I had spotted this adorable little plant at Mercado San Agustin. It seemed like a perfect match for the cafe table it was sitting on.
Can you name all the U.S. cities that have the UNESCO “City of Gastronomy” designation?
There’s actually only one: Tucson, Arizona.
It received the designation, in part, because of its agricultural tradition that goes back thousands of years.
One of the early plants cultivated in the region for food, medicine, and fiber was agave, the spiked succulent best known today for tequila.
The annual Agave Heritage Festival in Tucson celebrates both ancient and contemporary uses of the plant and its importance to the region.
We got to participate in the first weekend of this year’s festival, which runs through May 7th.
We took a tour of ancient agave farming and roasting sites on Tumamoc Hill, learned about cooking with agave (both in traditional fire pits and with modern appliances), tasted different agave-based beverages, including tequila and bacanora, and saw how agave fiber can be twisted into rope and crafted into all kinds of things.
We’ll be celebrating here all this week with daily posts about Tucson and agave, so come back and visit!
PS We were guests of Hotel Congress, one of the presenters of the festival.
It’s been a really colorful spring with lots of wildflowers and a few new additions to our patio garden.
So, for March, I chose this photo of a couple geraniums Phillip rescued from some plant department clearance bin. We also have blooms on our nasturtiums and our dwarf pomegranate tree. The hummingbirds are loving it all, and so am I.
Also, we spotted this bus the other day that said “Let’s be better humans.” I don’t know what the story is behind it, but it’s a good message!
When we drove to Tucson for the world premiere of the opera Riders of the Purple Sage, I was on the lookout for things to photograph that might complement the story, since I knew I wouldn’t be able to take photos of the actual performance. We stopped on the way to take some photos of desert landscapes and considered pulling over when we saw a few wandering cows.
Phillip pointed out purple blooms in the planters outside, “I think this might actually be sage.”
A text to my Master Gardener Uncle confirmed it: Salvia clevlandii, chaparral sage.
Another day, I didn’t start out thinking about the tree. I was thinking about how I tend to feel my life needs to conform to a certain pattern, like I’m not valid if I’m not checking off a set of boxes, when – in reality – we are all writing our own stories as we go.
Life is not lined up and orderly. It is organic, unpredictable, wild.
The thoughts found their way into a short poem, and one of the images in my mind as I wrote it was that tree in Nevada.
Not a fence post
but a tree,
rough and irregular,
both warped by
the elements and
strengthened by them.
Each meandering ring,