Tucson's Native Crops


Although many outsiders may think of Arizona and the Sonoran Desert as an empty, dying landscape full of tumbleweeds, there is actually a long history of agriculture in Southern Arizona. Tucson might actually be the oldest farming village in North America. In 2000, an archaeological team headed by Dr. Mabry found remnants of corn that  was approximately 4,000 years old. Since then, different crops have been grown in the Tucson Valley, and the modern day relatives of those crops have a very special feature: they are able to withstand high temperatures, and drought better than most varieties. These seeds will likely become very important in the coming decades as unstable weather patterns are causing flooding and drought in areas that have never experienced them.  Whether through cross-breeding or studying the genetic composition of these seeds, they may allow the US to continue to grow important crops even as whether patterns change. To read more about Tucson's food growing history, and an organization that allows these seeds to be preserved, check out Native Seed Search and:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/24/dining/tucson-food-unesco.html?_r=0

Mexican Marigold Mint

A versatile herb that produces amazing yellow flowers