Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tucson and Terra Sante

Thanks to our proclivity for Googling food co-ops before arriving to a new city, our arrival to Tucson yesterday brought us directly to the historic Pie Allen neighborhood, a funky area of town filled with cafes, interesting shops, and friendly people who fawned over Tina as she rode in the basket on the back of Mary's bike. We biked around, shopped at the member-owned Food Conspiracy Co-op, and headed out of town towards our next intentional community, Terra Sante.

Terra Sante considers itself "a living laboratory for sustainability", and this is demonstrated through the use of permaculture, alternative sustainable building techniques, solar energy, earth architecture, and native arts.

Here is a photo of a solar food dehydrator, something that we've seen at a number of communities that we've visited........

And here are two examples of earth architecture as practiced at TerraSante........

Desert gardening techniques are essential to growing food in this harsh climate which receives only 12 inches of rain and more than 325 days of sun per year........

These are two interior photos of the main community building and kitchen.......

This photo shows beautifully arranged stones near the front gate. These stones contain malachite, turquoise, and other brightly colored minerals, and are the first thing that visitors see upon arrival to the community.......

Last night after our arrival, Mary cooked a wonderful dinner for a group of TerraSante residents, and this afternoon Keith and a new friend helped with a simple construction project........

The day ended with a surprise visit from Waffles T. Clown, our old friend from Western Massachusetts who coincidentally lives just across the dirt road from TerraSante every winter.

The desert has welcomed us warmly, with an almost full moon, lovely sunsets, new and old friends, and the blessing of not seeing (or being bitten by) any rattlesnakes, scorpions or spiders, so far. Tomorrow we head back into Tucson to see an old friend, pick up mail, and do some more grocery shopping, and we just may return to TerraSante for a full moon gathering tomorrow evening.

Now, the moon rises over the desert floor and we sit in our cozy rig surrounded by the quiet night around us. Our next visits to the Windspirit Community, Sedona, Snowflake and The Grand Canyon are calling us, and who knows what surprises and adventures are still in store!


  1. You're traveling all over the places I grew up finding things I never knew were there!

  2. Oh wow, you two are creating memories of a lifetime! This is wonderful, you guys!

  3. awesome to read your narratives and see the pics.

    This is a grand adventure and love the way you are sharing it with us.

    Love and Fresh Air always,