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    Pools and Plants...enter the GardenPool a whole new way for backyard gardening via GayLee Fretz


    WOW! I don't even know where to start with this new technique in backyard gardening. I am blown away and overly jealous. Who and how do you get a garden in an old pool?! Well the people over at have found a way to do it, and it is truly a work of amazement.

    Swimming pools to being with are a pool of energy waste and excess, if you ask me at look at the numbers (yet, I am not down at all on anyone who wishes to take a dip in their backyard pool on scorching days, especially in the Southwest). This family from Mesa, Arizona took an empty, run-down pool in a new house that they just purchased, and instead of pouring money into it to continue pouring more money and energy into it for recreation, they put money into an investment. The investment was food grown in your backyard (from crops to chickens, to fish!), in one of the most difficult growing regions in the United States.

    The garden pool uses solar power to power the self-sustaining garden (farm?!). They are using hydroponics gardening to reduce soil use, aquaponics to grow their fish, and are using naturally grown insects and plants (duckweed to filer and purify the water) to feed and combat nasties from their crops and fertilize their crops. Did I mention they have a chicken coop?!!

    This is the empty pool that they started with!They use SPIN (Small Plot Intensive) gardening techniques, which we also have seen in the more common term, square foot gardening. They are promoting this as a way to get as much as what little room you have. Which I have fully supported, I have been saying since my own organic gardening experiences this year (article coming soon!), that if everyone planted a one foot by one foot or two foot by two foot garden we could take a huge strain off of the American food system. They are using gutter planting techniques as 5 gallon buckets as planters and appear to be getting quite the harvest, 365 days a year. DID I MENTION THEY HAVE CHICKENS?! I can't get over the the chicken thing. Even though some people would probably be more impressed that they literally have a Tilapia farm in their back yard. The family also gives tours of their pool, and offers a volunteer program so you can get some hands on experience and think about how you can build one of your own in your desert backyard.

    I see this The inside of the GardenPoolas a step, even though a huge step, that we can all work towards. Maybe not at this scale at first, but something we can look at and think about. I am super impressed with these guys, and if you are in the Phoenix area, I would suggest checking this out. If not, please visit their website and read all about it. The information that they have places on their website about this project is so  in depth and fascinating, yet simple reading. I applaud the family for their outreach on this project. Also, check out their facebook page while your at it. Big props to this family for their dedication and demonstration of showing us that you, yes you, can own your own food supply!I will now leave you with a video of their GardenPool!





    ---Justin J. Stewart (link via GayLee Fretz, all pictures and videos from