About Us

GrowPHX is a collaborative educational project launched in 2013 by Kari Spencer of The Micro Farm Project and Greg Peterson of The Urban Farm. Since it’s inception GrowPHX has sponsored two garden summits, three permaculture design courses, and now five Great American Seed Ups. The company is now moving toward becoming a community based educational model that helps the Valley be more food secure.

Our Mission: To equip and inspire the community to grow food, to connect with others, and to enhance our lives and our environment.

Greg Peterson,

Greg is a green living and sustainability innovator sharing his passion about how to grow food in our cities.  In 2001 created The Urban Farm, an environmental showcase home in the heart of Phoenix, which he opens periodically for tours and classes.  Having grown food in Phoenix for four decades, Greg is well-versed in urban sustainability and food production.  Greg lives at the Urban Farm (www.urbanfarm.org) which features an entirely edible landscape, including over 75 fruit trees, rainwater and greywater harvesting, three solar applications, and extensive use of reclaimed and recycled building materials.Greg earned his master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning (MUEP) in December 2006 from Arizona State University where he now teaches the class called Sustainable Food and Farms.  Greg is in the process of launching Urban Farm University, an online educational platform, is on the board of directors for SustainableAZ, and developed a 200 hour online Urban Farming Curriculum.

His academic training has been augmented by 34 years of real world self-study, ownership of multiple businesses and a rich background in entrepreneurship, computer training, software development and management.

Greg’s Mission – To each day inspire people into their own level of greenness.

Kari Spencer,

Kari Spencer

Kari is a popular local gardening & homesteading speaker, and author of City Farming: How To Guide to Growing Crops and Raising Livestock in Urban Spaces (cityfarmingbook.com.).  Both a Master Gardener and a Master Farmer, Kari enjoys sharing her passion for growing and raising food with others. In addition to teaching classes all over the city of Phoenix, she is a talented instructor and curriculum writer in the Urban Farming department at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. Her family operates The Micro Farm Project, a small farm in North Phoenix, where gardens and livestock animals provide her family with fun and food. She loves to experiment with new ways to create a healthier, more self-reliant and sustainable lifestyle, and invites others to join her on the journey.

Janis Norton,

Janis wakes up every morning with a focus on Community, Family, Resilience and Education. With those driving forces at play, she is passionate about the work she does to help connect urban farming minded people and build a food resilient community in this valley. She has started her own urban farm called Two Peace in a Pod and loves to share food-growing harvests and experiences with her friends and family.