Urban Farm Evolution: Turning a 1/2 Acre Home In The Heart of Phoenix Into A Thriving Urban Farm [Full Video]


What can you do on a half acre of land? Let me show you, because that’s all I have at my urban farm in Phoenix. My goal initially was to create enough food to feed 20 people, but that expanded! Now, I think that I could easily create enough food to feed, maybe at least a hundred people, all on a 1/2 acre of land, right in the middle of the city.

This looks like 2010, right before I really had anything up there when I bought the property in 2010, I immediately went outside to start building the gardens. You know, the whole reason why I did this urban farm was because I knew that the system died in 2008. And I also knew that the single most important or the biggest problem for people was food. So I got rid of my little two bedroom condo, and I bought this property. And then I started to really grow food. And I didn’t know what I was doing at all. I had a huge learning curve

Trying to put in a fountain in the front. And here’s the thing. A lot of times what happens with people is they start going in a direction and it’s not the right direction, but they feel like they’ve already started going in there. So they keep going and telling you that big, huge round thing in the middle, I stopped it. This is the fountain that you’re looking at. And I just waited until the right person came along and I had the right thing. Yeah, that guy tried to tell me, no I don’t want a pool in my front yard. But I did want a pond and I did need to correct that walkway. And you know, what you’re really looking at here is a combination of food for the stomach that looks like 2010 food for the stomach as well, as food for the eyes and started taking out the lawn, which was a huge project that took quite some time to actually do so that I could put in food trees.

I mean, when you stop and think about it you know, we spend all of this time and money and everything on water, but we’re watering grass that you can’t eat. And a lot of people put in ornamental trees and spend all that time and money and energy on water, but it doesn’t produce food. So you’re spending all of this time and money and energy, and then going to the grocery store and buying subpar food. Why not just grow it? Why not just put in these beautiful trees, which by the way, in Arizona with all of the heat that helps cool down the property, but I can go out. And when it’s peach season, I can pick a peach. I can pick a pomegranate. I can feed myself. And from this property alone right now I’m probably eating easily 85 to 90% of my food from this property.

If I needed to be a hundred percent, I could absolutely do it, but not one wasted space, hopefully not one wasted drop of water. So it feeds the eyes. It feeds the soul. And, and I can’t tell you, my favorite part of this property is that there is life on every square inch of it, whether it’s in the gardens or it’s back in the ponds or it’s in the chicken yard. So I took basically a dead piece of property and I just brought life into it. And that life feeds me, sustains me, makes me happy and joyous. I mean, think about it. I’m constantly researching nasty, nasty stuff. Well, if I live my life in this nasty stuff, I’m miserable and I’m unhappy. So what I get to do is walk out my door when I’m dealing with all this nasty stuff and then go into something that’s beautiful and nurturing.

I mean, sugar cane, I have both white and red sugar cane on the property. I have moringa and we let that go to seed so I can make oil. So I have my sugar and I have my oil. I have my fruits, there’s pomegranates, plums peaches. And when I was designing and thinking about this, what I realized is that I wanted to have something that was ready for me to eat. There’s the moringa hedge. That’s probably my very favorite cause you could live on that. It’s so nutritionally dense, but I wanted to have something that was mature and edible every single month out of the year. It’s an advantage that we have in Phoenix it’s harder in the summer because it’s so hot, but we do have a 12-month grow season. What you just saw that little patch where the moringa seeds to begin with, it took about two weeks for them to sprout. And it didn’t take very long to create a fabulous hedge. We trim it back in the winter so that it gets all full there’s. The little hedge. You can see it right there. Put in in 2013 and it did not take very long for it to become a full size hedge. And I did hedges around the entire property so that if somebody is walking by and they are hungry, they can pick some moringa. Not that they would know what that is, but they could pick a plum. They could pick a peach, you know, they could pick food. So as we move forward, because who knows when there’s gonna be a serious breakdown, what we know right now. And as we experienced in March of 2020, you know, you couldn’t get a lot of food. Did it impact me? Heck no, I’m walking through the gardens going, thank God I did this because I even get to share with people.

You know, we have to think about these things because even so like when I went to the grocery store a couple weeks ago, there were things in the front. And then when I pulled the package down to buy it, there was nothing in the back. So they make it look like the shelves aren’t barren, but they are, we’re having issues with food. Do you want to have issues with food? No. So I grew a garden. It’s why I bought this property so that I could make sure to feed my family and myself. And I took what was dead earth, fallow. And I put in these wonderful gardens and started to learn how to do it. You know, sometimes I have failures for sure. I mean, I was not a gardener when I started this, but what I knew is that I wanted to feed my family. I’m pretty sure you wanna feed your family too and yourself as well.

Put in ponds so that I could have tilapia. So right now we have tilapia and crawfish, little bit of variety in there. We have chickens for eggs. This is the iteration of the chicken yard. It evolved over time, started small and then got bigger and bigger and bigger. But we’ve got chickens. So we’ve got eggs. We even have meat, chickens. We have ducks and duck eggs are wonderful. I don’t really want to eat the ducks, but I eat their eggs for sure. We have quail. And we have rabbits. So we’ve got quite a bit of protein as well as beans and the moringa, which has a lot of protein in it. cause we are coming into a food winter and it’s so, you know, you just have to dig in and learn.

And that’s what the Beyond Gold & Silver channel is really all about to meet you wherever you are to help you create food for yourself on your own property. Because if you’re counting on the grocery stores, if you’re counting on the systems, well, you know, just think back to what happened in March and April of 2020, how hard was it to find toilet paper or food avocados, anything that you needed, if you can create it for yourself or you have it stored so you can eat, then it’s not an issue for you because we have to be as independent as possible or the system has you by the cajones and you have to do what they want you to do. Well, I don’t wanna do that. So all right. If I can’t get anything at the grocery store, I’m good with that. I don’t have a problem.

Now this is digging out the tilapia pond. It’s only three feet deep. That’s the beauty part of tilapia is that you don’t need a whole lot of room to grow ’em so that’s three feet by maybe 15 or 20 feet. You can see it’s not very big, but it’s well stocked with tilapia. And there’s my white marsh grapefruit tree, which is probably my favorite grapefruit tree though. I do love my pink grapefruits as well. That’s a great tree. We’ve got goji berries. As I’m seeing, we’ve got kale, we’ve got cabbage. You know, we’ve got everything that you really need to not just survive, but actually thrive. Nutritionally dense food helps you think more clearly helps you make much better decisions. So, and some of it is just pretty, you know, food for the eyes, food for the stomach. What you’re seeing in the pond, there is water lettuce. I don’t eat the water lettuce, but my chickens and my ducks, especially, and the rabbits do as well full of protein, full of nutrition. Because part of the goal here is not just to be completely self-sufficient for myself, but also for all of the animals that we have on the farm. There’s azula, there’s duck weed in those, in those panels there, and that is also feed for the fish for the chickens for the ducks for everything because right now, yeah, we’re able to buy what the food for them. And I get the whole grain. So I know what I’m actually eating them. And therefore I know what I’m eating when I’m eating their eggs, you know, but what if I can’t?

Now what you’re looking at is the courtyard. And that courtyard is definitely evolved over time. As you can see, that happens to be an old bathtub that I had in my previous, in the condo. And I just turned it into a planter. It’s got drainage and we’re doing aquaponics in there, which you can see. Food for the food, for the eyes, food for the stomach and reusing whatever we found on the land. If there were rocks or there were stumps or there was my old bathtub, whatever it was, I wanted to reuse it. There’s always something that you can do with it in there. I have goldfish and the ducks love to swim in there and I redid that patio so that it was more functional than it was before that was in the beginning when I first bought it. And I went to, I went to just and bought some cheap goldfish 18 cents a piece because if I, if it didn’t work, all right, I didn’t lose very much. But surprisingly, that evolved too. The sooner you start, the sooner you get production, the sooner you start, the sooner you figure out what works and what doesn’t work. The key is just to start.

There are bananas. You know how many times I’ve tried to grow bananas because my daughter loves bananas. Well, I haven’t had luck with bananas yet, but there’s a house right around the corner. For me that has had great lucks with luck, with bananas. And I’m thinking, wow, if they can do it, I can do it. And that’s what I want you to know. If I can do it, you can do it. You have to be aware of where you live and the different requirements. That’s what BGS is all about as well. Cause not everybody lives in Arizona. You come together with community. Meetups are great. That’s how I really got started. Is I went to a meetup and I met all these wonderful people that came and then helped me. So it’s all an evolution. Look at what you buy at the grocery store and keep a list.

I used to look at my list and I’d say, can I grow this? And if the answer was, yes, I went out and I’d tried to grow it. Sometimes I had success. Lots of times I had failures, but I never gave up because it is that important. And you learn from experience with everything that you do, your successes as well as your failures. And that’s what we like to show on BGS as well, because so many people think, oh wow, that’s so easy for them. Look at, they know what they’re doing. I didn’t know what I was doing, you know, but that’s okay because, well now I have Laura and Lindsey and they really know what they’re doing, but I have learned so much in this process and you will too. You just have to give it a chance and just start at whatever level you’re at however much space you have just start. And the sooner you begin, the sooner you will actually get production. The sooner you’ll learn.

This is my pool. And I converted the pool into an aguaponic, swimming pond. Ernie, who unfortunately is no longer with us, but he hand picked every rock and it really is like a big art project as well. So again, food for the eyes and look at what it looks like now. And I have the fish and I have the ducks and I have all the plants and there are all different ways to clean it. So that, that water and that’s a huge rain catchment for me. And that water passed through a filter is I can drink. It has no chlorine in it. And, and I got news for you. It’s so pretty. And it brings me so much joy just to go out and sit there. and you know, the ducks, those are wild ducks, but the ducks and the fish, they know me and they love me because I feed them. Right. And it just brings me a lot of pleasure from looking at all this nasty, nasty stuff. It’s a process, it’s a commitment. But for me, making sure that I can take care of my family and feed my family. That is everything to me. And more than my family as well. I mean, my family kind of explain expands, not just blood family, it’s family, family. And it brings me joy. It’s clean water. There are no chemicals. And I mean, there’s yerbamate there’s a lot of food there’s tarot in there, but it takes a Community. And so get involved. I would really highly recommend to anybody that they look at local meetups and find one that has to do with gardening and planting.

I mean, I will never forget that day. In 2013 that I had in the summer that I had like 52 people show up at my house to dig out the tilapia pond, to plant all the food trees, to do all of that work. And, really all I had to do was feed them lunch and then participate when they were going to somebody else’s house and doing it, it’s worth it. That level of Community is so inspiring. You can’t even believe how inspiring it is. And then you end up with this fabulously unique and beautiful, you know, rain catchment system. That again brings so much life on the property. That’s the whole point of being prepared. So when something bad happens to you, doesn’t really impact you. Like, okay, I’m covered, I’ve done this. I have this. I can take care of myself.

I can take care of my family. I can take care of my neighbors. We can come together in Community because everybody’s got different skill sets. We can barter here. I need you to lay irrigation and here’s some eggs. Here’s some vegetables, okay. That’s what they need. That’s what they want. Because let me tell you, when we’re in hyperinflation, they don’t want the Fiat money. They already know that. Do my neighbors are they like-minded right now? Well, some may be because I’ve certainly seen others. And which makes my heart very happy that have these gardens all over the place and they’re growing their own food. We’re gonna be talking more about that and showing you, you know, hopefully from people around the country that have actually done the same thing or something similar to what I’ve done, but get prepared so that no matter what happens, you’re okay. What if I’m right? What if I’m wrong? How about doing something that doesn’t matter whether you’re right or wrong. If you like this video subscribe here.


  • 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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