Feed Your Hunger for Knowledge: Food Education Programs

This article was written by Local Food Systems Intern, Sarah Schenck.

With events like this past week’s Devoured Culinary Classic, last month's Savor Tucson and many more, it’s evident that Arizona’s food scene is on the rise, and not just for the seasoned chefs, restaurants, and self-proclaimed foodies. Interest in local food and its role in building vibrant communities is taking root across Arizona, rendering educational programs more accessible than ever. Regardless of your whereabouts, there are numerous organizations invested in providing tools for more comprehensive knowledge of sustainable food systems.

Among those is the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, which is the federally recognized agricultural education and innovation hub of Arizona and has offices statewide. The Cooperative Extension offers educational resources, news, and events to help people build thriving, sustainable lives, communities and economies. Another great resource is Mesa Community College’s Sustainable Food Systems Program, which now houses Good Food Finder's founder, Natalie Morris, and also provides students a strong foundation to become systems-oriented change agents.

You may have heard of Good Food Finder, but did you know it's much more than just a directory that helps you search for healthy foods? Showcasing an extensive offering of Food Studies Programs locally and globally, GFF also serves as your link to the next step in food education.



Beyond these programs, there is a plethora of opportunities to feed your hunger for knowledge and enable hands-on involvement in the local food system.

The following groups offer ongoing workshops and classes, and we've included some highlights of what's coming up:


Northern Arizona

Watterslogo2009Watters Garden Center

March 28th Grape, Brambles & Blueberries to the Kitchen Students learn the best grapes, berries and all things vegetable along with plant foods and an ever increasing harvest. Dozens of fruiting varieties will be on hand and all the professionals to help you increase the eats in your landscape.

Future classes here.


Central Arizona

6407Valley Permaculture Alliance

March 28th Your Spring & Summer Herb Garden This class will give you the basics of growing herbs successfully in garden beds or containers, and which herbs can be planted now for warm-season gardening.


April 4th Introduction Into Aquaponic Gardening Learn the details about aquaponic gardening: what it is, how it works, and how you can create one of these soil-free gardens.

Future events here.


Southern Arizona

food conspiracy coopFood Conspiracy Co-op

March 26th The Forgotten Organ: the Colony of Microbes in Your Gut

March 28th Taste of the Mediterranean with Cheralyn Schmidt (Demo)

April 2nd Your Teeth as a Reflection of Your Health with Jeanne Bjorn M.S. Holistic Nutrition (Demo/Lecture)

April 4th Nutrition 101 Part 2: Digestion with Robin Schuett-Hames NTP (Demo) April 8th A Great Day in the Morning: Vegan Breakfast Ideas

April 9th Eating for Beauty: Using Food to Increase Your Glow with Phoebe Jenkins and Annette Mariel (Demo)

April 11th Fermenting Food at Home: Fermenting Vegetables with Dan Dorsey (Demo)

Future events here.


community food bank logoCommunity Food Bank of Southern Arizona

March 20th Seed Saving Workshop

March 21st Planting a Healthy Garden Workshop

March 21st All About Soil Workshop

Future workshops here.

And if you've been thinking about moving into a career in the culinary arts, we recommend their Caridad Community Kitchen training program.


Additional Courses Statewide

Raw Organic Amaranth GrainMarch 21st Cook: Don’t Know Beans About Beans? Talk, Texture, & Taste…

March 28th Swirl: Cool Sorbet A Fruitful Experience w/ Helen Yung of Sweet Republic

April 4th Bake: Heirloom Grains and Baking

April 11th Vegan: A Taste for {Ayur=Life, Veda=Science & Knowledge}

April 18th Blend: The Healthy Sweet Tooth= Grass to Grains

April 18th Irrigation Basics Workshop

April 25th Celebrate: Earth Day Making the Mind-ful Meal