Product Development

On October 16, 2017 the Monday ALTS group met up in the Boundaryless lab to brainstorm new ides.

Weather: 71 degrees Fahrenheit

4:00 to 6:00pm

By: Hannah Humphrey and Kylie Berger


We have been introduced to Boundaryless @ NAU which, is a safe place for creative thinking and producing. For our final we have to come up with a “Sustainably & Locally Made” product. My group which includes Kylie Berger, Robert Gray, and Ryan Sanchez came up with the idea of Planting Kits. Boundaryless helps us figure out our product development and how we can sell it and resources we can use to make our product. IMG_2777

In this picture, Kim, is telling us what he expects of us in today’s ALTS and how we can use the employees at Boundaryless to find out more information on our product. Once Kim is finished we all started getting busy with what we needed to do. Everyone grabbed their whiteboards, markers, paper and laptops to help them plan out this product. IMG_2774 Ryan Sanchez and Robert Gray looking up the best way to do a sales pitch and how to execute it. All the groups by this time are together and working on their product. Some groups are ahead of others while other groups are still deciding on a good local and sustainable product they could make. As I was working with my group I heard other groups talking about days they could all meet up to go out and look for locally made products they could use. Other groups were focusing more on their sales pitch and how they were going to present it to the class. Overall this ALTS day allowed us to meet as a group and start getting a head start on our projects. Even though the ALTS time is cut an hour early since the lab is only open to 5pm we still got a lot of the stuff done that needed to be.



How Much are You Wooling to Help?

Friday ALTS October 13th 2017

Weather: Clear blue sky, 65 degrees, and no wind

By: Adaleigh Glassbrook and Claire Ghan

IMG_0370For Friday ALTS we split into three groups to divide the work that needed to be done. One group dug out stubborn weeds in order to provide room for new plants to grow in the upcoming season. Some of the weeds were left as they provided a good source of ground coverage without the risk of harming future growth. The second group pushed wheelbarrows of mulch to the areas where they were needed to help protect the ground. The much consisted mostly of wood-chips and pine-needles. These two groups worked together by the first clearing an area of weeds and the second by filling the newly cleared area with mulch. The groups then switched roles about halfway through our ALTs session time.IMG_0383The third group pulled apart pieces of raw wool to remove clumps of foreign matter and to prepare it for the next process in Christine and Candace project, cleaning. The wool was provided from Candace’s family sheep and she sheared some of it herself. The majority of us had never worked with wool before so it was quite an experience (we touched a lot of poop). There were a few large seeds found within the wool which we collected to avoid accidentally adding new plants to the garden. The wool group sat in the shady area of the willows which provided some cool relief from the warm weather. IMG_0385However, we were able to keep our spirits high by conversing about personal interests. Kim, pictured above, pulled apart raw wool tediously to clean it as much as he could. While the wool was not a typical ALTs project it was completed in order to help out our fellow classmates with their final project.We all had an enjoyable and memorable experience, while still working hard.



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”

Forestdale Farms 10/4/17

Authors: Judianna Booth and Emma Tilton

Last Wednesday, we had the opportunity to accompany Rylan, the owner of Forestdale Farms, to his eco-friendly farm to learn all about what it takes to grow in high altitude and to help clear out some soil beds to get ready for the next season.IMG_8630.CR2 Here, he explains to us that in these beds they plant everything very close in order to preserve water on the farm. These beds are raised which helps to keep out rabbits and gophers, which also helps with preserving water. The hoops above the beds help to keep the covers up in order to protect the beds from the harsh weather that Flagstaff gets.

IMG_8621.CR2This greenhouse has an aquaponics system that helps a lot with plants starting out because it gives a great source of nitrogen. There are tubs underneath that contain fish (small, fathead minnows) to help fertilize the plants. The tubes that run throughout the greenhouse circulate water through the tanks. The benefits is that it stays warm a good majority of time because of the water that’s constantly in there. There’s little to no water loss  because of the tanks underneath that catch water that drips out.

IMG_8631.CR2Kale that is grown close together in a raised bed. Thanks to these raised beds and cloth lining, the farm gets an almost 100% harvest from them since the wildlife isn’t able to really get to the plants. These beds also have a drip irrigation so that they are able to turn on/off each bed as it’s needed instead of watering everything at once, even when a certain bed may not need it thanks to their water conservation efforts.

IMG_8632.CR2This is the pond that the farm gets all of it’s water from since they are not on the city’s water system. All the water that is used is rain water which means that the Rylan doesn’t have to have water hauled into the farm. Conservation is definitely important for the farm since they only get it when it rains. In this pond they keep the bigger fish (catfish, rainbow trout, and bass) to later harvest for themselves (but not to sell).

Thanks to the moisture & heat enclosing greenhouses, Rylan can continue to grow “microgreens” through the winter at temperatures as low as 25 degrees Farenheit! These greenhoues (also called “season extenders”) also help collect water for the pond and minimizes watering needs of the crops.

This chicken coop is made of cork wood to help keep in heat during the cold winter nights. When the chickens are done laying eggs, they are sold as meat to local vendors while turkeys are sold mostly for their eggs. Also, the turkeys are bred naturally through a process called “heritage breeding,” allowing the turkeys to be less stressed than they may have otherwise been

IMG_8667.CR2At the end of the day we were so happy to have been able to get our hands a little dirty and learn so much about sustainable farming! Thank you so much to Rylan and his lovely Forestdale Farm! Go check them out at the local Flagstaff farmer’s market on Sundays!

Monday ALTs – Working the Land

October 9th, 2017

We froze right along with the garden on Monday as bracing winds drove the full force of 49*F through our light jackets! This was an anomaly for the week, with forecasts warming up to the mid-sixties, and breezes bringing in the afternoons through the weekend. Although nobody was really prepared for the chill in Colton Garden, we set to work with minimal boo-hooing, and the time seemed to fly by. Kim started us off by explaining the emerging role of native wildflowers in land restoration: spreading native seeds over tired soil prevents invasive species from taking over and stops erosion in its tracks. SO:

…we dug up the now-dried wildflower stalks and trimmed off their delicate brown flowers:

…and saved them for Flagstaff residents to use. I was reminded of the Flagstaff Seed Library, where locals can acquire seeds optimal for Flagstaff growing conditions. Our work directly supported the Library’s mission to improve the success of Flagstaff’s gardeners and optimize their land use — a hands-on experience unique to this class!

Meanwhile, the rest of our group divided among the planter beds removing dead plants and harvesting what we could. For example, a group of us pulled the scarlet runners from their track of land behind the Monsoon Garden, replete with molding, squishy bean pods. 


Because of our early freeze this year, many of the plants hadn’t had time to mature, so most beans were brown or wrinkly. The healthy ones, however, looked like this:

Their beautiful purple overtones blew us away. We harvested what we could, cleared away the rest, and moved on to the final small jobs for the day. There were strawberry and asparagus plants that needed covered with hay…

…and the cauliflower plants were ready for the compost pile:

As the sun set and the air cooled further, we put the shovels and wheelbarrows back in their places and loaded up to leave. Colton Garden saw a busy day on Monday, and our class is heating up with final projects in the works, but the autumnal bustle is certainly exciting!

– Shyla Cox


Robert Grey, Ryan Sanchez

On Monday October 2, 2017 our ALTS Group had met at the union in the Success Center for a collaborative brainstorming day. The weather was nice out but that did not really matter for the fact we were inside the whole class. But as you can see in the pictures everyone had got into their project groups and came up with creative ways to construct their final projects. We actually did not have the speaker of the day come talk to us due to unfortunate events. So that day we had one of the people who works at the Success Center talk to us about what that place is and what it does. Basically that center is an idea center if you have an idea or thought to help better campus or anything the Success Center helps you turn your idea into reality. That is why we were there we were turning our ideas for our projects into reality. Learning marketing and other strategies to help us figuring out realistically how we can come up with a product that people really want to buy. Within my group we had thought of a fun a creative set that would be cheap but also great to buy for gardening. We came up with a simple planting kit that could be sold for about 10-15 bucks that people could take home and start gardening with ease and eventually see if they want to get into the gardening scene. Not just our group but others start to put together a list or some sort of plan to come up with their ideas and how to put together the supplies to make their product. After everyone for the most part also figured out how much they wanted to sell their products for. Not just for gardening anyone on campus could easily sit in the Success Center for a hour and spit some ideas and could really have those ideas shape into something more. Not to mention it is in the union so you could always eat after too which gives some students for example the idea to change the food choice we have at this school.



Robert Frost-ing the Frost

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
-Robert Frost

We began our time at Colton Gardens with creativity and mindfulness: two key aspects to health often overlooked in the mind of a college freshman. As Kim instructed us to find solitude and express ourselves imaginatively, we realized how taking time like that is paralleled to the work we do on the garden. We must care and tend to ourselves to allow our souls to bloom in the process.

IMG_0087 Displaying IMG_0095.JPG As we learned about the tradition of haikus, Kim showed that nature can be the best inspiration. The weather on the twenty-ninth was sunny and warm, the perfect forecast for sitting under a tree and writing about what was seen, felt, and known.

Displaying IMG_0076.JPGAlthough the class didn’t share what was written or drawn during our meditative time, we shared an unspoken understanding of what we felt. We kept our art and carried it with us. I think we all will for a while.Displaying IMG_0069.JPG

The second half of the class was a clean-up of the sundry of harvests lost to the previous frost. It was a sort of funeral service, in a sense, with withered kale and squash making their way to the compost bins.

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Our group split into teams – some would handle the perished tomatoes, some the kale. As we gathered into our groups to do our bidding, the sun harshly struck our backs. The wind, however, was gentle. It grazed along our arms as we pulled roots and piled the dead vegetation in wheel barrels. Light conversation ensued as we focused on our tasks at hand. It was a quiet time of the class, though our groups seemed connected over the shared responsibility of managing the garden, and the potential that was lost due to the frost. Shortly after, Kim winded down our tasks with a pleasing bell, and called us back to our designated table.Displaying IMG_0092.JPG

Reflecting on the time in the garden, the browned leaves represented a sort of rebirth. As winter approaches us, we can only view it as an opportunity to make the garden thrive under harsh conditions, and enliven our efforts in cultivating successful harvests.