My guests today are Jill Lorenzini and Brad Lancaster of Desert Harvesters, here to discuss the new bioregional cookbook Eat Mesquite and More! We use that as a frame to talk about how to learn more about our natural world, to invite ourselves into wild spaces, and to deepen our sense of place through connection to the land, plants, and the meals that bring us together.
What they offer, though steeped in the Sonoran Desert, is something universal that you can replicate wherever you are to increase the understanding of seasonality, native plants and foraging, and also to grow the connections of your community through food.
Find out more about Desert Harvesters and Eat Mesquite and More!at Desert Harvesters.org. If you’d like to find out more about their individual work, Brad is at harvestingrainwater.com and Jill is at lorenziniworks.com.
What I like about this interview is the way that Brad and Jill dig into the idea that supporting local habitat matters. If we care for the spaces around us, including those native edible plants and the local watershed, we can protect it. By tending those spaces, especially our neighborhood, we bring those plants that we want to grow and eat into our yards and gardens. Then, though we still forage among the plants when ripe and edible, we no longer have to go into the often fragile ecosystems where, in the words of Bob Theis, the land doesn’t need us to inflict ourselves on it. There is good land and growing space around most of us, whether that is a few pots on a windowsill, a planter box in a window, a rooftop garden, or a large sprawling garden.
I also like this idea of bringing things in because of my permaculture teachers encouragement to encourage the non-use and expansion of Zone 5, the wilderness, wherever it exists, by bringing the other Zones inward. Tending a space, especially an urban one, with rare and interesting plants creates a new source to protect them. A refuge for this life, and our own.
If you’re interested in creating a habitat for native plants, once you have your copy of Eat Mesquite and More! I recommend picking up Dr. Doug Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home. Using his years of experience as an entomologist and current research, he shows these plants that co-evolved with other life can have on supporting diversity in our backyard and bioregion.
I also want to suggest another book worth reading, relating to what Brad shared about his experience teaching in Zimbabwe and the recognition that there are food forests all around us, and that is Save Three Live by the late Robert Rodale. This is an important book to read as a permaculture practitioner to understand the ways we can use our skills and knowledge to create an understanding of the abundance of nature and to create systems that insulate ourselves, our families, and our communities, from disasters.
If you have any questions or thoughts after listening to this conversation with Jill Lorenzini and Brad Lancaster of Desert Harvesters, leave a comment or get in touch.
The Permaculture Podcast
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From here the next interview is from guest host David Bilbrey when he sits down Julie Mettenburg of The Tallgrass Network to talk about Holistic Management.
Until then, spend each day creating the world you want to live in by foraging, eating native foods, and taking care of Earth, yourself, and your community.
Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist Giveaway
Friend of the show and recurring guest Michael Judd recently launched a new book on Kickstarter, For The Love of Paw Paws, a mini-manual for Growing, Caring, and Eating North America’s largest native fruit, the Paw Paw.
To celebrate this new project, we’re partnering to give away a copy of his first book, Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist to a listener of the podcast. Between now and March 24, if you would like to enter, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the title Paw Paw.
Back For the Love of Paw Paws on Kickstarter
As we move into Spring in the next few weeks, I’m running a fundraiser between now and April 20, as the time has come to replace my minivan. If you love this show, whether you’re new or been tuning in a long time, I’m asking you to consider donating $1 per show that you’ve listened to.
In support of this campaign, the artist Lindsay Wilson has donated a series of nature-inspired one-of-a-kind mixed-media prints. During the fundraiser I’ll be giving several of these away, one to the highest donor, one to a random donor, and one to a Patreon supporter, and everyone will receive digital copies of the entire series that you can use as a background for your phone, computer, or print out and frame for your wall.
View the prints for this fundraiser