5 Food and Garden Products to Buy in Metro Phoenix This Spring

Categories: Now Growing

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Kate Crowley
Backwood's planters are a lovely addition to any garden.
If you compulsively shop local or hit up farmers markets on the weekend with reckless abandon, as we admittedly do, you might have noticed some awesome new stuff. Lots of businesses have expanded with new offerings to seem to have come out of nowhere. From books to botanicals, we've been keeping track of all the newness. Yep, it's spring and we're sprung on these new items, products and services. Let the retail therapy begin!

First up: fancy and beautifully crafted raised beds from Backwood Enterprises. They cost $250 and up, but they are crafted from redwood and have accent features that make them attractive and useful. Some of the beds include corrugated fiberglass that helps funnel drainage into another planter or into a bucket. Underneath, there's room to store tools and add other planters.

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Chef Justin Pfeilsticker of Zuzu at Hotel Valley Ho on What He's Growing

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ZuZu, Hotel Valley Ho
Chef Justin Pfeilsticker stands in his impressive home garden.

Justin Pfeilsticker, executive sous chef at ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, has an enviable garden. He has passion for taking care of his produce and uses unusual (and often discarded) parts of the plant in his dishes. Lucky for you, Pfeilsticker gave us a sneak peek into his garden and shares an inspiring seasonal recipe after the jump.

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Tired of Buying Soil? Composting Is the Answer

Categories: Now Growing

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Valley Permaculture Alliance
You can compost to make great soil, right in your backyard.
If you've got a bit of room in your yard and a hose or water source, you can compost and possibly save hundreds of dollars a year on soil and garden soil enhancers.

"Composting is a pretty easy sell to anyone who is actively gardening. If someone is spending money on soil amendments or spending time mowing their lawn or sweeping up leaves, they just need to learn to the basics before they're eager to jump into it," says Susan Rubin, class coordinator for the Valley Permaculture Alliance.

There are many types of composting (traditional, bokashi, vermicomposting, aerated, in-vessel); read on to learn more about your best options in the urban desert.

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5 Things You Need for Your Garden This Spring in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Now Growing

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From Bulbrite.com
These are a great addition to any garden.

Spring is one of the best times in the desert and with it comes a fresh stock of great things for your garden. This warm weather is an inspiration to get growing and take on new projects. Whether you just like the practical stuff, or need fresh ideas, here's what we're needing and lusting for this spring.


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How to Grow Tomatoes in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Now Growing

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Kate Crowley
A cheerful, albeit spelling-challenged sign at Baker's shows they offer deals on some great tomatoes.
So, you visited the farmers market and came home with a tomato plant? Yep, even inexperienced gardeners can grow tomatoes, and now is the time to get going in Arizona. If you grow one thing this season, grow tomatoes! Salads, sauces, stews, and even jams can be made from tomatoes! Want to avoid fouling it up -- and actually want to eat from your new plant? Here's what to do.

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Boho Farm's Caroline Van Slyke Makes Rose Petal Jelly with Chow Bella

Categories: Now Growing

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Kate Crowley
Learn how to make THIS. Boho Farm's Rose petal jelly.
Longing for the "good old days?" If you happen to listen to country music these days, you've likely heard a song by Miranda Lambert with the lyrics "Whatever happened to... Doing it all by hand?...It's only worth as much as the time put in.... it all just seemed so good the way we had it. Back before everything became automatic." If there were a mantra for Caroline Van Slyke's Boho Farm and Home, this might be it. Time and work are put in to every aspect of the property.

And trust us, old fashioned at-home jelly making never looked or tasted so good. Read on for a step by step of the process, straight from the Boho kitchen with Caroline herself. No food coloring, no fancy machines; just time, patience and a little know-how.

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9 Hard-to-Find Herbs and Veggies and Where to Buy Them in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Now Growing

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Kate Crowley
Try growing something new this spring.

If you're visiting local nurseries in hopes of picking up new starter plants for your garden, you're typically confronted with an array of tomatoes, peppers, and basil. But this spring, follow our lead and try planting something new and different. We love rosemary, lavender, and zucchini as much as the next person, but Phoenix has some great places to shop for something new. Read on for some fresh ideas.


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5 Thai Ingredients You Can Grow Yourself in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Now Growing

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Kate Crowley
Grow many of your own Thai cooking ingredients in your backyard or in containers
If you love Thai food but lament that pandanus leaves and pineapple can't be grown easily in Arizona, cheer up! A recent trip to some cooking schools in Thailand brought me the revelation that in fact, there are many herbs and ingredients you can grow right in your backyard. Even better news, many of them can be planted or started in the spring. Rejoice, and get planting and cooking.

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Now Open: Wimpy's Paradise in Chandler; Pittsburgh Willy's Closed, Relocating Soon

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East Valley residents might know Randy Walters as the owner of Pittsburgh Willie's, the hot dog spot inside Chandler's Merchant Square Antique Mall. That shop closed its doors last month after a five-year run, but don't fret, because as we told you in July, Walters has plans to open a new hot dog-centric restaurant just two miles away from the original spot. The new restaurant will be called Pittsburgh Willy's Dog House and should be open in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, Walters has been busy opening yet another restaurant.

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The Simple Farm in Scottsdale Celebrates Kidding Season with the Birth of Goats

Categories: Now Growing

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Lylah Ledner
Lylah Ledner captured this photo of her doe, Nancy, about a week before she gave birth to two girls at The Simple Farm.

There's no kidding about kidding, it's serious business. Does give birth to one and two kids in one kidding -- and so, it's all hands on deck at The Simple Farm, where kidding season lasts from mid-January through February. Eventually, the little ladies born will assist in making the milk that is the basis for the Ledners' famous goat milk caramels. Here, we give a behind-the-scenes look at what the Ledners do as goats are born on the farm.

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