get up the next day and keep going.” And indeed, that is what we do. Light first appears as grayness through the window. Always, there is the space between sleep and awake where my husband and I hover until the alarm goes off. It is a space for slow waking, for thinking through the day’s priorities, for listening to our children breathing deeply in their sleep, for making wishes. Across the yard, the goats call out and the chickens begin their chatter. We note the air—did it freeze last night? Is the wind whipping? As we climb out of bed, a small piece of moon still hangs boldly in the sky. With the increasing popularity of the sustainable foods movement, we champion practices such as crop rotation, pastured poultry, heirloom vegetable production, and seedsaving. And while these are surely important pieces of sustainable food production, the wellbeing of the people who grow our food is the unvisited chapter of the conversation. As weather patterns shift, markets crash, and small-scale farmers continue to fight the uphill battle against industrial food, the only guarantee is that there are no guarantees. But as our community continues its passionate building of a vibrant local food system, let us also remember the health and wellbeing of our region’s farmers. Without programs and infrastructure that prioritizes our farm families, we are facing a possible reality that sustainable food production is not in fact sustainable for our farmers. ✜ Debbie Weingarten is a mother, writer, co-owner of Sleeping Frog Farms, and is the Southern Arizona organizer for the National Young Farmers Coalition. She never peels her vegetables and is too scattered to follow complicated recipes.

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As they juggle time constraints, finances, and organic awareness, some parents discover that feeding kids is all about finding balance. By Shefali Milczarek-Desai | Photography by Jeff Smith

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t my weekly CSA

pickup, my preschooler dutifully counts out the number of vegetables to pick from each bin and drops them into my bag. All, that is, except one, which he magnanimously gives his younger brother to deposit. I’m beaming at this display of sibling harmony when my younger son emits an ear-piercing shriek. The “1 bag salad,” bin doesn’t provide enough to share. The rest of the pick-up is tense as I try to maneuver tight spaces with warring children and a bunch of food in my arms. Feeding kids is hard—from buying food to cooking it and expecting kids to eat it— especially as parents try to source highquality food, prepare healthy meals, and teach their children good eating habits. For Reena, a single mother who works long hours as a legal secretary, this challenge intensified when her son was diagnosed as “insulin-resistant” at age 8. The toughest thing, Reena says, is helping her son cope with the feeling that “he’s been cheated because he can’t eat whatever he wants like other kids.” A close second is serving home-cooked meals to her two teenagers. This often means getting home after dark and preparing a meal when she’s tired and while the kids are doing homework or bathing. Reena admits there are nights “when I have a store bought lasagna ready to go for dinner, along with an organic salad and some fruit, because it’s late and I just don’t have the time and energy to cook.” Overlaying time constraints is tension regarding the cost of high-quality food. Reena buys most of her food, which is about 5 percent organic, at Walmart where she can do “ad-matches,” as Walmart honors other grocery store’s sales prices. “I know I should go all natural because I think

food is healthier without chemicals and I would love to shop at a farmers’ market with organic food and buy meat from local grass-fed operations, but I think the prices would be too high,” Reena explains. She also expressed interest in grocery stores that carry larger quantities of organic food but says, “I haven’t walked into them because they’re not in my area and they’re expensive.”

For many families, cooking dinner can be a stressful time. In KC Pagano’s home (left), she makes an effort to include her two children, Sofia, 4, and Viola, 2, in dinner preparation, such as measuring couscous (bottom right). Violeta Dominguez enlists her daughter’s help in chopping carrots for a snack (top right).

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Small tasks for small hands: cracking eggs in the Dominguez home (top) and rolling ground lamb into meatballs in the Pagano home (bottom).

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On the other end of the spectrum is KC, who emphatically declares that food “is my whole life!” The at-home mother of two young children spends large swaths of time sourcing, preparing, and preserving food. She buys all her food, which is 100 percent organic and 70 percent local, at Whole Foods or the farmers’ market. She describes the latter as her favorite venue: “We make a whole morning out of going to the Sunday farmers’ market. It’s a fun, lowstress way for the kids to see where food comes from and the people who grow it.” KC’s focus on food is fueled by her de-

sire to “put only good food into her family’s bodies”—a journey she embarked on after reading Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. But it’s not just about health for KC; it’s also about taste. “When I realized how animals at concentrated animal feeding operations are treated, I decided to try some local meat. The first time I tasted local steak I was like, ‘whoa.’ The meat tasted phenomenal! I couldn’t go back.” Shelley falls somewhere in between KC and Reena. If Reena’s primary concerns are time and cost and KC’s is high-quality food, Shelley’s is the energy required and stress generated to shop or prepare meals with her kids. The mother of three, including one newborn, laments, “I used to really enjoy buying food. I grew up in a place with lots of agriculture and when I was a kid, it wasn’t unusual for me to take care of my neighbors’ cows and goats and gather chicken eggs when they were out of town. I want my children to have this experience but it’s just too stressful to take them to the farmers’ market. Shopping is never fun now.” Shelley now buys most of her food from a conventional grocery store because “I can get most of what I need there, including both organic items as well as partially processed or prepared foods,” she says. For Shelley, a typical trip to the store might include fruit, both organic and conventional, organic frozen broccoli, organic bread, and chicken. Of all these items, Shelley feels most conflicted about the last one. “I buy boneless, skinless chicken breast because it’s so easy and generally cheap when I buy it on sale. But I know that usually the conditions chicken live under are not very humane. I don’t want to economically support an inhumane system, but this is purely an issue of time and energy for me.” At dinnertime, Shelley works quickly in the kitchen while the baby dozes, at least momentarily, in the carrier on her chest and the older children play on the floor a few feet away. Mayhem might erupt at any time, and Shelley knows it. She heats up the frozen broccoli, applies cream cheese to a few slices of toasted organic bread, and reheats the chicken breast that her husband barbecued the night before. Placing small

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A family’s hard work pays off, as they gather for a Sunday breakfast of scrambles and smoothies over smiles.

portions on two kid-size plates, she gets food in front of her 5- and 3-year-olds before hunger sets in—cause for celebration.


ushma’s concerns around food are a combination of those evoked by Reena, KC, and Shelley. Like KC, Sushma became hooked on a largely organic and local diet after reading Michael Pollan, but to get the foods she needs she shops at a variety of places both for reasons of cost and manageability when it comes to bringing three kids along. Sushma remarks that while both Trader Joe’s and the farmers’ market are challenging, the former is easier “because the kids can be occupied ‘driving’ the kid carts and with stickers sometimes handed out by employees.” Sushma says, “I can easily spend a lot of money at the farmers’ market and not have a lot of food but the trade-off is money versus higher-quality food. I’m looking at it as an investment in my family’s health.” Cory, the father of a two-year old, feels differently. He says “cost is my family’s biggest challenge right now because I’m a student.” Nonetheless, about 80 percent of the food they buy is organic and at least 50 percent of their produce is local. He guesses that “compared to the average American, we spend more money on food for a couple of people who don’t have a lot of money. [We spend it on food] rather than 92  January - February 2014

on things like cars, bikes, toys.” June, a professional dietician and mother of a 10-month old, similarly states that “I don’t have a lot of disposable income, but I have a willingness to take a large percentage of it and invest in food for my family.” She says that “as a nation, we have an unwillingness to spend more on food” and traces this attitude to the period after World War II “when we had true issues with food scarcity and hunger. As a result, we made food very accessible under very low cost and we were raised under this mentality that food should be cheap.” Now, June says, “We’ve learned that cheap, convenient food causes higher incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.” She says, “For me, a great way to optimize health is to invest in and spend money on food.”


hether parents are able to put more spending dollars toward food or not, all parents face the challenge of picky eaters. It’s difficult to stomach spending substantial sums on high-quality food that children won’t eat. Erin, who runs a house-cleaning business and has three children, says that she doesn’t buy much organic or local food. She says she “tries to buy healthy food but her children won’t always eat it and that’s spending money on food that’s not even eaten.”

Sushma has experienced this too. On any given day, dinnertime at her house could look something like this: “The baby throwing food, my oldest daughter getting up and running around during the meal, and the middle one gagging on whatever I’ve made and then shrieking about how she can’t finish it.” Sushma says that despite the cost of high-quality food, “in the end it doesn’t matter a whole lot if they don’t like it. I’m preparing foods that are good for them. Period. Eventually they get it and they eat it.” One way to encourage healthy eating, Violeta says, is to “respect kids’ tastes.” Meals in Violeta’s home are simple affairs and on the rare occasion she makes an elaborate dish, she says, “The general rule is the kids must try it because you can’t say you don’t like it when you don’t know what it tastes like. If my children don’t like something once they’ve tried it, I don’t force them to eat it and thank them for trying. This works remarkably well and sometimes the girls end up eating and liking things they initially rejected.” And, Violeta adds, “Some days we have pizza and that’s ok too. When I was young sometimes my father announced: ‘Today we are going to eat junk!’ This helped me understand there are different types of food. Hopefully we eat mostly healthy food but every once in awhile we eat junk

and that’s ok . . . it’s manufactured to taste good.” Violeta says, “I can’t control what my kids do all the time . . . teaching them how to think about food is almost more important than feeding them perfectly all the time.” KC’s method for teaching her kids about healthy eating is to include them in all aspects of food including growing, shopping, and preparing. KC says that “at home, a great way to get them to eat vegetables is gardening because kids will eat anything off the vine, even if it has dirt on it.” Like all kids, though, KC admits that hers don’t always like the food she prepares. Her rule is: “I only serve what I’m serving; I won’t make a separate meal for the kids.” When she made quinoa with pork sausages simmered in tomatoes, at first, the girls rejected it, complaining it was “spicy.” KC responded, “You can eat just the quinoa if you don’t want the sausages.” A hint of amusement creeps into KC’s voice as she finishes the story: “They kept trying it because they were hungry— I don’t allow snacking before dinner—and finally ended up eating the whole thing!” Overcoming the specter of perfection is one of the most daunting challenges in feeding kids. June says that well-intentioned documentaries on the evils of processed food make people think “that the only two options are organic foods or eating at Burger King but there’s lots in between.” Like Reena’s frozen lasagna with organic salad, or Shelley’s dinner of boneless, skinless chicken breast with frozen broccoli. June thinks that parents might be less discouraged if they “feel comfortable to live in that gray area, which is neither A++ nor disastrous.” Violeta inhabits that gray space when she says, “the whole point at the end is to have an appreciation for food; sometimes that involves organic, sometimes local, and sometimes just something that tastes good. It involves a balance of all those things.” ✜ Shefali Milczarek-Desai, an Arizonan since age 3, is a writer who’s taken scenic detours into lawyering and mothering.

Lamb Kefta Tagine 2 pounds ground lamb (preferably organic/pastured) 1 medium red onion 1 small bunch of parsley 1½ teaspoon of cinnamon 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes 6 six eggs salt and pepper to taste

Begin by finely chopping the onion, and save half of it for later. Place the ground lamb into a large bowl and add in the half onion, ⅓ cup (about a handful) of chopped parsley (save a bit for garnish), cinnamon, and salt and pepper. Mix well. Shape the lamb mixture into balls the size of walnuts or large marbles. In a large cast iron skillet or tagine, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium/high heat. Gently place the meatballs so they don’t touch and brown them (usually takes a couple of batches), then move them to a plate and set aside for later. Add the remaining onion to the skillet and sweat them until translucent (about 5-10 minutes), then add in the tomatoes and let simmer for 5 more minutes. Finally, add the meatballs back into the skillet with the tomatoes, cover, and let simmer over low/medium heat for 10 more minutes. Add the eggs to the skillet; it’s important for your presentation that you break the eggs slowly into the dish one at a time, so that the yolks do not break. When all of the eggs are added to the skillet, cover and let them cook until the whites have set (510 minutes); you want the yolks to be a bit runny, so don’t overcook them. As soon as the whites have set, turn off the heat, quickly sprinkle with the remaining parsley for a pop of color, and cover again. Bring the skillet to the table and remove the lid for the big reveal when everyone is seated. Serve on a bed of couscous. Serves 4. Recipe by KC Pagano, modified from The New Book of Middle Easten Food. Follow her at

edible  Baja Arizona 


illustration by Hector Acuña


On the Road for Roadside Wares Magdalena, Sonora, is 10 miles farther from Tucson than Phoenix is—and what a difference those miles make. By Megan Kimble Photography by Bill Steen


o words are exchanged. A man nods, the gate lifts, and your car noses into another country. Easy, immediate, like it could be an accident—follow the road, follow the route, follow the sign to Frontera and suddenly: Mexico. Tiendas, taquerias, and mercados—El Super Que Queries!— suddenly, the world speaks to you in Spanish. It’s another dozen miles before you’ll get your passports stamped; stay in the car, shift into this new traffic tempo, and continue straight through the crowded border city, one half of Ambos Nogales, and onto the open road—already you are wished a Feliz Viaje. (If you drive past 94  January - February 2014

the passport control exit, intoxicated by the green landscape and the smooth freeway, a very nice man in a blue uniform will let you make an embarrassed U-turn.) After your passport has been stamped, the road relaxes and unwinds, and so can you. You’re here because you can be—because Magdalena, Sonora, is only 10 miles farther from Tucson than Phoenix is. But when you head south instead of north, those extra 10 miles buy you access not only to a new landscape and culture, but also a new cuisine, one that’s thrillingly accessible, literally on the side of the road you’ll drive in on.

From sweet to spicy, soft queso to translucent tortillas, you can find it on the road in Sonora. Many stands are as modest as a simple sign announcing a season’s wares; others are ample in their selection—and the colors on display.

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In northern Sonora, roadside food stands offer more than a quick taco. The average stand is stocked with rows of thick glass jars, full of all manner of treats—fig jam, pickled garlic, a diversity of preserved fruits, suspended in their own sweet syrup, and, of course, chiltepin peppers in their myriad incarnations. After you drive across the border, the landscape continues, contiguously American. It is still the Sonoran desert, but because of the slight elevation gain, the green of this land is thicker. Saguaros dot hills just as they do outside Tucson, but in between is a carpet of green, a floor of foliage. Follow I-15, the road to Hermosillo, and you’ll hit Imuris within the hour. Adjacent to the road, trucks scattered along the road’s shoulder brim with things worth stopping for—café tostado (roasted coffee), fresh basil plants, jams galore, fresh cheeses, and, farther down the road, copper cookware. Press on to Magdalena, about 10 miles south from Imuris on 1-15. On the edge of town, when the road swerves right, so should you. After the first curve comes your first stop; the sign says “tortillas” and that’s all they sell, often still warm in the bag. Keep your eye out for shops selling coyotas—a sweet sugar-cookie-like pastry—and stop for carne asada tacos at any of the taquerias scattered along Avenida Niños Hèreos—the main artery through town, although it turns into 5 de Mayo somewhere along the way. But don’t fill up just yet, as the best roadside stands are scattered on the south edge of town (“past the hotels,” according to local instruction). Before the second Oxxo gas station, before the last

stoplight before leaving town, park your car and walk back up the block, stopping at each of the four or five food stands stationed along the road. The stands will tell you what’s worth buying, with painted signs declaring the season’s wares—membrillo or queso fresco (fresh, homemade cheese with a feta-like texture) or tortillas grandes. And they mean big—these translucent, paper-thin tortillas stretch almost two feet across, often called “water tortillas” in reference to their main ingredient. For 30 pesos, you’ll get a bag with six tortillas folded like sheets. Although you’ll find it year round, in the summer, when figs hang heavy from neighborhood trees, you’ll find stands stacked with jars full of a thick, dark purple; walk away with a pint-sized jar of fig jam for only about 100 pesos. For the savory-food inclined, look for bags of machaca, a type of dried beef (sometimes pork) that you can sauté with scrambled eggs; wrap it up in one of those tortillas you snagged for the perfect breakfast burrito. In addition to numerous fruit jams—peach or lemon, even— you’ll find glass jars holding seasonal fruits suspended (and preserved) in their own syrup. There’s chiltepin salsa, standard-issue fiery or with added membrillio for a tinge of sweetness; there are dried chiltepines, pickled chiltepines, brined olives, pickled garlic, honey, acorns. Ristras of dried red chiles hang from the walls like decoration but, of course, they are edible, too. Don’t forget the fresh produce. These stands are smaller and tend to migrate; if you can find the neveria (ice cream shop) a few blocks up the road, you’ll also find tables spread with a fresh array

The stands will tell you what’s worth buying, with painted signs declaring the season’s wares.

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The key to successful roadside eating is a quick reaction time—the ability to resist the inertia of the road when you spot something interesting. of colors, including, depending on the season, nopales, acorns, and fresh and dried chile peppers. The key to successful roadside eating is a quick reaction time— the ability to resist the inertia of the road when you spot something potentially interesting. One such instant decision might lead you to Mariscos Con Coco, located on the outskirts of Magdalena, next to the Gasolinera Alcatraz. In all likelihood, it’ll be Ramón Soto who greets you when you exit your car, unsure of what exactly you’ve stopped for. He’s been running the stand for 18 years, although he says he “invented” the dish a decade before that in Mazatlán. The dish? 98  January - February 2014

In Magdalena, the gregarious Don Chuy and his son will happily discuss their favorite food for sale.

For 130 pesos, you’ll get a coconut brimming over with shrimp, clam, calamari, tomato, onion, cucumber, served under lime, salt, and salsa—enough food to fill two bellies, and happily so. As you head back north, the border announces itself gradually—Frontera, 20 kilómetros. You’ll be siphoned into lanes—truck or passenger car—again and again, and the lanes seem to shift. Traveling south, from the U.S., the border is a thick black line— unequivocal and unquestioned. But on the northbound return, in a car laden with fresh tortillas—with perhaps a few less after a roadside picnic—jars of fig jam, a coaster-sized disc of queso cocido and a heavy block of queso fresco—not to mention a corked wine bottle full of bacanora, a gift from a new friend—you’ll be asked where you’ve come from and where you’re going to. Of course, Magdalena is farther than Phoenix by more than just 10 miles. But the more you cross this border, the more it begins to seem like a membrane rather than a line; like an opening instead of a crossing. ✜ Megan Kimble is the managing editor of Edible Baja Arizona. For the latest on food in Baja Arizona, follow her at or @megankimble.

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Monkeying Around Nimbus Brewery has endured ups, downs, and reshufflings over the past two decades—and continues to serve up delicious brews. By Lisa O’Neill | Photography by Steven Meckler


he monkeys were

a mistake,” says Jim Counts, owner, head brewer, and managing partner of Nimbus Brewery Company. We are sitting in Counts’ office, which is a short staircase above the brewery floor, where 7,000 barrels of ale are brewed annually. Everyone’s seen the monkeys: haloed monkeys holding banjos, monkeys sitting in meditation, monkeys wielding swords. On the brewery’s taproom wall is a vibrant mosaic depicting the Garden of Eden replete with the infamous tree of knowledge. But instead of Adam and Eve, there is the brewery’s signature monkey, enveloped in a halo and plucking a red apple from the tree. The monkey mistake happened when Nimbus was in production for their first batch of six packs in 1999. Someone brought in a logo: a large navy capital N with wheat stalks crisscrossing it and the Catalinas behind. No one was thrilled with the design. They hemmed and hawed. When the printer called to inform them that if they didn’t make a decision soon, the brewery would lose their spot, the assistant brewer asked the printer to be honest. “Well, it’s the ugliest artwork I’ve ever seen for a craft brewery,” she said. “It’d probably look better if you put a monkey on it.” They laughed. When the six-pack boxes arrived from the printer, the boxes still had the N with the wheat stalks, but on the handle of the box, they had something else: a small monkey, the size of a quarter. Years later, when the brewery did a brand redesign, they showed the artwork around town. Counts recalls, “Everyone said, ‘It looks great, but where’s the monkey?’” It was then that a practical joke became the heart of the brand. With a clean bill of health as of August, Jim Counts is back at Nimbus, once again brewing good-tasting beers--although, now more than ever, he’s counting on the help of his staff and customers.

Like the monkey, much of Nimbus’s growth over the years has come through small moments developing into bigger ideas. In 1996, the building held only a brewery, the predecessor to Nimbus. In 1999, people began showing up, saying they smelled beer brewing. Brewery staff put a cooler outside, poked holes in it, and installed kegs. Then, the people drinking beer wanted food, so a sandwich cabinet was inaugurated. When news spread and more and more people were arriving to nosh, it was time to expand. In 2002, Nimbus added the full restaurant and taproom, where patrons can eat outside while watching jets fly overhead to and from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The feeling of the space is at once industrial and warm. The amber wooden tables and bar, the purple felt pool tables, the vaulted wooden ceiling with exposed piping, the gate opening into the row of stainless steel silos. The sound system plays hits from the 90s. Giant Arizona and American flags hang from the walls, in tribute not only to the state and country but to the many servicemen and women from the air force base who patronize the brewery. Military personnel are honored in a large painted sign on the wall and also receive a discount. Bartender Liz Torres has worked at the brewery for six years. She says that she loves coming to work because of the atmosphere. “I love the people. Everyone is on a first-name basis.” Regular Jay Shurman sits at the bar with a large stein. He is one of the many members of the Nimbus mug club. Regulars at the brewery taproom can bring in their own 20-ounce mug; bartenders write a number on the bottom and the regulars receive an

“I love the people. Everyone is on a firstname basis.”

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extra four ounces for their continual patronage. The brewery used to keep all the mugs at the bar; that is until the collection grew to about 700. Now, they ask patrons to bring their mugs with them when they come. In addition to regulars, Counts notes that beer aficionados plan microbrewery vacations and that a large portion of Nimbus’s patrons come from far away to taste their, and other, local brews. He says its good for the breweries and good for Tucson tourism as well. That is part of why he finds it exciting to see more breweries opening in Tucson since, for many years, there were only three: Thunder Canyon, Gentle Ben’s/Barrio Brewery, and Nimbus. “Now there are 13 or 14 opened or in process. I say, the more the merrier.” Nimbus produces six different yearlong ales—Dirty Guera, Pale Ale, Brown Ale, Red Ale, Old Monkeyshine, and Oatmeal Stout—and seasonal brews that are inspired by the land where they are made. Count explains, “Snowmelt results in soft water which is suitable for lagers, like those brewed in Germany and Colorado. With its high mineral content, Tucson has a good water profile for producing ales.” Counts says that the American palate became accustomed to lagers in part because of the popularity and availability of German beers and credits craft breweries for popularizing the ale style. Now, Nimbus’ ales are available in 2,600 locations in Arizona, in addition to California, New Mexico, Georgia, and, in 2014, New York City, where Nimbus was awarded the #1 Arizona Brewery at the New York International Beer Competition last March. Beyond producing quality beer, Nimbus is interested in practicing sustainability. The brewery donates all their spent grain to rescue horses. The grain is not only nutritious but, after the sugar is pulled, soft, which is easier for the older rescue horses to eat and digest. Hors’n Around Rescue Ranch and Foundation freezes and stockpiles the grain for the winter. Nimbus is also working to become solar powered, hopefully as soon as 2014.


he brewery world is not easy,” Counts admits. He said that when Nimbus opened in the late 90s, breweries were closing left and right. Nimbus opened and thrived despite the odds, but there have been obstacles. In 2011, the brewing company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. That same year, according to the Arizona Daily Star, Counts sold a majority stake in his restaurant to New Way Restaurants. But the biggest obstacle by far, which affected Counts both personally and professionally, was when he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2011. “This is not a business you turn your head from,” he says. Nimbus had won the Best Local Brew award in the Tucson Weekly for 14 years in a row until their streak was broken in 2013. Counts believes it had to do, in part, with the time he needed to be away to focus on his healing. “Making beer is tedious and exacting,” he says. If the beer is not fermented within a degree or two, if the distributors don’t store the beer properly, if the equipment is not cleaned the same 102  January - February 2014

exact way every time, the beer can taste completely different. For example, he says, a Hefeweizen is meant to be fermented at 70 degrees. At 68, the beer will taste like cloves. At 72, bananas. Now that he is back, with a clean bill of health as of last August, Counts is committed to providing the same quality beer as before, though the challenge is not completely over. Although Counts is the head brewer, his taste has not fully returned. When he goes out to eat at a restaurant, he often struggles with his palate. “I can taste the most minute amount of salt,” he says. “How do you own a business that relies on your taste when you can’t taste things accurately?” It helps if you have a longstanding product and a slew of loyal employees and customers. He has learned to rely on others, steady customers and staff, to help him know when the ales taste right by comparing their taste to his own. Counts says he is grateful for all those who have volunteered to sit across the table from him to help. “The customers have been amazing.” ✜ Nimbus Brewery. 3850 E. 44th St. 520.745.9175. Lisa O’Neill originally hails from New Orleans but has made her second home in the desert, where she writes and teaches writing. Her favorite food to make is lemon icebox pie.

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Booze News

All the news that’s fit to drink Swing in the New Year at Arizona Hops & Vines with their 2nd Annual Speakeasy soirée on Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. They’ll be releasing a new label of zinfandel, called The Lobbyist, in honor of Mark Barnes, the Arizona senator who helped legalize their new brewery (rumor has it he’ll be at the party). Dress in prohibition clothing and dance the night away to swing band, LL Rebels. If you’re in the mood for more sweetness than swing, head back down to Sonoita on Feb. 15 for Arizona Hops & Vines chocolate love. A local chocolatier will be offering pairings to accompany the wine. (And to accompany the pairings? Topless men.) 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 3450 Highway 82, Sonoita. 888.569.1642. Single or paired, it’s not Valentine’s Day without wine. Join Slow Food Arizona for a special tasting in Tucson on Feb. 9. $30. Limited to 35 participants; register at Or head home and crack open a bottle of Sand-Reckoner Vineyards’ Malvasia Bianca wine, which just cracked the San Francisco Chronicle’s list of the Top 100 wines of the year. Speaking of love and booze, the 4th annual Arizona Beer Week is coming to Tucson, February 15 – 22. Mark your calendars for a kickoff bike and beer tour (and buy a helmet). Events highlighting local Tucson breweries will be held throughout the week, including a science of beer talk at Maker House and a beer trivia night at Tap & Bottle. Check for updated listings. Something new is brewing in Bisbee—or rather, something old is becoming something new. Amanda and Jim Gibson are taking over Electric Brewery, the first microbrewery in Arizona, and calling it Beast Brewery. They’ll still be producing beers under both labels, but the new brews will come from Beast—look for a new coffee stout, launching in January, and a Belgian Beast brew coming soon thereafter. You can visit the taproom for a pint, take a tour of the brewery, and grab a growler to go. 326 W. Highway 92, Bisbee. 520.284.5251. By the time you’ve read this issue cover-to-cover, Flying Leap Vineyard will have opened their new tasting room in St. Philip’s Plaza. Sip samples from this up-and-coming Sonoita vineyard while you admire art by Arizonans, collected by TRUST Art & Design. Tastings start at $6 ($10 if you want to keep the glass). St. Philip’s Plaza. 4280 N. Campbell Ave. 520.954.3245.

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Currently showing on PBS Television Check Your Local Listings or go to

edible  Baja Arizona 


Book Reviews by Molly Kincaid Food Lovers’ Guide to Tucson: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings By Mary Paganelli Votto (Food Lovers’ Series, 2012)


he problem with writing a restaurant guide in a city whose culinary landscape is evolving as quickly as Tucson’s is that you’re bound to miss some recently-opened spots by the time you go to press. For instance, notable new restaurants like Reilly’s, Food For Ascension, and Proper aren’t featured in this book. Still, Votto has written a well-researched guide to a choice selection of restaurants in the Old Pueblo. She covers the classics, like Kingfisher and Lodge on the Desert, but Votto’s keen sense for seeking out little hole-in-the-wall joints is the real treasure here. Votto encourages the reader to stop into Bobo’s and Frank’s/ Francisco’s—already classics in their own right—as well as Gus Balon’s, a little known spot on 22nd Street that she swears makes the best cinnamon rolls and pies in town. On the ethnic side, she endorses CeeDee Jamaican Restaurant, Impress Hot Pot, Zayna Mediterranean, Alisah’s Restaurant, Sher-e-Punjab and more. Votto also shares little-known details about each restaurant she features, such

106  January - February 2014

as Pastiche’s bargain Friday wine tastings and the fact that Greek Taverna’s owner grows his own produce and even makes milk from his own sheep and cows. Even for someone who’s lived in Tucson for many years, this little guide will inspire you to expand your horizons beyond the old faves, without the risk of a disappointing meal. Votto’s vetting seems to come from multiple visits to each restaurant on her short list, as well as a careful culling of any place that didn’t measure up. The book also includes helpful info on specialty food markets, farmers’ markets, food trucks and native foods. Bottom line: Tucson food-lovers—newbies and oldies alike—will discover something new and tasty in this stocking-stuffer tome. Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries & More By Maria Speck (Ten Speed Press, 2011)


ho knew that a cookbook with an emphasis on health and whole grains could have you drooling and bookmarking

just about every page? The very names of the recipes evoke luscious, luxurious brunches and cozy, candlelit dinners. How about Orange Polentina with Honey Marscapone Topping or Saffron Waffles with Orange Cream for breakfast? Or perhaps a take-to-work lunch of Barley Salad with Figs and TarragonLemon Dressing? Warm Oat Berries with Walnuts and Gorgonzola made a delectable dinner served with a salad, as did the Tomato Rye Risotto with Cumin and Chorizo. Speck’s cooking style is informed by a variety of cultures, mainly Mediterranean and French, though a healthier version of the latter. For example, the Artichoke Rosemary Tart with Polenta Crust has a creamy filling made with whole milk yogurt and a bit of parmesan. The Tangerine Lavender Coffee Cake is made with honey and whole wheat flour. The question I always have with cookbooks is the obvious one—do the recipes work? I can write with confidence that these do. Not only that, but many of them are quick and weeknight-friendly, and Speck offers guidance on saving time by pre-soaking grains. Additionally, after cooking a few of the recipes with unfamiliar grains, one gets a sense of how to create dishes on their own, substituting various vegetables, nuts, stocks, and herbs. I made the Lamb Stew with Wheat Berries in Red Wine Sauce with CSA stew beef rather than lamb, and mushrooms rather than raisins. It was soul-warming and perfect with a hunk of bread. When a cookbook is so successful at teaching a style of cooking, like the one Speck has written, one can then make a gift of it to a beloved friend. However, I’ll have trouble letting go of this anytime soon—I haven’t made the Leek Salad with Grilled Haloumi and Rye Berries yet!


n weekly so

ucson b e s t of t 20




veteran of Fuego!, Lodge on the Desert, The Dish Bistro and Canyon Ranch, Ryan Clark recently made the move to Agustín Kitchen, where he’ll be redesigning the

and Ginger-Jalapeño Pave, Oxtail Sugo and Mesquite Flour Gnocchi, Mussels with Nopales, and Roasted Quail with Chorizo Stuffing). Lastly, Clark satiates any sweet tooth with his Ancho Torte, Habanero Crème Brulee and Tres Leches Ice Cream, among others. Despite the complexity of flavors, Clark writes his recipes as simply and succinctly as possible. He instructs on how to build layers of flavor through brining, pickling, and making homemade stocks, sauces, and condiments (Poblano Truffle Aioli, anyone?). Such tricks of the trade help elevate a dinner party to restaurant-worthy sophistication, while also reducing the stress by placing the focus on do-ahead flavor boosting. Tucsonans wishing to up their game in the kitchen should definitely add this one to their cookbook collections.

Up front, the drinks section features imaginative cocktails, like the Campfire with smoked sea salt, tequila and citrus syrup, and locally inspired Passion Fruit and Chiltepin Spritz and Prickly Pear Margarita. Clark even divulges the secrets behind his coveted signature libation, Black Rice Horchata with Cinnamon— and suggests spiking it with whiskey. For the main course, Clark goes from the basics (The Best Guacamole and Classic Chili) to the complex (Yam


Modern Southwest Cooking By Ryan Clark (Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2013)

menu as executive chef. As one of Tucson’s most celebrated culinary stars, it is fitting that he would create a cookbook that embraces the culture of the city. With a focus on local ingredients and regional cooking techniques, Clark’s first cookbook is a thoughtful primer on creating whimsical dishes rooted in the Southwest.

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108  January - February 2014

You Should Be Outside By Jared R. McKinley | Illustration by Danny Martin

IF YOU ARE READING this now, you have survived the holiday season. You might need some therapy. The nights in January and February can be cold. But on most days it is an absolute delight to be outside. Look at your yard. Is there a plot of land not dedicated to sidewalk, driveway, or building structure? Then you have you have free therapy at your fingertips. If you lack such space, look for an available plot in a community garden. Nothing pulls a person out of a mental funk like the blisters developed from wielding a shovel and turning relatively lifeless dirt into garden soil. If you don’t have your own compost going, you can find bags of finished compost and manure at most local nurseries and garden centers. Mix compost and manure into the soil until the color has changed to a darker shade of brown and the consistency is loose and aerated. This puts more oxygen in the soil and oxygen makes happier plants. The deeper you amend, the better. But try to get at least a foot or so down. Use composted manure as opposed to fresh when put directly into a garden bed. Most manure sold in bags at garden centers and nurseries is usually aged but if you are in doubt, wait a few weeks before you plant anything in the new bed. Fresh manure will burn plants, especially tender seedlings. This isn’t an exact science, so don’t worry about the ratios. Just amend. Most parts of Baja Arizona experience

mild winters. The cold snaps occur when the sun is down and never last long. When February approaches it begins to feel more and more like spring. The gardens thrive, aromatic flowers bloom, and there are often balmy afternoons that make you wonder if it isn’t already March or April. Set your work aside for an afternoon and give your musculoskeletal system the labor it craves.

WEATHER If you already have your garden going, you are already closely watching the weather. January provides the sharpest of frosts. The last frost is usually late March or April (depending on your elevation). Much of our region is part of the Sonoran Desert or heavily influenced by it. This desert is characterized by its summer and winter rains. Winter rains are gentle and slow, and soak the earth deeper than the torrential storms of summer. But like the summer rains, they are unpredictable. Sometimes all we get are clouds. Winds, prevalent in this season, can also complicate your garden by blowing over tall plants and vines.

LEARN YOUR TOOLS Good tools make your job easier, helping you to enjoy the garden more; they’re also a better value since they last much longer. Ask for help when you purchase your next shovel. Tell them you want longevity. Not all tools are made the same. This even goes for watering cans. For example, once you have used a Haws watering can with its perfectly distributed and gentle release of water and balanced weight distribution, you will wonder how you ever lived without one. You might really “dig” a good hori hori soil knife, a far superior tool to the common hand trowel. Exotic, common, cheap or expensive, take care of your tools. Don’t leave them outside to rust.

BOLTING Continue planting all the leafy greens and root crops. Depending on the crop, certain cool-season vegetables go to flower (bolt) as the weather warms up. If you have room, bolting vegetable flowers feed beneficial insects, and eventually become seed that you can collect for next year. However you may find you want to replant and

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not wait for flowering to finish. You may want more cilantro. Or you may want to get an early start on some warm season crops. you can collect for next year. However you may find you want to replant and not wait for flowering to finish. You may want more cilantro. Or you may want to get an early start on some warm season crops.

A HEAD START ON THE WARM SEASON Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and basil are great warm season crops to start indoors. They take about 6-8 weeks to get going. Make sure they have plenty of light (you might get some grow lights). In the warmer regions of Baja Arizona you can set these outside in February through March. In the cooler regions, wait just a little longer. No matter where you live, if you start these crops early, have a plan for frost protection. Early starts like this will reward you with earlier crops and a longer fruiting season. Some of the more tropical varieties with extremely long growing season requirements (like Tahitian squash, which takes 110 days to reach maturity from seed) need all the extra time you can give them.

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Plant Outside Now Most of the following crops can be planted continually in succession until May. Pay attention to how many days they take to develop; most seed packets give you the amount of days from seed to harvestable crop. Follow the instructions on seed packet for planting depth and spacing. You can space plants closer than recommended, then thin out as seedlings germinate. Save these thinned greens for your daily salad—such seedlings are sold in stores as microgreens and pack a lot of flavor and nutrition.

but tubers fail to develop, this might be the problem. Avoid over-amending in these areas, especially with manure. Now is also the time to start planting tubers of Jerusalem artichoke (a sunflower relative not related to actual artichokes) and potato tubers, if you have the extra room they both require. Chives and green bunching onions are good examples of vegetables that don’t take up a lot of room and are easy to stuff between crops. Find starts at nurseries or order online.

GREENS & COLE CROPS You can still plant most leafy greens: lettuce, cabbage, leaf chicories, like endive, radicchio, escarole, frisée, puntarelle, grumolo verde; Asian greens, like bok choy, garland greens, Chinese cabbage, tatsoi, mizuna; kale, collard greens, arugula, salad burnet, spinach, chard; cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, and rapini.

HERBS You can keep planting cilantro, parsley, dill, chervil, and fennel from seed. Now is also a good time to obtain starts of the perennial herbs: thyme, lavender, bay leaf, oregano, lemongrass, marjoram, rosemary, mint, catnip. Remember these are perennials. Wherever you plant them they will persist and spread. Avoid planting mint or oregano in a bed where they can spread out of control. Such plants are best in large containers if you lack the space to let them go haywire in the ground.

ROOT CROPS Also continue planting carrot, beet, radish, turnip, burdock, rutabaga and root chicory. Most of these crops don’t want soil that is too rich or high in nitrogen. If you get lots of leafy growth,

ASPARAGUS If you have a large planter or a bed you can dedicate to one crop for a long time, you can plant asparagus. Obtain starts (dormant roots called crowns) from your local nursery or from an online source. Soil needs to be rich and regularly fed. Plants grow into gangly, ferny-looking masses that can shade out other crops if placed in the wrong location. Asparagus should not be harvested in the first year or so. Such a crop requires a lot of dedication from the grower. But if you really love fresh asparagus, taking a year or two to have your own backyard source is worth the trouble.

ARTICHOKES You can set out starts of artichokes now. Be mindful that young plants will eventually take up 2 – 3 feet of space. Though they love the cool weather, they are frost tender and need protection from the cold snaps. If they do suffer frost damage, they can come back from the base. Cardoon can also be started now, a relative of the artichoke with an edible leaf stem.

FRUIT TREES If you didn’t plant any last fall, you can plant them now. The sooner the better. More time between planting and summer will make your work a lot easier. Although you can plant fruit trees almost any time of the year, if you plant new trees in warmer temperatures, you will have to water much more; if the roots have not had a chance to develop before temperatures hit triple digits, forgetting to water for even a few days can have disastrous results. If you plant citrus, have a plan for frost protection. Young plants are easy to cover—cloth works best. More and more varieties of citrus are also being made available on dwarf rootstock, which is easier to protect and offers you more room to plant more trees. Sometimes bare root fruit trees like apricot, plum and apple are available this time of year. Grape vines are also available as bare root starts. When you plant these, you will need to keep them very moist while they come out of dormancy.

ABUNDANCE Half of the challenge of edible gardening is managing your bounty. All too often food is wasted. Plan ahead. If you know you have quite a few seedlings of kale, start looking up diverse ways to use this versatile vegetable before harvesting. Look up ways of pickling and preserving so you make the most of the food you grow. You can also trade with fellow gardeners who are growing slightly different crops. The internet is full of creative uses for vegetables. Explore these solutions and plan ahead.

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The Coop Scoop By Renee Bidegain CHOOSE A COLORFUL FLOCK If the January chill finds you inside, cozy up with one of the many catalogs, in print or online, of hatchlings and start dreaming up your spring flock. If you are adding to an existing one or starting fresh, a flock should be customized to your purpose or preference. The American Poultry Association (APA) recognizes several breeds and over 300 varieties of chickens—the possibilities are endless. Choose your chickens because you love the color of the egg, the intricate wing pattern, place of origin, or their disposition. No matter which color, shape, or size you choose, it’s easy to have your own perfect flock.

WINTERIZE YOUR COOP Chickens suffer less in cold weather than in hot; with our mild winter temperatures in Baja Arizona it’s easy to raise poultry. Follow these few simple tips to keep your flock in tip-top condition.

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Feed a small handful of grains each night and first thing in the morning to increase body warmth. Encourage eating by moving feed stations around the coop, offer healthy treats daily, and on really cold days offer a warm moistened mash. Make sure night perches are wide enough so sleeping chickens can warm their toes with breast feathers and that they are installed two feet from the coop ceiling. You can also install a protected heat lamp near the perch and turn on when the temperature drops below 35°F.

REPAIR YOUR COOP STRUCTURE Replace wire windows used for summer ventilation with solid walls. Repair roof leaks and encourage rain run-off to puddle in your garden instead of your coop.

Dip or paint high viscosity oil on chicken legs and feet monthly to keep scaly leg mites away. To prevent frostbite when nightly temperatures drop below freezing, cover combs and wattles with Vaseline.

Aerate soil and replenish with fresh clean sand. Remove damp litter and bedding in the coop or around the water source, improving the humidity and preventing odor-causing bacteria. Update bedding; remember dry and loose is the most insulating.

Trim foliage to allow plenty of sunshine into the yard, or make a chicken tractor to move the flock around the sunniest parts of the yard.

Renée and her husband are “do-it-yourself” homeowners in Armory Park. Contact her at or find her at Arizona Feeds Country Store in South Tucson.

Easy Yogurt at Home

By Megan Kimble THE FIRST TIME I tried to make yogurt at home, I assumed, as a matter of course, that it wouldn’t work. Milk is just so darn liquid—it’s hard to imagine that with a bit of heat and time, you might make a creamy, thick solid, something to hold up your fruit or embrace your granola. There are as many ways to make yogurt as there are to eat it (that is, a lot). Some require thermometers and a fair amount of attention; you can buy yogurt-making devices or use a crockpot. My yogurtmaking philosophy tends toward the laissez-faire. After all, it’s really bacteria doing all the work; my job is simply to warm them up and get out of the way. Typically, the bacteria you’re trying to fire up when making yogurt are thermophilic bacteria, which become active between 110 and 115 degrees; these bacteria are introduced via a starter culture. In The Art of Fermentation, Sandor Katz suggests finding a traditional yogurt culture that will survive batch after batch. If you lack such foresight, ¼ cup of store-bought yogurt works. (Be sure you’re buying yogurt with “live and active cultures.” I usually go with Nancy’s Organics.) Before you add your culture, you want to heat your milk to about 180 degrees—which is when it starts to swell and almost bubble. “What this heating accomplishes, aside from killing native bacteria that could compete

with the introduced cultures, is to alter the structure of the milk protein, casein, a key to thick, firm yogurt,” writes Katz. I start with a half-gallon of two percent milk (fat helps the yogurt cohere, so whole milk is even better) and a large saucepot. The saucepot goes on the stove—set to medium heat—and the milk in the pot. Twenty

minutes later, give or take, when the milk starts barely bubbling—at 180°, it should feel hot but not burning—turn off the stove. You can also use your crockpot to similar effect. Add milk, cover, turn to low, and let sit for about two hours. After you heat milk to the point that its proteins de-nature, you want to cool it to a point that it’s hospitable to a starter culture, which will re-wind those proteins into a solid structure. That

point is about 110°, which feels like warm skin. After you turn off the stove, let the yogurt sit for a bit—say, 30 minutes. Once it gets to this point, you’ll add the starter culture and try to keep whatever receptacle your milk is sitting in as close to that 110° temperature as possible. For me, that usually means turning on my oven for five minutes, swaddling my pot in a wet dishtowel (bacteria love humidity) and sliding it into the warm oven and then promptly forgetting about it. If you’re using a crockpot, the heat of the ceramic dish should keep the milk warm enough; wrapping it in a towel will help. When I wake up the following morning and open the oven, I’m greeted with a slightly tangy smell—and a saucepot full of solid, shimmering yogurt. While it’s still slightly warm, I usually add a heap of honey or agave syrup, a dash of cinnamon, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Spoon the yogurt into jars or containers and refrigerate for a few hours; it’ll solidify even more. That is, if your granola can wait that long. Megan Kimble is the managing editor of Edible Baja Arizona.

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Taste Memory By Dena Cowan

I LEFT MY HOMETOWN of Tucson decades ago; until my recent return, I lived in Spain where the springtime aroma of flor de azahar (orange blossom) wafts sweetly through ancient streets, permeating layers of time and culture—from the gardens of Al Andalus, where it symbolizes innocence, to the poetry of Lorca, who likened the woes of lost love to the pure white petals carried away by the Guadalquivir to the sea. Citrus x aurantium made its way across the Atlantic to the New World on Spanish colonial sailing vessels. It thrived so well in the Southwest that, during my childhood in Tucson, what we call the Seville orange was as ubiquitous as the mesquite is now. Since xeriscaping has come into vogue, these citrus trees have been increasingly neglected, the aging specimens are rarely if ever replaced; their fruits are now widely considered inedible. Nonetheless, the hardy relatives of the naranjos first introduced into the Southwest three centuries ago by Jesuit missionaries are not only edible, but also have exceptional medicinal qualities, particularly their calming effect in the form of orange-blossom tea. To me, Tucson has many allures, but among the strongest Proustian sensorial relationships I have with this place is that provoked by my “dear ol’ dad’s” sour114  January - February 2014

orange marmalade. Way back when, he purchased Dundee, a marmalade brand from Scotland (likely taste-memory in his case as well, since he is of Scottish decent) until, at a foreign-foods club gathering, he met a Scottish lady who gave him this recipe. He started gleaning the oranges at the university where he worked, bringing them home little by little on his bike, but eventually discovered that a few of our closest neighbors had sour oranges of which they were happy to be deprived. If you have any neighbors like these, and don’t have a dear ol’ dad like mine to provide you with a steady supply of marmalade, I strongly suggest you follow this recipe.

DEAR OL’ DAD’S SOUR-ORANGE MARMALADE Thoroughly scrub 2 pounds of sour oranges. Cut them into quarters, retaining all the seeds. Put them, plus 5 cups of water and 6 tablespoons of lemon juice, into a pressure cooker. Cook at 10 pounds pressure for 10 minutes. Cool the cooker immediately under running water. Strain the liquid into a container. Scrape off the seeds and tough central fibers from the orange quarters. Slice, dice, chop, or add to the liquid and put in blender or food processor

to render the quarters into appropriate-sized pieces. Stir 4 pounds of sugar into the liquid and orange bits mixture. Boil gently until your preferred color and consistency are reached, then pour or ladle into jars. The jars don’t have to be sealed or refrigerated after opening, as the high acidity seems to repel both molds and bacteria. Just tighten the lids enough to prevent dehydration. Ever since I can remember, he has been making a big batch of it every January to slather generously on toasted slices of his freshly baked homemade whole-wheat sourdough bread. (But that’s another story.) The Seville orange trees growing in Mission Garden’s Kino Heritage Fruit Trees orchard on the site of Tucson’s birthplace at the foot of Sentinel Peak (A Mountain) are meaningful to me in many more ways than one. Indeed, they were grown from seed by my partner, Jesús García, the director of the Kino Heritage Fruit Trees Project. He collected the fruits years ago near his home in Miles, where I happened to go to elementary school, and must have inadvertently sensed the aromas that were already writing my destiny. Dena Cowan is a writer, translator, videographer, and gardener. She works for Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace, Mission Garden.

Plant the Water Before the Seeds

artwork by Gretchen Baer

HOW TO GROW MONEY ON TREES Step 1 Order your low-cost trees for delivery from

Step 2 Plant a low water-use tree next to your home.

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Helping you with water harvesting, soil building, native & edible gardens, and watershed restoration!

Visit or call 520-396-3266 for consultations, water harvesting rebate classes, hands-on workshops, and online resources. Mention this ad and get 10% off a site consultation

Step 3 Watch it grow! 520.791.3109 Sponsored by: WMG is a non-profit organization working for the prosperity of people and health of the environment

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The malt is combined with hot water. As it soaks (in a vessel called a mash tun), the starches break down and convert to sugars, which will feed the yeast in step 6.

Beer begins with grain— most often barley, but wheat, rice, oats, rye, and others are sometimes used. The grain is first malted: It is soaked in water, and when it begins to germinate, it is dried in a kiln. The resulting roasted grain is called malt. The dry malt is then milled to crush the kernels and release the starches.


Lautering is the process of separating the sugary liquid, called wort, and the spent remains of the grain. This step takes place in the lauter tun.

hile ingredients and scope may vary, the beer-making process is fairly standard. Smaller-scale equipment can often do multiple steps in one vessel, but each of these steps is necessary to deliver that heavenly delight we like to call BEER.

The wort is boiled with bittering hops (added at the start), and aromatic hops (added at the end).

Ales are served around two weeks after brewing, lagers 4–6 weeks after brewing.

After about 90 minutes, the boiling wort sits for half an hour or so, allowing the hops and sediment to fall to the bottom of the kettle. From there it is pumped through a heat exchanger, which cools it to about 60ºF. The beer stays in the conditioning tank for anywhere from several days to several months, depending on the type of beer being produced. Some carbonation takes place during the fermentation stage, but the finished beer can be further carbonated, as required, before leaving the conditioning tank. 116  January - February 2014

The chilled wort, yeast, and oxygen are left to ferment and become beer. Ales are fermented warm, with yeast on top, for as few as seven days; lagers are fermented cold, with yeast on the bottom, for up to three months.

27811 S. Sonoita Hwy (Hwy 83), Sonoita 520.455.9272

Silverbell Nursery

Family owned and operated Organic vegetables, fertilizers, soil & amendments Plants, shrubs, trees, cacti Premium dog & cat food, animal health products Mesquite firewood Landscape istallation & maintenance

2730 N Silverbell Rd.



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118  January - February 2014


where to find...

Desert Grown Bamboo Plants for Shade & Screen Non-Invasive Clumping & Cold Hardy Types Expert Advice

The Edible Source Guide is a compact directory of our advertisers, with a description of what they do and other details of their businesses. Please visit these advertisers to pick up a complimentary copy of Edible Baja Arizona and let them know how much you appreciate their support of this magazine and the local food and drink community. Baja Arizona cities and towns are noted if the business is not located in Tucson. ARTISAN PURVEYORS & DEALERS


ALFONSO OLIVE OIL A world of flavor, locally owned. We invite you to a unique tasting experience of the freshest, first cold pressed, Extra Virgin Olive Oils and flavored olive oils from around the world, and all natural Traditional Aged Balsamic Vinegars from Modena, Italy! “Taste first…buy when the excitement becomes overwhelming.” 4320 N Campbell Ave., Suite #40, 520.441.9081

BARRIO BREAD Barrio Bread is Tucson’s first Community Supported Baker. Don Guerra’s artisan breads, prepared with wild yeast cultures, long fermentation and hearth baking create a truly inspired loaf. Crafting top quality bread and supporting local foods in Tucson since 2009.

BISBEE OLIVE OIL Come visit us in Bisbee and experience everything the town has to offer. We are located in a 111 yr old renovated building and carry 180 different items for sale. With 45 different Olive oils and Balsamics there is a flavor for everyone. We also offer Free tastings! 8 Brewery Avenue, Bisbee 520.432.4645|520-743-9879

BLU - A WINE AND CHEESE SHOP There’s a new cheesemonger in town! Tana Fryer of Blu has been crowned “cheesemonger in chief” by Tucson foodies. Three retail locations are opening between Nov 2013 and Feb 2014-check our website for more information. 520.314.8262

LA ESTRELLA BAKERY At the Mercado: A Tucson staple with yummy traditional Mexican pastries and pan dulce you won’t find anywhere else in town. Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m., 100 S. Avenida del Convento, 520.393.3320 SMALL PLANET BAKERY We started baking bread in February of 1975. At that point, we were a collective of six, only one of whom had any baking experience. We now service 14 stores and do custom baking for eight restaurants and participate in three farmers’ markets. 411 N. 7th Ave., 520.884.9313 BEER, WINE, & DISTILLED LIBATIONS

CHOCOLÁTE All our boxed truffles are handmade with the freshest ingredients and fine chocolate. We use regional ingredients whenever possible. We use no chemicals, preservatives, additives or artificial flavorings.134 Tombstone Canyon, Bisbee 520.432.3011

ARIZONA HOPS & VINES We’re a small winery that’s awesome! One of many great Sonoita-area wineries in Southern Arizona, our family farm is a fun, warm place for families and wine aficionados alike. Come in and enjoy our patio, tell some stories, and explore the wonders of a winery that has free Cheetos. 888.569.1642

GRAMMY’S JAMS Grammy offers artisan jams, jellies, chutneys, mustards, and pickles. Habanero Dills, Dilly Beans, Rolling Thunder and Habanero Jams are favorites. Backyards, our trees, local farms and orchards provide fruits for Grammy’s special products! Find Grammy’s at Farmers’ Markets. 520.559.1698 Facebook. com/Grammys.AZ

BEAST BREWING CO. Arizona’s First and Wildest Craft Beer. Our mission is to inspire a renewed passion for flavor, one pint at a time. 1326 W. Highway 92 #8, Bisbee. 520.284.5251

HAYDEN FLOUR MILLS A family business working to revive heritage and ancient grains in the desert. We have revived the tradition that started in Tempe, Arizona more than 125 years ago by Charles Hayden and his Hayden Flour Mills. While not milled at the iconic Hayden Flour Mills’ building, our fresh flour harkens back to a time when flour still was full of nutrients and flavor. 4404 N Central Ave., Phoenix. 480.557.0031 QUEEN CREEK OLIVE MILL - OILS & OLIVES A familyowned local business that produces Arizona’s only extra virgin olive oil. Their olives are Arizona grown and pressed at their mill in Queen Creek, Arizona with 4 stores and tasting rooms in the state. At La Encantada 2905 East Skyline Ste. 167 520.395.0563 SANTA CRUZ CHILI & SPICE CO. Both manufacturer and retailer of fine chili products. At our Spice Center in Tumacacori we sell, along with Santa Cruz Products, a wide variety of gourmet Southwestern foods, cookbooks and more. 1868 E Frontage Road, Tumacacori, 520.398.2591

BORDERLANDS BREWING COMPANY A wholesale production microbrewery, brewing about 500 gallons of beer a week for Tucson’s local bars and restaurants. The brewery’s tap room is open Wednesday through Saturday from 4pm-8pm. The brewery hosts live local most nights. 119 E. Toole, 520.261.8773 BREW YOUR OWN BEER The Southwest’s largest home brewing Supply store. It’s where the art of brewing starts. Ingredients and equipment for making beer, wine, soda’s, liquors and cheese. 2564 N Campbell Ave., 520.322.5049 CALLAGHAN VINEYARDS Located in the rolling oakdotted hills of southeastern Arizona, at an elevation of 4800 feet, we produce rich, complex red and white wines from its 25 acre vineyard. Mediterranean and Spanish varietals - Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot, Petite Syrah and Grenache - are the basic building blocks for our red blends, while Viognier and Riesling are blended for our estate white wine. 520.455.5322 CHARRON VINEYARDS & WINERY Located ¾ of a mile off scenic highway 83 between Tucson & Sonoita, Charron Vineyards is a small boutique winery producing hand crafted Arizona wine. The winery’s sigbeast White Merlot is made from grapes that are grown on the property. Pima County Arizona’s only Winery tasting room. 520.762.8585

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CORONADO VINEYARDS We believe that whether your palate prefers sweeter and fruitier wines, or dry complex sophisticated wines, you only should consume wine which you enjoy. 520.384.2993 DOS CABEZAS WINEWORKS Planted, harvested and fermented in AZ. Come try a glass! Our winery tasting room is open Friday-Sunday 10:30-4:30. Tasting fee of $15 includes a souvenir glass. 3248 HWY 82, Sonoita 520.455.5141 DRAGOON BREWING COMPANY Dedicated to increasing the quality and quantity of craft beer in Arizona. Enjoy our beer at various restaurants and bars in Tucson or come to our tasting room at 1859 W Grant Rd #111. 520.329.3606 FLYING LEAP VINEYARD With developed acreage in both Sonoita AVA and Cochise County, Flying Leap offers a diverse portfolio of ultra premium, carefully crafted wines from tasting rooms at its estate vineyard as well as in Willcox. 520.954.2935 HAMILTON DISTILLERS Whiskey del Bac is handmade by Hamilton Distillers in small batches using a copper pot-still and house-malted, mesquite-smoked barley. Three desert single-malt whiskeys made in Tucson. Contact: Stephen Paul: KIEF JOSHUA VINEYARDS A small family business with 20 acres in beautiful Elgin and 40 acres in Willcox Wine Country. Our Elgin tasting room is open daily and is situated right in the middle of what is know as “winery row.” The Sonoita Arizona Wine Tour boasts of ten different tasting rooms and was selected by USA Today as one of the top ten wine trails in the United States. 520.455.5582 LIGHTNING RIDGE CELLARSA small family winery proud to offer wines based on our Italian heritage. Our estate wines are made from classic Italian varietals: Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Malvasia and Muscat Canelli. Clay soils, long warm summers, cool nights and an Old World style of winemaking provide the perfect combination to produce rich, full-bodied wines. 520.455.5383 PILLSBURY WINE CO. Winemaker Sam Pillsbury is dedicated to crafting fine wines that celebrate Arizona’s high-desert terroir. His sustainable Rhone vineyard in Willcox’s Kansas Settlement produces award-winning wines that are crisp, clean, and dry— created to complement the foods you love. 928.639.0646 PLAZA LIQUORS A family owned and independent store, has been around under the ownership of Mark Thomson for 35 years now. Plaza specializes in family owned wineries, breweries and distilleries from around the world. The service and selection speaks for itself. 2642 N. Campbell Ave. 520.327.0542

SAND-RECKONER VINEYARDS Located on the Willcox Bench at 4,300 feet in elevation, Rob and Sarah Hammelman tend to the Vineyards. Our name SandReckoner, means ‘sand-calculator,’ and references Archimedes’ revolutionary and thought provoking 3rd century B.C. writing. In this text, Archimedes calculates the size of the universe by figuring the number of grains of sand that will fill it. The name alludes to our sandy loam soils, our connection to the cosmos, and the infinite calculations required to create a true wine that expresses the very sand into which our vines’ roots grow deep. 303.931.8472 TAP & BOTTLE A craft beer and wine tasting room in Downtown Tucson featuring hundreds of beverage options to enjoy on site or carry out. Look forward to beer flights, events and merchandise. 520.344.8999 VILLAGE OF ELGIN WINERY The largest producer of wine in the Sonoita AVA. This family owned winery still produces wines in the traditional manner. Classically styled and aged in fine European wood, the wines reflect the subtle grace of Arizona terrior. The winery produces a wide range of wines to please all of its customer’s tastes. 520.455.9309 ZARPARA VINEYARD Visit our tasting room at the vineyard just 15 minutes south of historic downtown Willcox. Sample exceptional, hand-crafted wines while you experience breathtaking views of the Dos Cabezas Mountains from the outdoor terrace. Open FridaySunday, 11am-5pm. 602.885.8903. BUILDERS & BUILDING SUPPLY ARIZONA DESIGNS KITCHENS & BATHS, LLC Your home should be an extension of things in life you enjoy and value. Our designers have over 100 years total experience designing kitchens and baths in homes throughout Southern Arizona. Come see us! 2425 E. Fort Lowell Rd. 520-325-6050 ORIGINATE NATURAL BUILDING MATERIALS SHOWROOM Specializing in environmentally-friendly building materials made from natural, renewable & recycled resources. We offer innovative and unique materials that rival the aesthetics and performance of more traditional interior finishes. Flooring, countertops, cabinetry, paints, plasters, alternative plywoods, fireplaces, and architectural salvage. 526 N. Ninth Avenue 520.792.4207 CATERERS & PERSONAL CHEFS LAURA CHAMBERLIN PROFESSIONAL CHEF PERSONAL SERVICE Bringing personalized service and restaurant quality food to your home. Seasonally inspired cooking focused on the freshest ingredients from local and sustainable sources. From intimate dinner parties to culinary consulting or cooking classes. Please call to discuss options and prices. 928.814.8218

Laura Chamberlin


Professional chef Personal service

At the Tucson Botanical Gardens 2150 N. Alvernon Way 928.814.8218 120  January - February 2014

BISBEE COFFEE CO. Hot Beans! Bisbee’s original and best Coffee Roasters and Coffee Shop in downtown Old Bisbee. Awardwinning favorites include: Miner’s Blend, Bisbee Blues Blend, Copper Queen, and Bisbee Breakfast Blend. Café open daily. 2 Copper Queen Plaza, Bisbee. 520.432.7879. CAFE JUSTO Grower-Owned Coffee Cooperative based in Chiapas, Mexico with roasting and exporting in Agua Prieta, Sonora. The coffee is excellent, fresh, organic and LOW in ACID. Fair Trade and Direct Trade is GOOD TRADE. 826 E 11th, Douglas, 866.545.6406 EXO ROAST COMPANY Exo seeks out the world’s finest coffees, craft roasts them in small batches, and distributes them in limited quantities to ensure unequaled quality. Roastery and café open MondaySaturday, 7am to 7pm, Sunday 7-3. Come by for free twice-weekly tastings. Custom wholesaling for area cafes and restaurants. 403 N. Sixth Ave. SAVAYA COFFEE Our goal is to offer superior quality coffees available around the corner from where you brew at home: So the fresh flavors of the Americas, Africa and Asia are right here for you to enjoy. Three locations in Baja Arizona: 5350 E. Broadway, 2905 E. Skyline and 12120 N. Dove Mountain Blvd. (Marana). SEVEN CUPS An American tea company based in Tucson. We source traditional, handmade Chinese teas directly from the growers and tea masters who make them, and we bring those teas back from China to share with people everywhere. Seven Cups is the only American tea company with our own Chinese trading license, so we are in complete control of our supply chain from tea maker to consumer. 2516 E. Sixth St., 520.628.2952 SPARKROOT A cornerstone of a burgeoning downtown, Sparkroot serves up Blue Bottle Coffee & vegetarian fare with flare, in a striking atmosphere. Vibrant community flavor, morning through evening. Great meeting spot; you can even reserve our loft! Beer, wine & killer Irish coffee. 245 E. Congress at Fifth Ave., 520.623.4477 STELLA JAVA Enjoy delicious espresso drinks made from locally roasted coffee beans at this unique family-owned Tucson café. Mon-Sun 8am-2pm 100 S Avenida del Convento 520.777.1496 COMMUNITY EDUCATION & WORKSHOPS THE DRAWING STUDIO When you take a class at The Drawing Studio, it’s not just about learning how to draw, or paint or sculpt. It’s about learning to look at things in a whole new way. The Drawing Studio is not just about art classes and instruction—it’s about possibilities. 33 South Sixth Ave. 520.620.0947 FARMS, RANCHES & U-PICKS ARIZONA FRESH FOODS Locally owned and operated to provide the freshest produce on the market at the best prices. 520.223.6790 AVALON ORGANIC GARDENS & ECOVILLAGE Avalon Gardens practices traditional permaculture principles and time-honored techniques of organic gardening, as well as new sustainable technologies, and promotes seed-saving and the cultivation of heritage varieties of produce provided to our local area through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Tours available by appointment. 2074 Pendleton Dr.,Tumacácori, 520-6039932,

CHIVA RISA We make artisanal, all natural, Europeanstyle cheese on an off-grid, sustainable site situated in the upper San Pedro Valley near the Mexican Border. We treat our animals, land, and cheese with the utmost care and respect. Sharing nature’s bounty with our community through finely crafted cheese is Chiva Risa’s primary goal. 520.901.0429 FEATHERED REPTILES FARM Local hobby poultry farm raising chickens and turkeys on organic feed. Processed organic chickens and eggs. Show quality heritage and standard breeds for backyard flocks. Taking reservations for processed heritage turkeys for Christmas. Farm pickup near Ina & Silverbell Roads., FIORA DI CAPRA Raw Goat Milk, Yogurt, Kefir, Artisanal Farmstead Goat Cheese and Confections. Healthy, happy goats fed grass, alfalfa and local browse. Award winning products can be sampled and purchased at the Heirloom Market, Sunday at St. Phillips Plaza. 520.586.2081

Grow With Us,


Your Local Source From Seed to Table.

• Beneficial Insects & Organisms • Seed Care & Propagation • Fertilizers & Amendments • Easy-To-Use Tools • Weed, Disease & Critter Control

HARRIS HERITAGE GROWERS Pick it your self veggies right out of the field. Also a small shop filled with paintings, handcrafted wood items, crafts, handmade jewelry and much more. 27811 S, Sonoita Hwy (Hwy 83), Sonoita 520.455.9272 OSWALD CATTLE COMPANY Not all beef is grown equal. High quality irrigated pasture and Black Angus genetics make our meat better. Happy land makes happy cattle, which means delicious beef. Available at the Tubac Market and Walking J Farms. Amado, 520.398.2883 PATAGONIA ORCHARDS An organic grower, packer and shipper based in Rio Rico, Arizona. We ship premium organic fruits grown in Arizona and Mexico to wholesalers and retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada. We partner with over 15 organic growers. 520.761.8970 RAMONA FARMS Akimel O’odham Farm producing ancient, heirloom food crops on ancestral land along the Gila River. Products grown and packaged on farm. Visit our website for wholesome, delicious, traditional Pima recipes for tepary beans, corn and wheat. Shop at our online store. Wholesale + food service prices. Sacaton, 602.322.5080 RIO SANTA CRUZ GRASS FINISHED BEEF Our farm on the Santa Cruz River near the US-Mexico border uses the Argentine beef finishing system based on a chain of annual forages crafted for the climate and soils of Santa Cruz County. Our calves are born on our ranch in the uplands of the Santa Cruz River. At weaning, they are moved six miles to our finishing farm on the Santa Cruz River. Here they live peacefully and naturally on forages sustained by irrigation and summer rains. 520.394.0243

Visit Our Store Today! 10831 N. Mavinee Dr. Suite185 Oro Valley, AZ 85737

520-825-9785 • 1-800-827-2857 •



SLEEPING FROG FARM Sleeping Frog Farms is an intensive 75-acre farm nestled in the Cascabel corridor of the San Pedro River Valley in Southern Arizona. Our mission is to improve the health of our land and community by growing high quality fruits and vegetables without the use of chemicals. 520.212.3764 STARBAR RANCH Natural grass fed beef - Lovingly and humanely raised in beautiful Southeast Arizona.Our beef is dry aged 28 days - Saturdays at the Oro Valley Farmers’ Market. Online & phone orders.The way beef used to taste! 520.805.3345 SUNIZONA We are a family-owned, certified organic farm in Willcox, Arizona growing fruits and vegetables with sustainable, veganic practices and greenhouse technology. CSAs available all over Baja Arizona. 5655 E Gaskill Rd. Willcox 520.824.3160

Grammys.AZ Always a great place to find Briggs and Eggers organic fruit. BRING YOUR KIDS BY FOR A FREE APPLE!

Find us at all Heirloom Farmers’ Markets and the Sierra Vista Farmers’ Market

edible  Baja Arizona 




WALKING J FARM A polyculture farm specializing in grass fed, pasture raised beef, poultry and pork, and organically grown vegetables. At Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market on Thurs, Nogales Farmers’ Market on Fridays, and Heritage Farmer’s Market on Sun (St. Philips Plaza). 520.398.9050 WHOLESUM FAMILY FARMS In 2012 the Crisantes family began farming in Southern Arizona after farming for generations in Mexico. The greenhouses built here are of the finest quality and latest technology available anywhere in the world. With three generations of experience, Wholesum Family Farms is producing outstanding quality organic tomatoes. 816.522.8262 GROCERS, FARMERS’ MARKETS & CSAS BISBEE FARMERS’ MARKET Vibrant village market appears magically at Vista Park in the Warren district in Bisbee every Saturday morning. We feature local musicians while you enjoy shopping for healthy local foods and artisan crafts. Choices for Sustainable Living booth features workshops for healthy lifestyle changes. 9am-1pm, Saturdays, FOODINROOT FARMERS’ MARKETS FoodInRoot is dedicated to building a better blueprint for farmers’ markets, while helping new markets grow and existing ones to flourish. There are currently several locations offering locally sourced foods grown, made, or prepared by small businesses. 520.261.6982.

STARBAR FA R M & R A N C H McNeal, Arizona

FOOD CONSPIRACY COOP Located on funky Fourth Ave., the co-op is a natural foods grocery store that has served the Tucson community since 1971 and emphasizes organic, local and fair trade options. Among its many delicious offerings, the co-op serves homemade bagels, muffins, and green chili breakfast wraps, and features a hot food and salad bar. Everyone can shop at the co-op and anyone can join. 412 N. Fourth Ave. 520.624-4821 HEIRLOOM FARMERS’ MARKETS Four local farmers markets that support of our region’s farms by: connecting consumers directly to local food producers, strengthening urban-rural agriculture and small food businesses. Heirloom Farmers Markets dedicated to the benefits of local food. 520.882.2157 HIGH DESERT MARKET Gourmet food and gift market and cafe. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with indoor and outdoor seating. We do all our baking on premises, serve generous gourmet salads and sandwiches, quiches, pizzas, desserts and more. 520.432.6775 MATT’S ORGANICS Dedicated to providing convenient home delivery of top quality organic fruits and vegetables. You have the satisfaction of supporting organic farmers and the knowledge that you are eating


NATURAL GRASS FED BEEF Lovingly and humanely raised in beautiful Southeast Arizona. Our beef is dry aged 28 days. Find us on Saturdays at the Oro Valley Farmers Market or Thursdays at the Sierra Vista Farmers Market. The way beef used to taste! 520-805-3345 122  January - February 2014

Conscious Design For Our Future Permaculture Design · Water Harvesting Edible and Native Landscapes · Greywater 520.345.1906

the healthiest food free of pesticides. We guarantee 100% satisfaction on all purchases. 520.790.4360 NOGALES MERCADO Enjoy the border experience at our all-local farmers’ market in the heart of downtown Nogales with Santa Cruz County produce, meat, baked goods, jams/jellies and much more every Friday afternoon. The Nogales Mercado is part of Cosechando Bienestar, an initiative in Nogales to renew food traditions so that locally-grown food is enjoyed by all for better health. 520.375.6050 NogalesMercado. RIVER ROAD GARDENS We are a small urban farm, using Biodynamic principles, located on the grounds of the Tucson Waldorf School. CSAs available. 3605 E. River Road, 520.780.9125 SANTA CRUZ RIVER FARMERS’ MARKET Fresh, sustainably grown foods from local farmers. Arizona fruits and vegetables, free-range meat, eggs, honey, baked goods, and natural plant products! Live music, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities and free workshops. A great place to get to know your community! West Congress Street, just west of I-10 at Mercado San Augustín, 520.882.3313 SHOPORGANIC.COM An online retailer of carefully selected Organic and Non-GMO products. Local Tucson customers can shop online and pick up at our facility. We offer shelf stable groceries, bulk foods, personal care, household items, gluten free, raw, and more. 520.792.0804 SIERRA VISTA FOOD COOP Our mission: to provide the benefits of natural foods and products, economic cooperation and sustainable practices to as many people as possible in our community. Our store will have a full natural & organic grocery selection as well as frozen, dairy, bulk foods, organic and local produce, specialty & organic cheeses, olives, crueltyfree cosmetics, premium supplements, and more! 96 S. Carmichael, Sierra Vista 520.335.6676 SierraVistaMarket. com SIERRA VISTA FARMERS’ MARKET Open Thursdays at Veterans’ Memorial Park in Sierra Vista, AZ. Meet local growers, ranchers, beekeepers and bakers. Take home some of the bounty of southern Arizona! Grass-fed meats, desert heritage foods and plants. Contact TIME MARKET A neighborhood market since 1919, we bring specialty goods to the table: craft beers, esoteric fine wine, wood-fired pizza, espresso, and artisan handcrafted organic natural yeast breads. We sell organic produce and use it for our restaurant in sandwiches, salads and pizzas. We are committed to honest communication about sourcing, and enjoy featuring local farms in our menu. 444 East University Blvd., 520.622.0761

HARDWARE & HOUSEWARE ACE HARDWARE Locally owned and managed, we are an affiliate of the Ace Hardware co-operative. Five locations across Tucson, from Downtown on the West to the far Southeast side. We look forward to helping with your next project, no matter how small or large. Our locations listed at TUMACOOKERY 45 minutes south of Tucson, in Tubac, this well-stocked kitchen shop is a foodie destination for gadgets, appliances, cutlery, gourmet food and more. Great local products, and knowledgeable, friendly staff, make Tumacookery a regional favorite. Worth the drive to Tubac all by itself! 2221 S. Frontage Road, Tubac, 520.398.9497

HERBS & HERBALISTS DESERT TORTOISE BOTANICALS We provide handcrafted herbal products from herbs wild-harvested and organically grown within the Sonoran desert bioregion. Owner John Slattery conducts the Sonoran Herbalist Apprenticeship Program, wild foods class, private plant walks, and individual wellness consultation services. 4802 E Montecito St., Tucson. TUCSON HERB STORE Located in the Heart of Downtown since 2003. Dedicated to serving a variety of ethically wild-crafted and botanical products of the southwest desert. We carry: bulk herbs, teas, herbal tinctures, beauty care products, soaps, books, incense, and much more! 408 N. 4th Ave., 520.903-0038 INNS AND B&BS ARTIST’S GUEST HOUSE Charming Armory Park furnished home. Two bedrooms, bath, studio, all linens supplied. Fully equipped kitchen, comfortable living room, wood floors; gated yards, gardens, shady porches. Local coffee, home-grown eggs. A/C, washer; We compost, recycle, harvest rainwater, graywater. Go to: vrbo/352019 or Facebook Artists Guest House. CAT MOUNTAIN LODGE A bed & breakfast in the desert! Featuring eco-friendly accommodations in a vintage ranch setting with five unique spacious rooms that provide Southwestern comfort—mixed with modern conveniences. Enjoy free full breakfast on-site at Coyote Pause Cafe. Reserve on-site Star Tours at Spencer’s Observatory. 2720 S. Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ, 520.578.6085

COPPER CITY INN A truly delightful, with beautiful rooms, excellent queen beds, abundant lighting, spacious bathrooms, balconies, free wi-fi, complimentary bottle of wine, organic coffee, parking, free off-site continental breakfast, DVDs, electronic locks. View website video: WYSIWYG. Bisbee is cool! 99 Main, Old Bisbee, 520.432.1418,


TUCSON CSA Offering weekly boxes of local, organically-grown produce since 2004. We also offer pasture-raised eggs and chickens, grass-fed meats, cheese, and bread (from Barrio Bread). Pickups are Tuesdays or Wednesdays, 4:00-7:00 pm, The Historic Y, 300 E. University Blvd.,

EL DORADO SUITES HOTEL Offering an excellent downtown Bisbee location, expansive outdoor balconies, beautiful views, spacious suites, and many modern amenities. 55 OK St, Bisbee. 520.432.6679 JAILHOUSE INN Once the Bisbee Police Station, the historic Jailhouse Inn, offers 5 clean, quiet rooms with full modern baths, Cable TV, WiFi, refrigerator. Perfect downtown location, parking available. Walking distance to restaurants, bars, galleries, shops and Old Bisbee attractions. 8 Naco Road, Bisbee 520.432.8065 LA POSADA DEL RIO SONORA La Posada del Rio Sonora is a boutique hotel and restaurant on the plaza principal of Banámichi. Our 250 year old adobe has 10 rooms and suites and two apartments. This is the heart of “La Ruta Rio Sonora” with nearby hot springs. 70 Calle Pesqueira, Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico, SUNGLOW RANCH A relaxed atmosphere with distant mountain views, charming one and two bedroom casitas, dark skies at night for incredible stargazing, a birder’s paradise, plentiful breakfasts and Cochise County wines served with delicious meals in the Sunglow Cafe. A talented staff will make your stay an enjoyable and relaxing experience! (520) 824-3334 INTERIOR DESIGN CONTENTS INTERIORS Carol Bell and Tamara ScottAnderson became co-owners of Contents Interiors in 2001 with the goal of maintaining the company’s reputation of quality home furnishings and fastidious customer service, while adding their individual styles, personalities and passions. 3401 E Fort Lowell Road 520.881.6900

Available at these locations in Tucson: Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market on Thursdays§ Saturday Farmer’s Market at The Loft§ Food Conspiracy Co-op§ Aqua Vita* Time Market Maynard’s* St. Phillips Farmers’ Market every other Sunday Sprouts and Whole Food Stores Rincon Market Albertson’s on Silverbell Safeway on Broadway And downtown at our bakery on 411 N. 7th Avenue§

*Bread and Cookies at these locations Bread, cookies, handpies, cinnamon rolls, granola, horse treats and more at these locations


LANDSCAPING & PERMACULTURE AHIMSA LANDSCAPING Ahimsa Landscaping is an ethically focused, small design + build business specializing in creating sustainable landscapes through the integration of permaculture design principles and water harvesting techniques for the desert environment. 520.345.1906 LOCAL ROOTS AQUAPONICS We raise fish and plants together to create mutually beneficial ecosystems with a focus on food production. Aquaponic system sales, live fish, heirloom seedlings, consulting, site assessments, pool/pond conversions, tours, workshops, speaking events and more. 765.276.6427


Arid Adaptations A Local Nursery Offering Succulent Plants for Everyone: Beginners, Landscapers, and Collectors. 520-289-4083 Learning. Growing. Eating. 520.375.6050 ·

Amado, AZ


edible  Baja Arizona 




Not All Beef Is Grown Equal Irrigated-grass fed beef Available at Tubac Market and Walking J Farm TASTE THE DIFFERENCE

RED BARK DESIGN, LLC Landscape Design + Consultation. RedBark Design offers regionally and ecologically appropriate landscape design services for residential, commercial and consulting projects. P.O. Box 44128 Tucson, Arizona 85733, 520.247.2456 SW GARDENWORKS A full vegetable garden service that installs and revamps existing gardens. Our gardens are built to last! Using bio intensive methods and soils we insure the best results with your backyard garden.3661 N. Campbell #312, 520.419.2886 WATERSHED MANAGEMENT GROUP Helping you with water harvesting, soil building, edible and native gardens, and watershed restoration. We’re a Tucsonbased non-profit serving the community by sharing our technical expertise and offering hands-on workshops, training programs, custom property consultations, site plans, and project implementation. 520.396.3266 LITERATURE BOOK STOP A Tucson institution for decades (since 1967!), the Book Stop stocks thousands of quality used and out-of-print titles. Monday-Thursday: 10am-7pm, Friday-Saturday: 10am-10pm, Sunday: noon-5pm. 213 N. 4th Avenue, 520.326.6661 UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA PRESS Founded in 1959 as a department of the University of Arizona, the Press is a nonprofit publisher of award-winning scholarly and regional books that reflect the special strengths of the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University. MASSAGE, SPAS & SALONS

P O AL H S C Matt’s Organics LO


COYOTE WORE SIDEBURNS A High Quality Progressive Hair Salon. Our stylists are well trained and current. If you would like to speak to a stylist about your hair service prior to making a commitment, consultation appointments are available. New location: 2855 E. Grant Rd, 520.623.7341 DR. FEELGOOD’S SPA & SALON A full service salon in Bisbee offers women’s and men’s hair styling, nail service, facials, waxing and more. We also offer a variety or relaxing massages and the only private sauna and hot tub in Bisbee, Arizona. 8 Naco Road, Bisbee 520.432.8065


GLOW SKIN CARE & LASHES Melinda M. Spreng’s philosophy is ‘beauty from within’. She uses all natural products and methods to make you look and feel your best! 3101 N Swan Rd. 520.261.4635 http://www.

Tucson's Best Mobile Bistro

124  January - February 2014

ROOTED THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE & BODYWORK A small, locally owned clinic staffed by independent massage therapists located in the heart of Tucson, minutes from downtown and the University of Arizona. Rooted offers a wide range of modalities, including therapeutic, sports, Thai, prenatal, and Ayurvedic massage. 1600 North Tucson Blvd. Suite 120, 520.326.8300 WENDY BRITTAIN, LLC Allow your body to fill with spaciousness and light. My work is based on Swedish massage and may also include the use of balsaltic stones, reflexology, breath awareness and other energy modalities. 520.884.8226 ORGANIZATIONS BISBEE HUB Are you traveling to Bisbee soon? Find out what’s in store before you travel by visiting BisbeeHub. com and checking out the events calendar. We are also working on a business directory so come back again and again and see why Bisbee is so special! COSECHANDO BIENESTAR An initiative to renew food traditions in Nogales so that locally-grown food is enjoyed by all for better health. We do this by improving access, building residents’ capacity to grow food, supporting sound policy and promoting local business. 520.375.6050 FOOD TRUCK ROUNDUP Helping independent chefs do what they love to do: cook great meals in their motorized, mobile kitchens, or full-size trailer. Gathering several times a month, in one place, at different locations, so that you can sample their innovative menus with your family and friends. KXCI COMMUNITY RADIO Connecting the communities of Tucson and Southern Arizona to each other and to the world with informative, engaging and creative community-based radio programming.Tune in at 91.3 KXCI Tucson, or listen on line at MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART The MOCA inspires new ways of thinking through the cultivation, interpretation and exhibition of cutting-edge art of our time. 265 S. Church Ave., 520.624.5019 SOUTHERN ARIZONA ARTS AND CULTURAL ALLIANCE (SAACA) A not-for-profit organization that exists to ensure that, through engagement in arts and culture, our communities produce strong, inspired citizens. 7225 N. Oracle Rd., Suite 112, 520.797.3959 SLOW FOOD TUCSON More than 200 local chapters of Slow Food USA Believe in Good, Clean, Fair Food for Everyone! To become a friend on our event mailing list email Don Luria at To become a member ($25.00). Join at TUCSON CLEAN & BEAUTIFUL A non-profit organization with the intent to preserve and improve our environment, conserve natural resources, and enhance the quality

shop local. shop online. shopOrganic.

We cater wedding, holiday party, picnics and office lunches

Organic, Non-GMO, Fair Trade and Eco-Friendly products delivered to your door or available for local pickup.

find us on facebook!

TUCSON MUSEUM OF ART Western, Latin, modern and contemporary, and Asian art fills our historic city block in downtown Tucson for an everlasting experience while traveling exhibits keep the paint and clay fresh for each visit. 140 North Main Avenue, 520.624.2333 YWCA TUCSON The Cafe at the YWCA: Setting the Table for Change. The Galleria Art and Gifts: Gifts with Purpose. Social Enterprises of the YWCA Tucson. Our Mission: Eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. 525 N. Bonita Ave. 520.884.7810 PLANTS, SEEDS & GARDEN SUPPLY ARBICO ORGANICS Arbico Organics has been providing organic solutions for homeowners, gardeners, farmers and pet, horse and livestock owners since 1979. Products include beneficial insects and organisms, natural fertilizers, amendments, composting supplies, weed and disease controls, critter control and more. 800.827.2847 ARID ADAPTATIONS We are a local nursery specializing in cactus and succulents with over 500 species. There is a strong focus on succulents for the landscape, but we also have a HUGE selection of Aloe, Agave, Hedgehog Cactus, Barrel Cactus, Pincushion Cactus, Torch Cactus, Euphorbia, Stapeliads, Caudiciforms, Adenium, and Seed Grown Ocotillos! 520.289.4083 BAMBOO RANCH Providing Desert Grown Bamboo since 1986. Specializing in non-invasive clumping bamboo suited to harsh conditions. Providing plants, poles and expert advice on species, growing and care, for privacy screening and shade. 520.743.9879 BambooRanch@juno. com, B&B CACTUS FARM A cactus and succulent grower in Tucson, Arizona, B&B has both seasoned landscape specimens and plants for the collector. 11550 E. Speedway, 520.721.4687, ECOGROW A recognized resource for aquaponics, sustainable growing methods, unusual and rare plants, education, equipment and supplies so that plant and garden enthusiasts can acquire the tools and knowledge to achieve their goals of growing healthy food, minimizing environmental impacts, enjoying healthy plants and experiencing the pride of achievement. 657 W. St. Mary’s Road, 520.777.8307

NATIVE SEEDS/SEARCH Revered Tucson nonprofit and world-class seed bank saving and sharing the seeds of the desert Southwest since 1983. Classes, tours, seeds, native crafts and more! 3061 N. Campbell Avenue (store) and 3584 E. River Rd. (Center). 520.622.0830 RILLITO NURSERY & GARDEN CENTER An independent family-owned business that has provided our customers with a diverse inventory of quality plants and products since 1994. Our goal is to provide quality products and excellent service at a fair price. 6303 N. La Cholla Blvd., 520.575.0995

Grade A raw goat milk and goat milk products for Arizona since 2006!

Fiore di Capra

SILVERBELL NURSERY & COUNTRY STORE We sell bedding, garden and landscape plants, water harvesting supplies and now even pet food. “Our success is yours.” We believe that if we sell you a plant and tell you how to plant it, feed it, water it, harvest it and prune it, and you and the plant are successful, you will be back. 2730 N. Silverbell Rd., 520.622.3894 TANK’S GREEN STUFF Our mission is to create value added products from stuff that was once considered waste. To create jobs and great products that can be used to build a sustainable local economy. Our compost is a naturally made soil amendment, containing no fertilizers or chemical products. 520.290.9313 REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY MANAGEMENT JILL RICH REALTOR I am dedicated to our Long Realty mission: To create an exceptional real estate services experience that builds long-lasting relationships. “It’s like having your grandma in the real estate business.” Email at (520) 349-0174

Find us at the Sunday St. Phillip's Farmer's Market

REAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT RINCON We are a full service Property Management Company, locally owned and part of a National Industry Leader. We offer comprehensive marketing for your property, online communication 24/7 and a full service team of professionals to lease, manage and maintain your property. 6380 E. Tanque Verde, 800.787.9565 RESTAURANTS, BARS & CAFES 1702 A pizzeria and craft beer bar extravaganza. On tap, 46 craft beers from the all over the 50 states and world complement our fresh hand tossed pizza made with the very best ingredients. 1702 E. Speedway Blvd. 520.325.1702

7000 E. Tanque Verde Rd (520) 296-9759

Guest Ho s t s i u rt



MESQUITE VALLEY GROWERS NURSERY A destination garden center with 24 acres of plants grown onsite, including desert natives, shade trees, fruit and nut trees, shrubs, roses, cacti and succulents. Also

featuring fountains, statuary and garden accessories. Knowledgable staff on hand for planning, learning & diagnosis. 8005 E.Speedway Blvd. Tucson, AZ (520) 7218600

Landscape Design 520 882 0279

Darbi Davis, MLA, ASLA 520.247.2456

Charming historic home for short stays & vacations Walking distance to everything downtown

edible  Baja Arizona 



of life in the City of Tucson and eastern Pima County. These goals will be achieved through initiating educational and participatory programs implemented with broad-citizen, multicultural support. 520.791.3109

ACACIA Located in the Catalina Foothills, Acacia offers an exquiste panoramic view of the city and features award winning cuisine by Chef Albert Hall. Enjoy fresh, natural and local ingredients lovingly prepared in the friendliest and most comfortable setting in Tucson. Join us for Lunch, Dinner, Sunday brunch and Happy Hour daily. 3001 E Skyline Dr. 520.232.0101 AMBER RESTAURANT & GALLERY Offering food and artistic adventure that both nourish and delight. Here guests will find the noble beauty of art and classical music along with a friendly atmosphere suitable for all fine occasions. 7000 E. Tanque Verde Rd. 520.296.9759 AUGUSTINE KITCHEN Three-time Iron Chef winner Ryan Clark’s Agustin Kitchen is a twist on new American and classic French cuisine with an emphasis on local ingredients. 100 S. Avenida del Convento, Suite 150 520.398.5382

Quality used and out of print books bought, sold, and traded. 214 N. 4th Avenue Tucson, AZ 85705 M-Th 10am - 7pm F-Sat 10am - 10pm Sun 12pm - 5pm


AZUL RESTAURANT & LOUNGE Restaurant/Lounge at The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa. Experience vibrant cuisine and local ingredients at AZuL. Nestled on 250 acres of high Sonoran Desert foothills in the Santa Catalina Mountains, our guests experience picturesque mountain and golf course views from 3-story arched windows while savoring the culinary creations of Chef Russell Michel. 3800 E. Sunrise Dr., 520.742.6000 BEYOND BREAD Locally owned and operated since 1998, we offer a variety of hand-crafted breads, delicious sandwiches, house-made soups, fresh salads and decadent pastries all in a comfortable and friendly environment. We make just about everything from scratch, using only the finest ingredients. Serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Three locations in Tucson, visit our webpage to find the one closest to you. BISBEE’S TABLE New American Cuisine in the heart of Old Bisbee. Fresh. Local. Orginal. Seasonally updated menus. Featuring Arizona wines and a craft cocktail menu, including microbrewed beers. Special menu for gluten free diets. 2 Copper Queen Plaza, Bisbee. 520.432.6788 facebook. com/BisbeesTable

Residential and Commercial

Vegetable Gardening Service Reed Porter - (520) 419-2886

126  January - February 2014

CAFÉ PASSÉ Dedicated to serving great coffee and coffee drinks, locally sourced organic food whenever we possibly can, craft cocktails and an eclectic beer menu. It is also home to Tucson’s best patio and biergarten with a patio bar, live music four nights a week and local art. 415 N. 4th Ave., 520.624.4411 CAFÉ ROKA Celebrating 20 years of serving the Bisbee community and Baja Arizona. We create a wonderful dining experience for our guests, providing delicious food, beverages & warm hospitality. Reservations recommended. 35 Main St., Bisbee, 520.432.5153 CHEF’S KITCHEN & CATERING A family affair, owned, operated by husband and wife, Chris and Mary Cryderman and son Ivor. Chris and Ivor have a combined 50+ years experience as chefs involving a wide spectrum of upscale cuisines. They use this knowledge and love of making fresh, healthy food from scratch to provide excellent, flavorful mobile dining and catering like one could expect in a high quality restaurant. 520.903.7004 THE CORONET Brasserie style restaurant, old world rustic cuisine, cute bar, quiet music, big patio, good shade, outstanding coffee. 520.222.9889 COYOTE PAUSE CAFE Offering healthy innovative food with a Southwestern twist! Cheerful unique atmosphere. Breakfast & lunch Tues-Sun 730a-230p. Omelets, salads, sandwiches, vegetarian choices, beer, wine. Located in west Tucson at Cat Mountain Station with shopping, art, antiques. Arts & Crafts Fair December 1st! 2740 S. Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ 520.883.7297 CUP CAFE The signature Hotel Congress restaurant, attracts every walk of life for its eclectic American fare served seven days a week in downtown Tucson. “The Cup” is an award winning destination for locals and visitors alike, complete with a full bar, dining room and plaza seating. 520.798.1618

BOCA TACOS Tacos with attitude! Happy Hour daily 3pm to 6pm. Come explore with us onExotic Taco Wednesday. Catering services available. 828 E Speedway Boulevard. 520.777.8134

CUSHING STREET Uptown comfort food, garden patios, full bar and live jazz have made this 1860’s historic landmark a local favorite for forty years. Book an intimate party in a private dining room or a wedding for 100 guests. Family owned since 1972. 198 W. Cushing St. 520.622.7984

CAFE 54 We are an urban bistro serving lunch in the heart of downtown Tucson at 54 E. Pennington Street and featuring imaginative “ American Fusion” cuisine using only the finest and freshest ingredients. Café 54 also functions as a unique employment training program for adults recovering from mental illnesses. 520.622.1907

DELECTABLES International selections in a casual atmosphere. Breakfast, lunch, dinner & late night. Dogfriendly patio dining, Live music every Friday & Saturday. Full bar, excellent wine list. Home-made desserts. Vegan & gluten-free menus. Catering. 533 N. 4th Ave., 520.884.9289

Kitchen - Edible Baja - Nov CAFE 2013.pdf 1 Recipes 10/6/13from9:08 AM BOTANICA our imagination, fresh


Not a licensed The Contractor Tasteful

made food have always been the hallmark at Gallery of Food Catering Company. And… well… Café Botánica is our experiment. We are diving in with commitment to sustainable, locally grown and seriously pleasurable dining. Join us for lunch at the Gardens. 2150 N. Alvernon Way.

produce, committed chefs, and un-adulterated, hand-

DIABLO BURGER Named Arizona’s Best Burger in USAToday, Diablo Burger is a local-foods based burger

DOWNTOWN KITCHEN + COCKTAILS Innovative farm to table cooking with global influences + killer cocktails from James Beard Award Winner Janos Wilder in an art filled, urban setting with roomy outdoor patio. Dinner, Happy Hour, Bar Menu seven nights and Late Night Friday and Saturday. 135 S. 6th Ave., 520.623.7700 ELVIRA’S Established in 1927 in Nogales, Mexico, Elvira’s is now in Tubac, bringing you the best Mexican cuisine and award winning dishes! 2221 E. Frontage Road A101, Tubac 520.398.9421 FALORA In the historic Joesler-built Broadway Village, Falora builds pizzas & salads anchored in tradition, with a sharply creative angle. Ingredients are simple, fresh; imported from Italy or brought over by local farms. Lunch/Dinner— charming patio or cozy interior. 3000 E. Broadway at Country Club, 520.325.9988 FEAST Feast’s menu changes on the first Tuesday of each month, and remains the same for both lunch and dinner, as well as in between. This keeps our menu seasonally appropriate and offers up the freshest ingredients possible at the height of their season. NOW FEATURING A WINE SHOP. 3719 E Speedway 520.326.9363 FOOD FOR ASCENSION CAFÉ A new paradigm of sustaining community by providing pure food through fair systems that interact together and support a vibrant life, vibrant community, and a vibrant self with the ultimate intention of reconnecting our body mind and soul. Opening Fall 2013. 330 east 7th street, 520.882.4736, HARVEST Family owned & operated, Harvest offers a unique modern American farm to fork concept with locally sourced food. The seasonal menu features a modern twist on creative dishes with its entirety made in house from scratch including desserts & ice creams. Organic greens, gluten free options, grass fed beef, wild caught seafood. Patio seating overlooking the majestic Push Ridge mountains., 520-731-1100. 10355 N La Canada.

every item is a masterpiece, using genuine Vienna Brand Beef, Hot Dogs, Sausages, as well as authentic Gonnella Italian Bread. 938 W. Highway 92, Bisbee, 520.432.5911


joint serving 100% grass-fed, hormone- and antibioticfree, open range-raised beef. “All about local” and totally committed to enhancing the connection of people to place through local foods. 312 E. Congress street 520.882.2007


KINGFISHER An American bar and grill specializing in regional cuisine from across the U.S. serving several varieties of fin fish, shellfish, and oysters. Great intimate bar with happy hours and late night menu everyday. 2564 E. Grant Rd., 520.323.7739 LA COCINA RESTAURANT CANTINA & COFFEE BAR We care deeply for our community and strive to provide a gathering place for all. Tucson musicians take the stage most days of the week, our Cantina pours local beer, and we support our local farmers and ranchers. 201 N Court Ave., 520.365.3053 LE BUZZ CAFFE A one-of-a-kind hangout popular with cyclists, climbers and locals with great in-house roasted coffee, full espresso bar, sublime baked goods, hearty breakfasts, soups, salads, panini and quiches. The Le Buzz “house” cookie is worth the trip alone. 9121 E. Tanque Verde Road. 520.749.3903 MARTIN’S COMIDA CHINGONA Nestled right on Fourth Avenue, Martin’s is fun, casual, and independent. Martin’s serves traditional Mexican food. 557 N 4th Ave. 520.884.7909 MAYNARDS MARKET & KITCHEN We established the first downtown market, and paired it with a charismatic restaurant and bar. Both are fueled by a passion for celebrating the best of place, product and service. 520.545.0577 MOTHER HUBBARD’S CAFE Serving contemporary Native American Comfort food. Breakfast & lunch only at the NW corner of Grant and Stone - just minutes from downtown Tucson. Come taste the love! 14 W. Grant Road, 7-2 pm daily 520 623 7976. NOBLE HOPS Noble Hops offers an ever-changing menu of craft beer + fine fare, including an impressive selection of more than 175 beers from around the world -- including 28 on tap -- plus fine wine, keg wine and cocktails. Dining options include delicious, fresh homemade soups, salads, appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, hearty entrees and desserts. Patio dining and private dining facilities available. Open daily at 11 a.m. 1335 W. Lambert Lane, Oro Valley, 520-797-HOPS,

HUB RESTAURANT & CREAMERY Enjoy American comfort food, downtown made ice cream and over 20 craft beers on draft. Voted Best Casual Dining, Best Ice Cream and Best Late Night-Eats 2013. 266 East Congress St., 520.207.8201,

NONNA VIVI PIZZERIA Serving fresh, homemade pizza cooked to perfection in our wood oven. We make the people of Arizona very happy! 1060 Yavapai Dr., Rio Rico 520.761.2825

JIMMY’S HOTDOGS Jimmy’s Hot Dogs carries on the tradition of the original Jimmy’s Chicago Style Hot Dog and Italian Beef stand from the NW side of Chicago. Our menu is limited, but

OVERLAND TROUT Farm to table restaurant in Sonoita by celebrated chef Greg LaPrad. Dedicated to supporting local and producing quality meals. Lunch, Dinner, Cocktails. 3266 Highway 82, Sonoita, 520.455.9316

Located in the Heart of Downtown since 2003. Dedicated to serving a variety of ethically wildcrafted and botanical products of the southwest desert.

We carry bulk herbs, teas, herbal tinctures, beauty care products, soaps, books, incense, and much more!

408 N. 4th Ave. 903-0038




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surly wench pub full bar | Fresh kitchen burlesque | live music billiards | air hockey | arcade 520-882-0009 424 n. 4th avenue tucson, arizona

Hours: M-F 7:30am - 2pm 525 N. Bonita Ave. Tucson, AZ 85745 (520) 884-7810 edible  Baja Arizona 


PASCO KITCHEN & LOUNGE Urban farm fare is how we describe traditional comfort food & drink, approached with an eye toward modern techniques and emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. Our menu is infused with the soul & passion that Chef/Owner Ramiro Scavo brings into the kitchen also into the lounge. Enjoy Chef “Miro’s” unique creations in our comfy neighborhood setting or grab & go from our curbside farm cart. 520.882.8013

salads, small plates, calzones and sandwich specials. Featuring a full bar, signature cocktails, local beers, and unique wines. 200 Tombstone Canyon Road 520.432.1300

PENCA Mexico City Cuisine and international Bar located in the heart of Downtown Tucson. 50 E Broadway, 520.203.7681

TASTEFUL KITCHEN Modern vegetarian cuisine creatively prepared and farm-to-table fresh. We showcase regional heritage foods infused with Southwestern sauces and flavorings. Everything from scratch using whole foods, local organic when available, and few processed ingredients. Dine in, take out, weekly meals to-go, boutique catering, cooking classes, private function room. Dinner is served Tue-Sat 5-9pm, 722 N. Stone Ave. (at University). Free parking. Reservations recommended. 520.250.9600.

PROPER A casual, urban dining establishment serving contemporary, farm to table cuisine. Brunch Daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner nightly from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Happy Hour M-F, 3-6 p.m. Late Night, seven days, 10 p.m. to midnight. 300 E. Congress St., 520.396.3357 REILLY CRAFT PIZZA & DRINK Offering reasonably priced modern Italian food in a casual urban setting. Our menu features artisan hand-made pizzas, as well as craft drinks. We also offer fresh baked sandwiches for lunch and fresh hand-made pastas for dinner. 520.882.5550 RENEE’S ORGANIC OVEN Renee’s Organic Oven serves up creative and traditional pizzas + so much more. We offer a casual space for you to enjoy a menu filled with local and organic ingredients. Everything we do is made possible by our connection to great people and we would love to add you to our mix! Happy Hour, dine-in, take out . Reservations encouraged, but walk-ins welcome! 7065 E. Tanque Verde 520.886.0484 REVOLUTIONARY GROUNDS Your local source for shade grown, organic, direct-trade coffee; vegetarian & vegan sandwiches, salads and homemade desserts, with a great selection of books on local agriculture and sustainable living. 606 N. 4th Ave., 520.620.1770 ROCCO’S LITTLE CHICAGO PIZZERIA Real Chicago Pizza, right around the corner! Since 1998 Rocco DiGrazia has been serving perennially award-winning pizzas, Buffalo wings, and chocolate-chip cookies on Broadway’s Sunshine Mile. Check our gigantic beer selections, too. You’ll agree it’s a Helluva Pie! 2707 E Broadway Blvd 520.321.1860


80 happy goats, makes artisanal, all natural, European-style cheese on an off-grid, sustainable site situated in the upper San Pedro River Valley near the Mexican Border. We treat our animals, land, and cheese with the utmost care and respect.

SANTIAGO’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT Authentic, fresh creative Mexican cuisine in the heart of Old Bisbee. Fresh fruit margaritas! Designated as one of the top 25 restaurants in Arizona by Arizona Highways Magazine. 1 Howell Avenue at Brewery Gulch, Bisbee. 520.432.1910 SCREAMING BANSHEE PIZZA AND WINE BAR A unique, eclectic restaurant housed in a renovated gas station. We take pride in our hand-crafted wood-fired pizza,

SURLY WENCH Established 2004. Late night kitchen featuring fresh, never frozen beef and homegrown herbs. Delicious burgers, tacos and more. Full bar, Black Cherry Burlesque, live music, djs, billiards, air hockey, arcade, foosball, darts. Daily happy hour/ nightly drink specials. 520.882.0009

TAVOLINO RISTORANTE ITALIANO Specializing in simple, elegant food, Tavolino’s Northern Italian cuisine features: fresh salads, homemade pastas, woodfired pizzas, succulent rotisserie meats and luscious desserts. Lunch: Mon-Sat 11am-3pm, Dinner: 5:00-10pm (11pm Thu-Sat), Happy Hour Mon-Sat 3-6pm and 9-11 pm 2890 E. Skyline Dr. (Plaza Colonial), 520.531.1913 THUY’S NOODLE SHOP Authentic, from-scratch Vietnamese food, specializing in pho, a noodle soup Beef or vegan. #9 Naco Rd., Bisbee, 520.366.4479 TUCSON TAMALE COMPANY Over 30 different kinds of incredible tamales. Mild to spicy, Meaty to Vegan to sweet, we have just about any kind of tamale you can think of andd then some! 520.305.4760 VERO AMORE Vero Amore’s two locations serve authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizza, plus a selection of fresh pastas, Italian specialties, panini, salads and delicious desserts. Vegetarian and gluten-free dishes are always available. Catering, full bar, patio dining and private dining facilities available. Open daily at 11 a.m. Plaza Palomino (Swan & Ft. Lowell), 2990 N. Swan Rd., Tucson, 520.325.4122, Dove Mountain, 12130 N. Dove Mountain Blvd., Marana, 520.579.2292 WHYLD ASS COFFEE SHOP An organic, plant based, culture experience. We feature “more than fair trade” coffee. Our restaurant offers healthy, tasty vegan alternatives that are made with only the finest organic ingredients, many locally sourced. Live music and poetry on weekends. 54 Brewery Avenue, Bisbee 520.353.4004 WILKO A modern gastropub featuring inventive classic American comfort food in the Main Gate district at Park and University. Everything on our menu is prepared on site and whenever possible we use local and organic ingredients. We have over 30 wines by the glass, a craft cocktail bar, 11 quality brews on tap, and an extensive

Desert Tortoise Botanicals Currently Accepting Applications for the

Tucson, AZ

2014 Sonoran Herbalist Apprenticeship Program *Field-based Program educating community herbalists in

local plant identification, wild foods, medicine making, plant energetics, Vitalism, and plant cultivation · 520-901-0429 128  January - February 2014

WISDOM’S CAFE Your neighborhood restaurant for over 69 years. Let our family serve your family mouth-watering Mexican food that is lovingly prepared and steeped in tradition. Owned and operated by 4 generations of the Wisdom family. 1931 E. Frontage Rd., Tumacacori 520.398.2397 ZONA 78 Tucson’s premier destination for artisan pizza, Italian specialties, and an eclectic selection of wines, spirits, and beers. Zona 78 sources many ingredients locally and has an in-house charcuterie. Two locations: 78 W. River Rd., and 7301 E. Tanque Verde Rd. RETAIL SHOPS & PLAZAS AZ NATURE GIFTS & MORE Specializing in creating unique gift arrangements for busy event-planners and industry professionals. We feature locally-crafted artisanal edible gifts, boutique gifts and fine art, as well as aromatherapy personal care items that are locallycrafted and eco-friendly. 135 E. Grant Street, Nogales 520.423.7274 LIL’ TRADERS New and used stuff for kids and moms to be! We adhere to the motto, “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!” Buy, Sell, Trade. 6216 E. Speedway Blvd 520.881.8438 MAST TUCSON A local lifestyle boutique. Specializing in handmade jewelry, leather goods, accessories, home goods & select furnishings. The three co-owners create the lion’s share of the stock, artfully curating an enticing selection from fellow independent designers and artisans. At Mercado San Agustin, 100 South Avenida Del Convento 520.495.5920 MERCADO SAN AUGUSTIN Tucson’s first and only Public Market plays host to several locally-owned shops, eateries and incredible experiences. Our courtyard is home to the award-winning Santa Cruz River Farmer’s Market and many other special events. Open seven days a week with Farmer’s Market on Thursdays from 4-7 p.m. 100 S. Avenida del Convento, mercadosanagustin. com 520.461.1110 ÓPTIMO HATWORKS We have original designs, both in contemporary and period fashions, along with cleaning and re-blocking. The Hatworks is museumlike in its layout so the public can view hat-making in the Old World style. Óptimo—the best, the very finest. Known the world over. 47 Main St., Bisbee, 520.432.4544 PICÁNTE A treasure trove of traditional handmade crafts from Mexico, Guatemala,and Latin America. Artisans works include colorful ceramics, tin objects, carved wood santos, and fine silver jewelry. There is an incredible collection of textiles, huipils, fabric by the yard, hand embroidered blouses and dresses, and oilcloth. 2932 E Broadway Blvd, 520.320.5699 POP-CYCLE A gift shop devoted to handmade items produced from recycled, reclaimed and sustainable materials. The products are fun and whimsical, with a little something for everyone. Many items are produced locally, some by the store owners. Treat yourself! 422 N. 4th Ave., 520.622.3297 TUMACACORI MESQUITE SAWMILL A leader in raw and finished mesquite materials. From lumber, slabs, posts, y-limbs, to exotic burls and burl slabs, The Sawmill has an ever changing selection. 2007 E. Frontage Road, Tumacacori 520.398.9356 YIKES TOYS! A cornucopia for the curious! Enchanting books, wacky wonders and old-school novelties. Brainbuilding science, kooky kitsch and fantastic fun. We offer amazing toys and gifts for all ages. Specializing

in Pop Culture & Quirky Fun. 2930 East Broadway Blvd., 520.320.5669

SCHOOLS GREEN FIELDS COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL Challenge. Inquiry. Balance. The foundations of a Green Fields education. From Kindergarten to Commencement, students are encouraged to develop their interests in Academics, Fine Arts, Sports, and more. Class sizes are small and students receive individual attention. 6000 N. Camino de la Tierra, 520.297.2288,



ST. GREGORY COLLEGE PREPARATORY SCHOOL Inspired learning - Beyond Strong Academics. St. Gregory develops inspired students who are encouraged to pursue their individual passion and develop a love for learning. Our students are well prepared to excel in college and go on to create impactful and fulfilling lives. 3231 N. Craycroft Road, 520.327.6395 TUCSON WALDORF SCHOOL Tucson Waldorf School is located in the scenic Binghampton Rural Historic Landscape and is home to the River Road Gardens CSA farm. Children from Parent-Child Classes through 8th Grade experience an engaging education which cultivates joy and excellence in learning. The arts are integrated throughout a classical curriculum and handson work. Weekly tours available.520.529.1032 Tucson SERVICES BRINK MEDIA A creative digital agency pushing boundaries in website development, branding, video, mobile, social media & indie film. ORDINARY BIKE SHOP Servicing bikes of all sorts and selling new and used bikes and parts. “Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ~Albert Einstein 520.622.6488 SUN SPROUT DIAPER SERVICE Bringing clean cotton diapers to your door every week and cleans the dirty ones for you. Choose the ecological alternative to disposable diapers. Check out our free monthly presentations on topics important to babies and moms. 520.351.2370,


LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT! 25,000 copies distributed throughout Pima, Graham, Santa Cruz, Cochise, and Yuma counties (Baja Arizona).

SOLAR ENERGY SERVICES & PRODUCTS TECHNICIANS FOR SUSTAINABILITY A Tucson based, locally owned, mission-driven company specializing in renewable energy and sustainable technologies for residential and commercial settings, including solar electric (PV) and solar hot water. (520) 740-0736 TRAVEL & TOURISM SILVER CITY Be here for lunch – a three hour drive from Tucson. Nationally recognized cuisine • Historic Downtown District • Arts • Gila National Forest • WNMU University • Fresh Air • Clear skies • Mild climate • Great Festivals • A top-ten destination • Quaint and quirky! 575.538.5555 VENUES, THEATRES & ENTERTAINMENT

advertising inquiries:

LOFT CINEMA A local nonprofit cinema dedicated to creating community through film, honoring the vision of filmmakers, promoting the appreciation and understanding of the art of film. Check out the Loft Cinema Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 8am-12pm on the patio. 3233 East Speedway Boulevard 520.795.7777

edible  Baja Arizona 



tasting menu featuring the best artisan cheeses and salume available from small local and regional producers. 520.792.6684

Last Bite

Garden Beds By Simmons B. Buntin


nce upon a time I slept on the top bunk of a trailer in the rolling bluegrass of central Kentucky. A quarter mile away, at the edge of the farm, lolled a creek, shallow and brown and chock full of crawdads. Out back was the cinder block foundation of a house burned down years ago and never rebuilt. This is not that story, though the remaining blocks were moved, one by one, to form the beds of a vegetable garden built by my mother. Soon I walked through rows of tomatoes and cucumbers, broccoli and squash. When ripe, the tomatoes burned red as crawdads fresh from the pot. 2. There is a subdivision southeast of Tucson called Civano— the name of a late phase of the Hohokam civilization. Unlike most modern planned communities, at the heart of the subdivision sits a neighborhood center, and next to that a community garden lined with adobe walls and citrus trees. Each of the irrigated garden beds is raised from the ground by cinder blocks. Any neighbor who ponies up $50 a year is welcome to garden, and generally speaking the plots are all spoken for. Sunflowers are popular, and corn and artichokes. Herbs, of course, though they have been known to take over. And peppers: deep purple, sunset yellow, burnt red. 3. After my mother and I moved from Lexington to Tucson in the 1970s, she gave up vegetable gardening for flower gardening. Our home near a wide arroyo featured an atrium. She dreamt of tropical plants: bromeliads perhaps, or elephant ears and ferns. I dreamt of slow water and catching crawdads. In the atrium, misters were installed. A bull snake burrowed in. The zebra finches became nervous, chattering as they do. Outside, fruit fell in chains from the cholla, beautiful when backlit but vicious on the heel. Outside, I wavered in that desert heat, though soon I tracked lizards, cupped scorpions, once caught up to a coral snake no thicker

130  January - February 2014

than my thumb. I knew the sing-song on that one and let the scarlet beauty slip away. 4. The ants, too, can be tricky in community gardens. The ants and that sage, gone from sweet to suffocating in a half-season’s time. The artichokes went to bloom, though let’s be honest: there’s little in a garden more lovely than that spiky, cerulean flower. So (now a father) I gave up the Civano community garden bed and with my young daughters planted a garden beside the palo verde of our backyard. The first season: sunflowers and hobgoblin gourds. The goldfinches were happy, to be sure. But of vegetables, the bed was too small, too low. Still, those tall, vermillion sunflowers: cardinals among the tree’s bright leaves. 5. The thing about children’s beds is that, when it comes to converting to vegetable gardens, they’re awfully low. Yet when a daughter offers up her own outgrown bed that recalls those rural years of yore, you grab on. I grabbed on, at first considering cinder blocks to raise the garden bed walls, but that seemed heavy handed. So we settled instead on redwood planks. The first season we watered by hand, growing spinach and broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. It was an irregular business, the hand-watering, resulting in blossom-end rot. But my daughters and I learned. This season we grew eggplant and green peppers, cucumbers and heirloom tomatoes. They were red, the tomatoes, plucked from the headboard like boiled crawdads and eaten right from the vine. ✜ Simmons B. Buntin is the founder and editor-in-chief of A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments, publishing online since 1998. He is the author of two books of poetry, Bloom and Riverall, and a book of sustainable community case studies, Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places, published in 2013. He has lived in the community of Civano with his wife and two daughters since 2000.

edible  Baja Arizona 


williams centre 132  January - February 2014

la encantada

dove mountain

Edible Baja Arizona: Jan/Feb 2014  

Eating Bugs • Family Farms • Feeding Kids

Edible Baja Arizona: Jan/Feb 2014  

Eating Bugs • Family Farms • Feeding Kids