IP – Growing food in a desert

If you know something that will help others, please let us know  and we will add it to the list (form).

(P.S.  There is a lot more out there then this small starter list includes.  So add away!)

Efficient irrigation

Watering Trees and Shrubs  – An information pamphlet on efficient watering techniques by the UA Cooperative Extension Service

 Low cost, efficient irrigation techniques – High efficiency, lost cost irrigation techniques from the Australian Permaculture Research Institute.

Watering by the numbers – Simple procedures for designing your irrigation system by a consortium of Mesa, Scottsdale, and Phoenix.



How to Grow in Tucson

Tucson Organic Gardeners Planting Guide .

Know when to plant dozens of vegetables in Tucson.  Based on many years of experience by Tucson Organic Gardeners.

Planting Guide

When to plant vegetables, based on experience of Community Food Bank

Tucson Garden Handbook

3rd Edition by Pima County Master Gardeners handbook for gardening in the low desert. Not specifically organic. $10 at the Cooperative Extension office.


Locally adapted species

Native Seeds/SEARCH

The premier source of seeds that are adapted to Tucson.

Desert Harvesters Native Tree list

Valuable list of native tree species that are also edible and/or medicinal.

Tree Crops

A classic 1929 book on the use of trees as a food source for both animals and humans.  20 trees are covered.


Insect control/ecosystem management


Major source of biological control – insects, beneficial nematodes, and much more.


Nutrient sources & water harvesting

Small Scale Composting in the Low Desert of Arizona

Primer on small-scale composting in the desert by Pima County Cooperative Extension Service


Harvesting and process

Desert Harvesters

Many valuable services including periodic public millings of Mesquite beans.


Training & Workshops

Garden Program

The Community Food Bank Garden Program provides education, resources, and leadership opportunities to individuals interested in growing their own food.

Las Milpitas Community Farm

Las Milpitas de Cottonwood is a community farm that provides educational opportunities, capacity building, and a beautiful physical space for area residents to grow their own food.

Creating a Secure Food Supply with our rain