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.
Bokashi Evolution sells kitchen compost kits at farmers markets in downtown Phoenix and Tempe. The company's been around for just a few years but has been featured in Urban Farm magazine and recently won first place at the Eureka Demo and Gadget Day at Scottsdale Civic Center Public Library. The kits are perfect for urban folks. Founder Morgan Coffinger is bringing what she learned in Maui to the friendly sustainable farmers of the Phoenix area. If you haven't given composting a go yet, bokashi is a "small" way to get started. A two-month starter kit is just $35.
If you're more of the cooking kind than the growing kind, look no further than the new book (get ready for the longest title ever): Nourished Kitchen: Farm to Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle Featuring Bone broths, Fermented Vegetable, Grass-Fed Meats, Wholesome Fats, Raw Dairy and Kombuchasby Jennifer McGruther, available on order at Changing Hands. It was released April 15, and if you're the king or queen of farm-to-table and in need of inspiration, this could be the book for you.
On the local scene is Battle Axe Botanicals. You've heard of a CSA, but what about CSH? Battle Axe is an online-only "community-supported herbalism" company that sells homemade scrubs, salves, and herbal products. The ladies in charge say, "Our mission is to cultivate local agriculture, create high-quality natural products and cultivate a healing relationship between plants and humans." If you're still on the hunt for body products, local vegan bar makers at Seize the Fork recently began selling plant based and earth-based supplements, tooth care and body products. Take our word for it -- the tooth products are amazing and don't taste weird. Scoop them up at Gilbert Farmer's Market.
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Simply Nourished boxes but together by Shelly from Nourished Foods are available Thursday mornings at The Simple Farm. They've been available for just three weeks and they're a hit. What's in these magical boxes, you ask? A meal. Well, essentially. It's 80 percent of the things you need to make a meal. Last week, it was cajeta French toast with caramel sauce; the box came with cinnamon bread, eggs, the sauce, and a recipe card.
The Valley is growing, building, and mixing up homemade goodness, and we recommend you give new things a try.