Maricopa County Food System Coalition Forum

to support and grow a food system in Maricopa County that thrives

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Dear friend,

With the changing of the season upon us, there is so much to be thankful for. 

Thanks to you, Valley Permaculture Alliance (VPA) directly impacted 6,800+ Valley residents, growing our resilient community of positively-intentioned gardeners, urban farmers, and permaculturists. VPA distributed 5,790+ free desert-adapted multi-function shade trees, 1425+ free packets of seeds, and inspired over 500 folks to consider keeping backyard chickens.  

As we give thanks to 2015 and look to opportunities ahead, I invite you to journey with us through a reflective celebration of our 12 Days of Permaculture, which will be posted over the next 12 days on our forum and FacebookDiscover the first post below.

In the days ahead we look forward to sharing all of the ways we inspired our community (and you inspired us!) in 2015. 

Thank you for your continued support and friendship.

With great joy,

Sarah Osteen, Executive Director 

––1st Day of Permaculture ––

web of community: our tool for resilience 

As we design our lives – whether we are looking to design a garden, a permaculture site, or a neighborhood – we can observe patterns found in nature and apply them as the design’s foundation. Patterns can be physical, like the branching of rivers and blood vessels, or they can be patterns in time, like the behaviors we exhibit and routines we practice. Since every pattern or form enables a particular function, we can begin with the pattern, and then fill in the details.

As we design a community for longevity and resilience, we look to mimic the web pattern in nature. A web, observed in a spider web or in the stacking of twigs in a bird nest, serves many functions. From collecting and making connections, to spreading the load and providing reinforcement, a net is our guide for resilience for people. 

Today, we celebrate our web of community here are VPA. Members, class attendees, volunteers, staff, newsletter subscribers, forum posters, teachers, Tour de Coops attendees, shade tree workshop participants – we are grateful for YOU. While, as a community, we may not all be exactly like-minded, we are united by the common goals of wanting to best take care of ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and the Earth. Each part of our web is connected to the others, here to support one another and share resources like time, knowledge, and extra wood chips. We are a robust community by uniting as a web: our best tool for resilience.

how our web has expanded in 2015 


"Our vision sparks ideas, limits dictate our actions, and appreciation sparks momentum."                                                                                                        

- Looby Macnamara, 'People and Permaculture - Caring and designing for ourselves, each other and the planet

tomorrow, join us for the 2nd Day of Permaculture: Our Desert Permaculture Tree

consider making an end-of-year donation today at

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Love it! "From collecting and connecting to spreading the load and making reinforcements" I'm glad to be part of this web!
Read on about "Our Shared Resources" for the 5th Day of Permaculture!

On the 6th Day of Permaculture, we celebrate our volunteers!

On the 11th Day of Permaculture, we celebrate our lessons learned! 


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