Farming has its challenges everywhere…but in the desert in the summertime, it is a wonder that we are still getting the delicious produce and goods we do! The rain is nice, but with it comes the weeds and the humidity, and even hail damage! We have some news from various farms and producers to share with you, and a new farm that we are collaborating with this week (and hopefully more in the future!) to tell you about, as well. Read on!
We will have figs again this week from Mission Gardens while supplies last! If you don’t happen to get any at the CSA shop – go check them out and buy directly! They are open from 8-2 Wednesday through Saturday. It is a beautiful space and wonderful to check out in its bounty right now!
We all have been missing our beloved and tasty corn tortillas from Maiz Tucson. They had a change of location and permitting hangups that initially caused them to halt production, but the good news is that we should start to get them back by early September, if not sooner. The even better news is that the producer Carlos is welcoming his first child into this world very soon – congrats!
Josh’s Foraging Fowls
There has been quite a bit of change for Josh and his family (owner/producer of both “Josh’s eggs” and CPR Meats) as they have been in the process of moving the animals, production, and their home over the past year. Having been on leased land for 15 years, they were able to secure a property near the Dragoons (about 20 minutes from their current location south of Wilcox), but it didn’t have a house or any buildings on it! It has been quite a process and they still have cold storage units to complete to make the move final, but the end is in sight.
However, one of the downfalls of the moving process was not having the right fencing in place at the right time recently, which meant a very large predator attack and loss for Josh’s hens. You may have noticed that we supplemented with a few other local producers of quality eggs, but we are looking forward to Josh building his flock back up and having more of his delightful eggs for you to buy!
Common Ground Farm Collective
Our new regular farm, Common Ground, is located just west of Tucson on the way to Ajo. They were hit pretty hard by a hail storm two weeks ago with resulting damage on plants, such as broken stems and snapped off parts of plants. Most of all, it seemed that the hail brought production way down. Fortunately, most things bounced back and are recovering from the storm. With two good rains this week, they say that things are looking much happier. Of course, there are lots of weeds, tumbleweed and wild amaranth that take over but the moisture has been great for 2nd and 3rd plantings of beans and squash.
Want to check out the farm for yourself and help a little? They will be having a “barn raising” community build party on August 7th as they work to put together a high tunnel for propagation and greenhouse growing. Check out their instagram for more details.
New Roots program
You may have known about our long-standing partnership with Iskashitaa Refugee Network – often seen in the “excess” citrus that we have for donation or purchase during the winter/spring months. Now we are excited to also partner with a separate entity that supports refugee families. This week we’ll be offering peppers from New Roots as a supplement to the peppers coming in from Crooked Sky farm so members will be able to choose from a variety of mild to hot peppers including cherry and banana, shishito, jalapeño, and anaheim peppers.
The New Roots program at IRC is an initiative to support gardening, food security, nutrition, enterprise, and production within the US network of IRC offices. In Tucson, New Roots empowers refugees and other community members to grow their own food for their families and for the market. Many refugees have agrarian backgrounds, and this program allows them to employ their skills for the economic advancement of themselves and their families. New Roots aims to increase access to locally grown and healthy foods and work to increase the overall health of our community.