The Phoenix program trains the community in sustainable food

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — The Sustainable Cooperative Food Business Training Program teaches people how to start their own garden, providing help and advice on how to successfully grow native plants that thrive in a desert environment. In partnership with the City of PhoenixThrive Consultancy offers its 10-week Cooperative Sustainable Food Business Training Programfree for city dwellers this summer.

Spaces of Opportunity occupies 19 acres of land in South Phoenix, and it’s where Kendra Branham comes to harvest some of the crops she’s helped grow. “Right now we’re focused on growing some cover crops, so what that really entails is that we’re doing things to generate soil health to build it or prolong it so we can have a good growing season,” Branham said.

Her interest in growing her own food germinated a long time ago, but all she knows she learned from the program run by the City of Phoenix, Thrive Consultancy and the School of Sustainability of the ASU. “We just found out that we got seed money for our business, so we’re really looking forward to the future,” Branham said.

The program is designed to help participants learn the business skills needed to start a sustainable co-operative business. Throughout the 10-week program, participants will work with their program peers to create comprehensive business plans, budgets, and arguments for a sustainable food business. In the program, participants will have access to a range of business development tools and mentors to prepare them for success in business.

Hanna Layton of Thrive Consultancy is one of the people teaching others who might not otherwise have the opportunity to cultivate. “The need has really been exacerbated over the past two years now that we are really seeing the effects of the climate, our people and the community, not having access to resources, like food like water, poor quality air,” she said. .

The uncertainty would be enough to deter most, but Layton says it’s more important than ever. “We want to grow things that are indigenous here, that have shown they have developed drought tolerance and resilience. We can do things like set up drip irrigation,” she said.

And it’s all part of a larger project to help Arizona become a leader in food sustainability. The program will start on Tuesday, June 14 and end on Thursday, August 18. Classes will be held twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) between 5 and 7 p.m. in downtown Phoenix. Applications are now open and you can contact Thrive at [email protected] or visit the website to apply.