Carolyn Niethammer writes about Southwest cuisine and edible wild plants of the Southwest. She is happiest when working in her flower or vegetables gardens, out on the desert gathering wild foods, or devising new recipes for the plants she has gathered. Her five cookbooks range from a look at the way Native Americans cooked wild plants to a collection of recipes devised by the Southwest’s top restaurant and resort chefs for incorporating the area’s iconic ingredients in delicious dishes.
Mentored by Tohono O’odham Elders, Martha Ames Burgess came into ethnobotany from the inside out, learning how to harvest, prepare, store, and eat many Sonoran Desert edibles, and to make use of desert plant “first aid”. With O’odham farmers and Native Seeds/SEARCH cofounders, she was taught desert gardening with native heirlooms. Her mission is to pass along this wildcrafting and gardening knowledge so that new Baja Arizona dwellers may better appreciate and adapt to our desert home, especially in these times of climate change. She uses on site outdoor teaching, poetry and art for sharing the awareness.
Aunt Linda is both an urban and a rural food producer. She ranches in the Sierra Madres foothills in Northern Mexico. She also keeps honeybees and fosters native bee habitat in the urban South West. She enjoys raising poultry, with a special fondness for heirloom breeds. She sees herself as an extension of the hives, flocks, and herds that she lives among.
Jacqueline Soule, Ph.D. is a long-time Southwest gardener and has written eleven volumes on gardening in our desert climate. She is an award-winning garden writer who has been a popular columnist for many years with weekly and monthly columns in a number of national, regional and local publications, including The Explorer Newspaper, and Angie’s List magazine. She is a popular lecturer at area garden clubs teaches gardening workshops around Tucson.
Amy Valdés Schwemm
With her family’s love of cooking as her inspiration, Amy founded Mano Y Metate, offering freshly ground mole powders for people to make and serve mole at home. She inspires Tucsonans to become Desert Harvesters, to plant and harvest native foods in their yards. At Tucson Community Supported Agriculture, she advocates for underappreciated veggies and celebrates food’s seasons. She loves to hike the deserts and forests, make plant remedios, and feed people.