Workshop: Backyard Beekeeping

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 4.30.45 PM

An Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping:  Intended for those who are new to beekeeping, this class will go over the basic requirements to start your own backyard hive.  We will go over local rules and regulations, initial cost and setup, safety measures, and basic maintenance.

About Kim Desoto: I am a homesteading enthusiast living in downtown Phoenix where I keep bees and chickens with my husband.  I am a certified master gardener and also an ambassador for the local non-profit The Valley Permaculture Alliance which focuses on sustainable living in the desert southwest.

This workshop is FREE but registration is required.

$10 suggested donation day of workshop.

Reserve your seat and find more details  here.

Market Workshop: Native Seeds/SEARCH

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 12.50.32 PM

The temperatures may be scorching this time of year but there are still many vegetables that can thrive in your garden! The monsoon season is the traditional time to plant in the low desert of the Sonoran Desert. Melissa Kruse-Peeples from Native Seeds/SEARCH. will discuss several different varieties of monsoon appropriate seeds such as tepary beans, chiles, tomatos, cowpeas, suqash, and more. Many of the varieties discussed have been grown here for thousands of years and are well adapted to our harsh conditions and thrive with little water and hot weather. Guests will be able to enter a drawing to take home seeds from Native Seeds/SEARCH to plant this monsoon season. Handouts about aridlands gardening will be provided.

Melissa is the Education Coordinator for Native Seeds/SEARCH, a non-profit seed conservation organization based in Tucson. Formerly the Conservation Manager for this organization, she has worked intimately on preserving hundreds of rare crop varieties that offer valuable characteristics for sustainable agriculture in aridlands. She received her PhD in anthropology from Arizona State University where she studied sustainable water harvesting and soil management techniques of ancient indigenous agriculture of the Southwest. After a brief stint down south, she has returned to the valley and continues to work for Native Seeds/SEARCH offering workshops and learning opportunities about seed saving, gardening in the desert, and the history of Southwestern agriculture.

This workshop is FREE but registration is required.

$10 suggested donation day of workshop.  Register here..

Local First Arizona Shops Local On A Budget

Image: Brandi Porter

Image: Brandi Porter

Price is a big factor when it comes to making your weekly grocery list.  So Sarah Schenck of Local First Arizona helps to dispel the myth that farmers markets are unaffordable.  Her groceries for the week came to $36.  This budget is based upon the average SNAP benefit recipients receive a week.  “Read The Full Story” to see her shopping list suggestion and meal plan.  You can also read her 7 Tips For Eating Local.

Still, the real value of shopping local foods is supporting your community.  For every dollar spent locally .73 stays within the local economy versus only .43 spent with a non-local business.  Most of the produce at the market is grown less than 10-miles away from where you come to shop. That means it is freshly picked, nutrient rich, and full of flavor.  Best of all, you can actually talk with the growers themselves, run into neighbors and meet family for a morning out at the market.

“Read The Full Story” to see LFA’s Market Shopping List.

Read the full story »

Importance of Supporting Local Growers & Producers

WhyMarkets_2015_Page1

Local food system practices such as farmers’ markets are directly tied to place and time as well as social, economical, ethical and physical systems within which they are located.  On both a community and individual scale, farmers’ markets can assist in sustaining human health and wellbeing.

Farmers’ markets encourage local food security through their promotion and support of local food production. The more food that is grown in Phoenix, the more the residents of the area will be buffered in the event of disruptions of long distance food supply such as weather events or political instabilities. Local food production and distribution can assist in fostering food security for the local region.  Farmers’ markets can be a way of supporting the economic viability of producers who wish to operate outside of the industrial food system (Lapping, 2004). By providing producers with opportunities to sell their goods locally, farmers’ markets enable them to operate in a way they consider ethical, while opening a path for others to do so as well.  Through reducing the distance that food is transported, farmers’ markets decrease “food miles”. The distance food takes to travel is directly related to the amount of fossil fuels required to get it there.

On a broader level, farmers’ markets can support the health of communities through emphasizing a ‘healthy-community’ approach in their operations. With this approach, decisions are made with the aim of improving the wellbeing of the community as a whole.  Farmers’ markets can encourage human wellbeing through various means. One way they can accomplish this is through educating consumers about health. The type of food that is offered at farmers’ markets can also sustain human health.

Farmers’ markets also support the local economy through what Lapping (2004) describes as the ‘multiplier effect.’ This phenomenon occurs when money spent at farmers’ markets is circulated in the community, leading to multiplying effects within the local economy. In addition, farmers’ markets are able to cater to niche and specialty markets such as the needs of senior citizens and ethnic communities. The direct interaction that local producers have with their customers means they are able to immediately determine and respond to consumers’ needs.

The interactions between producers and consumers at farmers’ markets often go beyond economic capital gains and can lead to ‘social capital’ formation. Social capital is based on the premise that social networks have value. It refers to the “collective value of all social networks and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other” (Putnam, 2000).  The capacity to come together creates a social space where community, friendships and social networking are fostered. This social space was important for producers in the study.

https://crcresearch.org/case-studies/crc-case-studies/farmers-markets-and-local-food-systems

Crop of the Week: Cilantro

bunch-of-cilantro

1. Also called coriander, Chinese parsley and Mexican parsley, cilantro has a strong, sage, citrus
flavor that many find irresistible. In general, herbs should be fresh looking, crisp and brightly colored.
2. Cilantro is probably one of the first herbs to be used by mankind, perhaps going back as far back
as 5000 BC. It is mentioned in early Sanskrit writings dating from about 1500 BC. The Romans spread it throughout Europe, and it was one of the first spices to arrive in America.
3.The leaves have a very different taste from the seeds. Some people instead perceive an unpleasant “soapy” taste and/or a rank smell. This perception is believed to be a result of an enzyme
that changes the way they taste cilantro, a genetic trait, but has yet to be fully studied.
4. Cilantro has been used as a folk medicine for the relief of anxiety and insomnia in Iranian folk
medicine.

Read the full story »

Market Workshop: Harvesting Rainwater

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 2.10.05 PM

Monsoon season will be here before we know it, so this season discover how to Harvest Rainwater with Valley Permaculture Alliance.  Lindsay Ignatowski, from Watershed Management Group., will be discussing rainwater and greywater and how to determine what you are able to use.  Guests will leave understanding the landscape around them and how to reduce water use by utilizing alternative water.

This workshop is free to the public, but please RSVP Here so we can ensure you have a seat.

Meet Lindsay Ignatowski
Program Coordinator and Development Associate, Watershed Management Group

Lindsay is a Certified Water Harvesting Practitioner and holds a Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois. Previously, she studied Spanish and Linguistics at the University of Kansas, and studied abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica. A member of WMG’s Phoenix branch, she coordinates the Hydrate educational program and Green Living Co-op. Lindsay is passionate about building community by connecting people to resources and helps share WMG’s mission through hands-on workshops, social media, and educational events. She specializes in providing education on water budgets, hands-on learning activities, and helping people apply water-harvesting principles to their own homes.

Mesquite Harvesting Workshop

10374486_883223301748167_7783619786227592591_n

Mesquite tree bean pods from the three common species – honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), screwbean mesquite (Prosopis pubescens) and velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina) – are some of our desert’s greatest edible treasures. Mesquite flour has a low glycemic index and is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc. Saguaro fruits boast high vitamin C, B12, and dietary fiber.

Join Valley Permaculture Alliance at the Phoenix Public Maret to learn how to harvest ripe pods and store them until you are ready to mill or grind the beans. This is an onsite talk and demonstration, designed to teach you to harvest from the mesquite trees you might have in your yard or neighborhood. Come prepared to share your favorite Mesquite and native food recipes with the other participants, if you know a good one.

The workshop will be followed by a cooking demonstration by Chef Aaron Chamberlin.

This workshop is free, but per-registration is required.  Get your tickets here.

Read the full story »

Green Living in the Desert

IMG_3345_130725At the Phoenix Public Market we are dedicated to sustainable living and embracing our natural environment here in the desert.  Our mission is to encourage and inform our community about the benefits of a simpler lifestyle and to teach the importance of protecting our natural environment.  Sustainable living can seem overwhelming at times, but can actually make your life easier and help you save money.   Taking a look at our current lifestyles and making small changes can go a long way.  We are here to support those steps.

In the desert start with reducing our waste, eating native foods and harvesting water.   Read more to discover where to begin, what you can learn at the market and how to support a Greener Desert.

Also, this weekend check out our workshop: Harvesting Nopal.  More details here.

Read the full story »

Spring Workshop Series: Harvesting Nopal

healthy kids flyer

March 19: Harvesting Nopal Workshop & Demonstration

Monika Woolsey of Hip Veggies will be at the market teaching guests about Harvesting Nopal.

Did you know, there are over 1,000 edible plants in the Sonoran Desert? And that one of them, the prickly pear, or nopal, has been a staple vegetable in indigenous diets for centuries? Did you know this plant has been found to have multiple health benefits?  Come learn why Nopal is more than just a pretty landscaping face!

Pre-registration is required HERE A suggested donation of $10 can be made day of workshop.

This Spring learn about Harvesting in the Sonoran Desert at the Phoenix Public Market!  Mark for your calendars April 9th for our Harvesting Mesquite Workshop and Demonstration, with Kate Radosevic from Valley Permaculture Alliance.

Read the full story »

What is CSA?

Did you know most of our farmers offer CSA Programs? You can find more from Blue Sky Organic Farms , Crooked Sky Farms, Gila Farms, and Maya’s Farm.

a39ec0_50e04eadcd55440b896aec3b08a03908

So what is CSA? 

CSA Stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA allows city residents to have direct access to high quality, fresh produce grown locally by regional farmers. When you become a member of a CSA, you’re purchasing a “share” of vegetables from a regional farmer.  Typically the “share” consists of a box of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season, but other farm products may be included.

This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer.  Read More and learn how this benefits the farmers and consumers.

Read the full story »