Doors open at 6:00 pm, lecture at 7:00 pm
Redesigning Desert Agriculture for Climate Change: Biomimicry, Nurse Plant Ecology & Succulent Plants
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Gary Nabhan: W.K. Kellogg Chair in Southwest Borderlands Food and Water Security, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, University of Arizona
Climate Change and water scarcity are restructuring food systems globally, but especially in arid zones. We call for a redesign of the food system for inhabitants of arid North America. Designs must advance three objectives: 1) agro-ecosystem resilience, 2) nutritional health, and 3) inclusive community well-being. We identify 15 criteria for screening potential food crops for a hotter, drier world. Surprisingly, the food crops we prioritize for desert poly-cultures are succulents, plants using the water-conserving CAM photosynthetic pathway to advance: a) yield stability using reducing inputs; b) human health using chemo-preventive foods
to control diseases; and c) economic well-being among both desert farmers and farm-workers.