Well, I must confess, I didn’t make my trip to Flagstaff this weekend, I thought I would. But I have to go back a few days as to why…
After studying my trail maps and plotting the drive north for the most scenic of routes, I settled in at my desk Friday afternoon, to attended a webinar presented by the National Good Food Network (NGFN).
The topic was on ‘Food Systems Networks That Work’. Overall, it was interesting, showing lot of statistics and charts and kids feeding goats, but one clearly spoken message really resonated with me – connect with your networks. Initially, that was my objective for the Flagstaff trip, to broaden my network by making some connections with a few community gardens (and of course, escape the Phoenix heat).
But Saturday morning, once I finished my chai, and just before I donned my driving boots, I thought, what about my connections locally? I already have a network of awesome people here, right around me. So off I ventured to the end of my street and then east about a mile to the Farmers Market in my neighborhood.
I re-connected with the ladies at
Pinnacle Farms who I hadn’t seen in months. And boyo, they had goodies galore for an end of summer harvest.
While there, I made a new friend, discovered a neighbor down my street has a Pampered Chef booth, and learned one of my favorite growers is opening a storefront market.
Yea Horny Toad Farm!
My connection trek moved on to downtown Phoenix to see my buddy Kenny at GrowOp. A very timely visit as we talked plans for fall gardening classes as well as the Chili Pepper Festival coming up September 29th (mark your calendars!). And I was not deterred by the heat to go explore the garden.
My next stop was just around the corner, where I popped into MADE Artist Boutique to catch a rare sighting of owner and very busy community builder Cindy Dach. She and some friends were in cahoots deciding about trees to plant. (How timely that I should show up knowing a thing or two about trees.)
With my heart filled with goodness, having reconnected with some friends, farmers, and businesses, I turned my journey homeward – but, after a couple final stops on the way to ‘close the loop’ on my day. Starbucks and Starbucks. I know, you may think me to be a huge supporter of all things local – which I absolutely am – but Starbucks is a big part of my connection circle. This is the place I get tons – yes, TONS – of coffee grounds for my compost and garden. It’s fairly effortless since I generally drive by every time I leave my house.
So get off the FacePlace and get out on the street and refresh your network connections.
(p.s. Don’t forget to “Like” me on Facebook. )