Our mesquite workshops educate local participants to build skills, learn, connect and collaborate across different communities in Southern Arizona with a shared passion for mesquite and in turn to bring this knowledge to the community at large. These mesquite workshops draw members from near and far who participate in regional hands-on learning opportunities and are open to anyone who is curious to learn about mesquite.
Borderlands Restoration Network is committed to expanding and sharing the general knowledge about mesquite food uses and nutritional and societal benefits, valued-added products that can be made from mesquite, and championing the use of mesquite, exploring the role of mesquite in a restorative economy, and the importance of this iconic tree in our landscapes for habitat and wildlife. Workshops are led by regional and local experts in the field. Pod collection workshops are generally in the summer, while our mesquite milling workshops take place in the fall.
This free climate-friendly mesquite artisan training series will teach mesquite management and artisan skills that can enhance mesquite habitats in southern Arizona to reduce the impacts of wildfires, floods, drought, and heat waves in rangeland interfaces with rural communities.
The workshops will provide participants with hands-on training and skill building teaching sustainable uses for mesquite ranging from practical knowledge to managing mesquite on your property, learning about fine woodworking, and using mesquite as a local food source. Workshops are free and open to all participants 18+.
Sustainable Mesquite Uses and Propagation Friday, June 10, 8AM - 2 PM / Deep Dirt Farm, Patagonia, AZ
Learn about Mesquites’ natural history in a climate change world and its many values to the landscape, humans, livestock, and wildlife along with current climate change challenges in our arid lands and how mesquite can be used as a climate smart solution. This training will also teach you how to germinate and grow mesquite from seeds, air layering, grafting and appropriate irrigation methods.
Instructors: Gary Nabhan, Ph.D, University of Arizona Southwest Center Francesca Claverie, BRN Native Plant Program Manager
Mesquite Artisan Techniques Saturday, June 11, 8AM - 2PM / Deep Dirt Farm, Patagonia, AZ
Learn all about mesquite fine woodworking and the proper techniques to harvest the appropriate mesquite needed for woodworking projects. Participants will practice skills in building solar driers, measuring wood humidity, identifying good qualities of mesquite wood and about contemporary mesquite products and job markets. Participants will also learn hands-on mesquite pruning best practices and techniques for proper density, height, and canopy size for to gain specialized landscaping skills.
Instructors: Gary Nabhan, Ph.D, University of Arizona Southwest Center Zach Farley, BRN Watershed Restoration Crew Lead Patrick Hatfield, Wood Artisan and owner of Hatfield Custom Designs
Mesquite Range Management for Livestock, Wildlife and Erosion Control Friday June 24, 8AM - 2PM / Santa Fe Ranch, Nogales, AZ
Learn about mesquite range management for livestock, wildlife, erosion control and fire risk reduction. Participants will learn how to determine optimal mesquite densities and sizes on rangeland for shade, and how to properly manage mesquite tree growth for optimal wildlife and cattle use for share and forage.
Instructors: Dean Fish, PhD, Santa Fe Ranch Manager Gary Nabhan, Ph.D, University of Arizona Southwest Center
Mesquite Pod Harvesting Walk Saturday June 25, 9AM - 12PM / Mesquite Bosque, Downtown Patagonia, AZ
Learn how to harvest the perfect mesquite pods on a beautiful walk through the Patagonia Mesquite Bosque with regional mesquite expert, Martha Burgess. Participants will learn how to safely harvest ripe mesquite pods, learn how to properly dry and store pods for food processing and how to use mesquite pods as a source of regional sustainable food.
Instructor: Martha Burgess, Research Associate & Adjunct Professor, Tohono O'odham Community College
Beekeeping and Honey Production 3-day series October 14 - 16, 8AM - 2PM / Deep Dirt Farm Patagonia, AZ
This is an incredible and unique workshop series that will be conducted in a 3-part weekend series where participants will learn about the different aspects of local beekeeping and harvesting honey, from beekeeping, mesquite-bee interactions, Africanized bee safety, working with bee equipment, blending and centrifuging mesquite honeys, storage and mesquite meads. Learn beekeeper’s techniques on managing honeybees and preparation of honey, propolis and pollen.
Instructor: Monica King, Local bee expert and owner of Monica King Bee Removals
Mesquite Pod Milling & Food Safe Processing of Mesquite Flour Saturday, October 22, 9AM - 2PM / Patagonia, AZ
Learn all about mesquite pod milling, and how to use mesquite pods for value-added mesquite foods and beverages that can be healthier alternatives for sweeteners, flour, and other foods. Participants will have the opportunity to bring their dry pods and learn hands on how operate a mesquite mill to process mesquite flour.
"And yet, as global temperatures continue to rise, as groundwater levels plummet, and as rivers and reservoirs dry up, social conflicts and poverty will inevitably worsen in the US/Mexico borderlands. How do we move toward a cohesive, binational plan with tangible solutions to alleviate these problems? We feel that a concerted effort to better utilize the many arid adaptation of mesquite trees can leverage new solutions."- Gary Nabhan