When it comes to high-quality, locally grown produce, indie restaurants, CSA members and health-conscious farmer's market shoppers have been saying "Vaya con Maya" for nearly a decade. But these days, farmer Maya Dailey -- who cultivates two acres at The Farm at South Mountain and another five acres just down the road -- doesn't simply follow organic practices, she has earned certified organic status.
And to celebrate that three-year process, she's hosting a gardening/farming workshop and throwing a potluck party on her five-acre property (6550 S. 32nd Street) on Sunday, January 27. Here are the juicy details:
The day's first order of business will be a workshop on how to attract native pollinators, conducted by agricultural ecologist, ethnobotanist and writer Gary Nabhan and Caleb Weaver (UA senior and founder of Garden in the Desert). This event, held from 1-4 p.m., will include a short presentation followed by a hands-on activity -- namely, planting a hedgerow. If you're interested bring pen and paper, a hat, gardening gloves, a water bottle and $10 to participate. Register by emailing Weaver at firstname.lastname@example.org) and if you're interested, don't hesitate. The number of attendees is capped at 18.
As soon as the workshop ends, Part Two of the day's festivities begins: a community potluck to which everyone is invited (4-6 p.m.). Just bring yourself and something good to eat (your dish is your ticket). Maya hopes to see CSA members, farmer's market customers, chefs and her other friends-in-food. There's no limit to how many show up, so come one, come all.
RSVP on Maya's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/428239573914804/
By the way, Dailey tells me that becoming organically certified isn't expensive (around $650), but the process is a pain in the butt for most farmers who'd rather be digging in the dirt than keeping records. What it requires, she says, is organization and putting systems into place. Farmers aiming for organic status must keep meticulous planting, harvesting and input records (the latter involves soil testing), which, she swears, is time-consuming but totally worth it.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.