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Desert Harvesters is having its final two mesquite milling events this week. The first event will be at the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market on Thursday from 3 to 6 PM, and the second event will be at the Dunbar/Spring Organic Community Garden on Saturday from 9 AM to 2 PM. The hammermill will be available at both events, so bring your mesquite pods to grind if you haven’t already done so! Both events will also feature mesquite pancakes (a donation of $3 is requested), and the Dunbar/Spring event will also feature live music. More information is available from the Desert Harvesters website. Come to either (or both) events and help support the great work being done by Desert Harvesters!

As a side note, this week’s Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market is the last of the season. After this week we’re going to have to adjust our shopping schedule a little bit, since we’ve come to rely on this market to provide us with much of our food for the latter half of the week.

The University of Arizona is hosting a week-long series of events about sustainability, starting this Wednesday, October 24, and going through next Wednesday, October 31. This is in conjunction with the Educating for Sustainability Conference, which is happening on the U of A campus from October 25-27. It should be an interesting week! I’m especially excited to hear Jonathan Overpeck (who is a member of the IPCC, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore) speak on Thursday night, and to hear Gary Nabhan speak on Friday night. Both of their lectures are free and open to the public. I’m going to try to make it to as many of the other events as I can, and will report back on anything interesting I see or hear.

Update: Well, we didn’t end up making it to many of the events during the UA Sustainability Week, but we did catch Gary Nabhan’s talk on Friday night. He gave a great presentation on “sustainability”, a concept he said he prefers to think of as a verb (rather than a noun) to indicate its nature as an ongoing process, rather than a hypothetical endpoint. I think this is a great point, and worth keeping in mind. We thoroughly enjoyed his talk and thought it was very inspiring.

I also heard Jonathan Overpeck speak on Monday about global warming (this was separate from his talk on Thursday). He gave an interesting and informative talk about recent data on climate change, with a partial emphasis on drought in the western U.S. I was already somewhat familiar with most of what he talked about, but it was great to hear it from someone actually involved in much of the research (if it can be “great” to hear such scary and depressing information). Apparently the current prediction for the Southwest is a 10% drop in average winter precipitation by the end of the century (if I’m remembering the timeframe correctly), though it’s completely unclear what will happen to our monsoon rainfall. In terms of temperature, one of his graphs seemed to suggest the possibility of a roughly 10° F increase in average temperature for southern Arizona by 2100. It’s going to get interesting around here…

It’s the time of year when Desert Harvesters has their annual mesquite millings. Desert Harvesters is dedicated to promoting the use of mesquite and other native wild foods in the Sonoran Desert. I helped staff the first milling event this weekend at Colossal Cave, but there are several more in the coming weeks. Bring your mesquite pods to one of the events and have them ground into flour!

Mesquite pods are an abundant, nutritious and delicious food source which sadly is barely utilized. We must make mesquite flour one of our staple foods, as it once was for the native peoples of the region, if we are to have any hope of developing a sustainable local food economy in the Tucson area.

There is a full list of milling events, and instructions for how to prepare your pods, at the Desert Harvesters website. I also added the events to our own Events page.

We had planned to intermittently publish blog posts with lists of upcoming events, but decided that it made more sense to have a dedicated page for this purpose. Check back often, as we will be updating it as events pass and new ones are announced!

In case ye need a refresher:

In case ye have no clue what I be talking about: TalkLikeAPirate.com

Thanks be to Jeff for reminding me.

A number of sustainability-related events and courses will be happening in Tucson in the next couple of months. We’re posting them here to help spread the word. If you know of an upcoming event or class that isn’t listed here, please post a comment and let us know! This will be an evolving list, updated as events pass and new ones are announced. Follow the links for additional information.

Update: Rather than constantly updating this post, we decided to create a dedicated page for event announcements. Check it often!

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