This ninth issue of Edible Baja Arizona goes on a road trip. From a new brewery in Yuma, to the amazing Desert Rain Cafe in the town of Sells in the heart of the Tohono O’odham Nation, to a culinary odyssey in the thriving city of Hermosillo just three hours south in Sonora, to a meander on motorcycles down historic Highway 80 from Benson to Douglas in search of local color and comestibles, to a year long quest to find the perfect chimichanga, from Globe to Thatcher and Tumacácori—our writers traversed the territory. A word of warning: After reading these stories, you may find yourself hitting the road to explore Baja Arizona for the express purpose of finding a wonderful meal!
In a comprehensive look at composting in Tucson, Dan Sorenson surveys the state of large scale composting of food waste generated in metro Tucson. It’s estimated that Americans throw away 40 percent of their food, most of which ends up in landfills that produce methane gas, a major contributor to climate change. Although the best use of food is to nourish ourselves and our families, several organizations and companies in Tucson are pursuing innovative ways to mitigate wasted food by turning it into a product that can improve soil quality, save water, and grow better food.
Renée Downing introduces you to Margaret Hadley, the big heart behind Le Buzz, a much-loved gathering spot, bakery, café and coffee roaster on Tucson’s far eastside; Lisa O’Neill visits the thriving Fiora di Capra goat farm and dairy in Marana where Alathea Swift and her family have followed a dream; and Michael Mello meets Larry Parks, a passionate local farmer, also in Marana, who just can’t quit growing vegetables, no matter how hard he tries.
‘Tis the season to spend your holiday dollars locally.
Starting in the middle of the magazine, you’ll begin to see beautiful black and white portraits of a few of the 500 passionate folks who actually subscribe to this magazine. It’s part of a marketing campaign to ask you, dear reader, to consider becoming a subscriber in 2015. Although a casual perusal of this 204-page issue would indicate that Edible Baja Arizona is well-supported by local businesses—and you’d be right about that—it’s also true that producing the magazine is an incredibly expensive endeavor. Our printing costs are massive, freelance writing and photography deservedly take a large portion of the budget, and distribution and modest salaries for our amazingly talented and hard-working staff consume the rest of our revenues. We’ve considered converting this “free” magazine to a paid circulation model to help raise more revenues and keep advertising rates affordable, but for various reasons we’re wary of the logistics.
So, if you love the magazine, we’d like to encourage you to sign up for a year for $36, which nets us about $20 after postage and handling costs. If 5,000 of you did that, we’d have an extra $100,000 per year to pursue our mission of making our food system in Baja Arizona more secure and sustainable, contributing to a strong local economy that benefits all of us. And…we’ll throw in an Edible Baja Arizona Sustainer Card that will entitle you to benefits at many of our incredible advertisers. It’s like dessert for free!
And speaking of commerce: Tis the season to spend your holiday dollars locally. As our good friends at the incredible Local First Arizona organization tell us: “Shifting your spending from national chains to locally-owned businesses keeps up to four times more money in Arizona. By shifting your spending to local businesses this holiday season, you will play a significant role in strengthening your local economy.” It’s absolutely true. Practice localism this holiday shopping season—and what better guide than this issue of Edible Baja Arizona? Please support our amazing advertisers and thank them often!
We’ll see you around the table. ¡Salud!
—Douglas Biggers, editor and publisher