A thousand years ago, the Hohokam irrigated this desert valley by digging canals outwards from the river, and planting plots of drought-tolerant vegetables that they watered whenever possible, which sometimes was not very often. This morning, I cycled through an area known to have been one of their stomping grounds, west from the Pueblo Grande Museum (under appreciated and under visited, in my book) to downtown, to go to the Phoenix Public Market in search of tepary beans, which was one of the crops grown by those early irrigation specialists. Some of today's SRP canals follow the same course as the canals dug by the Hohokam, by the way.
I didn't find the teparies right away, but that was fine, since the search allowed me to see most of the stands at the market. I picked up some chocolate chip cookies made with mesquite flour (another southwest bean product) from Adge's Urban Farm, ate a gyro platter with fresh tabouli and garlic-rich tzatziki sauce, and bought some grass-fed all natural buffalo patties from Arizona Buffalo Company. As I browsed the delicious local produce, I sipped a triple espresso from the coffee shop inside the market. It's my kind of place, where people take the time to stop and talk to one another, where strangers invite you to pet their dogs, and notice things like that you rode your bike there, and ask questions like how far, how was the ride, what kind of bike is that, and so on.
Who's a Good Boy?
I found the tepary beans inside, after asking the extraordinarily informative woman at the information desk where they might be. I bought a bag of white and a bag of black, and I plan to slow-cook them with onions, garlic, cumin, pepper, with fresh cilantro and some sour cream at the end. I bet they'll turn out OK that way. :)
Obligatory Westward Ho Shot
It was a lovely ride downtown this morning. Cyclists are always understandably bagging on drivers, but I have to say, I encountered some extraordinarily polite and accommodating drivers on the streets of Phoenix this morning. Through about twenty miles of urban street riding, I took the lane many times, and in every case was not crowded or honked at. And when the light rail boffins include in their designs and constructions bike lanes like the ones below, with signage and signals that detect bikes, life is pretty good. Thank you, light rail boffins! Get up. Go ride.
Almost Separate Bike Lanes