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BikeLife Tucson 25 For more info about how to harvest and enjoy wild native food plants including harvest tours on foot or bike visit To learn more about planting with ideal wild native food plants and utilizing rainwater visit For tips on planning a Porch Fest head to facebook.comtucsonporch- fest. This article was edited to fit for BikeLife Tucson. To view the full article visit tucsonaz.govprojects bicycle-boulevards. Picking street-side prickly pear fruit. Photo by Brad Lancaster grown they have reduced summer tem- peratures by 10 F within their shade. This encourages more walking biking and community interaction because it is now comfortable and enjoyable to be out in the public realm. We were so successful with our plan- ning along the streets that we decided to take it into the streets. A Pima Coun- ty Neighborhood Reinvestment grant enabled us to fund in-street water-har- vesting traffic-calming chicanes traffic circles or round-a-bouts and public art. Plantings both along and in the street may include food-bearing native plants such as desert ironwoods foothills palo verdes velvet mesquites which have the best-tasting pods prickly pear wolfberries and hackberries. Walking and bicycling are the best ways to see when things are ready for harvest. When harvesting that bounty you see and meet more people you get to know them and housing developments of strangers transform into communities of friends and neighbors. Then theres the music on the porch in the starlight. Open front porches rather than closed garage doors or walls facing these shaded public walk- waysfloodways further connect people visually and socially and they also help drop crime rates. I love hearing and seeing my neighbors playing instru- ments on their porches. I get even more of this experience when our neighborhood puts on a Porch Fest. This is when people host an afternoon or evening of free front porch concerts with various bands throughout the neighborhood. One of the best ways to experience a Porch Fest is by bike But perhaps best of all for me is how green infrastructure like this makes my community and me more alive healthy and happy. It starts with a few folks coming together to bring more regener- ative life to their yards streets and city policy in a way that inspires others to do the sameand more. Infectious en- hancement. Contagious life and living. This all makes me want to jump on my bike with friends and get into it Brad Lancaster grew up in Tucson and is the author of the award-win- ning book Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond. He helps individuals and communities around the world enhance the ecological systems they depend on with simple integrated practices such as water-harvesting wild food plantings and passive solar design. He is often spotted riding his Xtracycle cargo bicycle around town and to local trailheads as it makes the journey just as fun as the destination. A newly constructed water-harvesting chicane and a water-harvesting traffic circle behind along a bicycle boulevard just after a summer storm. Reproduced with permission from Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond Volume 1 2nd Edition. Front porch music at DunbarSpring neighborhood. Photo by Brad Lancaster