The Gila River Festival presents "The Pueblo Food Experience," Native Food Brunch with Artist and Author Roxanne Swentzell

The Gila River Festival presents “the Pueblo Food Experience,” a Native Food Brunch with artist and author Roxanne Swentzell, a fundraising event for the
Gila Conservation Coalition
Sunday, September 24, 10:30 am – noon at
The Volunteer Center of Grant County

Roxanne Swentzell, Director of Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute and Santa Clara Pueblo member, has been researching and teaching permacultural practices since 1989.  Focusing on traditional Pueblo cultures, Roxanne hopes to help the communities relearn, preserve, and continue healthy life-ways for generations to come.  She will present a talk about the experiential work to improve the health of her people through the restoration of Native culinary customs at this year's Gila River Festival Native Food Brunch scheduled for Sunday, September 24 at 10:30 am at The Volunteer Center.

Swentzell, her adult son Porter Swentzell, and several other puebloans lived the “Pueblo Food Experience,” eating exclusively the foods of their ancestors. She will speak about the results of this experience, the need to grow and consume foods that are native or adapted to the arid Southwest, and to respect water by not wasting it on thirsty and inappropriate crops and will address the question: What did people eat before breakfast cereal, peanut butter and jelly, pizza? Answer: A surprising variety of delicious and nutritious foods, including many species of native currants, berries, nuts, amaranth, mesquite, grasses, beans and other plants that can be cooked or ground into flours, and a whole suite of healthy greens. Native Americans in the Southwest relied on the “three sisters”: corn, beans, and squash.

This brunch, featuring native and locally grown foods, will gently introduce eaters to some new foods, such as mesquite, but not take you too far out of your food comfort zone. Silver City’s “Mesquitos,” a group of local native food enthusiasts who explore the economic viability and sustainability of local harvests, have devised and will cook the hearty meal.

Tickets are $50 and proceeds benefit the Gila Conservation Coalition’s mission to protect the free flow of the Gila and San Francisco Rivers and the wilderness characteristics of the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness areas. The Gila Conservation Coalition (GCC) is a partnership of local environmental and conservation groups and concerned individuals that promote conservation of the Upper Gila River Basin and surrounding lands.

To purchase tickets please visit: or call: 575.538.8078.

Allyson Siwik