Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace: Mission Garden

Support Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace


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 Wednesday – Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
(April – September, Wednesdays – Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon)
$5 per person suggested donation.

Guided tours available Tuesday through Saturday (and Sunday with advanced notice) with a reservation (parties of 5 or more). $5 per person requested. For tours contact us at 520-955-5200 or

See photos of Mission Garden work and volunteers here.

EVENT SCHEDULE: More details on News and Events page.


Tai Chi in the Garden (Saturdays, 8 – 9 a.m.)
Teachers from Wind River Tai Chi Chuan give Tai Chi classes in the garden. $10. Beginners welcome.

Birding in the Garden (second Thursday of each month, 8 a.m.)
Wander the garden in search of birds with Kendall Kroesen. Free. 

Herbalist in the Garden (third Saturday of each month, 9 – 11 a.m.)
An expert from the Tucson Herbalist Collective answers questions about our herb gardens. Free.

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


Saturday January 26, 10 a.m. – noon
Marmalade Demonstration
Joseph Cowan, assisted by his daughter Dena Cowan (our Garden Supervisor) will be making marmalade from our sour (but juicy!) Seville oranges. Visit our kitchen and learn how it’s done.

Saturday February 2, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Pruning, Propagation and Grafting Workshop
Learn from expert Jesús García how to prune deciduous fruit trees like pomegranate, fig and quince, and grape vines. Also learn how to prepare cuttings and grow new trees from them! This year’s workshop will include information on “air-grafting” as well. $50. To sign up for the class, contact Mission Garden at (520) 955-5200 or

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


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Important news about FOTB and Tucson Origins Heritage Park

More stories at the Press and Media page

New York Times article on 36 Hours in Tucson

AZ Daily Star article on grading of the Convento site

KVOA story about the same event:

Welcome, New York Times Readers!

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).