300: Janis Norton on Urban Farm Projects.

Digging into the invisible structure behind The Urban Farm.

Janis earned her degree in Sustainability from Arizona State University. Her previous experience in working classrooms, running youth programs, and Boy Scout Council Training and Camp leadership were all community and education focused.  However, she did not realize how much she could do with the local food system until her Sustainable Food and Farms class. A class she took as a lark, since she had no interest in growing food. Soon after that class she became motivated to learn all she could about gardening and urban farming while using her organization and project management skills to help facilitate a couple of the Urban Farm’s larger events.

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From that point on, she has been an active part of the Urban Farm core team as the Program Manager as well as the Podcast Producer.  She is bringing her enthusiasm and cheerful attitude to her projects at the Farm especially the Urban Farm Nursery’s Fruit Tree Program and the Urban Farm Podcast, as well as partner projects like the Great American Seed-Up and the Permaculture Design Course in Phoenix.

In This Podcast:

Running any successful business or project requires some good help behind the scenes.  This is true for The Urban Farm as well, and Janis Norton is one of the people who help Greg Peterson manage his dreams to change the local food system, create 10,000 seed banks in the local area, plant 100,000 fruit trees, and empower others to grow their own food.  She shares about the surprise of finding her place in this non-stem field, the rewarding role of helping her community build its resilience, and opens up about some challenges of starting her own urban farm.


Listen in and learn about:

  • How I joined the Urban Farm
  • Working with the podcasts and getting to know the guests
  • Topic categories in the podcast series
  • Great American Seed Up – (I did think Greg was crazy)
  • Urban Farm Fruit Tree Program – (this is my biggest project and I LOVE working all aspects of this)
  • The Phoenix Permaculture Design Course
  • Invisible structures, a permaculture concept that applies to landscape and beyond
  • My own urban farm which is a brand new project for myself

As well as:

  • My failure – The first attempt to plant my orchard and almost drowned my trees Producer’s Notes: Here are the articles Fruit Tree Mud Bath Salon and Fruit Tree Slum Lord
  • My success – Getting out of my own negative head-space and starting to believe in myself
  • My drive – Community & Family and seeing them succeed
  • My advice – Take a little bit of the process you are working on and get better at it before moving on to too much at once

Janis’s Book recommendations:   

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Also in Radio Theater Version which I LOVED!!! – The Chronicles of Narnia Collector’s Edition (Radio Theatre)

How to reach Janis:

Email: podcast@urbanfarm.org


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