Gary Paul Nabhan
Gary Paul Nabhan will give the keynote lecture, "Mezcal in a Time of Climate Chaos: How Agaves Can Save the World", on Saturday, June 9th at Agave Festival Marfa 2018. Of the lecture, Nabhan has stated, "Agaves, under the aliases of mezcal, maguey and century plants--have served dwellers of the desert borderlands well for over 8000 years. They have given us food, fiber, pharmaceuticals, beverages and beauty. But because of the current pace of climate change, they have become more than just a pretty face or a fancy drink. Agaves, cacti and other desert-adapted succulents will be essential to our agricultural sustainability and food security, because of their capacities to produce twice as much edible biomass on the same amount of water as maize and other grains. They will also be key to combating the epidemics of diabetes and obesity that are devastating rural communities in both Mexico and the U.S. So let agaves enrich your lives, your diets, your songs, your yards, and your field of dreams. Vivan los Mezcaleros!"
Gary Paul Nabhan has been called the Father of the Local Food Movement, and a pioneer in saving the seeds of America's rarest food and beverage plants. He is coauthor with Ana Valenzuela Zapata of Tequila: A Natural and Cultural History, and was featured in two PBS documentaries on agaves. Collecting his first agave 40 years ago, he became a plant explorer in the U.S. Southwest and Mexico while being mentored by Howard Scott Gentry, the legendary Mescalero who penned the masterwork on agaves in the Americas. Author or editor of 32 books and countless articles, Nabhan is a recipient of a MacArthur "genius" award. He was named by Utne Reader as one of 30 thought leaders who are making the world a better place to live. Nabhan, his wife and their agave "worms" live in the midst of a small orchard and agave terrace garden twelve miles north of the Mexican border in Arizona.