Our farm's name raises awareness that virtually all native Sonoran Desert trees and many large shrubs are legumes which fix nitrogen and shelter understory food and medicine plants. Bean trees provide nutritious, tasty seeds and pods, and thrive on seasonal rainfall.
The desert food forest we are nested in has been here for centuries, as have the Tohono O'Odham
and Hohokam people before them, sharing with all life in a dynamic culture of interdependence.
We are thankful for their legacy, and take seriously our mission to respect, care for and share this place.
Bean Tree Farm is located in Dancing Rocks Community, a residential development nested in 20-acres of lush saguaro/ironwood forest. The community evolved from a care-taking position that started in 1985. In 1990 the first passive solar rammed-earth home was built next to a 1930's stone well-house.
After permaculture studies and practice in the early 1990's, the idea of a small community began to take shape. Between 2003- 2006 the community grew to five rammed-earth solar homes, a barn and outbuildings, clustered on 15% of the 20 acre site. Conservation covenants promote ecological practices, and 16 acres is a designated natural conservation area.
At Bean Tree Farm, there are no row crops or irrigation lines. We keep small household gardens and tend historic fruit tree varieties fed by rainwater. As present day residents, our work is to take good care of this place and enhance its health by welcoming rainwater into the landscape through gently placed earthworks, cisterns, and organic mulches, increasing soil health and habitat for native and drylands-adapted species.
Bean Tree Farm blends desert foods, earth care, rainwater harvesting, natural building and education in a hands-on artisan way. We aim to explore and share a way of living that honors the nature and culture of this place, inspiring the "rewilding" of urban and suburban communities to build resilience and food security, and empower folks with creative pathways to do so.
We offer what we have learned through:
As we grow, harvest and teach about the cornucopia of delicious and nutritious foods and herbs that grow in the Sonoran Desert, we find that customers, students and visitors try new foods and recipes, savor the flavors and benefits of eating and living in relationship with Sonoran Desert rhythms- and are inspired to re-wild the landscapes of their homes and neighborhoods.
Seasonal workshops, tours, desert food events and natural building projects are held in collaboration with:
Bean Tree Farm is a United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary.