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Heritage Foods

Mission Garden, Spanish-Colonial Orchard and Vineyard

The Spanish-Colonial Orchard and Vineyard Project is funded through a $15,000 grant from the Arizona State Forestry Division, obtained by the City of Tucson Historic Preservation Office with the assistance of the Parks and Recreation Department. The funding will support the initial planting of a historically authentic Spanish-Colonial era fruit orchard and vineyard at the Mission Garden. In honor of the centennial anniversary of Arizona statehood in 2012, this project will plant 100 Kino Heritage Fruit Trees, which are direct genetic descendants of the Old World fruit trees first introduced to southern Arizona by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino and later missionaries and colonists during the Spanish Colonial period.

The Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, will help make this project possible through a matching grant of an additional $15,000 toward the necessary utility connection costs, including water and electricity. Through their Kino Heritage Fruit Tree stewardship program, the Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace will conduct fundraising to pay for the remaining utility connection fees and to assist with irrigation costs.
This project will have multiple partners, including the Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace, Pima County, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Desert Survivors Nursery, The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences/Pima County Cooperative Extension, Tucson Audubon Society, Watershed Management Group, Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance, and Desert Archaeology, Inc. Also serving in advisory roles will be The University of Arizona Southwest Center, Native Seeds-SEARCH, and Sonoita Vineyards.

The Mission Garden is one portion of the overall Tucson Origins Heritage Park, a project that was approved by City of Tucson voters in 1999 as part of the Rio Nuevo ballot proposition. Learn more about the Tucson Origins Heritage Park and the Mission Garden, as well as the Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace at this web site

The Santa Cruz Valley Heritage is pleased to be a partner for this exciting project.  This webpage will be updated frequently with more specific project details as they become available.