Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace: Mission Garden

Mission Garden logo Seed

Mission Garden is a living agricultural museum of Sonoran Desert-adapted heritage fruit-trees, traditional local heirloom crops and edible native plants. We are a non-profit volunteer-based educational organization. Our primary mission is to preserve, transmit and revive the region’s rich agricultural heritage by growing garden plots representative of more than 4000 years of continuous cultivation in the Tucson Basin.
Open Saturdays April – November 8 am to 12 pm, December – March 10 am to 2 pm. $5 per person suggested donation.

Guided tours available Tuesday through Sunday with a reservation (parties of 5 or more). $5 per person requested. For tours call 520-955-5200 and leave message or email

See photos of Mission Garden work and volunteers here.

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More details on these upcoming events can be found at our News and Events page.

dena-pomegranates2Teosinte 2squash 2ripening-grapes 2Figs cropped 2 - 2017

Due to the extreme heat, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED:

Heritage Party at Tucson’s Birthplace!
Saturday, August 11, 2018 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Celebrate Tucson’s Cultures at Mission Garden

The weather is hot, it’s forced our hands
Our Heritage Party has just been canned!
Please give what you can to help us survive
Please help Mission Garden continue to thrive
The corn and the beans and the squash will still grow
Our future is bright with membrillo and so
Thanks for your patience, your understanding and care,
We look forward to soon being able to share!


Recent news about FOTB and Tucson Origins Heritage Park:

AZ Daily Star article on grading of the Convento site

KVOA story about the same event:

Welcome, New York Times Readers!

For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, Tucson was featured on the front page of the New York Times in celebration of our designation as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World City of Gastronomy. Mission Garden and FOTB played an essential role in gaining our home town that prestigious title, so we got both a photo and a nice nod in the article by Kim Severson.

Front overview

Mission Garden contains orchards and vegetable gardens representing Tucson’s 4,000 years of agricultural history. Credit Chris Hinkle for The New York Times

Not far from downtown, a nonprofit group is recreating a Spanish colonial walled garden like the ones Father Kino built. The Mission Garden project is a history lesson on four acres, tracing agricultural practices that began on the site with the Hohokam and Tohono O’odham tribes.

USA Today

“Chasing the sources in Tucson’s budding food scene,” by Ashley Day (August 19, 2016).

The Guardian

“Tucson, Arizona, cultivates its foodie reputation – with a nod from UNESCO,” by Kate Eshelby (July 17, 2016).