Mesquite Education Program

Help us refurbish a Hammermill and bring an Eat Mesquite Education Program to the Valley!

We want to help YOU create your own Native-Tree-to-Table experiences!

A message from Greg Peterson:

My name is Greg Peterson and I own and run The Urban Farm here in Phoenix.  My journey started to my best recollection in 1974 – I was 14 years old and wrote a paper on how we were over-fishing the oceans.  And it stuck. Since then I have extended my education through ongoing classes and courses, earned a Masters in Environmental Planning (2006) and trained thousands of people on how to grow their own food.

My dad funded the first couple times that we rented the mesquite mill from Tucson.  It was a magical experience the first few years as Don Titmus and I, and many people from our local community, hosted classes on harvesting beans, sponsored walkabouts to pick beans and made mesquite pancakes for our public breakfasts.

My frustration has mounted over the past few years as our lack of organizational structure has prevented us from bringing the mill to Phoenix.  So a few months ago I put it out to our community that we needed 1) a mill and 2) a crew of people to help run the milling program.  Magically the universe heard and provided both. Within days we had assembled a crew AND found a used mill in Aravaca, AZ.

Our new (used) GrowPHX Community Mill brings a new level of food independence to our Valley.  One where we can harvest an unlimited resource hanging in trees and turn it into food that nurtures our soul and fills our belly.

By contributing to the GrowPHX Community Mill you will give us the freedom to move our local food system that much closer to independence.  We have committed to purchase the mill which is the first tool going into our Cool Tool Shed. And it will live in the organization that Kari Spencer and I created called GrowPHX.  We are in the process of creating GrowPHX into a community asset to build local infrastructure around our food system.

The Cool Tool Shed will have tools that can be rented for harvesting and processing local food.  Tools like my apple crusher and press that I use once a year… then it sits. Why not make it available for the public to use?  The mesquite mill and fruit press are literally just the tip of the proverbial apple & mesquite tree.

Please join us as we craft and build a powerful and remarkable local food conversation.  Come on…let’s have fun!

A message from Don Titmus:

When I was a boy, I wild-harvested in England where I grew up – blackberries, apples, pears, and cherries. I helped my grandad and dad with the garden, and dumpster dove before it was a thing…. generally lived well on less. So after becoming a Permie I ramped up my wild harvesting skills and set about eating really locally!

Greg and I arranged for the Tucson mill to be transported [extra cost], because it was time for Phoenix to get our own hammermill. Now we can mill in our time and schedule the milling events throughout the Valley!

Mesquite is a whole food.  It was the staple of the native peoples of this land for centuries. I am passionate about this project and believe that our fundraising project is critical to bringing many successful years of milling to the Valley.

I believe that our GrowPHX Community Mill will give us opportunities to feed nutritious local food to our families and community.  So please find your comfort level to contribute and help our us pay for, upgrade, and maintain our GrowPHX Community hammermill.  Thank you!


Our Goal

Our first goal is to raise $12,000 and get us set up before our planned public milling events in summer 2019.  At this time we are focused on mesquite bean milling, but if community interest exists, we would like to expand to carob and other native tree bean milling.  The funds will go towards:

  • The purchase of the hammermill – DONE
  • The repairs & upgrades the hammermill requires – In Process
  • Operating expenses and safety equipment – In Process
  • Ongoing education, management and materials so you can learn safe harvesting and storage techniques to ensure success with your very own mesquite flour – Starting Soon


Our Contribution Campaign continues… What You Get:

Level 1 – $25 and up

  • With ALL contributions of $25 or more, we will post a thank you to you on our GrowPHX website, where you can take pride in helping us develop a community focused on food independence.  Additionally, you will receive a minimum of one pound of free mesquite millings.  Just bring us your beans to our first public milling in 2019.

Level 2 – $50 and up

  • All contributors of $50 or more will receive two tickets to the next Great American Seed Up valid for either Friday or Saturday.
  • Additionally, you will receive a minimum of one pound of free mesquite millings.  Just bring us your beans to our first public milling in 2019.


Level 3 – $75

    • With a $75 contribution, you will receive The Desert Harvesters Recipe Book.  A wonderful book published by Desert Harvesters out of Tucson, AZ with over 170 recipes for mesquite and and other foods from the Sonoran Desert.
    • Additionally, you will receive a minimum of one pound of free mesquite millings.

Level 4 – $100

    • With a $100 contribution, you will receive our Level 4 milling membership, three years of mesquite millings, five pounds per year in the early summer milling events.  That’s 15 pounds in total!

Level 5 – $175

    • Contributions of $175 will receive a one hour phone garden consultation with Farmer Greg Peterson of the Urban Farm.  Greg uses Google Earth, and photos you send him to help you solve problems in your urban farm, and can help you with planning and layout for new urban farms.
    • You will also receive your choice of two fruit trees from Choose from any of the bare root trees or 5 gallon citrus trees (up to $96.00).
    • Additionally, you will receive a minimum of one pound of free mesquite millings.

Level 6 / 7 – $250

  • Generous contributors of $250 will receive their choice of either an onsite Permaculture consultation with Don Titmus, or our Level 7 milling membership.

 – – Permaculture Consult Option

    • The Permaculture consult includes Don Titmus a local Permaculture consultant and teacher will walk you through a Permaculture design – just for you and your project. Don generally takes about 90 minutes in all to do a general overview, and then will begin to lay out design features and landscape flags for your future implementation.
    • Additionally, you will receive a minimum of one pound of free mesquite millings.  Just bring us your beans to our first public milling in 2019.

– – Milling Option

    • The Level 7 milling membership includes three years of mesquite milling of 10 lbs of millings in at our milling events.  That’s 30 pounds total!

Level 8 – $1000

    • For our most devoted contributors of $1,000, we offer our VIP Level Milling Membership.  This includes includes three years of mesquite milling of 10 lbs of millings at our events, a total of 30 pounds.
    • Contributors will also receive their choice of the phone consultation with Greg Peterson and two fruit trees, or the onsite Permaculture consultation with Don Titmus
    • Plus a copy of the Desert Harvesters Recipe Book.
    • And the satisfaction that you have contributed deeply to our local food system.


The Project

All of the funds contributed will go towards our hammermill, and the repairs and expenses associated with its operation.  Every contribution will help us in our effort to build Greg’s dream of a Cool Tool Shed. Any donations in excess of our goal will be used to further the Cool Tool Shed and our dream of a food secure Phoenix!  We’re open to community ideas about what to add to the Cool Tool Shed next.

When you contribute at any level, you’ll be put on our email list, and we’ll be sending out emails letting you know about educational events, and we’ll let you know when harvest season is approaching, as well as letting you know when and where the mill will be located in June 2019.  Please note:  GrowPHX will not be supplying mesquite beans.

The good news is that this project is created and managed by a crack team of people that get EPIC done.  Locally over the past decade we have been responsible for over 15 Permaculture Design Courses, 19 years of The Urban Farm Fruit Tree Education Program, multiple GrowPHX educational summits, The Great American Seed Up x4, thousands of people educated on how to grow their own food, and our ongoing urban farm tours that have been going on since 2001.  This project is in very good hands

Other Ways To Help

There are other ways you can contribute to our hammermill and Eat Mesquite Education Project.  We’re always looking for people who can assist with the repairs, or people who would like to volunteer their time on milling days.

You can also help by spreading the word about our fundraising efforts with friends and family who might be interested in contributing.  Please use the Facebook and Twitter links above, and feel free to share a link to our campaign.

If you, or someone you know would be interested in volunteering their time and efforts please email Ryan at