Edible Shade event to celebrate local food with mesquite pancakes

pancakes
Courtesy Watershed Management Group

Pancakes being served at the Edible Shade event. The event will offer mesquite pancakes, non-gluten pancakes and vegan pancakes.

The Watershed Management Group will be hosting its third annual Edible Shade Mesquite Pancake Breakfast to celebrate eating locally and nature education this Sunday, March 26.

The event will feature a “pancake factory” serving mesquite flour pancake variations, as well as other vendors, an artisan market, live music and educational opportunities for attendees, according to Sarah Brown, a community education coordinator with the Watershed Management Group.

The pancakes are made with mesquite flour, and the event also offers vegan pancakes and non-gluten pancakes. The theme of desert foods continues with prickly pear and pomegranate syrup. Local coffee company Exo Roast Co. will be serving coffee at the event, and juice and tea will also be available.

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“The main message we want to get across is eating locally and seasonally, and so that’s why a lot of the things that we’re selling here are desert foods,” Brown said. “We want people to get excited about eating from their region.”

A porch talk at the Edible Shade event. A Watershed Management Group staff member will be giving one of this year's porch talks.

The yearly event typically takes place in the fall during mesquite pod harvesting, but this is the first year the event will be held in the spring, according to Brown.

“It’s just a really fun community event, kind of a grassroots style event,” Brown said.

Education also plays a role in shaping the event. Community partners, including Tucson Water, Tucson Electric Power, Edible Baja Arizona and the Sonoran Institute, will be present at the event, and some will be involved in educational opportunities for attendees.

TEP will host a tree distribution, where they will be giving out shade trees to the first 100 people to bring in a TEP bill.

The event will also feature porch talks, with a talk from a Watershed Management Group staff member about the river and network initiative, another talk from a naturalist and then another presentation about the Sonoran supermarket.

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Brown said she thinks it is important to be connected to local environments.

“We are big proponents of creating sustainable livelihoods for people in this urban setting, so that involves being aware of what is our impact as humans on the environment and also as consumers, and so we can have a big positive impact in how we affect our environment by the choices we make and the food that we’re purchasing, as well as how we are stewards of our environment,” Brown said.

Attendees getting served coffee at the Edible Shade Mesquite Pancake Breakfast event. The event will be serving coffee from Exo Roast Co.

She said public response to the events in the past has been “overwhelming.” The event will be capped at around 500 people this year, and attendance has usually been around that number for past events.

“It’s a Tucson tradition, it’s something that people really love, so we’re excited to host it for the third time,” she said.

The Edible Shade Mesquite Pancake Breakfast will be held this Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon at the Watershed Management Group’s Living Lab and Learning Center, located at 1137 N. Dodge Blvd. Attendees will receive three pancakes and a drink for $7, with different pancake options available. Tickets are not available at the door; they are sold in advance, due to the 500-ticket cap. For more information and to pre-pay for pancakes, visit https://watershedmg.org/edibleshade.


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