The low desert areas have two planting seasons for most plants, including vegetable: fall and Spring. Fall is a wonderful time to be planting trees and shrubs that are not frost tender. The soil is still warm, the temperature has mitigated to tolerable and it’s just downright pleasant to be outside. One can consider the seasons somewhat reversed here. Back East, people can hardly wait for winter to be over so they can go out to the nursery or shop on-line for their bulb and Hostas in the spring and get their hands in the dirt. In Phoenix and surrounds, we count the weeks for summer to be over and fall to arrive for exactly the same reason, plus it means our tap water won’t be hot! [Read more…]
Across central Arizona, at higher elevations (4000’ or higher), are found stands of Emory oaks (Quercus emoryi). Near Superior there is a swath of these oaks that extends from Oak Flat to Globe. They are tall trees – up to 50’ – with a dark fissured bark. The leaves are leathery, often with a few pointy “teeth” along their margins.
The acorns that these trees produce are small – about an inch long and less than a half inch wide. Acorns contain tannins, but some more so than others. In the case of the Emory oak, the acorns are fairly sweet and require little, if any, leaching. For thousands of years, people in this part of the country have collected and eaten Emory oak acorns. You can still see Apache and Tohono O’odham women out collecting these savory nuts this time of year. [Read more…]