Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market Launches Desert Harvest Workshop Series

On June 28, 2012 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market will host a Mesquite Harvesting workshop.   Taught by local food expert, Amy Schwemm, the workshop will show community members how to identify, harvest and store mesquite pods that are ready to harvest this time of year.

The Mesquite Harvesting workshop will be the first in a series of three workshops that focus on harvesting, storing and processing seasonal desert foods.  The Desert Harvest Workshop Series provides a way for community members to learn about the plentiful, highly nutritious food sources of the Sonora Desert.

The second workshop, also taught by Amy Schwemm, will focus on harvesting, processing and cooking with prickly pear, which is abundant in the desert in late summer.  This workshop will happen on August 16, 2012 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM.

Finally, participants who save the mesquite pods they collect in the summer can mill them into flour at the annual Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market Mesquite Milling, scheduled for November 15, 2012 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM.  In addition to the milling, which will be provided by Desert Harvesters, participants can expect to find instructions on how to cook with mesquite flour.

Market shoppers can also expect to find locally-grown summer produce including tomatoes, garlic, squash, melons, chilies and much more.  Also available are honey, fresh eggs, goat cheese, free-range meat, baked goods and garden plants.

The Mesquite Harvesting workshop is free and open to the public.  All of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona Farmers’ Markets accept SNAP (food stamps), WIC checks, Arizona Farmers Market Nutrition vouchers, cash, credit and debit.  The Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market runs every Thursday from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM in Mercado San Agustin, at 100 S. Avenida Del Convento near the corner of Congress and Grande.