10 Reasons Not to Miss the Tucson Festival of Books

10 Reasons Not to Miss the Tucson Festival of Books

The annual Tucson Festival of Books is one of the nation’s largest book festivals attracting over 100,000 festival goers each year to the University of Arizona mall. Over 350 authors give presentations and hold workshops at this free festival open to the public from March 11th-12th. With activities for all ages, this event brings the community together. Event organizers comment that the festival is a huge success because “we offer programming for children and teens, panels by best-selling and emerging authors, a literary circus, culturally diverse programs, a poetry venue, exhibitor booths and two food courts.” 

This non-profit festival encourages literacy advancement through supporting and funding local literacy organizations. More than $1,450,000 has been raised to support literacy organizations. Thanks to a generous donation by LFA member Antigone Books, Local First Arizona will be present at this year’s festival at Booth #401.  We encourage everyone to come down and enjoy one of Tucson’s don’t miss events.  Here are ten great ways to make the most of your time there.

Jerome Art Walk Welcomes the Spring Season

Jerome Art Walk Welcomes the Spring Season

The Jerome Art Walk keeps its momentum going on March 4th, approaching the spring season with more artistic energy and wonderful talent than ever before.  Every first Saturday, the creative community of Jerome is pleased to host an evening of art, music and entertainment with open studios and galleries displaying local, regional and national artistic treasures. A free shuttle runs during the event. Restaurants will offer delightful meals and charming lodging choices abound for a delightful nights stay for those who might enjoy making a weekend of it.

2nd Annual Verde Valley Wine Festival - Open Call for Participants

2nd Annual Verde Valley Wine Festival - Open Call for Participants

The 2nd Annual Verde Valley Wine Festival returns to the historic Clarkdale Town Park in Clarkdale, AZ on May 13 and May 14, 2017 for two great days of wine, beer, spirits, food, live music, and art. The Verde Valley Wine Festival is Northern Arizona’s premier wine and culinary festival, presented by Four Eight Wineworks in partnership with the the non-profit arts organization, Made in Clarkdale. Clarkdale, AZ is located 20 minutes west of Sedona in the Verde Valley which is 1.5 hours north of Phoenix and 3 hours north of Tucson.

16th Annual Spring Heritage Pecan & Wine Festival

16th Annual Spring Heritage Pecan & Wine Festival

The Town of Camp Verde, Verde Valley Wine Consortium, Verde Valley Archaeology Center, and the Verde River Valley Nature Organization are pleased to announce the 2017 Spring Heritage Pecan and Wine Festival, March 18 and 19. Come taste the region’s award-winning wines, race your canoe or kayak, and celebrate the agricultural history, as well as the rich and ancient cultural heritage of Arizona’s Verde Valley. 

How to Trust The Food That You Eat

This blog article was guest written by LFA Intern, Kyle Curtis.

How do we know where the food we eat comes from?  How can we learn how our food is made? A new application called TRusT™ connects eaters with the answers.  TRusT™ is a mobile application where the customer is able to discover where their food comes from, how it is made, and where it is distributed.  The TRusT™ app puts a QR code on a product.  Through the application, users take a picture of the TRusT™ QR code and information regarding that item appears

Giuseppe Biagini with the International Traditional Knowledge Institute brought a team over from Italy to educate American food producers and consumers about TRusT™.   Stefano Ravizza, an owner of Italy’s Il Torrino Farm a vineyard producing wines, jams, and jellies, is a user of the application.  Ravizza comments, “With the QR Code from TRusT™, you have the possibility to tell the story of your products, and make your customer aware of the professionalism, and passion that lies behind the making of a bottle of wine; you can tell the story of yourself, and your land with just one click. With TRusT you create a transparent link with your customers.”   The application tells the history and source of ingredients, allowing the customer to understand the heritage of their food.

Biagini and some of his team showcased the application at the recent SAVOR Southern Arizona Food + Wine Festival.  The sold-out culinary festival put together by Local First Arizona, the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) and Tucson Botanical Gardens featured over 70 local restaurants, winemakers, brewers and food educators.  TRusT™ connected with producers and consumers who are hungry to be in the know about where their food comes from.  Biagini hopes that TRusT™ is not just a tool for providing education about modern food systems but also a mechanism for preserving traditional knowledge about heritage foods.  He noted that as UNESCO’s first North American City of Gastronomy, Tucson is the ideal starting place for these conversations in the United States. The city of Tucson is about 12,000’s years old and the food we eat has a colorful history and origin, with continuous agriculture in this region dating back as far as 4,000 years.  


The TRusT™ application is a method of applying principles of heritage conservation to awareness of food and agriculture.  Just taking a flour tortilla for instance, and considering the history of those ingredients in Tucson, shows that flour played a key role in the development of the burrito. Products made from white Sonoran wheat showcase a grain only found in the Tucson area.  The story of this wheat connects the community with the tortilla’s flavor and the food’s history.

To learn more about how individuals can use and download the TRusT™ application, visit them online. Food producers with an interest in featuring their products in the application can email [email protected]  The TRusT™  application is an important resource to connect people with the food they eat.

 

Local First AZ Director Kimber Lanning Talks Placemaking, Land Use on Urban Land Institute Podcast

Local First AZ Director Kimber Lanning Talks Placemaking, Land Use on Urban Land Institute Podcast

 In her podcast, Kimber discusses her challenges in being a local business owner, what led her to founding Local First Arizona, how placemaking is critical to healthy communities, and her passion for Arizona.

Members Mid-day Retreat at The Vig @ McCormick Ranch

Members Mid-day Retreat at The Vig @ McCormick Ranch

Local businesses gather at The Vig @ McCormick Ranch for our February Luncheon making new connections and deals along the way. Find out who came out and how to get more involved with our organization!

UNESCO Report on the State of Tucson's Food System Recognizes Local First Arizona

UNESCO Report on the State of Tucson's Food System Recognizes Local First Arizona

UNESCO Report on the State of Tucson's Food System Recognizes Local First Arizona for their longtime contributor in strengthening Southern Arizona’s local foods system.