Mesquite pods from the native mesquite trees.

    Ciolim with mixed beans 

Whole mesquite pods are ground             ​ into nutrient rich flour

The San Xavier Cooperative Association (SXCA) Wild Foods Community Harvest Program works with the local community to learn how to harvest, process and prepare traditional wild Sonoran desert foods in a cultural and environmentally healthy way. Moving to a more traditional diet will help individuals and families combat food related illnesses, and making these foods more accessible is one way to achieve that goal. This program provides hands on training to easily incorporate these foods into a daily routine for the health and well being of everyone.

This program also provides an opportunity for tribal members to sell these foods through the SXCA Farm distribution channels which earns extra income and stimulates economic development around these healthy foods in San Xavier. These are foods that require only the natural rainfall to survive which is key for resiliency of the people in the desert southwest.

Ciolim Harvest Workshop Dates
 (dependent on seasonality)

Sunday, April 28


Sunday, May 5  

7:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Everyone must register in advance.

Call the farm to reserve your spot: 520.295.3774

What to Expect

Everyone will learn picking, processing and preparation of ciolim. Meet at the farm at 7AM for an introduction and continental breakfast. Travel a short distance to the harvest site. You will have to provide your own transportation to the nearby harvest site or carpool with another participant. Learn proper harvest and safety. Do some harvesting and return to the farm with the freshly picked ciolim. Back at the farm we will learn proper processing methods, including: removing spines, blanching and drying. You will be sent home with a sample of the ciolim to share with your family.

After attending a ciolim harvest workshop, T.O. tribal members and members of O’odham sister tribes will be certified to participate in the farms Ciolim ‘Pay by the Pound’ program. Workshop is free to T.O. and sister tribe members. All other participants attend for educational purposes only and the fee is $75. Everyone must register in advance. 

The farm will supply some 5-gallon buckets, gloves and tongs for harvesting. If possible, please bring your own buckets, gloves and tongs so there are enough for everyone. A standard 5-gallon bucket, leather gloves and kitchen/grill tongs work well. 

Ciolim ‘Pay by the Pound’ Program

T.O. Tribal Members and members of T.O. sister tribes: if you plan to participate in the ‘Pay by the Pound’ program you must first register for and attend one of the two ciolim workshops. Register first by calling the farm 520.295.3774. Final day to register will be the day before the workshop. Once members of T.O. nation and T.O. sister tribes have taken a workshop you will be certified to sell ciolim directly to the farm for $3/pound.  

Collection Times: The farm will accept bulk ciolim Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 8am – 10am until the season ends. 

Group Fundraising Opportunities

Community and youth groups from T.O Nation and T.O. sister tribes are encouraged to participate in the ‘Pay by the Pound’ program to raise money to support your important work. All individuals who will be collecting and selling ciolim must attend a harvest workshop first.  Youth groups must have an adult group representative 18 years or older to be on site during collection times. The group should also have a bank account so the farm can write a check directly to your group.  Please email us with any questions at all about how your group can get involved: