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Desert Harvesters: 14th Annual Mesquite Milling & Wild Foods & Drink Fiesta

Celebrate the mesquite harvest and native foods before the monsoons arrive.

June 22, 2016

Upcoming Events

What: Desert Harvesters: 14th Annual Mesquite Milling & Wild Foods & Drink Fiesta
When: Thursday, June 23 2016, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Santa Cruz River Farmers Market, 100 S. Avenida del Convento, Tucson, AZ

Leave it to Desert Harvesters to plan an event that is timed to rhyme with the Sonoran Desert’s natural cycles and I can’t even plan what I am going to have for dinner. This Thursday, in conjunction with the Santa Cruz River Farmers Market, Desert Harvesters will be hosting their 14th annual Mesquite Milling & Wild Foods & Drink Fiesta.

And just in case you’re wondering how mesquite flour is going to come in handy, just think of all the delicious recipes for cakes, cookies, pizza, bread, tortillas, granola, dog biscuits – you name it – that you can whip up! And like many other native foods, gluten-free mesquite is great for people with hypoglycemia and diabetes as it regulates blood glucose levels.

For those interested in having mesquite flour milled, this will be a B.Y.O.P. (Bring Your Own Pods) event.

Pods for milling must be clean, dry, and free of mold/fungus, stones, leaves, and other debris.
Cost: $3/gallon of whole pods, with a minimum of $10 which is one heck of a deal!

After pod inspection and prepayment, you may leave your pods in sealed food-grade containers (preferably 5-gallon plastic buckets with lids), with owner’s name and phone number written on each container. Flour will be ready within a week and must be picked up. No refunds.

Fiesta Highlights:

Mesquite-pod tastings so you can experience the diverse array of flavors from different mesquite trees. This will help you enhance your awareness of different trees’ pod characteristics, thereby improving the quality of your harvest.

On-site aflatoxin testing (say that 5 times fast) of attendees’ milled mesquite flour for the incredible discounted price of $5 per test! A quick and easy way to determine whether your flour is safe and of high quality.

Bean Tree Processing Demonstrations by Barbara Rose of Bean Tree Farm. Barbara, a desert-foods farmer/fermenter/cook, will show you how to process milled or whole desert ironwood seeds, palo verde seeds, and mesquite pods into numerous tasty dishes ranging from sprouts to edamame to desert peanuts to atole to sauces and beyond

Native wild foods/ plants for sale such as mesquite flour, mesquite pancake mix, mesquite baked goods, EXO Roast’s Mesquite and Chiltepin Cold-Brew Coffees, cactus fruit, drinks, margarita mix, syrup, popsicles, desert lavender tea, carob powder, date vinegar, cholla buds, chiltepins and more. All delicious sounding!

Hands-on native bean-tree propagation with the Pima County Public Library Seed Library staff. You get to go home with a newspaper pot planted with your chosen seed from a food-producing native bean tree.

As always, Desert Harvesters is looking for volunteers for this event. AND you get a free shirt. If interested, please email, and include your name, phone number, and times you are available to help on Thursday.

What: Happy Hour at Tap & Bottle, June 24, 2016 — Tucson AZ
When: Friday, June 24, 2016, 5:00pm–8:00pm
Where: Tap & Bottle, 403 N 6th Ave #135, Tucson, AZ

The “Drinks” portion of this Fiesta will be held  the next day on June 24th at Desert Harvesters’ Happy Hour at Tap and Bottle featuring Iron John’s Brewing‘s smoked mesquite apple beer, as well as a beer finished with creosote flowers. Tap & Bottle will donate a percentage of all happy-hour sales to Desert Harvesters, and a local food truck will be on site with delicious offerings, some including native wild ingredients.

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