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Desert Harvesters 14th Annual Food and Drink Fiesta

Bring the whole family–and your appetite–for a festival celebrating native foods, wild harvests, and more!

June 21, 2016

Upcoming Events

What: Desert Harvester’s 14th Annual Food and Drink Fiesta
When: Thursday, June 23, at 4:00pm
Where: Mercado San Augustin,
100 S. Avenida del Convento
Tucson, AZ 85745

Desert Harvesters will be hosting their 14th Annual Food and Drink Fiesta on Thursday, June 23, 2016, at the Mercado San Augustin. The event runs from 4:00pm-7:00pm and is open to anyone. Those interested in providing pods for milling must ensure they are clean, dry, and free of mold/fungus, stones, leaves, and other debris, and the cost of pod milling varies based on size and amount. The event will also feature craft brews from Iron John’s Brewing, a bean tree processing demonstration, and there will be native wild foods and plants available for purchase.

Milling Details

Cost: $3/gallon of whole pods, with a minimum of $10.

One gallon of whole mesquite pods mills into about one pound of flour, so the price averages $3 per pound of flour. After pod inspection and prepayment, those wishing to have their pods milled may leave the pods in sealed food-grade containers (preferably 5-gallon plastic buckets with lids), with the owner’s name and phone number written on each container. Flour will be ready within a week and must be picked up. No refunds.

Event 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 of attendees’ milled mesquite flour ($5 per test) A quick and easy way to determine whether your flour is safe and of high quality.

Barbara Rose of Bean Tree Farm will be offering Bean Tree Processing Demonstrations from 4:00pm–7:00pm. Barbara, a desert-foods farmer/fermenter/cook, will demonstrate how to process milled or whole desert ironwood seeds, palo verde seeds, and mesquite pods into a variety of dishes ranging from sprouts to edamame to desert peanuts to atole to sauces and beyond. (These demonstrations are part of the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market’s ongoing Desert Harvest series to teach the public how to identify, process, and use native foods.)

Native wild foods for sale including 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, and more.

Native wild food plants for sale such as chiltepins.

Locally made, reusable cloth harvest bags and water-bottle slings for sale.

Hands-on native bean-tree propagation with the Pima County Public Library Seed Library staff. Participants take home a newspaper pot planted with their chosen seed from a food-producing native bean tree.

Desert Harvesters is currently looking for volunteers to help with the event and ask that anyone interested visit their volunteer page to fill out an application.  Further information on the mesquite bean harvesting process can be found here.

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