In this video, the owner of AZ Water Garden Oasis, takes you on a fascinating tour of her desert paradise. From lazy gardening techniques to the innovative world of aquaponics, this video offers a wealth of knowledge for sustainable living. Discover the beauty of dual-purpose plants, explore the wonders of microclimates, and learn the secrets of thriving in a desert landscape. Whether you’re interested in pond plants, quail farming, or creating your own edible oasis, this video provides valuable insights and inspiration for gardening enthusiasts.
0:00 AZ Water Garden Oasis
7:49 Bog Filter System
10:36 Food & Water Security
TRANSCRIPT FROM VIDEO:
Good morning. Welcome to AZ Water Garden Oasis. I’m the humble owner of this craziness. I thought I might take a little jaunt around the property and show you what I do here in case it has some interest for you. Let’s start here at the front. This is definitely a desert oasis. So this is what you can actually do in Phoenix, Arizona, even though it is hotter than h-e-double you know what. A lot of what you’re gonna see here is layering. So I do a lot of plants that actually come back. You’re gonna see a million of my sunflowers. Those are wild sunflowers and I don’t plant them. They come back. I’m really into being a lazy farmer. That’s kind of my motif. I do it once and hopefully keeps doing it by itself. So come on back, this way, you’re gonna see I have a lot of canna lillies. I’m really into that. My blue dawn morning glory, I’m in love with, which I let grow everywhere, like it’s a wild thing.
So we’re gonna go into the back where I have most of my ponds. My business is basically growing pond plants. I have the most in Arizona, let’s just put it that way. I carry everything cause I’m a plant person and I have to have it. So if you need them, you know where to go. One of the first things people ask me when they come here is what my water bill is. And it’s really not any higher than anybody else’s, believe it or not, because I know how to water. So some of the stuff is on drip. Some of the stuff no longer needs to be watered anymore. And I do incorporate a lot of things that are drought tolerant, mixed with some other things that require more water, but it gives it a very lush look. And it helps with the whole permaculture. So it brings in all the pollinators, the bees, hummingbirds, dragonflies, everything. And that’s an important part to gardening and enjoying life.
So, come on back this way. So tucked in some of my stuff, you’ll see some plants. This is just a little bell pepper plant I have growing randomly. I like to grow flowers along with the veggies. One of the things I’m really a big fan of is getting things that are dual purpose for eating and for beauty. So this beauty is amaranth and there’s all sorts of varieties, all sorts of colors. This also, guess what? I planted it once, four years ago and I have it all over. So as it heats up, it just will grow wild. But all of the amaranth, you know, I can feed it to my chickens, I can eat it. The whole plant is edible. So that’s, that’s the dual purpose that I, that I love having the beauty and the functionality.
This is grumpy Grumpy’s frog’s pond, the first of many. So this is my tilapia pond set up. Many years ago when I was just a wee lass <laugh>, like maybe in my twenties I saw a little blurb on PBS of somebody growing fish and plants and recycling it in a greenhouse. There was no name for it then. Nobody did it. I caught five minutes of it, not enough to tell me what to do, but it sparked my interest. I guess it’s been 15, 16, maybe 17 years ago. I found out what that was. And now they have a name for it and it’s called aquaponics. So I’m a big proponent of aquaponics. So my first setup for aquaponics was these IBC tanks that are tiered.
I did not have this pond. I grew tilapia in the top and then the water recirculated and fed my vegetables. I found that it was not very stable in this heat, so I dug a pond. And so this is the tilapia pond. It uses 90% less water than conventional gardening. So people should consider that. And not only that, as I mentioned, I’m a lazy gardener and I don’t have to water and I don’t have to fertilize cause the fish do that. So check it out. It’s super easy. You can do it on a small scale or a larger scale, but you’ll see that throughout. Even though my business is pond plants I use aquaponics system to grow more pond plants. So in here you’re gonna just see these are just some of my plants that I carry for my pond customers.
I do have and raise chickens. I guess we can take you back to the, the coop. I’ll show you something that I don’t, I’m not currently doing, but something I will definitely like to promote for people that are into living a sustainable lifestyle and being able to grow their own food, including protein. I have chickens. I don’t butcher them myself cause I don’t feel like it. I would if I had to. But I do eat the chickens. But in the chicken coop, hello girls and boy back here you are gonna see what is my quail cages right here. I don’t have any quail in there because I ended up doing too much. I have too much going on for me to keep them right now. But I totally suggest if you want something that’s easy, sustainable and something you can grow in this city is to consider doing quail cause it’s easy to butcher and they are mature and laying eggs at 8, 9, 10 weeks old. And also you can eat all the, all the boy quail <laugh> and save the girl quail for more eggs. So I think it’s a really great way if people, and they’re quiet. So it’s an easy way to get into this.
So let’s talk about my trees for a minute. So when I bought this property, this was the only tree. This was the only green thing on the property was this mesquite tree. So I have put in the rest of them. But one of the things you wanna consider, especially here, is doing a microclimate. So the idea is, is to do your larger trees so that you can create some shade and just change the, the climate just a little bit. It has a better crop value. So here’s one of the trees. It’s also great. This is a Pakistani mulberry and it grows like crazy. I literally put it by the chicken coop because a lot falls on the ground. If the birds don’t get it, I don’t waste anything. That’s one reason I love having chickens is because there’s nothing in my refrigerator that ever gets thrown away. If I don’t eat it, it goes to the chickens.
This is a makeshift. So for me, I’m always building new things because what happens is, is I need more room to grow my plants. So I put things together. But this is another IBC tank. Another, a couple of more tanks that I did. It’s, it’s a Bog or you can call it aquaponic, but it can be super simple. So if you guys wanted to try something like this, you could literally get a small tub and do a unit on top filled with gravel or lava rock is my preference. And you can try it. And that’s the, that becomes the filter for your pond. There’s fish in there and you can grow whatever you’d like. I grow green onions all year long, not in this bed. This is all full of pond plants. There’s things in here that are edible on because I do like the crossover. So the pennywort is edible. The bacopa monnieri is edible. It is used in Asian cooking. I don’t know how they eat it because it’s, it’s really super, super bitter. But my understanding is I was told that I’m, I’m cooking it, I have to cook it differently. I tried it raw and no, but I’m gonna try cooking it, see if that that’s a better fit. But bacopa monnieri is super beneficial to your health. It’s also good for, for your, for your mind. There’s some chocolate mint growing in here, which actually this came from Lynette’s Garden clipping many, many years ago. So that’s what gardeners do. They trade stuff. And then here is a pond plant, but it’s also grows in the ground and it’s called yerba mansa. And it’s very, very medicinal many purposes. I have people order it from me all over the country that use it for ulcers in terms of like a diabetic ulcer for healing for lungs, for, you know, there’s lots of things, but it’s always good to have things that are multipurpose. So I kind of have a medicine chest along with beauty cause the beauty is part of it. As far as I’m concerned. You have to feed your mind, your eyes and everything and, and all the birds and bees and all that good stuff. So, you know, just in and out here, there’s, this is a a dwarf grapefruit, pink grapefruit, olive trees all over pomegranate trees.
So this is one of my, my newer ponds. I basically have this for my water lilies. I do feel comfortable having water on my property, especially living here. If there was some, some kind of an issue where we couldn’t get water. I have several ponds and yes, I do know how to make a sand filter to make that drinkable. And there’s just veggies mixed in with, with all my flowers. I grow nasturtium a lot because those are delicious. There’s some jalapenos in there. There’s always some crop coming up. So I do what Succession gardening. There’s always something growing. So when something else is getting ready to die, I’ve got seeds going underneath it for something else. So there’s something always happening. And if you guys want any of these sunflower seeds, just let me know. <Laugh>, because you can have some in your new then your gotta look like this too.
That’s the snowball butterfly plant. It’s a water plant. I’ve never seen anything attract butterflies the way that plant does. Lynette loves that plant. Again, a lot of these trees are just for the fact that they were creating some shade. The pods on the Palo Verde are edible. When they’re green, they taste like edamame. So, believe it or not that can be eaten too. And most people that live here, at least in in the valley, understand that mesquite trees, you can grind the beans that is really labor intensive. And I would do it if I was dying. But <laugh>, it’s a lot. I, again, am the lazy gardener. So I’d kind of rather just pick something from the Palo Verde tree and eat that. `But it’s good to have that that option cause you know, you can make flour out of the mesquite beans and then some things are just cause it’s pretty, this is the Jacaranda. This is the koi pond. There’s some big koi in there and you can see the sunflowers. So edible things in here. Well, there’s water celery growing here. And the pennywort, which again is edible. But the water celery tastes like celery. It doesn’t grow stalks. I use it in soups and tuna salad and different things like that. When I can, I try to have that crossover back in this area. I don’t know, I can’t even get back here cause my yard is so full. But and over on this side of my yard, this is about a half an acre. There’s another pomegranate. There’s what’s called a juju bee. My moringas are over there and all my citrus is over on that side.
Anyway, that’s kind of a synopsis of what I do and love to do. There’s a lot of health benefits just from the water running and being able to sit and relax. There’s a lot that happens when you get your hands in the soil of microbes. It really is good for your head. It’s great to create something artistic and be able to see it. And that’s something we don’t get a lot in this virtual world. And thanks for joining me. Maybe I’ll do a follow up at some point. Thank you.