Episode 3: Finding nourishment with Gary Nabhan 

“We have learned to accept diversity in the many peoples around us by falling in love with their foods… that’s why I’m optimistic.”
March 16, 2022
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Welcome to In Search Of, a podcast where we go in search of voices and perspectives that inform and expand a life of faith. In this episode, Amy speaks with ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan about finding nourishment in the desert. Conversations about food sovereignty, food culture, Jesus’ parables, and the foods eaten by figures like John the Baptist and Mary of Egypt span the Middle East and the US-Mexico border in this episode of In Search Of

Gary Nabhan—also known as Brother Coyote—is an agrarian, ethnobotanist, and an Ecumenical Franciscan Brother who has written more than 30 books on food, ecology, and botany, including Food from the Radical Center and Coming Home to Eat. His most recent book is Jesus for Farmers and Fishers.

A version of this interview was published in the Christian Century.

Show Notes

  1. You can find the full poem by Rainer Maria Rilke referenced in the introduction in Rilke’s Book of Hours, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy. 

  2. Read about Amy’s desert pilgrimage in Wild Woman: A Footnote, The Desert, and My Quest for an Elusive Saint

  3. Gary Nabhan is the author of numerous books, and those referenced in this interview include Jesus for Fishers and Farmers, Mesquite, Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine, Coming Home to Eat, and Food From the Radical Center

  4. You can find the parables Gary discusses in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Read the parable of the sower.

  5. The Wisdom of the Desert, by Thomas Merton, inspired Gary in his desert work.

  6. Learn more about Gary’s work with indigenious communities along the US-Mexico border at Halting and Healing the Border Disorder.

  7. Read Gary’s article “Hard Lessons from the Border” in the Casper Star Tribune and the resolution passed by the Tohono O’Odham Legislative Council.

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