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More for Olive Us: Are olives Arizona’s new cash crop?

BY RACHEL WEHR

Olive branches blow in the wind at Mission Gardens in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday, April 16th, 2016. The small, light green spheres are young fruits on trees which were planted just two years ago with a permit from Pima County. Photograph by Rachel Wehr
Olive branches blow in the wind at Mission Gardens in Tucson, Arizona. The small green spheres are young fruits on trees planted just two years ago with a permit from Pima County. (Photograph by Rachel Wehr)

If you’re from Pima County, Arizona, you may not be familiar with the tree that produces the much-loved oil that garnishes your caprese salad, hummus or artisanal pizza. And there’s a reason why. Continue reading “More for Olive Us: Are olives Arizona’s new cash crop?”

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A Growing Community

BY NOHELY REYES

A tomato grows in the University of Arizona Community Garden (UACG) during a workday on Sunday, April 17th, 2016 in Tucson, Arizona. Aside from tomatoes, other veggies like lettuce and carrots are grown at UACG. (Photograph by Nohely Reyes)
A tomato grows in the University of Arizona Community Garden. (Photograph by Nohely Reyes)

The soil feels moist as it slips between your fingers as you loosen it up. You find the perfect spot to plant your tomato seeds. You let them drop. Their tough skin touches the welcoming soil.

And so the gardening cycle begins. Continue reading “A Growing Community”

From Fruit to Loot: Turning food waste into rich compost

BY HANNAH HARD

At the compost cats farm, piles like this illustrate the progression of compost as the food is decomposed. Shown at right is a long line of crates of food waste ready to be added to the pile on Friday. Photo by Hanna Hard
At the Compost Cats farm south of Tucson, boxes full of food waste are added to piles of compost. (Photograph by Hanna Hard)

A truck beeps as it slowly backs toward what looks like a heaping pile of garbage at the Compost Cats composting farm on the San Xavier Mission grounds, located in the Tohono O’odham Nation just south of Tucson. Upon closer examination, one might notice that the garbage pile is missing something. Absent are the plastic, glass, aluminum and rubber usually found in a dumpster. Instead, this pile is composed of fruits, vegetables and plants from Tucson’s restaurants, sporting venues and businesses. Some food waste even comes from the University of Arizona Student Union. Continue reading “From Fruit to Loot: Turning food waste into rich compost”

Wrapping Up the Centennial Saguaro Survey

BY MIKAYLA MACE

Early morning light pours over the Tucson Mountains and onto the thousands of Saguaros in Saguaro National Park West on April 16, 2016. It's important to start the "Citizen Scientists" early in the morning before it gets too hot to collect data over a square mile plot of land. (Photograph by Mikayla Mace)
Early morning light illuminates thousands of saguaros in Saguaro National Park West. Citizen scientists start collecting data early in the morning before it gets too hot. (Photograph by Mikayla Mace)

The giant saguaros stood poised as the blue morning light trickled over the Tucson Mountains. Their trunks reached into the chilly April air, and their arms froze mid-dance. Their long shadows shrank as the sun rose. And they waited. Continue reading “Wrapping Up the Centennial Saguaro Survey”

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