We are challenging you, our Loyal Local friends, to a Chili Throw Down.
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With all the local marketplaces and events this time of year, those of us who are embedded in our community of local do-ers and movers don’t necessarily need an annual tradition boosted by a credit card company to remember the importance of supporting local economy. Still, Small Business Saturday is another one of those special days each year that we love, appreciate, and look forward to.
According to the National Retail Federation, about 164 million consumers are expected to shop on Black Friday in 2017. For the seventh year, Small Business Saturday plans to redirect some of those shoppers to local businesses across the country rather than big-box retailers. For every $100 spent at a local business, $43 stays in local economy, whereas only $13 stays in local economy if spent at a non-locally-owned business.
Eleanor Dziuk knew there were plenty of beekeepers in Arizona, but she wasn’t seeing their honey for sale at local farmers markets, so in 2001, she set out to change that.
“Most beekeepers are very, very busy people,” Eleanor said. “They don’t have time to be at the markets.”
Fall is finally here! Even in the concrete jungle where the forecast still says 97 degrees, it’s time to celebrate! This Saturday at the market, Downtown Phoenix can enjoy a celebration of all things Autumn as we cozy up into a new season. At the market, there will be a costume contest, pumpkin carving station, Open Air scavenger hunt, pumpkin displays for adorable photo-ops, and pumpkin patches with a variety of Phoenix-grown pumpkins to take home. Of course, shoppers can also pick up fall flavors at almost every vendor booth, as well as market-roasted chiles for what bubbles in the cauldron at home.
All this fun begs the question: once the great pumpkin is chosen and does its decorative duty at the doorstep–what’s next? Cut it open and roast the seeds, leaving the body for compost? Use it as a doorstop in the home and see how long it lasts before rotting from the inside out? Find the local trebuchet and see how far it’ll go? Maybe we can suggest something better:
homemade pumpkin puree!
Recently, we heard of the devastating passing of Downtown Phoenix community member Monika Woosley. She left behind a powerful legacy that can only intrigue and inspire. Monika founded Hip Veggies in 2012 as an outlet for her passion for community, food, art, and outreach. Through Hip Veggies, among many subjects, she taught us about foraging in Phoenix; about how easy and fulfilling it can be and how important it is to our Arizonan culture.
This weekend, we honor her by digging into some foraging knowledge imparted by her foraging friend and colleague, The Green Man himself, Andrew Pisher. Andrew grew up in upstate New York and moved to Phoenix 13 years ago in search of sun. He is an entrepreneur to the core, always thinking up ways to embrace Mother Nature (literally–this is a man who seriously loves to climb trees) with his certification in urban farming and ongoing studies in nutrition.
Treelation, his tree trimming and removal company, works with residents through his Foraging Fanatics service to make use of excess from trees that bear edibles or have medicinal properties. Many residents are overwhelmed by the harvest, leaving it misunderstood, unwanted, and disregarded. With Foraging Fanatics, Andrew is able to accrue pounds and pounds of excess fruits, herbs, legumes, and nuts native to our state. He then sells that harvest in bulk through his website, thus making would-be rotted or dried out trash profitable. Andrew’s business, and foraging in general, is a win-win for our ecosystem and its inhabitants.
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