Today, May 28, the green seeds within the green foothills palo verde seed pods are ripe and sweet. Soon they will become starchy, then hard and brown.
And next will be the mesquite pod harvest.
To get more info on all this and more check out the Calendar of Events at DesertHarvesters.org, which all started right here in our neighborhood with our annual tree plantings and the mesquite milling fiestas we used to have in the community garden.
Now many of the events occur at the Santa Cruz River Farmers Market as we are collaborating with the Tucson Community Food Bank. This year the Mesquite Milling and Fiesta is June 23 to ensure a safer harvest before the rains come we pods are more susceptible to invisible molds.
At the Fiesta we will also have a smoked mesquite apple craft beer and another with creosote blossoms - both from Iron John's Brewery here in Tucson. The mesquite in the beer was grown and harvested right here in Dunbar/Spring.
Zinman's Food Shop, at 111 W Fourth St, is a purveyor and processor of plant based foods. We sell produce in season and mill grain into flour, which we sell and also bake into cookies, muffins, scones, and flat breads.
We have hummus and other freshly made bean dips and other items that are ready to eat. We also have a vegan cafe featuring wok cooked vegetables for lunch and supper and pancakes (with freshly milled flour) for breakfast. Our hours for now are weekdays from 11:00 a.m.to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:00 a.m.to 7:00 p.m. Our hours will expand as we grow into this space.
The story of Dunbar, the neighborhood that took tis name from the school in its midst, is in many ways the story of America. An almost forgotten 160-acre swatch of land north of the town of Tucson, Arizona, it was inhabited by a hardy mix of Anglos, Mexicans, Yaqui Indians, colored people (as African-Americans were called then), and Chinese. Separated from downtown Tucson by the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks, Dunbar's northernmost blocks had been the Court Street Cemetery since 1875.
Twenty-three volunteers and neighbors showed up to help plant rain (with water-harvesting basins/earthworks, twenty-two food- and medicinal-bearing native trees, and fertility (with cut up prunings placed within the basins).
This brings the total number of trees planted at our neighborhood’s annual tree plantings to about 1,425! This was also the 20th annual tree planting by Dunbar/Spring neighbors!
And still more need to be planted.
This image shows areas with higher and lower heat extremes. Areas with higher vulnerability are orange and yellow. Areas with lowest vulnerability are blue. Green areas are shade tree canopies. Shade trees and other vegetation are one of the best ways to mitigate extreme heat event vulnerability due to their natural passive cooling ability, which can reduce summer temperatures by up to 20˚F.
Time: Join Dunbar/Spring neighbors Sky Jacobs, Brad Lancaster, Omar Ore-Giron, Rocky Yosek, Ezra Roati and others at 7:30 am for a planting demonstration, then keep going to various parts of the neighborhood.
The demonstration will show you how to plant the rain to maximize its potential, how to plant food-bearing native trees by seed and/or with nursery stock to maximize passive shading/cooling, and how to recycle/plant prunings and leaves as fertility-building/carbon-sequestering/pollutant-filtering/water-harvesting mulch. Check the blackboard on the porch at the meeting spot if you want to join in on the planting later in the morning—we’ll leave a note with an idea of the morning’s planting route. End time of noon is approximate.
Initial meeting spot: 813 N 9th Ave, Tucson AZ 85705
Meeting Notification for redevelopment project - Oct 15, 6pm at 601 N Stone.
New Cirrus Visual Office Development Plan DP15-0135 & lnfill Incentive District T15PRE0081
Re-development of the existing Auto Repair Garage located on the Northwest corner of Stone Ave and 5th Street to an office use. This will be home to Cirrus Visual, a local Marketing and Design company. The proposed remodeling of this property will include Landscaping, Parking, Bicycle Parking, Removal of the existing roll-up doors, and complete remodeling of the interior for the owner occupied business.
The location of the property is a gateway location to Downtown Tucson, creating a new life for an old structure, continuing the revitalization of the downtown area and the Stone Avenue infill Incentive District. We welcome you to attend the Neighborhood Meeting to discuss in person the project and to ask any questions you may have regarding this project.
Attached document has the full notice from development company.
She and her husband Robert used to live at 226 W University Blvd. Long before moving there with Robert she would visit that house every summer as a child. Her grandfather Landy W. Johnson, Head Deacon and a Trustee at the Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, had his barber shop in the house. His image is on the historical crossroads sign at 11th Ave and University Blvd. You will also see the Batiste family represented, from Rita's mother's side. Joe Batiste was an international track star and Fred Batiste was a star football player at the University of Arizona. Rita wrote a wonderful memoir about the family histories and the times in which they lived, "Tucson's Forgotten Generation: Biographical Memoirs of the Dunbar Neighborhood in the 40's and 50's."
I highly recommend all Dunbar/Spring residents read the book. You can find it at www.RitaElliott.com.
There was a memorial service for Rita today at the Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church.
Non-native South American mesquites are a serious problem around much of Tucson. They are very weedy and sprout and grow quickly - see before half of image below. They are contamitaing the gene pool of the native velvet mesquite to the point where any mesquite that come up now on their own are either hybrids or mostly non-native genes. Velvet mesquite is a keystone tree of our region and is very important for everything from firewood to wildlife habitat. Due to many characteristics these South American varieties are not desirable.
The growth you see below is only ~6 months after the entire chicane had been clear-cut. These mesquites will outcompete most any other plant if there is extra water such as on First St.
We need to get native, desirable trees established, which help to minimize space and sunlight, helping to prevent this kind of invasion.