Pioneer of the “local farm movement” to speak June 27

Chelsea Green Publishing and Shelburne Farms will host Gary Paul Nabhan at Shelburne Farms on Thursday, June 27 from 7-9 pm. An internationally-celebrated nature writer and food and farming activist Nabhan will discuss his latest book, “Tapping Into the Wisdom of the Desert: Sustainably Growing Food in the Face of Climate Change and Water Scarcity.”

Over the next half century, climate change will dramatically affect which wild food plants can be integrated into edible landscaping and which horticultural crop varieties reach optimum quality in nearly every foodscape in North America. The plant selection options in each microclimate will be radically reworked by declining chill hours, extreme summer temperatures, the changed frequency of tropical storms, and extended droughts. Water scarcity and increasing salinity will also rework what food plants can be grown in many localities as well. With 2,300 counties declared drought disaster areas in the U.S. within the last two years, it is time that horticulturists, gardeners, and farmers in every part of the country – including Vermont – look more critically at the wealth of traditional desert farmers’ and permaculturists’ adaptations to drought, heat, and water scarcity.

In his new book “Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Climate,” author Gary Paul Nabhan surveys the world’s desert horticultural oases for such adaptations. Nabhan offers a variety of ready-to-implement acclimations to climate change that have been tested over centuries by food producers among diverse desert cultures. The strategies found through biomimicry, ecomimicry, and etnomimicry will be highlighted.

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