For at least a year, Joyce Rychener worked on plans for gardens at historic Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley.

Now, they're being put to use.

Since June, Rychener, education coordinator for the Oro Valley Historical Society, has been out at the Northwest ranch working diligently on her Native American Garden, inspired and modeled after the Hohokam's agricultural styles.

Friends and volunteers have been working during the early hours of the day, getting 60-day Tohono O'odham corn, tepary beans and squash to start growing, all while keeping true to traditional methods. Native Seeds, Southwestern Endangered Aridland Resource Clearing House provided the seeds.

To make sure the plants take to the soil and animals do not get into the garden, Rychener said she has been out at the garden seven days a week, keeping an eye on things.

Rychener is looking forward to use of the garden for educational purposes. She hopes to educate students from all grade levels on agriculture, art, water conservation and history, all through using the garden as a teaching tool.

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