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

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

A Day in the Garden

Oct. 21st, 2016


We spent the first hour or so working on various projects in the garden.

One task was pulling weeds out of a plot where a garden expansion will happen. The other was changing the compost. In the compost bin, there are three areas; one for new compost to decompose, and two for old compost to be rotated between.

There were presentations on composting, as well as on the three sisters garden, which is a method of inter-cropping that involves corn, beans, and squash.

We also saw the worlds largest cauliflower and pumpkin!

The Cauliflower was delicious.

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

“Grow Flagstaff” Seed Library

The bus stop garden mural that was painted by young community members.

The Growing Community Friday ALT’s group was able to visit the “Grow Flagstaff” Seed Library during our weekly hours. The Coconino County Cooperative Extension office not only is home to the seed library, but also has a bus stop garden right outside the building.

The bus stop garden outside of the seed library building.

The seed library itself is a neatly organized set of 54 wooden drawers, that hold individual envelopes full of mostly localized seeds. Seeds in dark, dry, and cool environments like this are more apt to survive for longer period of time, and it was noted that the Seed Bank organizers have plans to store excess seeds in a small refrigerator so they last even longer.

The set of wooden drawers that contain the alphabetized seed packets.

A seed library sends a message to the community of Flagstaff that growing is possible, even  with increased elevation, and that we can come together to make growing non-GMO, localized plants, more accessible to the entire city. Grow Flagstaff encourages citizens to borrow seeds, grow them in their own gardens, and then save seeds from their plants that are more diverse and localized to Flagstaff climate/soil. There is no penalty for not being able to save your seeds though, which makes the process a lot more welcoming for beginner gardeners who may not have any seed saving experience. Every gardener will have a different experience with their borrowed seeds, and each plant that has saved seeds will have its own story. Members of Grow Flagstaff have the opportunity of sharing that plants story, so that the next person who grows their seeds will be able to connect more to the growth of their plants community history.

A packed of Anasazi Beans, and their description.

In order to check out seeds, a community member would just have to complete a couple of steps. First, filling out a membership form in their Grow Flagstaff binder will allow you access to the entire variety of seeds in their library. However when you do check out seeds, there is a limit of five packets of seeds per visit. Next, signing in to the logbook located on the front desk is important so that they have public record of the amount of community members who are using the library.

Our Graduate Assistant Nicole filling out a membership form for the Colton Community Garden.

The bus stop garden outside of the extension office was beautiful, harboring a wide variety of plants (such as kale, tomatillos, tomatoes, etc). With its close proximity to public transportation and an elementary school, the whole community has great access to the garden. They even encourage those who may need food or want to get into gardening to eat some of the produce from their garden beds. Anything that is not consumed from the garden goes to seed, and then is stored in new envelopes for the library.

Growing localized seeds that have been shared throughout the community is a very special experience each gardener can have. Flagstaff is lucky to have such an amazing seed library, and if you would like to get involved with Grow Flagstaff Seed Library, you can get more information and updates on their facebook page:



By: Kaelyn Gavin and Madelyn Norstrem

When in Sedona…

Mario’s Greenhouse. His tomato vines.
Beautiful view of the creek in Sedona.


Apple Orchard at the Garland’s Lounge.

On Sunday, October 30th a group of students from our Growing Community class took a trip down to Sedona where we got to experience many different activities. First, we went to Garland’s Lodge where we met with a man named Mario who showed us his magnificent garden and his greenhouse. He gave us some information on how he’s had to put wire up around the garden to keep the deer and other animals out. Mario also explained how he tested two different pest controls in his greenhouse. He also had huge vines of kiwis growing around and on his greenhouse. During our time at the Garland’s Lodge we got to see the Apple Orchard where they sell their apples at the local Sedona Farmer’s Market. We also got to play in the creek at the entrance of the Garland’s Lounge. We then went to the Indian Gardens Cafe and had delicious homemade local foods for lunch. After the cafe we headed to the Sedona Farmer’s Market. On our drive we got to see a little bit of downtown Sedona and got to meet some locals at the Farmer’s Market. At the Farmer’s Market, we talked to director of the market, and she informed us on the rules of how you can be a part of the market and also on some history of the Farmer’s Market. Some interesting things that she told us was that all venders are local and there are only food venders at the market. Overall it was a wonderful day and we got to experience a lot of new things in Sedona.


By: Joanie Strattman & Madi Skansi 

Photos by: Shaelin Wood