June 16, 2017 / Modified jun 16, 2017 11:47 a.m.

Right in Your Backyard: Foraging for Food in the Sonoran Desert

This week we learn to harvest cholla buds, speak with expert Gary Nabhan and visit an urban farm that's doing a lot more than growing vegetables.

Cholla bud harvest 2 A dove nests in a cholla cactus. (PHOTO: Vanessa Barchfield, AZPM)

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The blossoming of Tucson’s foodie scene in recent years, and its designation as a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy, has raised interest in the city’s rich agricultural history and native food lineage. This week, Arizona Spotlight heads outside to learn how to forage for one food that the Tohono O'odham people have eaten for many generations, and that itself is going through a culinary renaissance: the cholla bud. We also visit the San Xavier Coop Farm to learn how buds are processed for consumption.

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