Regenerating Sonora: Winter Update

Well – it’s been quite some time since we’ve made an update here. A lot’s happening and we sometimes forget to pause to tell our story. We’ve been hard at work on much behind the scenes, not to mention the fun public gatherings we’ve held. 

Movie Night:

We ordered in pizza and screened The Biggest Little Farm. It’s a documentary about a couple who decide to get into the farming business without really knowing what they were getting themselves into. Aside from our expert growers on the team, most of us are totally inexperienced when it comes to the community garden we’re planning. We’re slowly coming to agreement on how we want our garden to be designed, and the movie was nice a inspiration for us. Afterward, we formed a talking circle and shared our impressions and ideas the movie conjured up in us.

Want to know about an interesting pattern?

Here are three successful plans that were executed after getting together over drinks at the bar. 

Exhibit A: going back in history a bit, our food systems group, Community Harvesters, was founded after a cocktail inspired conversation between Bert Archer, Mary Karlin, and Chris Casillas. Bert and Mary were observing the wasted food growing in yards all over town, and saw the potential to turn that into goods at the farmers market. The next day a concrete plan was created, an orchard picker was procured, and the group Community Harvesters was born! Community Harvesters is a critical part of Regenerating Sonora, and we’re grateful for Mary and Bert’s leadership here.


A more recent example of this pattern is Regenerating Sonora’s participation in the Miracle on Main Street parade. A week before the parade, some of us were hanging at the Barmacy. One drink lead to another until, naturally, the question was asked by Pete Casillas, “How about we join the parade?” Even though some of our crew was busy working the event (Thank you!) we still managed to get a good group together and had a ball. Our numbers were few, yet our presence was felt and our energy contagious! 🙂 

We hosted an afterparty at Hotel Magma’s tearoom following the event and kept the good times rolling!

Party At The Pit!

A third example of bar time conversation turning into an actualized plan happened just last week with Debbie Olson and Maria Salcido. Most already know that Maria serves as a light for Pinal Avenue ever since she got her grandfather Juan’s Central Bakery up and running again with the help of her son, James. Debbie, a gifted artist in our town, has been hard at work bringing properties in the neighborhood back to life. The two of them were at Porters talking about Pinal and how revitalizing the neighborhood has the potential to ripple out and cause massive positive change. They were joined by David Guzman, Pete Casillas, and Chris Casillas who are on that same page and see Leo’s playing an important role in helping this vision along. Hardly any time passed before Debbie offered her fire pit for an informal neighborhood gathering she had been wanting to organize. Two nights later, the central fire was lit, and we enjoyed a beautiful Winter Solstice celebration around a fire.

There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning…

– Hunter S. Thompson

Looking ahead, more parties at the pit, we’re also bringing more world-class folks into town early next year, and much more to come!

Happy New Year and blessings to ALL!

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