Monthly Archives: June 2009

Summer and the beauty of fresh veggies

Sweet corn: yum!

Sweet corn: yum! (c) Marc Sheffner via Flickr

I just came back from vacation visiting my family in southern Indiana. My parents live in the same house I grew up in, and I have fond memories of the summer days when Mom and I would go back to the garden for corn. I held the pan while she plucked the ears from their stalks. We’d take them in, clean off any silks left and heated the water. We’d put the corn in the boiling water and cook just until it was tender. Some nights I think I made an entire meal from corn. To this day, I relish the fresh, just-picked sweetness of an ear of corn.

So, when I opened my e-mail this week, I had good news waiting for me: Apple Annie’s says they’re opening today! I’m anxious to get some more of those fresh veggies. That’s the beauty of summer, and the beauty of eating local foods. When you’re in Cochise County, stop by any of the farms in and near Willcox to enjoy the lush gifts from the garden!

Here’s the scoop on Apple Annie’s:

The farm will open for the season on Wednesday, June 24. We will have already picked sweet corn, summer squash, green beans, hot house tomatoes, apricots and peaches. You-pick summer squash and green beans are also available.

Apple Annie’s Produce & Pumpkins will be open daily from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. For more information and directions please visit www.appleannies .com.

If you’re looking for a reason why you should eat locally, you might want to read In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan. It makes a case for shopping at farmers markets and eating non-processed foods.

You’ll also find four farmers markets in Cochise County. Bisbee and Sierra Vista have long had farmers markets. Douglas and St. David started them just this year.


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June events

Arizona heats up in June, but southeastern Arizona has some very cool spots! Check out these events and see why it’s cool to go south in the summer.

June 12-14, GLBT Pride Weekend, Bisbee

Spend the weekend in Bisbee, and celebrate your pride. Three fun days including a street fair, leather and lace ball, pool party, music, dancing and other activities.

Details: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. in downtown Bisbee. Admission is free. For more info call 520-236-3699 or visit

June 19-21, Sabaar Shriner’s Tombstone Sweet Onion Festival, Tombstone

Enjoy a weekend with parades, costume contest, music, Taste of Tombstone and the crowning of the Onion Queen for 2009!

Details: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Allen Street in Tombstone. Admission is free. For more info call 520-457-9327 or email

June 20 & 21, Tombstone Gem Show, Tombstone

An exhibition featuring gems, jewelry, mineral specimens and fossils. Great for jewelers, hobbyists and collectors.

Details: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express in Tombstone,1001 N. Hwy 80. Admission is free. For more info, call the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-457-3929 or email them at

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July Fourth 2009 events in Cochise County

(c) sillysocks

Photo by sillysocks via Flickr

Check out the July 4th events for 2010.

July Fourth weekend is coming up. Yeah, you can go to a major city’s celebration with a million of your closest friends, but why not get out in Arizona’s wide open spaces?

You can see some unique events like the Coaster Races, baseball at a 100-year old ballpark, Benson’s water fight or Sierra Vista’s massive fireworks display. There’s plenty of firepower during Cochise County’s Fourth of July. Here’s a sample of the fun:

Benson’s July 4th Celebration

Keep cool as you watch Benson’s annual Water Fight, a competition between local volunteer fire departments. Contestants try to move a barrel on a pulley system using pressure from water hoses. The barrels slide back and forth toward the opposing team. Spectators get a refreshing soak, and the kids can play in the mud. The family fun starts with a parade through town. Live music is planned throughout the day, and a spectacular fireworks display ignites the skies at dusk.

Details: 9 a.m. parade begins; Water fights at 10 a.m. fireworks begin at dusk at Lions Park in Benson.Admission is free. For more info, visit the Benson events listing or call the Benson Visitor Center 520-586-4293.

Bisbee’s Fourth of July

Bisbee’s big day begins at 9 a.m. with the Bisbee Coaster Races down Tombstone Canyon, the oldest and longest gravity-powered race in the U.S. Between heats, runners compete in the Bisbee Iron Man Mile. A parade, watermelon eating contest and games are featured in Bisbee’s Warren district. Along the parade’s Vista Park route, food booths offer tasty morsels, and a DJ will entertain.

The afternoon features contests of skill in traditional mining activities at Brewery Gulch. Muckers let their shovels fly, digging and fill mining carts with gravel in a timed competition and hard-rock drillers vie for cash prizes. Wrap up the weekend with fireworks in the evening sky.

The Bisbee Copper Kings baseball team will come out swinging in Warren Ballpark as it hosts the 1st Annual Invitational Baseball Tournament. The tourney kicks off at the 100-year old Warren Ballpark, the nation’s oldest, where Dizzy Dean and the Babe himself have played.

Details: Events are ongoing throughout the day on July 4 in all parts of Bisbee. Admission varies per event. More info at 520-432-6016.

Bowie‘s Big 4th of July Bash

Bowie’s Fourth includes a parade, swimming contests, game booths, bingo, raffles, BBQ, jam session, dancing and more! The parade begins at 10 a.m. Admission varies depending on the activity. Call the Bowie Chamber of Commerce for more info at 520-253-0930.

Douglas 4th of July Celebrations

Douglas launches the Fourth with an invitational baseball on Friday, July 3. The Copper Kings baseball tournament will be held at the Copper King field. A parade will proceed along historic G Avenue, and a soccer tournament will be held. July Fourth festivities wrap up with an evening fireworks show. Visitors can enjoy a full day of live entertainment, food booths, games and free swimming and activities at Veterans Memorial Park. Info at 520-417-7334.

Copper King Playoffs will be held July 3 & 4 at the historic Copper King Stadium. Info at 520-417-7354.

Sierra Vista’s 42nd Annual Fourth of July Celebration

A massive fireworks display at the Stone Field Complex is the highlight of Sierra Vista’s Fourth of July celebration. In addition, enjoy the Kiwanis Street Talent Show on Friday, July 3 in Veteran’s Memorial Park along with food booths, and other entertainment. Early on Friday is the

Pets & People Parade. The official July Fourth ceremonies begin in Veteran’s Memorial Park at 11:30 a.m. Entertainment includes the 36th Army Band.

When: July 3 & 4; fireworks start promptly at 8:10 p.m., July 4 at Veterans’ Memorial Park on Fry Boulevard. Fireworks will be held at the Domingo Paiz Sports Complex, N. Coronado Drive and Tacoma Street. Admission is free. Call 520-378-4601 for more info or search the calendar on the Sierra Vista website.

July Fourth in Willcox

Join Willcox residents at this celebration as fireworks light the night sky at the Willcox High Schoolm 240 N. Bisbee Avenue. Fireworks will begin at dusk. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Call the Willcox Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture at 520-384-2272 or 1-800-200-2272 for more information.

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National Parks will offer 3 free summer weekends

Your vacation doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Want to see some really cool spots for FREE? The National Park Service announced that it will offer three free weekends this summer on June 20-21, July 18-19 and August 15-16.

Three national parks are in Cochise County. Only one charges an entrance fee.  The other are free year round.

Photo (c) National Park Service

Photo (c) National Park Service

Chiricahua National Monument: This is an amazing place. The Chiricahua Apaches called it the “land of standing up rocks.” Volcanic activity started the formations, and years of erosion have sculpted these towering spires. You can choose from 15 hikes in the park. More than 200 species of birds call the area home. Faraway Ranch is also on site. It was once a simple homestead that was a guest ranch from 1917 to 1972. Check the park’s visitor center  for tour times. Chiricahua National Monument is between Willcox and Douglas in Cochise County. Check the Chiricahua National Monument’s website for directions.

Fort Bowie National Historic Site. Copyright Luanne Mattson

Fort Bowie National Historic Site. Copyright Luanne Mattson

Fort Bowie National Historic Site: The Indian Wars of the late 1800s started with the Bascom Affair. Learn about it, and see the ruins of the Fort when you complete the 1.5 mile hike into the site. It’s a beautiful spot! Fort Bowie is accessible by a dirt road. See the National Park Service’s directions to get there.

Coronado National Memorial: This national park site commemorates the spot where Spanish explorers crossed into the U.S. Birds, hiking trails, incredible views, history and limestone caves are here. Coronado National Memorial is south of Sierra Vista in Hereford. See directions at their website.

If you want to enjoy the outdoors this summer, these are some great places to explore.

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Peace to Bisbee artist Rose Johnson

Rose Johnson, who painted Bisbee’s Peace wall, died in Jakarta, so says the Jakarta Post in a story published today.

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be the highest bidder on a chair she painted for the chair auction held by the Bisbee Women’s Club. It’s a wonderful piece that shows her whimsy and talent.

Chair painted by Bisbee artist Rose Johnson

Chair painted by Bisbee artist Rose Johnson

This chair, titled “Night,” was one of two chairs she painted for the auction. The other was a daytime scene with a sun painted on the seat. I wish I had bought both!

Johnson also painted Bisbee’s Peace Wall and the lovely mural on the Jonquil Motel. You can read more about her at the Phoenix New Times blog.

She will be sorely missed in Bisbee and in all of Arizona. Rest in Peace, Rose Johnson.


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Kartchner Caverns discounts start today

Formations in Kartchner Caverns. Photo (c) Arizona State Parks

Formations in Kartchner Caverns. Photo (c) Arizona State Parks

Today’s the day! In June, one of Cochise County’s great attractions reduces its tour prices for the summer. See my earlier post for discount details. The park is offering this price through Sept. 4, 2009.

This is a very popular tour, so you’ll probably want to make reservations. Kartchner Caverns State Park is only 9 miles south of I-10 in Benson, Arizona. It’s really easy to get there.

Plan ahead to get a reservation. this cave is one of the top 10 living caves in the world.

Browse the Arizona State Parks website for Kartchner Caverns cave tour information. Enjoy the stunning formations! For tickets, call 520-586-2283.

Want another underground experience or two? There are two mine tours in Cochise County. Tombstone has a walking tour of the Good Enough Mine, one of Ed Schiffelin’s original silver mines, and Bisbee offers tours of their famous copper mines in the Queen Mine Tour. You can also visit another Cochise County cave. Hike in the Coronado National Memorial in Sierra Vista and you can get to a limestone cave. Stop at the Forest Service’s Visitors Center for more information, and make sure you bring a good flashlight and backup batteries if you go to this cave. It’s dark in there!


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