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, five Great American Seed Ups, a business networking support group, a community Happy Hour, our brand new Cool Tool Shed, and now the Speakers Bureau. 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, Founder

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 later taught the class Sustainable Food and Farms.

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.

You can reach him at greg@growphx.com

Kari Spencer, Founder

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.

You can find Kari at many of our events cheerfully guiding us and teaching us new urban farming skills.  You can reach her at themicrofarmproject@gmail.com

Janis Norton, Manager

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 like-minded people and build a food resilient community in this valley. She has named her own urban farm as Two Peace in a Pod and loves to share food-growing harvests and experiences with her friends and family.  In a her ongoing quest for knowledge she has earned her degrees in chemistry and sustainability, is certified in permaculture design and recently became a Master Gardener.  She is proud of the team that is coming together in GrowPHX and loves seeing the amazing things that are happening in our community.

You will find her at all the events, bouncing around making sure everything is working right and everyone is able to get the most out of the event.  You can reach her at janis@growphx.com

Katie Fiore, Speakers Bureau Coordinator

Katie has stepped up and really taken the lead on our new Speakers Bureau and will be a strong addition to the crew.  You can find her leading the Speakers Bureau meetings or assisting at the cashier tables at our events.  You can reach her at speakers@growphx.com

Renée Fourie, Marketing & Social Media Support

Renée has come on board with a passion for making a difference and is the presence behind most of the social media activity for our organization.  She can be found behind a camera at most of our events making sure we get the word out about what is happening in our community.  You can reach her at renee@urbanfarm.org

Ryan Hossler, Mesquite Program Coordinator

Ryan has helped the new Mesquite Education Program get started and has been instrumental in getting us ready for the first harvest and milling season.  He is the owner of 44 Paws Urban Farm & Nursery.  You can reach him at ryan@growphx.com.