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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ultimate Renegade Garden

This has got to be the most amazing backyard garden I've ever seen. A family of four in Mesa, Arizona has created its own backyard ecosystem in an unfilled pool, turning a money/energy pit into a oasis of fresh organic veggies, fruits and herbs, as well as chickens and tilapia fish. You've got to see it to believe it.

I'm a novice gardener who's experienced more failures than successes, but I keep plugging away at it and am seriously inspired by people who get out there and make sustainable backyard farming happen in even the most inhospitable of places (namely, the freakin' desert). Here in Austin we're lucky to have tons of resources for the diy-minded home gardener and some really passionate gardening citizens.

This spring I participated in the Citizen Gardener workshop with my dear friend Sarah, where we learned the basics of organic gardening via the bio-intensive, raised-bed method for growing vegetables, as well as composting. It's free if you volunteer 10 hours in a community garden or $50 for the three classes, and they have new groups starting in the coming weeks.

The Garden Posse is our local group of guerrilla gardeners, where members transform public and private spaces into edible landscapes and use "seed bombs" made of seeds and mud to spread the love. I like that whole "make food, not bombs" ethos, and these people do some seriously cool landscaping all over town and all over the east side in particular.

In Pasadena, California, a family has been turning their home into the ultimate urban oasis, where they grow their own food, make their own biodiesel, raise chickens, goats, ducks and rabbits, and basically stay as off-the-grid as possible. People can really be amazing.

While I can't say I'll ever be the next Urban Homesteader, I do know that someday I want my yard to look like this:


And when we finally buy our own home, I'm gonna make food, not lawns.

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