Ok, here’s the deal. We live in Phoenix and it gets hot. Really, really hot here. Sometimes even up to 120 in the summers. I love it but it’s hard on the plants. We use a ton of water everyday to keep the plants healthy only to come home to find one or two dead plants. Even when the temperatures cool down to 80 degrees, we still need to water often. Unless, we create a water friendly yard like Jeannine Sanders of Phoenix did.
Jeannine has been growing food since she was a kid and you can tell from her yard. There is food growing in almost every inch. Her property is different from the ones we have visited in the past. Her yard was design and constructed to be water friendly by the Watershed Management Group in Phoenix. They came out to her house, planned and constructed trenches and basins to direct the water towards the plants. One basin holds 700 gallons of water! One rainfall a week saved Jeannine from watering her yard all week-long. Yup, she did not have to water her yard all week long (just incase you missed that the first time). They also used heat friendly materials such as mulch which absorbs heat better, reducing the amount of water evaporation after a rainfall. Amazing!! Saving on her water bill is an extra bonus!
The design, construction and creation of Jeannine’s yard is amazing! It allows her to grow food at her free will, in likings and quantities of her choosing. When we visited her she was growing watermelons, cantaloupes, sweet potatoes and Armenian cucumbers in abundance. Each one of us got to pick our own fruit, seeds and take it home with us. That is not unusual for Jeannine to do. She has told all of her neighbors to feel free and pick whatever they want because she has more food than she can eat. Now that’s a wonderful neighbor!
One reason I love visiting new gardens, backyard growers and farms is because I continue to meet extremely humble and generous people and I hope to learn from them! Jeannine invests her own time, energy and money to her yard and garden. She waits patiently for weeks or months before being able to eat what she grows. And yet, she is willing and happy to share your garden with those around her. She is admirable and uplifting like so many other growers I have met.
Imagine the possibilities, if a few people on each street grew enough food to feed themselves and a couple others we would be able to feed our street right from our own yards.
- We would limit or completely eliminate the amount of chemicals put on our foods.
- We would eat foods that are filled with nutrition instead of depleted.
- We would save on spending and spend on families.
Our health would improve. Our local economy would get stronger. Our environment would be cleaner.
If you have not already done so, please visit a small local farmer, gardener or backyard grower. If you have please share what your experience was like in the comments below. I would love to hear about it.
p.s. As always, the pictures do not do the yard justice!