Forestdale Farm Field Trip

By: Kisni and Acacia

As a class, we all traveled over to Forestdale Farm on Wednesday, March 28th. Located very near to town, down a winding dirt road off of Butler, it was surprisingly accessible. When we arrived we all made our way up the driveway, meeting the personable and friendly Rylan, founder of Forestdale Farm. He proceeded to educate the group about the operations of Forestdale Farm. It is a 2 acre farm, founded 5-6 years ago. It has a healthy following and currently makes most of its revenue through its CSA (community supported agriculture) program and through seasonal markets. Forestdale Farm sells eggs, salad mixes, and other produce. The farm functions quite, requiring minimal input, as it was designed to be as much of a closed system. The farm has chickens, turkeys, fish for aquaponics, and many greenhouses and raised beds. Most structures on the farm were constructed from reclaimed materials, such as old greenhouses, found objects, and military shipping containers.

One of the many greenhouses
Raised beds inside a greenhouse

Raised beds dominated the majority of the acreage dedicated to farming, serving to deter pests, conserve water, and aid in the development of soil. Most were covered with hoop structures to allow tarp coverage, protecting the young plants from late frosts. The chickens on the farm play an important role on the farm, providing crucial nutrients to the soil via their waste. The forty or so chickens also provide eggs to the CSA members. The roosters present deter predatory birds from preying on the hens and are also used to breed more chicks. The chickens also consume scraps and control pests on the farm. There is a fourteen or so foot deep pond on the farm, serving as a rainwater catchment and as a home for the catfish and bass kept around to nitrify the water, that is then used for irrigation throughout the season. The pond is much deeper than it is wide, conserving the valuable resource by limiting evaporation.                                                                                                                                       

Water catchment tank
The fish pond

The farm was a wonderful example of how polycultures can be employed to benefit a farm for profit. After our tour, Rylan assigned tasks for us to do as small groups. We mulched a driveway area, mulched new paths throughout the farm, wrote out plant labels for the coming season, filled up sandbags to use as tarp weights, and more! We all gathered for a joyful group photo at the end of our time at Forestdale Farm, courtesy of Rylan. It was a lovely experience. Information about the farm and their CSA can be found at .

Class group photo

Biking and Chickens?: Tour de Coop

Sierra Gleason TourdecoopposterOn September 9th I had the incredible opportunity to participate in Tour de Coop, an event put on by Flagstaff Foodlink. It involved an entire day of biking around Flagstaff, enjoying both the scenery and local chicken coops.

Continue reading “Biking and Chickens?: Tour de Coop”

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

How to: A Tiny Home

For our final project in Rosemary Logan’s FYS Living the Good Life class, we decided, based on our personal interest, to post two blog entries involving sustainable homes, specifically tiny houses. This blog entry will be composed of the basic steps taken to build a tiny home.


Building a tiny home takes roughly three to four months to complete. The average size of a tiny home is between 100 and 400 square feet of livable space.



Framing consists of four factors: insulation, strength, weight and ease of construction. The framing must provide quality thermal insulation that is packed tightly, allowing for limited air leaks. The framework must be strong due to the amount of transportation the mobile home will undergo. Also, to allow for mobility, the tiny home will need to be light weight; omitting concrete, brick and other heavy materials. Lastly, the framework should be minimal enabling for a quick build.



When looking for materials to use for the walls of a tiny home, reclaimed materials are one of the best sustainable options. Some commonly used materials for tiny home walls are metal and wood paneling.



Electricity in tiny homes is often all routed to the same source. It is up to the owner to determine where the source of the electricity is going to be located. Tiny houses on wheels can also be powered off-gird through sources such as gas generators and alternative power systems like solar panels.



The most practical option for a water system in a tiny home is a tank and a pump. A tank will be placed within the tiny home with the use of a pump to circulate and pressurize the water. This is one of the best choices when it comes to living functionally off-grid.



The finishing touches allow the owner to be creative through personalizing their tiny home. Due to the minimalistic aspect of a tiny home, reclaimed furniture and supplies can be found through sources such as craigslist, garage sales and other second-hand shops. Finishing touches transform the process from a project to an inviting and cozy home.

Resources used in Blog & for more information regarding Tiny Homes:

Blog by Samantha Iannone and Sophia Sheehan

Why a Tiny Home?

For our final project in Rosemary Logan’s FYS Living the Good Life class, we decided, based on our personal interest, to post two blog entries involving sustainable homes, specifically tiny houses. To start off, we interviewed Lissa Buyske, who is currently in the process of building a tiny home in the flagstaff area.



Financially, Lissa could not afford property due to the climbing housing market in Flagstaff, Arizona. A tiny house was her solution. For 300 square feet of livable space, her cost came to a total of $27,000.


In addition to cost, Lissa was inspired by sustainable living. While the tiny house is in the process of being built, she is living with Rosemary Logan and her family who practice a sustainable lifestyle. During this short amount of time, living with the Logan’s, Lissa realized the impact living sustainably had on the environment. She noticed the amount she had been consuming and how much she could instead save through minor tweaks in her daily routine.


During the interview, Lissa mentioned, “Life is too easy, it’s simple to become disconnected” (Personal Communication, Buyske, April 21, 2017). Building a tiny home will force her to live healthier and to be more aware of her resource use.


Utilizing space is another emphasis when it comes tiny homes. After asking Lissa if she will be worried about the small amount of space, she reassured us that it would be fine for her. She stated, “I am most excited for my meditation space that will be located within the window in the backroom.. it is made out of a plank of wood that will fold out and hover over my bed” (Personal Communication, Buyske, April 21, 2017).


Lastly, a major benefit of owning a tiny home is that they are mobile. Lissa never wanted wanted to be locked into Flagstaff. Tiny houses are the perfect escape for adventurous, outdoorsy, earth-loving people.

Resources used for pictures in Blog:


Blog by Samantha Iannone and Sophia Sheehan