“I see that the life of this place is always emerging beyond expectation or prediction or typicality, that it is unique, given to the world minute by minute, only once, never to be repeated. And this is when I see that this life is a miracle, absolutely worth having, absolutely worth saving. We are alive within mystery, by miracle.”
The interval between this issue and the previous involved the loss of several friends and colleagues, with two of them directly related to Edible Baja Arizona. Our dear friend Barney Burns, a co-founder of Native Seeds/SEARCH, died during the last few days of production of this issue, as did photojournalist Will Sebeger, who contributed photos to accompany the story about Café Justo. Take a moment to appreciate this “mystery, by miracle” that is this fleeting human existence.
Food security is linked to many things, but first and foremost, it’s all about water. In an editorial, Gary Nabhan and Rafael de Grenade discuss this summer’s sobering news from water management experts about the impacts of the continued devastating drought in the West. As the editorial states, we are diminishing our own food production capacity to feed ourselves every time we permanently remove water from foodscapes to support growth in our urban hardscapes.
As important as water is to agriculture, the role of bees and other flying pollinators is equally critical. Gary Nabhan reports that, here in Baja Arizona, scientists, farmers, vineyards, orchard keepers, and ranchers are helping lead the way to provide solutions to the global pollinator crisis.
Megan Kimble pays a visit to philanthropist Howard Buffett’s test farm near Willcox, where the Midwestern farmer is studying soil and conserving water, hoping to find a way to grow food better.
As Calexico’s Joey Burns remarks, Hotel Congress has become almost a shrine. We celebrate 30 years of creativity and serendipity at this nearly century-old Downtown landmark, which has flourished in so many amazing ways under the stewardship of Richard and Shana Oseran.
We want Edible Baja Arizona to reflect the community we live in—one that speaks, eats, and thrives in both Spanish and English, so we’re pleased to publish Lourdes Medrano’s Spanish-language feature about a community convening around healthy food in Nogales, Arizona. You can find the English translation on our website.
There is so much more in this issue: stories on coffee cooperative Café Justo and Tucson roaster Exo; the fascinating story of Seven Cups, a tea company based in Tucson; how to make the fabled fermented drinks tepache and tesguino; mushroom foraging; the best Sonoran hot dogs.
We want Edible Baja Arizona to reflect the community we live in—one that speaks, eats, and thrives in both Spanish and English
A quick shout out to our advertising sales staff: Kenny Stewart (known to many as “Arizona’s only certified sommelier and working magician”) is our Cochise and Santa Cruz county representative. Paco Cantu is working here in Tucson. We say adios to our friends Becky Reyes and Stephanie Chace.
As always, we are in awe of the support we receive from the business community. Please make it a point to let our advertisers know how much you appreciate their contribution to the local economy. They enable us to bring you this magazine every eight weeks.
We’ll see you around the table. ¡Salud!
—Douglas Biggers, editor and publisher