Wednesday, March 31, 2010



Welcome back & ReCAP!
Tonight we recapped where we were individually with Growing in 2010.
Who's growing what?:

Anna- Strawberries & Tomatoes (sweet100)
Bitsy- Butternut SquashBritony- Peach, Orange, Lime & Plum trees
Christina B.- Spinach
Christina D.- Peppers & Herbs
Jackie- Strawberries, Sweet Basil, Chives & Cilantro
Kelly- Tomatoes & Cilantro
Kerry- Herbs(Dill,Mint,Oregano), Leeks
Maggie- Herbs
Marissa- Squash
Michelle J.- Tomatoes & Peas
Michelle N.- Cucumbers
Ricki- Arugula & Garlic
Shauna- Garlic, Cilantro, Basil & Mint
Even though we are supporting our local and organic farmers weekly, our very own Kristin (who is skyping in from WI) volunteered to put together a cheat sheet for us to use when shopping in the super markets.

We are committed to learning what companies we want to support and which we DO NOT want to support.
I've updated last week's blog with more contact info to hunt through, read & research. Don't forget to post your comments, updates, findings and recommendations on this blog for others to see!
There will be no meeting next Wednesday because we are meeting the following Saturday, April 10th, to do the School Garden Tour. 12 Valley schools are opening up their gardens.
Our girlie Ricki Weiner will be the contact for this "field trip". She can be reached at & she will be calling each member of Growing in 2010 individually to plan and organize for that event.
You can find more information regarding this event at or by adding Slow Food USA & Slow Food Phoenix to your facebook.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Watch ME Grow!!!!


Yes! This is what happens when we are involved! Don't be jealous! :)

Tonight was full of LOVE! Love this group and love watching it grow! We spent the first part of the night talking about the film FOODINC. and how we felt about it and how it made us feel when watching it! We took a little time to review some facts we took away from seeing it and also discussed the businesses and people that were part of it. We are still "digesting" it and researching it's avenues, but the discussion was a great start.

  • Polyface Farms- Obviously, they do not ship anywhere! Virginia - Joel & Teresa Salatin - owners. #504-887-8194. Their mission: To develop emotionally, economically, environmentally enhancing agricultural enterprises and facilitate their duplication throughout the world. They do tours and seminars.
  • Natural Products Expo- Education & Events . . .Trade show. #866-458-4935 & 303-390-1776. They are affiliated with New Hope natural media. . It is 30 years old this year.
  • Stonyfield Farm- Healthy Food-Healthy People-Healthy Planet-"The Future is Green". Gary Hirshberg is the CEO and founder - this company started off small and organic. Online videos on their site of how their dairy products are made. #1-800-PRO-COWS - New Hampshire.
  • Lilac Ridge Farms- Stonyfield's supplier. Sheep & goat farm. Wisconsin.


  • Smithfield-slaughterhouse-Tar Heel North Carolina. Click here and choose for yourself.
  • Tyson Meats, formerly IBP (Iowa Beef Processors, Inc.) The butchering industries have really lost their standards and ethics here! Wikipedia reference here but still still need to watch FOODINC., Fast Food Nation, and other docs to understand their lack of ethics and humanity.
  • Monsanto-St. Louis Missouri-They invented "round up" & "seed saving" as to paton their own soybean & they have "genetically modified crops".

***Contacts from movie***

  • Troy Roush-VP of America's Corn Growers Association.
  • Moe Parr-Seed Cleaner from Indiana.

Our very own Christina DeCarlo said it best, "The articles are exhaustive on how they are poisoning our food supply.Very eye-opening. Happy reading!"

Here is how we can take immediate action!

  • Ask a food company to go GE free!
  • Email a politician.
  • Talk to local media.

Edible Communities Site READ READ READ & READ!

After that, we went downstairs from my condo to look at the supplies I bought for my "container" / "balcony" gardening that I will be doing and also looked at my outside composting spot. I took about 15 minutes to do a mini-lecture on gardening - honestly, I just parroted all that I learned from this awesome guy named Kris at the Lowe's on Hayden & McDowell. Go there - tell him you are part of our group - he is great and very helpful and extremely knowledgeable! In short, it's easy! Just getting into it & with it is the most challenging . . . one reminder from Kris - don't forget even missing one day of watering in AZ!!

Little side note: Our very own Jami Thompson has stimulated and is organizing efforts to grow a "Corporate garden at work" at Kahala Corp. in AZ! Way to go Jami - this is huge and very inspiring! Also - our very own Anna Jones is working to make P.E. at the office an option and a priority in corporate America! Inquire here!!!

As an added bonus, we had one of my favorite people & dearest friends, Kristin Hannah Skype in from Lake Geneva Wisconsin!!! She will definitely be a HUGE contribution to this group - I can't wait to see this group continue to "GROW"! xo

So - moving on!!! See ya next week! ;)

Friday, March 19, 2010


This was an extremely educational film! Not at all what we expected, but very insightful in terms of looking behind the scenes when you decided to make land your garden!

At first I thought I would mention all the details and facts of this film in chronological order, but that would take away from the power of watching it.

The story of THE GARDEN reminds us to pay attention to the history of the land we chose and also to the people in our community, District and City Council that have pull and power over the way the land is used and steered. Mainly this film tells us just that - to pay attention.

It is really fun to be taking a little time everyday and every week to learn about the topic of gardening and the heart beat that comes with it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Somewhere between our brains and reality is the act of composting!

We conquered two things!!

First: Pick a veggie or fruit that you want to make yours!

We looked through the native produce of AZ and each of us picked something that we wanted to plant and grow - mine . . . garlic and zucchini blossoms!

Second: We had a lesson on composting!

Holy mother, this is not going to be easy! Trying to learn all the angles of being a gardener . . . incorporate it into our already set ways . . . and make these new steps parts of our regular daily schedule!??!! It's taking effort, but the VISION is there. We definitely see the bigger picture so we're doing what it takes, one little step at a time! We're going to get a bunch of little diamonds from this rough. :)

Last year, I met Taylor Storey, a garden and landscape coach. He has a great blog called The Desert Garden. He taught me that composting provides you with fertilizer and organic material that improves the structure of your soil.

Composting is made up of 4 ingredients:

1) CARBON: TP cardboard rolls, wood chips, dried leaves, straw, shredded paper, twigs, sticks, hay, coffee filters.

2) NITROGEN: kitchen fruit and vegetable waste, egg shells, coffee grounds. (NO meat, dairy, or fish products...and no eggs themselves) Lawn clippings (from the mowed grass etc.)

3) AIR: You need to turn your compost weekly.

4) WATER: You need to water your compost, and it should feel like a squeezed damp sponge.

In our modern day lives, this is still an option that we can make work. By contacting the City of Phoenix at the Durango Dump (their contact information can be found via the waste management website) we can purchase a reusable trash tub that they put many holes in the bottom of and can be used for composting...I think for as little as $5. The smaller containers for daily use with lids for your kitchen can be found at Target online or at Smith and Hawken stores for a little more pricey. William Sonoma is carrying them as well!

Our friend Anna's boyfriend may be helping us make little containers for compost so we can contain and turn it properly . . . this will be useful for the girls that have smaller areas and are just trying to learn how to compost but may not be getting the bigger tubs or bins!

I will be staking out a small area by the pool at my condo to make my garden, and another area near my concrete wall for my composting - this is going to be interesting!
**On a side note . . .Our frind Jami found this site for people who are limited on "space" and want a "container garden".
And our friend Maggie reminded to mention the organization Bountiful Baskets . . .this is a co-op set-up through local farmers . . . they put together bountiful baskets of veggies and fruits that are seasonal, and for anywhere from $15-$25 you can simply and quickly swing by a location that is close to you and grab a pre-made basket . . this makes it convenient if you are not able to take the time or get the time to go to the farmers market - they make it easy and affordable for you to support the local growers, eat healthy, and be quick!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Getting Dirty! ;)

"Hungry for a Change!"

Up and running!

This year we are going to learn and understand where our food comes from!

We are going to become proactive in the pioneering of having, growing and eating fresh fruits and veggies - locally, organically . . .even from our own households. We are going to learn locally, nationally and globally about our food sources, and together, lead by example in the choices and decisions we make and the actions we take when it comes to purchasing and eating our food!

School Gardens, and Community Gardens will be our true focus!

There is a vision - AND WE SEE IT - to have healthy foods in our schools and fresh resources in our communities! By next year this time we will have done the research and gotten the education that it takes to make major changes and immense growth in this arena! We will start here - with ourselves - and we will support one another in this beautiful journey!

There is a lot to learn and we are utilizing the systems that are already in place- 1( 877)ask- agca is phenomenal (Bill Maynard - VP - (916)508-6026, - their motto, "A growing National Movement."

Looking into amazing examples of community gardens at work. such as Atlanta Urban Gardening Program (Bobby Wilson - - (407)762-4087 - ) and many more!

There is a local school garden tour put on by Slow Food Phoenix, and Teal Hotchkiss - April 10th - - we plan on attending!

Three videos on the Horizon for our group:

1) Food Inc. "Hungry for a Change." Documentary that discusses issues on finding local organic foods, diabetes and obesity, factory farming, pesticides, environmental impacts, global food crises, foodborne illnesses, nutritional labels, farm worker protection and labeling. This documentary exposes America's industrialized food system and its effect on our environment, health, and economy. This will help to learn about these issues - the site shows you how you can take action through the Hungry for a Change Cafeteria and also gives steps for making positive changes in your eating habits! You can also learn more about this through .

2) Nourishing the Kids of Katrina, the edible schoolyard - This has won many accolades and awards and is a documentary of renowned chef Alice Waters Berkeley contributions to the rebirth of New Orleans poor black Green Charter School after the devastation from Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters. .

3) The Garden, a film by Scott Hamilton Kennedy. This film has earned awards from LA to FL - "From the ashes of the LA riots arose a 14 acre community garden, the largest of its kind in the United States. Now bulldozers threaten its future. If everyone told you to give up, would you?" .

You can go to to see what fruits and veggies are native of Arizona and when they are grown! Each of us will be growing some produce this year so we can get our fingers dirty, learn the basics together, and contribute to one another!

We will actively be supporting out local farmer's markets. Not all are on the site so if you know of any that are missing please comment below!

Click the links - watch the first movie - see ya next week! I am excited!!!