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You are Here: the Sonoran Desert is one of the most unique places on the planet! The beautiful saguaro cactus only grows here and bears delicious edible fruit, a staple and sacred food to indigenous people for thousands of years


The Sonoran Desert region is located in the southwest US / northwest Mexico borderlands, and spans five states: AZ, CA, and Baja Sud, Baja Norte, and Sonora- and two countries: Mexico, USA. There are five distinct plant community subdivisions.

Biodiversity: The Sonoran Desert region includes Sky Islands, mountain ranges of up to 11,000' in a "sea" of low-desert valleys. Seasonal food plants grow at all elevations and include riparian areas. Sky Island foods include acorns, manzanita and juniper berries, wild grapes, and mushrooms.


The Arizona Uplands Subdivision

of the Sonoran Desert has not one but two rainy seasons, which help support the growth of food-bearing bean trees, cacti, and other delicious and nutritious native plant foods.      Arizona Uplands includes Tucson and surrounding areas  

                                                                                                                        Urban problems are opportunities:: climate change has helped us learn new ways desert dwellers can live with place and in community in a more responsible manner

Re-wilding urban spaces with food-bearing native plants is one of Desert Harvesters main goals, as a way of increasing food and water security in the community

Dryland strategies like rainwater harvesting, solar energy, and growing native food-bearing plants can ensure a sustainable desert future

A long history of traditional knowledge of indigenous food-harvesting and processing practices: a rain-filled bedrock mortar hole in a shaded site in the Tucson Mountains.

Our Future: As "sunbelt" development continues beyond the  capacity of a dryland with a changing climate, awareness is growing that change is needed. Local communities are empowering themselves and their youth to grow and harvest seasonal native and cultivated foods to enhance community health, connection to place and traditional knowledge 

Five Seasons: The intense heat of early (dry) summer sends many residents off to cooler locales.

Saguaro fruit harvest celebrates the coming monsoon with gratitude for the bounty of this place and prayers for rain

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