News & Events

Greater roadrunner [Kendall Kroesen]

Greater Roadrunner

Birding Mission Garden
Wednesday March 21, 2018, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Join Mission Garden Outreach Coordinator and Tucson Audubon field trip leader Kendall Kroesen for a stroll around Mission Garden to look at our resident birds, those just arriving from the south to nest, and few that will be leaving soon to nest in the north! Suggested donation for visiting the garden is $5 / person. Contact Kendall for more information:, 520-971-2385.

Cotton and Wool Spinning Demonstration
Saturday March 24, 2018, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Traditional Sacaton Cotton

Traditional Sacaton Cotton

Gayle Hartmann will be in the garden demonstrating how to spin cotton into thread. She will talk about the differences between modern cotton and the Native American cotton that is grown in the garden. You can participate by separating seeds from cotton and learning how to card both cotton and wool. You can also learn how to make colitas de borrego (little sheep tails) of cotton. There will be some opportunity for people to try spinning wool and cotton. Gayle will have some woven items that show what cotton and wool can make. Gayle Hartmann has an M.A. in anthropology and has worked as an archaeologist for many years. She is currently a Research Associate at the Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona.  She has also been president of the Tucson Presidio Trust for Historic Preservation and was on the Tucson Presidio Trust board for 15 years. Suggested donation for visiting the garden is $5 / person. The garden will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day.

Adobe Brick Workshop
Saturday March 24, 2018, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Our adoberos (adobe brick-making team) will be making bricks again for a new wall in the garden. Come help them and learn the subtle art of making bricks from mud! Our team utilizes ancient knowledge about the ingredients used, the proportions of each, and how to pack the material into brick molds. The combine that with a use of a modern cement mixer to speed up mixing the ingredients! Suggested donation for visiting the garden is $5 / person. The garden will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Culinary and Medicinal Herb Open House
Saturday March 31, 2018, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Expert on Southwestern medicinal herbs, Donna Chesner, and native food maven Martha Burgess, will be at the Mission Garden on March 31 talking about traditional Southwestern herbs. They will provide tastes of healthful native foods and teas. Martha will be preparing healthful treats and teas before your eyes, and Donna will be giving tours of the healthful herbs and foods in various parts of the garden, including our two herb gardens. Come to the garden and, for only the suggested entry donation of $5.00, have a tour of the orchards, vegetables and herb gardens and learn about healthful native foods and heritage crops. This special open house at the Mission Garden is sponsored by the Stonewall Foundation, as part of a series of events celebrating heritage foods and cuisines. Settle in with Donna and Martha and ask them your questions about healthy heritage eating. The Mission Garden has two herb gardens. One is in the Spanish huerta (vegetable garden) and grows the herbs favored by the Spanish missionaries. The other is the Michael Moore Medicinal Herb Garden, on the west side of the Mission Garden near the education building. It celebrates the native herbs of the Southwest as rediscovered and promoted by Michael Moore.
Suggested donation for visiting the garden is $5 / person. The garden will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day. 

Tour of Hohokam Agave Plantation
Friday April 27, 8 – 11 a.m.
Paul Fish and Suzanne Fish, professors of anthropology and curators of archaeology at the Arizona State Museum, lead a guided tour of a Hohokam agave field complex on the slopes of the Tortolita Mountains north of Tucson. Learn about the history of ancient Tucson agave cultivation and the role it played in Hohokam settlement and economy.  Bring desert walking shoes, water, and a hat. Space is limited. $30. Purchase tickets here.

Opening of the Agave Roasting Pit
Saturday April 28, 5 – 8 p.m.
Celebrate the opening of the agave roasting pit and taste roasted agave fresh from the earth oven! Paul and Suzanne Fish, professors of anthropology and curators of archaeology at the Arizona State Museum, will explain the prehistoric use of the agave plant. Jesus Garcia of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum opens the earth oven, demonstrating the ancestral practice of agave roasting. Carolyn Niethammer will demonstrate how to cook agaves at home. There will also be agave spirit tasting interpreted by Doug Smith from Exo Roast Co. Space is limited. $45 ($15 under 21). Purchase tickets here.

San Ysidro Festival
Saturday May 19 (time TBA)
Come celebrate our harvest of White Sonora Wheat. See the harvested wheat, threshing and winnowing. More information coming soon.

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