Innovative Thinking and Designing

On October 6th, from 1:00-3:00, the Friday ALTs spent their time in  the Boundaryless @ NAU lab.
Weather: 69℉
By Kaitlynn Cooper and Emanuel Molina


fullsizeoutput_6b0Boundaryless is a place to help flourish your ideas, make connections outside and be aware of all your resources. A place of inspiration where ideas and brainstorming become opportunities. Where you work with what is the problem?

fullsizeoutput_6b1On October 6th, 2017 the Friday alts met to work on the “Sustainably and Locally Made” Product ideas. Here at boundaryless, we were put in an thinking friendly environment where different mediums were able to be used to express our ideas and go through the various variables involved with creating a product. We split up into our different groups and started nailing ideas to a board and writing down our research.

fullsizeoutput_6b5The different steps at boundaryless include ideation: “the formation of ideas or concepts”, feasibility: “the state or degree of being easily or conveniently done”, design phase: “a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or other object before it is built or made, quality” assurance: “the degree of excellence of something”, and finding out who the customers are.

fullsizeoutput_6b7Here my group including me, Emanuel and my other two partners Addie and Claire were working with one of the workers of Boundaryless, Katheryn discussing our plan of action. What is our product? Teabags. What are our ingredients? To be determined. What is our design? A heart. What will we use for packaging? Coffee filters. What is the need? Everyone loves drinking tea. We researched how to make tea bags, prices for different materials for packaging and ideas for design.

fullsizeoutput_6baEmanuel- What is Boundaryless’s mission?

Jacob- “To connect students from different majors to solve real-world problems in different ways, to instill innovative thinking than just creating innovations”


Monday ALTs – Everything’s Frozen!

Kalea Shephard & Sierra Gleason

September 25th, 2017

Monday the 25th was our first ALTs day after a significant frost hit the Flagstaff area. Most of our crops froze over the weekend, leaving us to pick up the pieces. That afternoon was much warmer than previous days, fluctuating between 58-64 degrees Fahrenheit and the change in temperature was reflected in the wildlife we stumbled upon which included a very large slug.



One of our first tasks was reworking the compost. Active compost was mixed and straw was added to balance out the green matter added to the compost as we removed dead or frozen plants. A team of students also worked to move the finished compost into the “finished” bin.

The compost bins at the Colton Community Gardens consist of 3 separate bins:

Active – The bin compost is actively being added to, this is where you place food scraps, garden trimmings, and other compostable items

Composting – This is the bin where the magic happens! This is where compost sits and develops, nothing new is added to this bin

Finished – This is the result of the two other bins, this is where the incredible nutritious soil is!


Compost Bins: Complete, Composting, Active




The theme of our tomato-related work was “out-with-the-old” in order to prepare for winter and eventually the “in-with-the-new” spring growing season. We worked to remove all of the tomato plants, disposing of them, not in the compost pile but instead in their own pile due to the fact that tomato plants can carry a higher risk of disease. The tomatoes that were ripe were harvested and those that were frozen were added into the “active” compost bin.


The “Active” Bin



To maintain the health of the garden, we also removed some wilted or eaten leaves from the cauliflower plants to ensure that the plant uses its energy to strengthen the more durable leaves as the days grow colder.




Green Beans:

We removed the frost cover from the green beans and pinto beans.We harvested bunches of green beans and left frozen/ dead ones where they were. It was pretty neat to see the actual frost on the green beans. We also harvested as many pinto beans as we could, which unfortunately was not a lot.



Corn Stalks



To our amazement, the chickadees survived the frost! From this discovery, we hope that these can be one of the few plants that can survive the cold weather. Just to play it safe, we covered the chickadees with a frost cover.




Removing frost covers:

Removing the frost covers was disheartening. Most, if not all, of the plants we removed the frost covers from were dead and couldn’t be salvaged.




Tobacco Plant Removal:

The tobacco plants were also victims to the harsh frost.  Most of their leaves were dead. Adaleigh, Hannah, Kylie, and I all worked on pulling the plants, along with their roots, out. It was pretty tough! After we pulled the tobacco plants out we placed them in pile with tomatoes. Why? because the leaves of both plants can carry pesticides and diseases, which means that they can’t go in our compost bins.


Stories of Our Selves

Hi all! Tonight we shared time around a fire pit in the Colton Community Garden, complete and resplendent with s’mores and stories galore. Each of us had spent the week previous thinking about and writing our stories of self — grand attempts to put all of who we are, how we got here, why we do what we do, into 3 pages of text. I’d been looking forward to this evening for a few days now, preparing my essay and the poem I would read to our group.

Because I wanted to give every sharer my full attention, and because a moment of vulnerability is just that — ephemeral, a sparkle in time — I didn’t take many pictures of tonight. So imagine the buzzing of small insects, the sun’s penetrating stare, white flakes of ash floating swiftly on clouds of smoke, two playful pups and twenty-seven present, youthful, astute people all easing into this thing called a Community. Co-mmun-i-ty. Community. I like it.

Tonight I learned that, if our group could compile all of our life lessons into one single tome, and a person could study and learn and master that tome in a lifetime (we could call it the LifeTome), said person would be well on their way to what Buddhists call Enlightenment. Or, at least, they would have the inner strength, security, and problem-solving skills to handle any hardship that the Universe dealt.

That’s MY take on tonight — a sort of fisheye view, all bending curiously around a central theme: community wisdom. This shared bank of life skills is a sort of subliminal benefit to urban placemaking, but it may prove just as valuable as the more tangible resources shared in a community (e.g. seasonal produce). Between that and the ooey-gooey s’mores, who WOULDN’T want a lil’ urban homesteading in their life?

– Shyla Cox

Farmers Market 9/17

Authors: Ashley Kritzstein, Daniel Herger

Sunday, September 17 at 8:15 a.m. we met and walked over to the Flagstaff Farmers Market. It was a sunny 60 degrees and we volunteered with another student in our class, Eshed.

Once there we were instructed on selling procedures and how to handle the money.  We sold kale, squash, green beans, flowers and peppers from the Colton Community Garden alongside two other backyard growers. One was a little boy who sold flowers and various vegetables. The other was a woman who sold tomatoes and basil.

Here are pictures of some of the products us and the other growers were selling at our booth.

Throughout the two hour period we were only able to sell three products, all of which were bags of green beans. The profit for the two hours was $4.50 for the museum garden, however the other growers were making sales within that time period.

More pictures of the booth and an example of some of the beautiful vegetables that were for sale.

We learned that you have to put yourself out there to create a welcoming stand that draws customers in. We tried standing on the outside of the stand, greeting people, and wishing them good morning but we still were not as successful as some of the more well known vendors.

After our shift it was interesting to see all the local produce at other stands and get to experience the Flagstaff community coming together. For example, there was fresh breads, jams, and home made foods. We bough tamales and horchata to support the local economy.

Here are pictures of us enjoying the friendly Flagstaff community.

In conclusion, we both had an amazing experience at the Flagstaff Farmers Market and will definitely be back soon to either volunteer or possibly just shop around and get more immersed in the community.



Winter Showcase Vendors

As our first semester of 2016 came to an end we all gathered at the Colton Community Garden for one last evening together. With the objective of raising money for the garden we put the winter showcase together. With the help of all the class members, we were able to double the money made last year for the garden!

We had the opportunity to have amazing vendors at the showcase this year.

Araceli’s Art Boutique

Araceli was one of the invited vendors. She displayed her different handmade jewelry at the showcase.

FYS: Community Garden Students

We also had our own booth, full of organic, locally made items, including clay masks, homemade chocolate, fruit preserves, and more.

We also had a local artist, Brittany, display and sell her wonderful artwork, as they reflected the attitude towards nature that we had learned to appreciate over the course of this semester.

Blog by Jacey and Leslie

Growing Community Winter Showcase

Well we have finally reached the end of Growing Community. This whole semester in this particular class was an amazing experience, and one that I would definitely want to do over again, multiple times even. At the beginning of the showcase, all of us arrived by car, through carpooling, some of us came earlier than others in order for us to have sufficient time to set everything up. The tables and shelves ended up looking amazing.

Our soap and salve making table was a huge hit, as well as the raffle, which was won by the one Kaelyn Gavin (LUCKY).
Bridget and Yesseniah welcome guests and customers alike with whiteboard art.


When we finally got all set up inside, we started a small bonfire in a fire pit outside, it was really pretty and really relaxing just sitting around the fire talking with the good friends we have all made throughout this course. Apparently everyone else felt that way too (although most of them don’t look.. erm.. too happy).

I am like 80% sure they are having fun, or maybe it was just really cold…

After standing around and warming ourselves by the bonfire a little bit, we all decided that we should take some group pictures, play in the snow (or was was left of it anyways), and just take advantage of and soak up the gorgeous Arizona sunset put on display that night. Afterwards, some of us went back inside to explore.

Our beautiful view of Flagstaff’s marvelous sunset.
Maddie snaps a selfie while admiring the falling sun.








Of course another selfie is needed, especially whilst flinging snow (accidentally of course, at Shaelin, who was gracious enough to capture the whole event in photos.


Laura admires a table filled with homemade jewelry.
We all couldn’t help but admire the chemistry between these two as they sang during the event

At about 6 o’clock, after having been at the Colton Garden Showcase, we carpooled to Rosemary’s house for some chili, and of course some animal snuggles, be them from her very sweet dog Chaco, or her two… less sweet… but VERY cute and rambunctious goats, Petri and Pickles.

Chaco, of course was a fan favorite at                          Rosemary’s house, maybe he just                                           wanted some chili actually,                                                             but oh well.
And who could forget Bryn, who adorably gave/threw us Christmas presents.

Later that night after we all stuffed ourselves full with Rosemary’s DELICIOUS chili, we headed out the door with hugs and pretty sad goodbyes, at least for me. I really enjoyed this class and the view ad atmosphere it provided everyday. I am honored to say that I was part of this class and part of something bigger than just a college course for a credit. I had so much fun and I will miss everyone involved. It was a great semester and good luck to everyone, and may only good things come your way.


FYS Symposium

On the first of December our Growing Community class all attended the 2016 FYS Symposium at 5 PM sharp, our first one ever at that. At first, we all came in slowly but eventually all of us got there to help set the table up.

Some of our fellow FYS class table setups.
Our table was set up right near the entrance, it was the first thing you saw walking in.
(from left to right) Laura, Hailey, Kaelyn, and Lizzie make sure the table setup looks good.

At the beginning of the event, a well-known and obviously well-liked Professor took the microphone to introduce the event and explain what was going to happen throughout the course of it. First there was going to be a skit performed by his Civic Engagement class, then there was food served at 6:15, when we could also do some exploring around the different tables to see if any caught our attention, or were related to our class and what we learned. Then, we were to meet back at about 7:15. With all that time to explore, there were some booths that stood out to me, as we have talked and/or read about them in depth in Growing Community.

This class’s poster showed the evolution of Flagstaff from a small town, to a (still) rapidly growing city.
This group focused on GMOs and the harmful effects they have on our bodies.
Here, the Pollinator Group showed off their beekeeping gear, as well as a handmade bee box.

There were other interesting booths that caught my eye as well, but not because they had to do with what we learned per say, but with what I gathered and noticed from our class and the wonderful people in it.

The skit drew me to this booth, which highlights the importance of making a difference.
This poster talked about how the technology today can get the best of us, but we still must stay connected and know what is going on in the world around us.
This setup explained the importance of closeness in society and in relationships between most things.

Finally after we all got to walk around and see all of the tables and what they had to offer, we all sat down for a group activity where we sat in a circle and just basically talked the entire time about our classes and why we loved them. Turns out, that everyone really loves these FYS classes, and it is easy to see why. Each class itself is like a smaller community within a larger one, with people who become closer throughout the class and may even come out of their shell a bit. I thought that this was a really great event and I hope that everyone enjoyed it as much as I genuinely did.


Written by: Alix Morris