Members of Tucson Kino Rotary Took a Guided Tour of the Mission Gardens
Tucson Kino Rotarians visited and learned about Mission Gardens. The site was a mission, convent and agricultural center founded by Father Kino in the 1500's. But it had been occupied and farmed as long as 4,000 years ago.
Our tour was led by docent Jerome West, a very knowledgeable and personable guide.
Docent Jerome West Shows an Artist Conception
of the Site Before the Europeans Came
Jerome led us to the various sections of the Gardens describing how the Native Americans first came as hunter/gatherers and started planting crops such as corn which they may have left to grow on its own and returned later. They eventually settled on the land and grew corn, beans and squash.
l - r: David Fawcett, Monique Soria, Joan Fawcett,
Dennis Bergquist, Chris Bejarano, Odette Koffi,
Raul Bejarano, John Palacio and John's brother Duane
When the first Europeans arrived they brought new crops which were "winter" crops meaning the natives could have a steady supply of food year round. These included citrus, fruits, other vegetables and grapes. The only animal which the natives had domesticated were dogs and, perhaps, turkeys. Soon, horses and more types of fowl were commonly raised.
One of the newest areas in Mission Gardens will be an African garden. When Africans arrived, mostly as slaves, they brought seeds with them from their home countries. Garden personnel are trying to locate 400 year-old seed stock to plant.
Plaque By The Pomegranate Tree
A highlight of the tour was visiting the Pomegranate tree donated by Tucson Kino Rotary and Tucson Sunrise Rotary ten years ago. It is THRIVING!
Odette and Joan are Mystified by the
Never-before-seen Bottle Tree!
The tour finished with a visit to the Gift Shop!
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