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Learn to harvest desert plants from a bicycle seat

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Ever wondered if you could eat those bean pods you see on the trees during the summer months?

Wonder no more and learn about how to select the best trees to harvest all while riding your bicycle.

Tucson’s Desert Harvesters is leading a bicycle tour to teach people how to harvest food from desert trees.

The ride is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 16 at the Mercado San Augustin. The cost is $10 per person and participants should arrive by 5:30 to sign up.

Here’s what the organization says about the tour:

These short & easy-paced hands-on harvest tours are designed to show you how to:

  • Identify and sample from the best-tasting mesquite and other native bean trees
    Every mesquite tree is different, but some varieties are consistently much better than others. Taste the difference, and you’ll settle for only the best. We will also likely harvest from desert ironwood, canyon hackberry, and two varieties of palo verde.

  • Harvest safely, ethically, and responsibly
    Harvesting pre-rains is the best practice to avoid invisible toxic mold; harvesting from the tree avoids fecal contamination of ground harvests, etc. See here for more on why pre-rain harvests are an important traditional practice.

  • Use cool tools such as the harvest hoe.

  • Plant seeds at the best time for the best bean trees (and other native perennial food plants), and how to plant water in a way that ensures the growth of a vibrant, multi-beneficial tree with tasty and prolific harvests irrigated passively with only free on-site waters. These trees can be the basis for edible forest guilds! You’ll also learn simple tips on how to scarify mesquite and palo-verde seeds to enhance their germination rates when planting your own.

Get more details over on the Desert Harvesters website.

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