Master Gardener September 2022

Dr. Erin Riordan

‘Desert Foods for a Resilient Future’ Presentation

Sheilah Britton, Pinal County Master Gardener

Your SaddleBrooke/SaddleBrooke Ranch Master Gardeners are pleased to invite you to attend a Zoom webinar presentation with Erin Riordan, Ph.D., on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m., titled ‘Desert Foods for a Resilient Future.’ Dr. Riordan is a conservation research scientist at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and former University of Arizona postdoctoral scholar at the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research and the Desert Laboratory of Tumamoc Hill.

Our arid land food systems are at a crossroads. Many familiar conventional crops are poorly equipped to survive in desert environments where heat and drought already limit flowering and fruiting. Growing these plants will become increasingly difficult as day and nighttime temperatures rise, droughts deepen, and water resources dwindle.

Desert-adapted food plants like cactus and mesquite, however, provide an alternative path forward. With remarkable adaptations to heat, drought, and poor soils, these plants are well-equipped to weather the sorts of stressful growing conditions we expect to see more of in the future—all while using just a fraction of the water and fertilizer needed to grow conventional crops.

Dr. Riordan’s presentation will show how adding desert food plants to our gardens and plates can benefit our health and our environment, helping to create a more resilient future.

Register at, then click on events. If you have questions about registration, contact [email protected].

For any other questions, contact Sheilah Britton at [email protected].

Sample container gardens (photo by Elissa Cochran)

Master Gardener Plant Sale October 13

Julie Peek, Pinal County Master Gardener

The SaddleBrooke/SaddleBrooke Ranch Master Gardeners invite you to attend our annual Plant Sale, Thursday, Oct. 13 from 9 to 11 a.m. at MountainView clubhouse (38759 S. MountainView Blvd.) outside of the ballroom on the patio. There will be plenty of parking in the parking lots outside the ballroom.

Among the many plants for sale will include Agaves of various types, Blue Elf Aloes, Firesticks, Slipper plants, Blue Euphorbia (gopher plants), Pinecone cacti, Mangaves, Bulbine, many Irises, and herbs. Plants will be in 4”- to 5-gallon containers in size. Payment can be made by cash or check. There will be a limited number of wagons available for transporting plants. In addition to plants, we are also selling 15 succulent/cactus pots designed and planted by one of our Master Gardeners.

If you have questions, contact [email protected].