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Farmers are not debating weather climate change is real or not, they are dealing with it already. At the 2012 Heirloom Seed Expo the co-founder of the local food movement, ethnobotanist and tender of a 6 acre orchard in Arizona, Gary Nabhan, made a wise and moving appeal to value the vast contribution orchards can make to mitigating climate change and resisting the impact of drought and heat.
Gary Nabhan, in 2011, made the Utne reader list of 30 people who made the world a better place to live. As teacher in academia and author of over 25 books, he inspired a new generation to understand the link between bio-diversity and cultural diversity. Many of them now dream of becoming farmers to make a difference with their lives. But few will succeed since land is so hard to find and finance. However there is a bright future in the intriguing task of tending and beginning new orchards on small acreage.
In his 2012 talk Nabhan gave credit to the seed saver movement that he co-founded. At the same time he made an eloquent case for the vitality and resilience of fruit trees and the pleasure of re-discovering long forgotten varieties in abandoned orchards.