After talking about permaculture, rainwater harvesting and the things that I would do on the property I am currently on, I was invited to make my projects a reality on that property as part of my greater vision.
The house is a 1960's, single story ranch style house on a corner lot in central Tucson with about 1/4 acre of property. This project will hopefully become a model for the Tucson community as to what sustainable homesteading can be in an arid, urban environment and just how much food can be grown for a family.
The project will be done in phases. The first phase is clearing the weeds and growth from the property (this begins today), installing gutters and rain barrels for water harvesting on the house/coop and shed and installing an irrigation system, planting deciduous fruit trees which will comprise the canopy layer of the food forest/garden and help shade the house in the summer and drop their leaves in the winter to allow the sun to help warm the house, some dwarf fruit trees for the low tree layer and constructing a chicken coop from repurposed materials.
Phase II will be building raised bed gardens (herbaceous layer) , vining plants like hops, grapes and peas for vertical layers, boysenberries and blueberry bushes (shrub layer) , and perennials like asparagus and strawberries for ground covers, garlic, potatoes and onions will comprise the rhizosphere layer and expanding the irrigation system.
The food harvested will go to the household and the surplus to the store where I am selling my eggs and the Rillito Farmer's Market, which is the closest to the property.
The progress and our oopsies will be shared here, on our Facebook page and press releases will be shared with local media including a magazine that specializes in local food and food sustainability. Starting later this week, I will be posting a better pic of the property and the vision of the transformation.
Aside from the food, organic, sustainable aspect we are going to add some solar to the house. Being an area with roughly 340+ days of sunshine annually we will be adding small stand alone solar power for things light interior and exterior lighting, a fire pit for outdoor cooking and a focal point for lounging.
I stated earlier that I need your help. All this is going to take financing and even some hands on weekend work parties. I have started a Barnraiser campaign, Arid Acres Renovation and Relocation Project. I am trying to raise a minimum of $3000 and asking a small donation of whatever you can afford, even if it is only $2.00. Every bit helps and gets the project closer to fruition! If you are unable to donate financially and in the current economy I can certainly understand that, PLEASE share this project with your friends and family on social media. The more exposure, the better the chance that someone may be able to contribute.
Finally, if you are in Tucson, Az or nearby and have expertise in solar power, rainwater harvesting or gardening or have extra components lying around waiting for a new use or new home, please contact me and keep your eyes open for any upcoming work party details that you can help out at. Pizza and soda will be provided, I would offer fresh veggies and fruit but they won't be ready yet.
Thanks again for dropping by, your continued support and well wishes and any help you can give to this project are greatly appreciated!!