Planting trees and discovering the cool side of Tucson

Learn about trees from the Arbor Day Foundation; plus, a few things worth checking out in Tucson, Ariz.

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Never too late
National Arbor Day was April 27, but it’s not too late to learn about planting trees. For a $3 donation, the Arbor Day Foundation will send you a handy tree-care booklet, called Conservation Trees—filled with “illustrations, colorful photos and easily understood descriptions”—aimed at helping people correctly plant and take care of trees.

Conservation Trees is an ideal resource for tree planters throughout the country,” said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. “It is important that people know how to properly plant and care for their trees.”

Rosenow added that “[t]aking care of existing trees is just as critical as planting new ones. Trees clean the air, keep our water sources pure and conserve energy.”

Conservation Trees offers information on pruning trees, as well as tips on using shade trees and windbreaks to save on energy costs, and choosing trees to attract songbirds.

Tucson bike racks: Public art meets practicality.

Photo By photo by christine g.k. lapado

To get the booklet, send your name and address and a check for $3 to: Conservation Trees, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE 68410.

Cool stuff in Tucson
As I write this column, I am spending my last couple of days in Tucson, Ariz., where I have discovered some interesting things alongside the many smoke shops, pawn shops and “estilo Sonora” hot-dog vendors that inhabit the streets of this sprawling desert city.

Two food places so thoroughly caught my attention that I have gone back for more: Mother Hubbard’s Café (14 West Grant Road) and Tazzina di Gelato (5420 East Broadway Boulevard, ). Mother Hubbard’s is a small restaurant located in one of Tucson’s many strip malls that serves what it describes as “Native American comfort food,” made from scratch. On my first visit, I had a savory Pueblo green corn waffle—a cornmeal waffle into which were cooked kernels of yellow corn and pieces of green chile. No syrup, no butter. On the plate next to the waffle were two over-medium eggs nestled in a thick, glorious bed of snappy red-chile sauce. Serious yum! My second visit I enjoyed a Las Cruces—a stack of unrolled asada (beef) enchiladas smothered in spicy green-chile sauce and cheese, with house-made beans. Do check out Mother Hubbard’s if you’re in Tucson.

Likewise for Tazzina di Gelato, which serves the best gelato I have ever eaten (and is located in another, newer strip mall). Tazzina di Gelato features freshly made, divinely delicious gelato made by a pair of rocking gelato masters, Leslie and Peter Miller, who learned their craft in Bologna, Italy. So far, I have tried: Mexican Coffee, Salted Caramel Brownie, Key Lime Pie, Pistachio, Chocolate Cake, Cookie Monster, Vanilla Bean, Lemon Sorbetto, Stracciatella and Chocolate Chipotle (my fave). On my horizon: Ricotta with Figs, Gianduja (chocolate-hazelnut) and Frutta di Bosco.

Also, check out the bike racks (pictured) at Reid Park Zoo (1100 South Randolph Way). A combination of public art and functionality, these racks, which feature metal-art depictions of animals and desert plants, are worthy of emulation (Chico Arts Commission, take note).

Mad cow in Hanford If I were a cow living on a factory farm in the San Joaquin Valley, I think I would be driven mad, too.