Food -> Water

AZ Water Garden Oasis: Growing Plants and Sustainability


Join Lynette and her dear friend Victoria as they delve into the world of self-sufficiency and independence. In this exciting YouTube video, they introduce the concept of aquaponics, a sustainable method that combines growing plants and raising fish in a harmonious system. Aquaponics offers a unique and efficient way to cultivate vegetables while conserving water and utilizing natural resources. Don’t miss out on this informative and inspiring journey beyond gold and silver!


0:00 Aquaponics
5:55 ITM Trading
6:48 Rain Catchment System
11:00 Tilapia Pond
18:49 Growing is an Art


Lynette (00:00):

If you think that the world is headed in a direction that makes you a bit concerned for the future, and you’d like to be as self-sufficient and independent as possible, then you’ve come to the right place. My name is Lynette Zang. Now it’s time to go beyond gold and silver. I am so excited to finally be able to introduce you to my very dear friend and a sister from another Mr.

Victoria (00:29):

That’s true.

Lynette (00:30):

Victoria. It is true. Yeah. We’ve known each other since 2013 when I put in a lot of the trees, a lot of the aquaponics. And she is my pond lady. So I’ll let you explain to them who you are and what you do. But she is my sister from another Mr. For sure.

Victoria (00:49):

Hi, guys. Again, Victoria. My business is called AZ Water Garden Oasis. And what that means is I do a lot of things with growing and water. I, my business it basically involves planting and selling water lilies different types of plants for the pond. I, I do it send all over the country. It’s not just here. Apparently it’s the only, I’m the only person left alive that does this <laugh> good. I’m very busy

Lynette (01:25):

Which is a good thing. So I’m really glad because we’ve been trying to pull this together for quite some time.

Victoria (01:31):

I know. She’s been asking me.

Lynette (01:32):

It’s true.

Victoria (01:33):

I’m just like, I, okay. I’m, I’m doing it. It’s just, you know, the way it is. So yeah, we met, you know, then on our aquaponic journey, that’s when I started the aquaponics.

Lynette (01:43):


Victoria (01:43):

So the aquaponic basically is similar to hydroponics except it’s way cooler because you are using sustainable products. So with, with hydroponics, you actually have to,

Lynette (01:58):

I’m gonna get outta the way so they can see the pond

Victoria (02:01):

Put you know, different nutrients in the water when you do aquaponics, it’s basically taking your pond water like this that has fish in it and running it through. For instance, that bathtub right there is essentially an aquaponic unit. So we could grow vegetables in there. So the water runs through that, the fish water, and there’s a lava rock in there and you grow right into the lava rock. So,

Lynette (02:28):

So why do you use the lava rock? Just for people that, you know, new people

Victoria (02:32):

You don’t have to, but I like lava rock because it’s really porous and it actually contains a lot more of the beneficial bacteria that you kind of need to keep ponds balanced. It also gives off extra nutrients to the plants, like iron and that type of thing. So that’s why I like it. I’ve tried everything and you can do other, other things, but that’s my fave. So not every vegetable grows in there, but a lot does. And I will say it again, I’m a lazy farmer, so I really like the fact that I can plant my seeds in there, or plants or whatever. I literally go to the, I don’t do it anymore, but when I started, I went to the store, bought green onions, snipped off the bottoms, stuck it in, in that case, in this little bathtub, and away we go. And I just clip it every single time I, I’ve been doing that. I have ’em year round. It’s no work. I don’t have to water it. I don’t have to Fertilize it.

Lynette (03:29):

So are those chives what? You, you know, you’re just sniffing the, the tops.

Victoria (03:32):

I’m just, I’m just snipping the tops. I’m leaving the root and it regrowth. Easy peasy. I have it all the time. It’s, it’s just an easy, easy thing. I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t have to water it. I don’t have to feed it. And guess what? 90% less water than conventional gardening. So it, it’s meaningful. Okay. Especially in this time that we don’t even know what’s happening. But it’s, it’s important.

Lynette (03:57):

Well, water is a huge issue for people around the world.

Victoria (04:00):

Exactly. I mean, this is really, I’m not exactly sure why we’re not doing this more because you’re actually growing. Fish protein, if you want to, you can, you can

Lynette (04:10):

We’ll, we’ll go to the tilapia pond. Cuz that’s where, so these are goldfish, which I put in there when I first bought this property back in 2010. I didn’t know if the pond was viable. Cause I had a pool pump and it was just kind of sitting

Victoria (04:26):

There. Yeah. They were messy.

Lynette (04:28):

Yeah. So I just bought some cheap goldfish and I thought, oh, I’ll throw ’em in and I’ll see what happens and they’re still, I think we lost one last week that from the ones that I put in in 2010. But, they survived it.

Victoria (04:43):

So Yeah. They’re super durable. This isn’t, I know it sounds daunting, but it’s really, if it was, I I wouldn’t be doing it because I need things to be kind of self-managing.

Lynette (04:55):

Right. So, yeah, that’s the good thing about aquaponics and permaculture.

Victoria (05:00):

Yeah, absolutely, right. Once you have the system in place, it, it, for all intents and purposes, does what it’s supposed to do. I have to pay attention to it, but I’m not out there bending down on the ground you know, putting stuff in my soil all the time either. So I really like it.

Lynette (05:19):

Here’s some penny wart.

Victoria (05:21):

This is penny wart?

Lynette (05:22):

Which we’re growing in the aquaponic bed.

Lynette (05:23):

And edible.

Victoria (05:24):

It’s very, it’s edible, it’s delicious, and it’s so nutritious.

Victoria (05:28):

Well, this is actually related to nasturtiums, if anybody knows what nasturtiums, which, which grow in, in terrestrial the ground. And you can eat those too. So I grow a lot of those. But yeah, these are great in salads. You can use them in soups or whatever, but yeah, it has a lot of nutrients and they grow like wildfire.

Lynette (05:49):

They do.

Victoria (05:50):

And it pretty much grows all over the country.

Lynette (05:53):

So let’s move on to some more ponds.

Speaker 3 (05:55):

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Lynette (05:58):

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Lynette (06:48):

Now you just did a remake, or re, you know, a jijing of the pond and you turn this into a lily pond, which I think is perfect.

Victoria (07:00):

Yeah. We just got done doing this. Here’s the amazing part is, I don’t know, I started like two months ago, right?

Lynette (07:07):


Victoria (07:07):


Lynette (07:07):


Victoria (07:07):

And I can’t even believe how fantastic and how quickly everything has grown and developed. She’s got several lillies blooming in here, which they may open before we’re done filming, but they, they usually open a little later in the morning.

Lynette (07:24):

Yeah. They’re gorgeous. There’s all different kinds in here, but we also have a lot of edibles in the floating islands.

Victoria (07:31):

Mm-Hmm. Yeah. So just, just fyi actually, canna tubers are edible.

Lynette (07:37):


Victoria (07:38):

Lillies are edible. So.

Lynette (07:42):

Now these cannas, these are the cannas?

Victoria (07:45):


Lynette (07:45):

There’s also some cannas that grow in soil, right?

Victoria (07:51):

They, they grow either way.

Lynette (07:53):

Oh. So any canna?

Victoria (07:55):

Pretty much. Some like it better than others. What I’ve come to decide that most of the standardized cannas do well, but the dwarfs, not so much

Lynette (08:06):

In, in the aquaponics

Victoria (08:08):

In the, in the pond or in the aquaponics.

Lynette (08:11):

So this is what I use for rain catchment. We also pull the water to do foliar spray on our other plants and trees and things. And we can also use it to make compost tea. It’s a much richer,

Victoria (08:29):

Yeah. Cuz it has all the fish fish waste in it.

Lynette (08:32):

Right. So if I needed to drink this water, then I run it through my Berkey water filter, because there’s no chemicals or anything that goes into this?

Victoria (08:42):

Yeah, absolutely. I mean even if you didn’t have this kind, you know, the Berkey water filter, you could make a sand filter and do it kind of more naturally if you were in a pinch.

Lynette (08:55):

But a pond is a phenomenal rain catchment system.

Victoria (08:58):

It is.

Lynette (08:58):

Because we’ve got some states that have made it, I mean, I don’t know how you do this, but illegal. Like Colorado, it, it’s illegal to catch rain.

Victoria (09:07):

Yeah, I know.

Lynette (09:08):

Hello. I mean, come on.

Victoria (09:11):

I know. It’s crazy, right?

Lynette (09:12):

It is crazy.

Victoria (09:13):

Okay, so let’s talk about edibles again.

Lynette (09:16):


Victoria (09:17):

I am way into finding beauty and edibles. That’s

Lynette (09:19):

Oh absolutely.

Victoria (09:19):

That’s holy grail, so I planted this out for you. When did you do the first pond?

Lynette (09:27):

2017 is when I did the, when I converted this. Yes.

Victoria (09:31):

So we planted, you know, these islands and, you know, basically everything then. So, my idea is to have beauty and functionality. So the pennywort, edible. Taro, edible. Please don’t eat it unless you read how to process taro though, the bulbs, because you have to cook it a couple of times or it’s, it’s not good. It’s not, it’s not a good thing. Down there, is the white flowers on that plant right there, that’s called Yerba Manza. Extremely medicinal. I mean, I have people order that from me all over the country to treat various ailments. I’m not gonna go into all, you can check it out, Yerba Manza. Love it. Grows like crazy. I think it’s hardy five, zone five through nine. It flowers almost all year here and stays green. You can make tea out of it in the morning. It really helps with congestion if you have that. People use it for poultices, for sores on their legs, good for your heart. It’s really, just check it out. So basically

Lynette (10:37):

There’s a whole island up over

Victoria (10:38):

There. All of this stuff, you, you could eat it.

Lynette (10:41):

Yeah. And that’s what we have to do. Part of what people also need to learn how to do, and I’ve, I’ve been working on this, I’ll work a little bit harder though, is, you know, finding food where you don’t think that there is food. Because food becomes the single biggest issue for people.

Victoria (10:58):


Lynette (10:58):

As we go through the transitions that we’re going through right now. And so, understanding that, this is all food. But let’s go to the tilapia pond. Look at all of that. I mean, it’s gorgeous. And the these tubers too are edible?

Victoria (11:17):

Yeah. All the cannas.

Lynette (11:19):

All the cannas, look at this, look at how gorgeous that is.

Victoria (11:21):

Isn’t it?

Lynette (11:22):

Oh, I love it.

Victoria (11:24):

I’m a canna lover, because here in Arizona they bloom about eight months out of the year, that’s pretty darn good.

Lynette (11:31):

Yep. Yep. And these are butterfly plants.

Victoria (11:34):

It’s a snowball butterfly. There was some up there. They, they probably flew away because we’re, we’re over here talking. But they usually swarm. It looks kind of like a butterfly museum. Oh theres one.

Lynette (11:48):

But then sometimes I’ll come out here and they’re just covered with the butterflies. It’s so gorgeous.

Victoria (11:53):

When we’re this close they kind of don’t come. But yeah, they, it grows super easy. So this is just, I don’t, it’s papyrus. So in ancient days they made paper. I have, I have no idea.

Lynette (12:07):

What? You’re not growing paper.

Victoria (12:10):

Yeah, I know, well, I am growing it, I just know how to make it. So this right here, I love this. This is bacopa monnieri, and it’s a very bitter plant. I try it every few years to make sure that I, that I can eat it and I can’t. So I had a lady come last week and she said, I’m just preparing it wrong. It’s very bitter, but if you cook it a certain way, it is not. But here’s the thing, if you look up bacopa monnieri, super great for you, really good for your brain. For one thing I’ve heard people that have brain injuries or Alzheimer’s kind of thing.

Lynette (12:45):

Oh, love to do that. Yeah. I like to do a lot to keep my brain functional.

Victoria (12:49):

Exactly. so I would have, what is your chef’s name?

Lynette (12:53):


Victoria (12:54):

Jayson. Look up bacopa monnieri, and see how to to properly cook that.

Lynette (13:00):

Yeah, I love this one. This is one of my favorites actually.

Victoria (13:02):

That’s water spinach. Here it it’s basically because we get so hot, like we’re 110 today.

Lynette (13:11):


Victoria (13:11):

Which is nuts. But

Lynette (13:14):

I’m starting to melt.

Victoria (13:15):

I know. But this is one of the only greens that grows prolifically in the heat. And guess what, you do nothing. I put, I think three weeks ago I put a couple of strands in there. That’s it. Stuck it in the lava rock. And look at this thing’s gonna be like growing crazy

Lynette (13:34):

All the way, way down here. It could take over this whole patio there

Victoria (13:37):

It so delicious. You can have it in a salad, you can have it in soup. Super good for you. Again,

Lynette (13:41):

You could just saute it really simply with little garlic. Garlic and little olive oil. And it’s delicious and very nutritious.

Victoria (13:49):

Exactly. Growing all this stuff is super good for you mentally.

Lynette (13:53):

Knowing how to feed yourself and take care of yourself, is really good currency. And we talk all about barterability, right?

Victoria (14:00):

Exactly. Exactly.

Lynette (14:01):

And that is any, anything that’s physical, but it’s also any skill that you possess.

Victoria (14:07):


Lynette (14:08):

It it is a great, you know, i I personally think this is a great time to learn new skills.

Victoria (14:13):


Lynette (14:14):

Right. Perfect. Time to learn new skills.

Victoria (14:16):

Oh, and so I think that’s cattail. Yeah. It’s cattail growing there. Again edible.

Lynette (14:24):

What part of the cattail is edible?

Victoria (14:26):

The tuber part. It’s.

Lynette (14:27):


Victoria (14:27):

Kind of. You cook it in kind of like potatoes. So I mean, a lot of part of the country has cattails going wild. Check out your environment, look around you, see, see what you would do. It’s good to know this. So, you know, it’s pretty hard to learn things when you’re in a, a panic mode.

Lynette (14:49):

Crisis, right. So this is the time

Victoria (14:52):

To learn how to take care of your body, what, how you can fix yourself holistically for, for stuff. And know what, how to feed yourself. It’s a great peaceful feeling. I recommend it.

Lynette (15:06):

Yeah. Really.

Victoria (15:07):

And here’s your mulberry. And it’s gorgeous.

Lynette (15:10):

I know.

Victoria (15:10):

And delicious.

Lynette (15:11):

Remember we put this in in 2013. It was so little. And we’ve got some great tomatillos.

Victoria (15:20):


Lynette (15:21):

Yep. Tomatoes. The tomato had some tomatoes for breakfast this morning. Was delicious. Love, delicious.

Victoria (15:28):

Nothing like homegrown tomatoes. You cannot buy them and have it taste that way.

Lynette (15:34):

So welcome to our tilapia pond. Let’s see.

Victoria (15:38):

Tilapia. In, in this tilapia pond is water lettuce that’s growing on here. Usually there’s hyacinth too. We don’t have any in here right now, but we’ll get, get some. So I don’t know how many of you have looked.

Lynette (15:55):

So you can’t see the fish because they hide, but when you feed them, you can see that there’s a lot of fish in there.

Victoria (16:02):

And the thing that’s, depending on what part of the country, tilapia is a warm water fish. So if you weren’t in that part of the country, you might grow something else, or you could heat it in the winter.

Lynette (16:17):

Now this pond is only three feet deep, so you could see it, it’s not very big, but you can grow a lot of tilapia.

Victoria (16:24):

You can grow a lot. Yeah, that’s right. The thing that’s nice is, I, I think I put my tilapia in, you know, whenever, what, what year did you start?

Lynette (16:33):


Victoria (16:34):

Okay. So, that’s about when I started my tilapia pond. And I have babies from those fish. So, so that’s how long, that’s how sustainable that is.

Lynette (16:44):


Victoria (16:45):

Because they really breathe, you know, easily. Basically everything in this pond is edible in some degree. Okay. First of all, the, the water lettuce is, you don’t want to eat it. It’s not good.

Lynette (16:57):


Victoria (16:57):

But chickens will eat it. So that’s important to know.

Lynette (17:00):

Lots of protein, right?

Victoria (17:02):

There’s protein in there, yes. It’s, so I’m not sure the protein level on it because I can’t remember. But the hyacinth, if we had that, hyacinth is 17% protein. And I, I just wanna tell, say a funny story about that. I don’t know how many of you ever seen “Naked and Afraid”? It’s the survival story where they’re naked

Lynette (17:21):

And afraid.

Victoria (17:22):

And afraid. The deal is, is they’re stuck in remote areas. It’s a man and woman, and they have to eat off the land. It drives me insane, because I really understand about this, right? So here they are, in this swamp, in some Indonesia or whatever like this, and they’re pushing aside food. The duckweed, which guess what, 90% protein. You could literally live off of just duckweed. Now we feed this to the tilapia and the chickens. But you could totally eat this

Lynette (17:55):

And the ducks

Victoria (17:55):

And you could, yeah, and you could totally eat it and make a smoothie, do whatever. But I’m just like, and the hyacinth is 17% and they’re going like this, “We’re starving!” And I’m like, “Does anybody do any research? Before, before you go?”

Lynette (18:10):

That’s a really good point.

Victoria (18:12):

Never once have I ever seen anybody go, “Oh cool, Duckweed! We’re saved!” This water is circulating up into these beds. Okay. And back down into the pond. So the fish water circulates up through this. This acts as a filter for the pond too.

Lynette (18:32):

Yes, it does.

Victoria (18:34):

There’s no other filter on here. Right. So it, this is how the pond is kept clean and then you grow all your vegetables through it. This grows all year. This is, it may not in some some climates, but it’ll come back at least, if it dies back in the winter. Of course she’s got all her I don’t know if this is cantaloupe or melons or some

Lynette (18:56):

Kind of melons. Looks like some kind of melons,

Victoria (18:57):

Which is, this is the time of year you grow melons here in this area if anybody’s interested. Also if you’re listening and you’re from this area, Armenian cucumbers rock.

Lynette (19:08):

Oh my God. Yeah. They’re like going nuts now.

Victoria (19:10):

And you plant plant them right now, it’s still not too late. I like to plant them in aquaponic. Why? Because I don’t have to water or fertilize them.

Lynette (19:18):

And you don’t have to weed ’em either. I don’t have

Victoria (19:19):

I don’t have to do anything but pick them. And they’re, and I make refrigerator pickles out of them. That are to die for.

Lynette (19:25):

Yes. Jayson does that all the time.

Victoria (19:28):

So you can see though, mixing beauty with functionality, it’s an art. That’s the other thing that’s fulfilling to me. As an artist type, this is, this is my art. And I, I say same thing. I was having a discussion with somebody about making homemade gravy and they’re like, “it’s no big deal.” And I’m like, “are you kidding? It’s an art!”

Lynette (19:51):

It is cooking is an art.

Victoria (19:52):


Lynette (19:53):

Growing is an art. Putting gardens together, is an art.

Victoria (19:56):

Let’s don’t sell ourselves short, it’s an art.

Lynette (19:59):

It is. It is. This has really just been so much fun. I’m so glad that you finally made it. You got a little duckweed in your hair.

Victoria (20:08):

I always, if you see me and I don’t have weeds or something in my hair, you know something’s wrong.

Lynette (20:14):

I hope you guys got so much out of this because it’s always good to get together with Victoria. We don’t get to do it enough.

Victoria (20:21):

No, we Don’t. Because we’re busy

Lynette (20:23):

We are.

Victoria (20:23):

We’re busy, busy ladies.

Lynette (20:25):

We are. And so until next we meet, please, be safe out there. Bye-Bye.



  • Lynette’s mission is to translate financial noise into understandable language and enable educated, independent choices. All her work is fact and evidence based and she shares these tools openly. She believes strongly that we need to be as independent as possible and at the same time, we need to come together in community to survive and thrive through any financial crisis.

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