Friday, June 29, 2012

Bokashi Composting

Here in the West, Bokashi refers to both a composting system and to the fermented bran, rice or hay that makes it possible. Like vermicomposting, Bokashi composting is usually a small-scale operation that can be carried out indoors. But while vermicomposting is aerobic, Bokashi is an anaerobic process that relies on the inoculated bran to ferment organic material in a tightly closed container.

Read more here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Phoenix Growing Communities Workshop

At Desert Botanical Garden. 
A ‘train the trainer’ workshop where attendees learned the principles and practices of community building and how to pass these techniques on to others.  We reviewed skills necessary to become a stronger garden manager, organizer and leader.  These skills are essential to sustainable and fruitful community gardens. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Friends visit the garden on a very warm morning.  It is so fun to talk about watering, critters, and what grows in the Arizona summer.
Mother and daughter helped harvest and will watch the Easter Egg gourds dry.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Involving children

Children are very much involved with FIGG. The garden is scorching quiet in the summer as official children's activities go, but as you can see below, there are always a few around.  Julia and Kensie helped harvest tomatoes that were later taken to the Food Bank.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Extendending the life of produce

Take a look at these ideas for creative and waste-free ways to extend the life of your produce, in and out of the refrigerator.
  • Asparagus—Place the upright stalks loosely in an glass or bowl with water at room temperature. Will keep for a week outside the fridge.
  • Basil—Difficult to store well. Basil does not like to be cold or wet. The best method here is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside, left out on a cool counter.
  • Beets—Cut the tops off to keep beets firm, and be sure to keep the greens! Leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making them loose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in an open container with a wet towel on top.
  • Beet greens—Place in an airtight container with a little moisture from a damp cloth.
  • Berries—Don’t forget, they’re fragile. When storing, stack them in a single layer, if possible, in a paper bag. Wash right before you plan on eating them.
  • Carrots—Cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long.
  • Corn—Leave unhusked in an open container if you must, but corn really is best the day it’s picked.
  • Greens—Remove any bands, twist ties, etc. Most greens must be kept in an airtight container with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Kale, collard greens, and chard do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.
  • Melons—Keep uncut in a cool dry place, out of the sun for up to a couple weeks. Cut melons should be in the fridge; an open container is fine.
  • Peaches (and most stone fruit)—Refrigerate only when fully ripe. Firm fruit will ripen on the counter.
  • Rhubarb—Wrap in a damp towel and place in an open container in the refrigerator.
  • Strawberries—Don’t like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day.
  • Sweet Peppers—Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as wetness decreases storage time. Store in a cool room to use in a couple of days, place in the crisper if longer storage is needed.
  • Tomatoes—Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness, place in a paper bag with an apple.
  • Zucchini—Does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.

    By The Fresh Team

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

We compost

This method was used to teach many of the young students that stopped by the garden.  It was finally dismantled and moved over to the "ready to use" pile.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Don Carlos Farm

A few of us attended a workshop at Desert Botanical Garden about growing communities through gardening.  It is intoxicating to meet so many people from different backgrounds that have come together in the name of community gardening.

Chelsea and Amanda of Don Carlos Farm in Tempe, AZ invited all to attend a pumpkin planting event at their farm.

We went and had fun.  And we left happy to see group of college students sharing their passions and educating youth in positive, sustainable change .

Don Carlos Farm welcomes donations of many kinds.  Visit their Facebook page here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

At the YMCA

Persevering garden members meet to discuss garden security and more.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


It is with warm pleasure that we grow food to share.  We meet, we plan, we dig in , and we harvest.  The bounty is driven by many of us to TCAA to be enjoyed the the community they support.