Saturday, May 13, 2017
Ms. Rosemary & I went to Mission Garden for the 4th Annual celebration of San Ysidro Day. In the 12th century, he was Isidore, a pious farm worker in Spain. Now he is the patron saint of farmers and farm hands.
Blessings were offered by the Tohono O’odham Chairman Austin Nunez with a prayer in his native language that incorporated eagle feathers and incense. Father Gregory Adolf offered a prayer in English and Father Ricardo Elfred offered the same prayer in Spanish. Mission Garden is now the holiest garden in all of Tucson.
Apparently prayers and rituals offered to San Ysidro work because, since I was there 3 years ago, the gardens are thriving. The winter wheat has been harvested. The quince, pomegranates, and grapes are coming along nicely, but will not be harvested until autumn.
Heirloom Wines From Mission Gardens
This is where I get heirloom wines for my Tucson History & Libation Tour. On this walking tour through historic Downtown Tucson, my guests get to taste foods and wines from Father Kino’s era 300 years ago. They are literally tasting and drinking history.
Mission Garden features heirloom Sonoran Desert-adapted fruit orchards and vegetable gardens interpreting 4,000 years of agriculture in Tucson. Some plots within this walled garden are for native plants grown by aborigines long before Europeans arrived here in 1692. Father Kino brought quince, oranges, pomegranates, grapes, winter wheat and other seeds to establish a mission here among the natives who had invited him. He also introduced them to cattle.
There were many booths at his festival with goods and services related to Mission Garden and Tucson history. The Chinese Cultural Center had a booth because Chinese farmers worked this land following the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1880.
You can visit the Mission Garden any Saturday. And if you are a Gardener or just want to help, they can always use volunteers.
April – November, 8-12pm
December – March, 10-2pm