Editor's Note: Just Deserts

Gary Nabhan

You might know ethnobotanist and author Gary Paul Nabhan from his work founding Native Seeds/SEARCH, the massive seed bank that preserves all manner of indigenous plant variants to ensure future genetic diversity as corporate farming operations embrace monoculture. You might know him from his work as science director at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, or his work at the UA's Southwest Center, or his contributions to the annual Agave Festival at Hotel Congress. In short, Gary has left a big footprint in our natural world.

This week, we're proud to present an excerpt from an essay about how he discovered his love of the richness of desert flora and fauna. It's the lead essay in a new book Nabhan has edited: The Nature of Desert Nature: A Deep History of Everything that Sticks, Stinks, Stings, Sings, Swings, Springs, or Clings in Arid Landscapes. Published by UA Press, the book features work by more than two-dozen writers and illustrators such as Francisco Cantú, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Ofelia Zepeda and Paul Mirocha. Pick it up and see our desert from new perspectives.

Speaking of plants: People were lining up for hours last weekend along Grant Road when midtown's Harvest became the first dispensary to start selling recreational marijuana to adults over 21. Harvest has cornered the market for a while, as other dispensaries are still preparing to expand from selling only to people with medical cards to opening their doors to the general public, although local indie favorite Desert Bloom was expected to start selling to the recreational market by the end of this week. Tucson Weedly columnist David Abbott explains what's next on Page 17.

Elsewhere in the book: Staff reporter Nicole Ludden keeps you apprised about how the vaccine rollout is coming along; The Skinny looks at the Arizona Republican Party's continued descent into madness; arts writer Margaret Regan paints a picture of TMA's new show featuring work by members of the Wyeth family; and, in our guest commentary spot, we have a statement from the Werewolf Party regarding Werewolf Derangement Syndrome. You'll also find comics, puzzles, horoscopes and some advice sprinkled throughout the book.

Stay safe and we'll see you next week!

— Jim Nintzel Executive Editor

Hear Nintz talk about the latest on the outbreak and other news at 8:30 Wednesday mornings on The Frank Show on KLPX, 91.1 FM.