Grow Our Own 2021….we made it!

Spring 2021! We actually, finally made it!

2020 was the longest year in history!


Racism.  Division. 

Civil Unrest.

Disruption of supply chains.  Over flowing Hospitals. 

Nothing is the same as it was a year ago and unfortunately, we’re not through yet. 

Everything is different….everything except…Spring!

In March 2020…the Pandemic had just started. Because of this, supply chains were down and food supplies were worrisomely unstable. Not to mention we were all worried if we would ever have enough toilet paper?

Because of this, GYCC decided to start a new program “Grow Our Own; A Garden for the Community”

A Garden brings hope and sustainability, together with a sense of Community; even during a lockdown!

Actual Produce from GYCC’s Garden

But how do you start a Community Garden quickly with only a plot of orange clay dirt, weeds and a shockingly tiny budget of $150.00?

The answer? Straw Bales!

Click Here to read about how we got our Straw Bale Garden Started!

Because straw bales are cheap and can be placed almost anywhere, we were able to get started suprisingly fast!  Here is our Fall 2020 “Grow Our Own Garden” planted out:

GYCC’s Garden Planted

It’s finally one year later and because Straw Bales are so positively hardy, we are able to use them for a second year!

Here is the Straw Bale Garden just a few weeks ago in March of 2021!

After an entire year of lockdown and “stay-home-everything”, we were desperately ready to get out in the garden!

But March had other ideas….

What do you when 2021 gives  you snow when you want to be gardening?

You build a DIY Straw Bale Greenhouse!

Ugly?  Absolutely!  Functional?  Heck yes!

The bales are heating and because we are early, we can start our own seeds!

Starting our own seeds!

Stay tuned and join us for weekly updates! 

Together we can build a stronger Community in 2021….one bale at a time!


Pat Beitel Joins “Grow Our Own”!

When Times get tough…the tough get gardening!

GYCC is reaching out to the Community to provide a sense of hope and a bit of control in these chaotic times. Together we can be prepared to thrive, no matter what comes next.

With the “Grow Our Own” Program we are working to increase the integrity of the local food chain, support Emergency Preparedness and provide a great way to meet new friends and make connections during quarantine!

This is Pat! Pat Beitel is a retired RN, MSN, WHNP with an absolute passion for community advocacy and public health. She believes that education is an equalizer and she jumped in at the chance to educate the public on emergency preparedness and food sustainability.


And this is Pat’s Straw Bale Garden!

Pat lives in the Mountains of Prescott and shares her lovely property with lots of wild life, including a family of deer. Normal in-ground gardening was not an option for Pat and her husband Gary, but she was excited to try out something new!

Straw Bale Gardening is a great opportunity for individuals, families and organizations to grow their own food and some to share with the Community.

  • Participants can choose to grow from one….to ten Straw Bales at their home or Organization.
  • GYCC will provide Education, Support and Networking with other Gardeners

After the Bales were delivered- Pat started the 10 day Conditioning Program where she added Nitrogen Fertilizer on specific days and soaked the bales daily. Here’s what that looks like:

After 10 days or so the Bales were ready to Plant!

But Pat wasn’t the only on excited about the Plants! A family of deer hungrily watched as she planted the beds. So here is Pat’s stylish solution to the local furry raiders.


Join GYCC and “Grow Our Own”!

Grow our Own” is a new approach to Gardening for the Community – It’s a Satellite, Grow your own Hay Bale Garden program Supporting Preparedness & Community Networking

  • Participants can choose to grow one…or ten Straw Bales at their home or Organization
  • GYCC will provide Education, Support & Networking to other gardens
  • Produce can be used for individuals or shared with the Community Network.

Hay Bales will provide gardening opportunity those who not capable of having a garden in their current living circumstances. This will be a pilot program to teach those who wish to learn about home gardening, and hopefully, with your help, provide starter kits to help them kick off their own personal gardens.

For more information or to start your own Straw Bale Garden Visit Us Here.

GYCC Gets Plants


So after spending about 12 days Conditioning our Straw Bales, we eagerly awaited the chance to put in our “Plant Babies”.

The “Conditioning Phase” went pretty smoothly. Here’s the schedule we followed:

We just used regular, non-organic lawn fertilizer for the nitrogen this time and applied it as directed. Then we soaked them really well daily.

We eagerly watched the Bale Temperature on Days 13-15. We used our regular kitchen meat thermometer and just stuck it in the top of the bale

Because we got a bit of a late start, we decided to purchase plant starters, which are plants that have been commercially grown as opposed to starting our own from seeds. We were so excited that we purchased our Plant Babies a little too soon and had to keep them watered and shaded for a few days.

Here they are!

Now….we wait!

On Day 16 our Bales were still 125 degrees! It was so hard to wait!!

Finally, on Day 17 the Temperature dropped below 100 Degrees and we were able to give our Plant Babies a new home!

Here it is in all it’s Straw Bale Glory!

Join us next time as we check out our Satellite Garden at Pat Beidel’s House!


Molly Freibott is the Co Founder of GYCC. She has a passion for organizing, managing programs supporting the Community and Faith Based Programs, especially those for under supported populations.

Grow Your Own – Our First Garden!

GYCC’S “GROW OUR OWN” PROJECT – Preparing to Thrive!

So we wanted to start a Garden….in a hurry?

8 Weeks of Quarantine… Grocery Stores Empty… Schools Closed… Businesses Shuttered…
How do we start re-opening and prepare for a future that is unsure?  We do what Humans have always done in both hard times and good ones… Garden!

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”
Audrey Hepburn

“But,” you might be thinking, “I don’t have room, time, good soil, lots of money. . .”

Well neither did we!  So we decided to try Straw Bale Gardening.

Follow along as we here at GYCC give Straw Bale Gardening (SBG) a try!!!

Like a lot of residents in Yavapai County, our property is basically giant rocks surrounded by clay.  I spent literally weeks digging out regular “in ground” beds and hauling in soil.  It was a LOT of work!

Enter Joel Karston’s Book “Straw Bale Gardens” and the glowing reviews from a co worker who shared these gorgeous pics of her SBG.

The idea of a No-Dig, Weed-Free, Self-Watering Garden was sounding pretty good!

We had an area in our back “Yard” whose only qualifications for garden readiness were:

  • Relative levelness
  • Access to a hose
  • Well….that’s it…

Here it is Before- we did clear out the weeds:

The only prep we did was to lay down card board donated from Prescott Maytag Show Room.  Thanks Maytag!

We ordered our Straw Bales from Olsens Grain in Dewey They helped us make sure we got straw: the yellow stuff, not hay or alfalfa.  They will deliver your bales straight to your home and even unload them for about $20.  (Be sure you tip well!)

During the early days of the Pandemic & lock down Straw and Alfalfa flew off the shelves as ranchers and farmers stocked up. Just another reason to start now while supplies are more secure.

We had a wonderful Volunteer make 2 trips in a pick-up truck to deliver our bales. Then Nick, my son and GYCC Volunteer, wheel barrow-ed them back to the area.

Here are the Supplies we purchased:

  • 6 T Poles to put at the end of each row of Bales
  • 2 Soaker Hoses
  • Wire and Wire Cutters
  • The Fertilizer – just regular High Nitrogen Fertilizer without any pesticide.

We may only need one soaker hose- so we’ll see.  Keep your receipts!

Now the bales are ready to be “conditioned”. For the next 10 days Science will turn these bales into mini-growing-powerhouses!

Learn more about the “Grow Our Own” Program Here!


Molly Freibott is the Co Founder of GYCC. She has a passion for organizing, managing programs supporting the Community and Faith Based Programs, especially those for under supported populations.