In a hotter, drier climate, today’s weeds may be tomorrow’s dinner.
While empowering people to produce their own food, Desert Harvesters blurs the lines between cropped and wild plants in their region. “We collect in the wild if the plants are in great abundance, and we plant them in urban environments,” says Desert Harvesters volunteer Amy Valdés Schwemm, adding that the public realizes the need to explore native plants that can withstand expected climate extremes.
“Climate change is really opening minds,” says Padulosi. When regions realize that a 2-degree temperature increase will dramatically impact cultivation of wheat or rice, they are obliged to look at diversification strategies, he adds. “The concept is simple — the larger your portfolio of biodiversity, the better your position to absorb the shocks, from climate or price swings,” he says.