Archive for Phoenix

The Green Goddess Nursery is the place for outdoor living spaces

egg supplies

The Green Goddess Nursery sells plenty of supplies for the Big Green Egg in North Phoenix, AZ (Photo By: Christina Thompson 2012).

One of the great places to shop for desert and greenhouse plants is The Green Goddess Nursery located in North Phoenix, Arizona.  Its location is on Bell Road between 40th Street and Tatum Boulevard.  They are open seven days a week, Monday-Friday 7am-5pm and 8am-5pm, Saturdays and Sundays.  This is a strictly local business, which provides great customer service and helps customers design the best outdoor living space for their homes.  They also provide customers with the option to follow them on social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook.  They also have a company blog and they offer coupons to their patrons and new comers on their website.  One product they offer to outdoor cooking and kitchen enthusiasts is the Big Green Egg, an oven, a smoker, and a grill all in one.  “Grilling Prickly Pear cactus is one preparation for it,” says Green Goddess Nursery Manager, Aaron Grimm.

mini egg

This Mini Green Egg is available for purchase at The Green Goddess Nursery and great for small spaces in Phoenix (Photo By: Christina Thompson 2012).

This place has something for everyone in the North Phoenix and Scottsdale location.  Shop and buy local, as always.

 

cacti

These Prickly Pear cactus are available, along with many other cacti at The Green Goddess Nursery in North Phoenix, AZ (Photo By: Christina Thompson 2012).

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Luau makes a splash for kids and adults a like

Water Slide

Young boy running up one of four blow-up water slides at the City of Chandler luau celebration (Photo by: Christina Thompson 2012).

Kona Truck

The Kona Ice Truck was very popular at the Chandler event with their Hawaiian sno cones (Photo by: Christina Thompson)

This past Saturday in downtown Chandler, Arizona, there was a luau put on by the City of Chandler and the San Tan Brewing Company.  Outside in the town square, there were gelato, ice cream, and Kona Ice booths, along with giant blow up water slides, where kids could slide down and cool off from the blazing hot Arizona sun.  Many adults headed indoors to the San Tan Brewing Company restaurant, where they could enjoy one of the company’s seven year-round and six seasonal microbrews.  The seasonal microbrew available during the luau, was Mr. Pineapple, a brew specifically made for the annual event.  Mary DeBiase out of Corona, California, made a special trip to the event with her niece.  “My niece really likes pineapple and she likes to drink beer.  She told me about this event and asked me to join her and would not shut up about this beer,” Mary said.  “It is pretty tasty and the pineapple that is attached to the glass really brings out the pineapple flavor.”  There was roast pig and coconut haupia for dessert.

ice cream

This lady was scooping her company’s ice cream out to a luau event go-er, who was eagerly awaiting the cold treat on the hot day (Photo by: Christina Thompson 2012).

Firemen

The City of Chandler firemen were hanging out by their truck talking to people and at the event in case an emergency arose (Photo by: Christina Thompson 2012).

The City of Chandler Fire Department, Radio Disney, and other food vendors were there too, but everyone was at the restaurant and playing on the slides.  “The slides for kids was a great touch to make it family friendly,” Mary said.  “Family food events are always better.”

pig

The luau pig roasting on the spit at the San Tan Brewing Company restaurant waiting to be eaten by guests (Photo by: Christina Thompson 2012).

Age Demographic

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Pets need natural, organic food as much as humans

Primal Dog Treats

“These are Primal Dog Treats available at Pet Planets in Arizona and Canada” (Photo by: Christina Thompson 2012).

People are starting to have better diets consisting of holistic, natural, organic foods and it is improving their health.  Why shouldn’t pets have the same opportunity?  Plenty of pet food companies have risen to this new movement in pet food.  Horizon Pet Nutrition out of Canada has four sub-companies and believes, “…in having locally sourced ingredients, being environmentally sustainable, and being a globally trusted company.”  Another company out of Canada, Champion Pet Foods, also has two sub-companies (Acana and Orijen), and they believe, “Quality is never outsourced and to nourish as nature intended.”  A US company called Petropics makes wet food diets for cats and dogs called, “Tiki Cat and Tiki Dog.”  There is a page on the company’s website that describes the illnesses that the food helps to alleviate including, “…diabetes, obesity, cancer, urinary tract infections…”

Neve cat

“This is Peggy Thompson’s cat, Neve (Italian for snow) at her home in Cincinnati, Ohio” (Photo by: Christina Thompson 2012).

The illnesses listed above seem to be the top four biggest maladies that have accompanied the poor diets being brought on by poor quality pet food.  “My daughter and I have three cats,” said cat owner, Peggy Thompson.  “We used to have four, but our poor little Neve died suddenly last month due to cancer and poor nutrition from commercial pet food for many years.  Our veterinarian recommended we put the other three on a natural, organic diet so we can keep them healthy.”

Tiki Dog Food

“This is all-natural Tiki Dog wet food available at Pet Planets in Arizona and Canada” (Photo by: Christina Thompson 2012).

Where do you find healthy pet food?

small mammal food

“This is some natural rabbit and guinea pig food that is available at Pet Planet stores in Arizona and Canada” (Photo by: Christina Thompson 2012).

In the Phoenix area and in Canada, there is a store called Pet Planet that is delivering a variety of natural, organic pet food products to people daily.   Kristin Jensen of Pet Planet said, “Although we mainly offer only natural, organic cat and dog food, we have natural food for pet birds, small mammals, and reptiles.”  Another place to find healthy pet food is Whole Foods Marketlocated across the US, Canada, and even the UK.

People seem to be caring about what their pets eat as much as what they eat.  The trend will hopefully continue for companion pets and extend to small mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish.  People want their pets to be happy and healthy and now the right pet foods are being manufactured to accomplish that.

Arcana dog food

“These are just two of the flavors of Arcana dog food available at Pet Planet stores” (Photo by: Christina Thompson 2012).

 

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Hydroponic gardens are great for foodies and chefs alike

basil

Hydroponically grown basil at AZ Growing store in Scottsdale, Arizona (Photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

MicroGarden

This small hydroponic system is a great beginner kit for people wanting to try hydroponic gardening available through AZ Growing (Photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

Many people in this world are turning to hydroponic gardens to grow their fruits, vegetables, and herbs.  In a recent article published in Maximum Yield Magazine, author Dr. Lynette Morgan says, “Fortunately, flavor in fruits and vegetables is something that can be manipulated to various degrees by the grower—and in hydroponics we have far greater control over growth factors than we do with outdoor crops—so there’s no reason for our homegrown flavors not to be fantastic…” Restaurant owner, Homaro Cantu, recently made an aeroponics(a type of hydroponic gardening) garden in the basement of one of his restaurants because he realized the value of taste that comes from growing hydroponically.

tomatoes

High yielding cherry tomato plants being grown indoors with lights and hydroponics at AZ Growing in Scottsdale, Arizona (Photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

Chefs are not the only ones talking about hydroponics.  A cast of hydroponic garden hobbyists created a podcast called “Heavy T’s Grow Show”, where listeners can call and ask questions, listen to interviews, and receive prizes just for calling in.  With the influx of people turning to hydroponics, especially in more arid desert regions like Phoenix, Arizona, it must be an easy way to grow plants, right?  Aaron Heimes of AZ Growing located in Scottsdale, Arizona says, “You need to pick up a book.  The book that I read and helped me get started is How-to Hydroponicsby Keith Roberto.”  Reading about hydroponics and the do-it-yourself techniques will teach anyone how to make their food taste better.

LECA

Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate (LECA) being used for a hydroponic growing medium at the AZ Growing store (Photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

hydroponic system

Hydroponic systems can also be very intricate like this one at the AZ Growing store (Photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

 

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Yogi Chef changes career path yet again

chef and cat

This is a self-portrait that Chef Margaret took of her and her cat a few months ago at her home in Cincinnati, Ohio before she left for Arizona (Photo Courtesy of Chef Margaret Thompson 2012).

A couple of months ago, an article was written about Executive Chef Margaret Thompson and her illustrious career as a Yogi Chef.  She has since packed up her cat, Annabell Lee and moved from her home in Cincinnati, Ohio to Scottsdale, Arizona to pursue a career as a Floral Manager for Fry’sgrocery stores.  “Of all the jobs I ever had, flowers and Floral Design is what I love to do the most,” said Chef Margaret Thompson.

orchid arrangement

This is an arrangement that was made by Chef Margaret using orchids bought at Hausermann's Orchid Open House in Elmhurst, Illinois (Photo by Christina Thompson 2011).

sugar flowers

Even at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, New York, Chef Margaret still had her heart filled with flowers when she created this pulled-sugar show piece (Photo Courtesy of Chef Margaret Thompson 2006.)

flower lady painting

Chef Margaret's painting entitled "Rock Pose" from her gallery opening in Louisville, Kentucky in February of 2009 (Photo by Christina Thompson 2009).

Before she went back to school for her degree in Pastry Arts, she was the Outside Lawn and Garden Manager for Lowe’s Home Improvementstores.  Flowers have always been on this woman’s mind.  “When she was in her high school art class, she created a stain-glass window of poppies we have hanging in our dining room window,” said her father, Raymond DeBiase.  This is not the only artistic creation that she has done with flowers.  Chef Margaret said, “I had a gallery opening for my paintings a few years ago and plenty of my paintings from the heart have flowers in them.  I guess my heart has always known what makes it happy…flowers.”

homemade ice cream

Ice cream and sorbet made by Chef Margaret for her family in Arizona to try for the first time (Photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

Chef Margaret is not giving up on her culinary degrees entirely.  She will cook and bake for her entire family, who live in Arizona along with her.  “I still want to use my degrees in Culinary and Pastry Arts.  Arizona is a prime place to be an instructor at one of many cooking schools,” said Chef Margaret.  “Food and flowers are the two things I love and they seem to be the things that always make people happy.”

infographic

 

 

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