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Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture


Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture (BASA) works to promote local, sustainable food production, marketing, and education in southern Arizona. Our goal is to help create and expand the sustainable food systems in our region, promoting the health and well-being of the natural world and the people who live here. Our vision is nutritious, safe, and secure food for all that adds economic and social value to both rural and urban communities. BASA's strategy focuses on grassroots activism and community organizing in three key areas of sustainable agriculture: 1) Empowering consumers to take control of their diets through discussions and experiential workshops on food production, nutrition, and desert heritage foods. 2) Organizing local food producers and working with them to implement more sustainable practices in their operations. 3) Connecting local producers to local consumers and creating strong local food systems. Current projects include: 1) Farmers Market Consultation - BASA works with farmers markets to help develop stable, direct-marketing outlets in food-insecure communities to provide economic stability to local producers and health benefits to local consumers. 2) Sustainable Agriculture Education Program - BASA sponsors educational classes, workshops, and farm/ranch tours to educate the public on sustainable agricultural practices adapted to our region, inspire consumers to eat locally, and celebrate those who raise our food. 3) Desert Heritage Foods Program - BASA works with both producers and consumers to increase the knowledge and use of desert foods in the mainstream culture and diet of southern Arizona to help retain the environmental health of our agricultural lands as well as the health of the people who live here. Methods include workshops on harvesting and preparing desert foods as well as community mesquite millings. 4) Local Food Directory - BASA publishes a comprehensive registry of southern Arizona businesses and community groups involved in local food production and sales. The goals of the directory are 1) to educate the public on where to find local, sustainable food in the Arizona borderlands in order to increase awareness of the vast array of locally-grown foods available in our region; and 2) to serve as a marketing and distribution tool for producers, allowing them to initiate collaborations amongst one another as well as with distributors, stores, and restaurants. 5) Solar Cooking Program - BASA promotes sustainable solar cooking, which helps save energy by using one of Arizona's most prevalent resources- the sun. Methods include educational demonstrations on how to cook with the sun, and an annual Solar Cook-Off and Expo.

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