What if there was a garden and fruit tree in every yard?
Delivering infrastructure for everyone to have a garden and fruit tree in every yard!
Lead Applicant Organization Name
Urban Farm, LLC
Lead Applicant Organization Type
Small company (under 50 employees)
If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.
Urban Farm Nursery - Fruit Tree Education & tree sales
Urban Farm U - Digital delivery of education
Great American Seed Up - A seed bizarre designed to get 10k seed banks in peoples freezers.
GrowPHX Collaborative, includes a business networking group and urban farming/sustainability speakers bureau - our members include:
• TLGPHX, Chris Gardner - Desert Irrigation Systems
• Garden Variety Life, Cricket Aldridge - Bee Education, local honey and hives in peoples yards.
• iPixel Studios, Dustin Simmons - Smartscape certified landscape designer
• LEAR Gardens, Ed Williams - Aquaponics
• Tanks Green Stuff, Emily Rocky - Local waste to compost
• AZ Yard Farmer, Eric Eisenmann - building local gardens
• Microfarm Project, Kari Spencer - Author, Educator
• Revive Urban Ecosystems, Kristin Parsons - Permaculture Designer
• The Desert Kitchen, Peggy Sorenson - Desert Edibles of the Southwest
• The Pond Gnome, Paul Holdeman - Riparian systems & living water features
Website of Legally Registered Entity
How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?
Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?
Phoenix, AZ 85014
Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?
Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?
Maricopa County, Arizona
What country is your selected Place located in?
Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
I have lived in Phoenix Arizona since 1967. In 1975 at the age of 14 I wrote a paper on how we were overfishing the oceans. I was very interested in aquaculture back then. That planted the seeds for me to over the years look at the sustainability of now 4.8 million people living in the desert could work. I surmise that long term for Phoenix to stay inhabitable we as a community need to learn how to grow our own food in our front and back yards. Since 1989 I have lived on the same 1/4 acre property in north central Phoenix and purposefully purchased the property because I wanted to grow food here. Over the past 30 years I have transformed a normal 1950's track home into what I call the Urban Farm. An environmental showcase home that sports over 70 fruit trees, a primarily edible landscape, regenerative composting systems, chickens, solar panels, rain and greywater harvesting, permaculture applications and so much more. For over 20 years I have opened the yard up for tours and classes and had 1000's of people see what is possible past a non edible landscape.
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
Hot, dry and lacking water - more to come...
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
I think our biggest challenge comes from living in a significantly polluted world. I have a theory that someone in their 80's has lived in a really polluted world for 30% of their lives. Someone in their 50's has lived in a really polluted world for 50%+ of their lives and someone in their 20's has lived their entire life in a really polluted world. While this is a global issue the local impact on the youngers is significant. We are already seeing increased levels of cancer and other diseases directly associated with climate change. We have to become ultra aware of where our food is coming from and how to grow our own. As healthy, clean food can directly positively impact our health. AND educating youngers about these things is imperative.
Then there are:
Environment is getting hotter and direr
People are less interested generally in where their food comes from
Cheap food = poor health and there is a lot of cheap food
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
I have spent time in Croatia, Italy and Switzerland and one of the significant things that I found was that almost everyone grew food in their yard. Their spaces were a place where lush gardens grew that were full of things to eat. That is in sharp contrast to what I find in Maricopa County. Significantly all of what people grow here serves only an aesthetic purpose and often that falls short. So about 15 years ago I created a vision of 10,000 urban farms in Phoenix. Well really to get the job done we need more like 250,000 urban farms in Phoenix, but I figured 10,000 would be a grand place to start. Since then the conversation has taken on a life of it own with people naming their urban farms by the hundreds and actually growing food for themselves and their community.
What I have created over the past 30 years here in Maricopa County/Phoenix is quickly becoming a "we" conversation. Through the work I have done with The Great American Seed Up and The GrowPHX Collaborative (members listed below) I have expanded the conversation outside of me to an incredible community of people that are taking on transforming our food systems here.
Inside of GrowPHX we have created a Urban Farming Business networking group to serve the needs of people when they need assistance with many aspects of creating their own urban farm. From Cricket who will install beehives, to Paul who will install a living water pond in your back yard we have many of the services needed to support people in their quest to grow their own food.
Our GrowPHX members include: • TLGPHX, Chris Gardner - Desert Irrigation Systems • Garden Variety Life, Cricket Aldridge - Bee Education, local honey and hives in peoples yards. • iPixel Studios, Dustin Simmons - Smartscape certified landscape designer • LEAR Gardens, Ed Williams - Aquaponics • Tanks Green Stuff, Emily Rocky - Local waste to compost • AZ Yard Farmer, Eric Eisenmann - building local gardens • Microfarm Project, Kari Spencer - Author, Educator • Revive Urban Ecosystems, Kristin Parsons - Permaculture Designer • The Desert Kitchen, Peggy Sorenson - Desert Edibles of the Southwest • The Pond Gnome, Paul Holdeman - Riparian systems & living water features.
How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?