GrowPHX moves back to The Urban Farm
GrowPHX has been an exciting local project focused on community building around growing food and green-living resilience in the Greater Phoenix Area. It is time to make some pruning cuts for the health of our overall programs. We are returning to our roots to focusing our energy on our strengths, while appreciating the awe-inspiring power of community we have experienced through this endeavor.
We were gaining momentum prior to 2020 and the coronavirus shutdowns affecting our public gatherings. Several local, in-person, classes and projects were planned for 2020, and in March out of an abundance of caution we changed one of those events to an online webinar in Zoom. Little did we realize how that one decision was the beginning of a whole new adventure.
The Victory Garden Challenge begins.
March 2020 – Arizona faces lockdowns due to the coronavirus. Brainstorming how to keep our educational classes available, we decided to host a series of free online classes to help keep us sane and positive as we lose touch with our neighbors. Starting in mid-March, we gathered several of our friends and educators and started hosting classes every day of the week for eighteen days straight. In April we adjusted to 5 days a week for a while, and by the time we got to week 10 we switched to just twice a week. After 17 weeks and 63 classes (including 2 summits) we finally drew these classes to a close. You can find a list of these classes HERE.
While organizing and hosting these classes, we developed an amazing relationship with the webinar chat rooms with some pretty cool people. We realized we could do so much more for our community through these online classes than we were doing with our in-person classes. It was a little hard to end the series, but we needed to move on to other ways to keep our business going.
A full year after we created the Victory Garden Challenge, we talked about all the other projects and programs inside of GrowPHX. We knew we could not keep up the pace with everything that was “growing” on and we have made a bittersweet decision to allow some projects to go fallow while we focus on the areas we are making the most impact for our community.
The Mesquite Program continues
Our Mesquite Education Program was just taking off and we were excited to plan our 2nd annual milling event. As we were still figuring out what that could be during 2020, we hosted just a couple outdoor mesquite education events and figured out how to host a milling event while social distancing. This project was several long years in the making, and too many people were invested in getting the mill running locally for us to give up.
We are keeping the Mesquite Program as an endeavor under the Urban Farm Nursery. It is trees and it is local, so this just makes sense. We will still have online classes and we are planning on opening the Mesquite Mill the last weekend in June for three days. You can see the events as they come up in our calendar: UrbanFarm.org/events
Water Harvesting is Essential
In June of 2020 we created the six part Water Harvesting in Depth course based on permaculture and desert water wisdom. It was a hit, and by doing it online we were able to reach many more people than we could in person during the chaos of 2020.
We are keeping the Water Harvesting in Depth course as part of Urban Farm U. We will be hosting a Water Harvesting Summit very soon with even more content and special presentations. The course itself is going to be available as part of the All Access Pass for that Summit.
We are evaluating when we can open the next Permaculture Design Course. This popular course is essential for anyone wanting to expand their permaculture knowledge for living in the southwest desert.
Happy Hours morphed into something new
Our Community Happy Hours will not be resuming in-person at this time. Instead, we are going to be hosting periodic online classes from a variety of presenters. Starting with topics like Drip Tape, and Composting, we will see where this goes.
However, our GrowPHX Community Happy Hour was part of the inspiration behind our new Urban Farm Garden Chat Classes which take place on the 4th Tuesday each month. Go to GardenChat.org for more information on our latest classes.
If you have questions about the status of any other project or program within GrowPHX, please reach out to Janis@UrbanFarm.org
Thank you for sticking with us! We are committed to helping our community blossom!