Climate Tucson: New Heat, New Diseases
Sustainable Living Tucson
by Jana Segal
19h ago
Tucson City Council readies plans for protecting outdoor workers from the summer sun By Karen Peterson, Climate Tucson  “An epidemic of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology is occurring in laborers who undertake physical work outdoors in hot conditions.” The three primary stages of traditional heat illnesses — cramps, exhaustion and stroke — are just part of the heat and health equation. The new higher heat is spawning its own heat-related diseases, notably a fatal kidney disease affecting large numbers of farm workers in Central America. Not caused by ..read more
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Storm to Shade Across Tucson
Sustainable Living Tucson
by Jana Segal
3d ago
 by Blue Baldwin, Storm to Shade Program Manager Grabbing the water off the road to grow healthy tree. In the cool early hours of a midsummer morning in Barrio Kroger-Lane, long-time resident and community organizer, Josefina Cardenas, prepared breakfast burritos to share with her neighbors to fuel their morning’s work. With the support and expertise of Tucson Clean and Beautiful’s green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) maintenance team, Josefina and her neighbors took to their neighborhood streets to care for the GSI assets built there over the past decade. As they pulled weed ..read more
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Celebrating the start of purslane season
Sustainable Living Tucson
by Jana Segal
2w ago
So excited that purslane season is finally here. We celebrated with a yummy smothered purslane and potato breakfast burrito.  Purslane season officially begins at our house after the second monsoon downpour. But my story doesn't start there. I am always on the look out for purslane to relocate into my yard. (Why does everyone get purslane before we do?) So I planted some I found in front of The Loft Cinema. But I guess I really jumped the gun this year. Before it could spread, it was eaten by the critters in our sun burnt, barren desert food forest. (Honestly, I'm glad they found somet ..read more
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Work Parties Build Sustainable Homesteads and Community
Sustainable Living Tucson
by Jana Segal
1M ago
We used hyperadobe to berm an earth-sheltered geodesic dome which will be a massive aquaponic greenhouse. Guest Blogger: Christian Sawyer Howdy. I’m Christian Sawyer — an organizer and homesteader in the Douglas Basin of Sulphur Springs Valley in Cochise County.. In the early Fall of 2021, I went on a three-hour bike ride to a potluck. My car had broken down but I *really* wanted to be at that potluck. I was invited by a family whom I had only met once, briefly, and wasn't sure if I'd get another invite if I turned this one down. The reason I was so dead set on attending that potlu ..read more
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What to do with all those dried poppies
Sustainable Living Tucson
by Jana Segal
1M ago
A few days ago I noticed a bunch of dried poppy plants in a neighbor's yard. We were already using our dried poppies for mulch since most of our woodchip and horse purslane mulch had broken down or was taken away by some productive ants. We love to keep as much organic matter as we can in our basin. And the birds appreciate it too. Also notice the dried native grasses that we keep for food for birds and bunnies.  So the next day I ambled up to the front door and asked if I could grab them to use for mulch in our basin. I had a nice chat with our new neighbor. I found out that she had b ..read more
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Appreciating our Cisterns During this Dry Spell
Sustainable Living Tucson
by Jana Segal
1M ago
It is no secret that my favorite rainwater harvesting feature is catchment basins. They can sink in more water than our largest cistern can hold while nourishing the soil and providing food and shelter for birds and other desert critters. But I have to admit that during this long dry patch (no rain in May!) I am extremely grateful to have several cisterns to keep my new plants and moringa alive in this extreme heat.  Every morning before the temperature reaches 80 degrees (the temperature when plants stop taking in water), I am outside watering my baby plants with my watering can filled ..read more
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Harvesting Moringa for My Mom's Tea
Sustainable Living Tucson
by Jana Segal
1M ago
Moringa Bouquet for Mom  I'm so excited that my mom is coming to visit for a few days.  Our moringa plant has been growing nicely (with a little help from a recent deep watering with rainwater from our cistern) so I went ahead and harvested some to dry for some nutritious tea for my mom. It's super easy to snap off the branches. The moringa actually likes to be pruned this way. It encourages new growth.   Next I wash it over our metal dish pans. (That water will go on our Mexican Honeysuckle.)  Think I wrap a twist tie around the stem and hang them in a ..read more
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My favorite places in Tucson to bring visitors
Sustainable Living Tucson
by Jana Segal
2M ago
Gazing at Brad Lancaster's house and cisterns in Dunbar-Spring neighborhood After a day exploring the rainwater and greywater features on our yard, the sun went down. We decided to harvest some tasty (and slightly sour) barrel cactus fruit to prepare for Watershed Management Group's Family Saturday event.  Slice and bake barrel cactus leaving the seeds in place The next morning, we were off to Watershed Management Group where I gave Lillie a quick tour of the Living Lab and Learning Center. Check out the chicken coop that Dan helped to build. The chickens compost the ..read more
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Sharing my passion with the next generation
Sustainable Living Tucson
by Jana Segal
2M ago
I always enjoy sharing my knowledge about sustainability with the next generation. So I was especially excited to give a tour of our rainwater basins to my son Jeremy's girlfriend Lillie, a civil engineering major with an environmental concentration. Jeremy tagged along to find out which plants to water when Dan and I go away on vacation. He took some photos while he was at it. Thanks, Jeremy!  Our first stop was filling up my water bucket at the slimline tank. I explained how we get a lot of rainwater off of the roof (nearly 11,000 gallons a year.) Some of that water is directed from ..read more
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False Spring or Just Crazy Tucson Weather?
Sustainable Living Tucson
by Jana Segal
5M ago
First poppy of false spring If you strolled past my yard yesterday morning, you might have caught me outside in my pink housecoat. On our sporadic cold winter days, I love to hang around the house bundled in my cozy robe. Who would have thought that I would be inspired by the sunny 57 degree weather to snap photos of the wildflowers sprouting in our rainwater harvesting catchment basin!  I just had to capture a photo of the first poppy of False Spring.  The term 'false spring' refers to a period in late winter or early spring when temperatures become unusually warm, befor ..read more
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