Linking Edible Arizona Forests - LEAF On The UA Campus






About LEAF on the UA Campus

LEAF (Linking Edible Arizona Forests) is a project that allows the community to get involved with planting, conserving, and using edible trees in Arizona. LEAF on the UA Campus is with the statewide LEAF Network. UA LEAF focuses on harvesting and using fruit from the University of Arizona Campus. 


The University of Arizona main campus in Tucson has almost 8,000 mature trees growing in the landscape. While each of these trees contribute environmental and human health benefits, about 1,800 of them also produce potentially edible products such as fruit, nuts, and pods. Olive, citrus, mesquite, oak, pinion, and date trees are among the dozen campus species that can be harvested for local food. Previously, these fruits, nuts, and seeds were going largely unutilized. LEAF on the UA campus is changing that. 


Supported by the UA Green Fund, LEAF on the UA Campus launched during the 2013-2014 academic year. LEAF aims to develop harvesting plans for several varieties of the edible trees on campus. The LEAF Network's mission is "Linking people with the benefits of edible trees, and edible trees with the stewardship of people". The idea is to increase the use and sustainability of edible trees in the state's urban and community forests--and now on the UA campus as well. 


This project encourages the community, students, and volunteers to participate in harvesting edible trees on the University of Arizona campus. To learn more about harvesting programs, visit the pages below.


 Visit LEAF on the UA Campus on Facebook!


 Follow LEAF on Twitter! 


Campus Harvesting Programs:


Olive Harvest

 With the abundance of historic olive trees on campus, we felt that this was a natural place to begin our campus harvest effort. Students and volunteers can be a part of University of Arizona history by harvesting olive trees in the fall. 


Citrus Harvest

During the Spring semester, the LEAF network focuses on harvesting the colorful and mouth-puckering citrus from over 250 trees located right on campus with the help of collaborators and volunteers. The team has been successful harvesting through spring and into summer when they have used the produce to make and sell calamondin-pomegranate jam. To learn how to make this delicious, local treat watch the video


Pomegranate Harvest

Pomegranates are great additions to the landscape for their ornamental and edible uses. Many people are not aware that the UA campus has beautiful pomegranate trees that can be harvested!



UA LEAF Interns worked to adapt recipes for both olive oil and citrus fruits. You can make these recipes with Bear Down Olive Oil or citrus that you harvest!

Recipes will be posted soon.



LEAF is financially supported by the UA Green Fund. The UA Green Fund creates opportunities for students and employees to test innovative solutions to challenges in renewable energy, energy and water efficiency, waste reductions, and environmental sustainability, education, research, and outreach. Collaborators include the Campus Arboretum, Dining Services, and Facilities Management. LEAF on the UA Campus has partnered with Iskashitaa Refugee Network, who beginning in Fall 2015 will take the leadership responsibility for campus harvests with administrative support through the UA School of Natural Resources


Media Coverage:

Tucson Weekly - UA Food Savers

Fields of Hope - How Refugees To America Are Building A Life In The Farms Of America

Gleaning Tucson

Helping Make Tucson A Better Place

Memo From President Ann Weaver Hart - 2015

Edible Baja- UA Olives Become Oil for All

Edible Baja- From Olive Us

UA News- 2014 Olive Harvest

The Daily Wildcat- 2013 Olive Harvest

Arizona Daily Star- 2013 Olive Harvest