Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southwestern Deserts

June, 2011
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Chile Pepper Institute Teaching and Demonstration Garden
Visit the Chile Pepper Institute Teaching and Demonstration Garden, which showcases varieties developed by New Mexico State University's Chile Breeding and Genetics Program. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from early June into November. Self-guided tour maps are available on site. For more information, go to


Chile Peppers and Climate Change
Join the co-authors -- a chef, an agroecologist, and an ethnobotanist -- on their spice odyssey as they travel to regions where heirloom chiles are grown as integral elements in the local culture. In Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail (Chelsea Green, 2011, $17.95), authors Kurt Michael Friese, Kraig Kraft, and Gary Paul Nabhan share a highly readable blend of history, ethnobotany, first-person accounts, local cuisines, plant lore and genetics, and toss chile recipes in for good measure. The trio visit farmers with decades of experience to hear from growers on the front lines how climate change is effecting the length of growing seasons, farming methods, and specific crops. How are these changes affecting worldwide food security, ask the authors? Their narrative is eye-opening, disquieting, enlightening, and entertaining. Put Chasing Chiles on your summer book list for the beach. It's more thought-provoking than a trashy novel, and just as much fun!


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