Abundance is All Around Us: Unique approaches to gardening from the Valley's leading innovators
Feb 28, 2014 08:57AM
● By By Eric Sells
To celebrate our Food & Garden theme, Natural Awakenings surveyed some of the area’s leading innovators to find out what readers could learn about managing and enjoying their own gardens.
Brothers Joseph and David Martinez produce small batches of select microgreens packed with intense flavor and vital nutrients in their Cave Creek greenhhouse. They say, “We focus on the local market. Microgreens started popping up six years ago, and the marketing is dominated by a few companies working with national and international distributors.”
The brothers are guided by a commitment to local, sustainable practices and use only organic seeds and organic soil from trusted, reliable sources. They have developed a growing practice that goes beyond zero waste and demonstrates the potential for symbiotic design in urban food systems.
For more information, call 602-459-1980 or visit ArizonaMicrogreens.com.
CorpCROP delivers a solution for companies that want to cut healthcare costs, get their employees moving and help the community. Founder and Managing Director Jennifer Klafin states, “We provide a sustainable wellness program that combines edible gardens with social collaboration, game mechanics and the community to create more productive employees through improving morale, happiness and health.”
Focusing on businesses that have sitting-intensive jobs and computer heavy jobs, CorpCROP offers a turnkey solution for employers. If the company is leasing the property, they work with the property manager in locating outdoor space for the garden.
For more information, call 480-200-4800 or visit CorpCrop.com.
PHX Renews, in downtown Phoenix, comprises the largest transformation of vacant land in the country. It is all about improving the urban landscape and uplifting communities by promoting social and artistic spaces, reduced crime, improved health and increased property values.
The initiative, a partnership with nonprofit Keep Phoenix Beautiful, the city of Phoenix, and Barron Collier Companies, owners of the property, provides local therapeutic and sustainable food sources for those in need, free education about food, energy, water and waste, job skills and vocational training.
Executive Director Tom Waldeck says upcoming projects include an onsite structure demonstrating solar technology, an additional 80 garden plots being installed, a partnership with Native Health to develop 15 acres, and a day of action with The Clinton Global Initiative University.
For more information, call 602-262-4620 or visit KeepPhxBeautiful.org.
The Urban Farm
Greg Peterson and the experts at Urban Farm have created a free, downloadable planting calendar for growing food in the desert. Also find a free Urban Farming ebook based on Peterson’s 30-year journey in transforming his home into an urban farm on the website.
For more information, call 602-248-9256 or visit UrbanFarm.org.
Desert Roots Farm CSA
Promote local food production by shopping at a farmers’ market or joining a community supported agriculture (CSA) subscription farm and sharing in the bounty of farm-fresh, organic produce. A farmer offers “shares”, and buyers receive a box, bag or basket of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.
For more information, call 602-751-0655 or visit DesertRootsFarm.com.
Southwest Institute of Healing Arts
Urban Farming and Conscious Living is a star certificate program at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA), a nationally accredited private college and community healing center. Its Urban Farming courses are available both online and on their Tempe campus. Courses include Sustainability and Conscious Living, Field-to-Fork and Seed-to-Sale.
For more information, call 480-994-9244 or visit swiha.edu.