Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster

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Agroforestry conference, March 17 to 19, 2020 – Tucson, Arizona

March 17, 2020 - March 18, 2020


Southwest Agroforestry Action Network, 2ndAnnual Conference

Southwest Agroforestry Challenges and Best Practice Solutions


WHEN:  March 17 – 19, 2020

WHERE: Tucson, AZ

AGENDA AND REGISTRATION: https://swaan-site.org/



The Southwest Agroforestry Action Network (SWAAN) mission: Helping people integrate trees, crops, and animals to regenerate Southwest landscapes. SWAAN’s scope of interest is forest-agricultural activities on tribal, state, federal, county, municipal and private lands in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah 



  • Agricultural producers, Tribes, ranchers, community gardeners and orchardists, permaculturalists, water harvesters, and others who produce food for themselves;
  • Representatives of government agencies, cooperative extension, universities, and nonprofit organizations who support sustainable solutions for agriculture, forestry, and communities through their programs; and
  • People interested in community food forests and forest-agricultural activities including alley cropping, forest farming, riparian forest buffers, silvopasture, windbreaks, and shelterbelts.


Complete agenda at https://swaan-site.org/


Tuesday, March 17, Presentations

University of Arizona, ENR2 Building, Room 107, 1064 E Lowell St, Tucson, AZ

One day registration fee $40; lunch provided

  •  Dr. James Allen, SWAAN, NAU: Introduction to SWAAN and Agroforestry in the Southwest
  • Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, Morning Keynote, ASU Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems: Sustainable Food Systems in the US Southwest
  • Susan Stein, USDA National Agroforestry Center: The National Agroforestry Center, an Information Resource
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS): Opportunities for NRCS Financial and Technical Assistance to Support Agroforestry Practices
  • Denise Purvis, Mary McKay, Harris Heritage Farm, Sonoita, AZ: Developing and Sustaining a Family Farm in Southern Arizona
  • Dr. Ursula Schuch, Environmental Horticulture, UA School of Plant Sciences:Best Practice Solutions for Increasing the Success of Agroforestry in Semi-arid Environments of the US Southwest
  • Brad Lancaster, Afternoon Keynote Speaker, Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond: Best Practices for Providing Sustainable Water Supplies to Urban Trees
  • Kendall Kroesen, Mission Garden/Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace: Mission Garden: Tucson’s Agricultural Origins
  • Jacobo Marcus, Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture Institute: High Desert Food Forests
  • Ann Audrey, Linking Edible Arizona Forests (LEAF) Network: Resources for Growing Edible Trees in Agroforestry Systems in Arizona
  • Cori Dolan, Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management: Resources Available to Help Support Trees in Arizona

Wednesday, March 18, Fieldtrips

One day registration fee, $40, lunch provided

  • Mission Garden, Tucson, AZ: Time line gardens covering 4000 years with extensive tree and garden plantings
  • Dunbar-Spring Neighborhood, Tucson, AZ: Neighborhood Foresters tree-planting program in public rights-of-way supported by water harvesting and Brad Lancaster’s permaculture homestead with water harvesting, solar power and edible trees
  • Harris Heritage Growers, Sonoita, AZ: Tour of U-Pick Family Farm in southern Arizona with trees, crops and animals

Thursday, March 19, SWAAN Business Meeting 

UA/Pima County Cooperative Extension Office, 4210 N Campbell Avenue, Tucson, AZ 

Conference participants and public are invited to attend.



 Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, Director, Arizona State University Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems

Dr. Kathleen Merrigan helped write the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. As the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture from 2009 to 2013, she managed the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Foodinitiative to support local and regional food systems. She became the first female chair of the ‘Ministerial Conference of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization in 2009 and was named one of Time magazine’s “100 most influential people in the world” in 2010. Prior to coming to ASU’s Swette Center, Dr. Merrigan was the executive director of sustainability at George Washington University, leading their Sustainability Collaborative and Food Institute.


Brad Lancaster, Author of the book series Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and BeyondBrad Lancaster isa dynamic teacher, consultant, and designer of regenerative systems that sustainably enhance local resources and our global potential. Lancaster has taught water harvesting and sustainable design throughout North America as well as in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia. His hometown projects have included working with the City of Tucson and other municipalities to legalize, incentivize, and provide guidance on water-harvesting systems, demonstration sites, and policy. In Tucson, with just 11 inches of annual rainfall, he and his brother harvest around 100,000 gallons of rainwater a year on an eighth-acre urban lot and adjoining vegetated right-of-way.



March 17, 2020
March 18, 2020

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The Umbrella: Summer 2020

THE UMBRELLA: A catch-all of resources, events, media, and more from Brad Lancaster In this time of Covid-19 and spending more time at home to be safe, I’ve been grateful for the solace, inspiration, and bountiful sustenance my water-harvesting gardens, landscape, and neighborhood forest has provided me, my family, friends, and neighbors. Record summer heat […]

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