Do you know me? I’m An Urban Farmer
by Farmer Greg.
My name is Greg Peterson and I’m an urban farmer – more on that later! That may strike you as a little funny, but these days I spend my time sharing all the ways you can grow your own food.
My home The Urban Farm
I live in an unassuming 1940’s ranch style home in North Central Phoenix that I call The Urban Farm. A place that you could walk by and unless you knew exactly what to look for, it looks like any other house on any other street in Phoenix…except I’ve landscaped it with food. I’ve spent many decades inspiring others to proclaim their inner urban farmer and start growing food, even if it is only for their families.
The Urban Farm is a 1/3 acre flood irrigated property that I have spent the last 28+ years and all that water – developing a landscape that is primarily edible. It sports several thousand square feet of garden beds, over 75 fruit trees, solar panels on the roof, rainwater and greywater harvesting and the seeds of an idea that I believe can transform our culture. I like to call my home an environmental showcase designed to inspire others to do the same and my job is to share it with you.
My preference for easy methods
All this planning and planting makes eating something from my yard an easy adventure. On any given day we might be enjoying eggs from our favorite hen or sautéing kale, spinach and onions from one of my many garden beds. One of my strategies for foodie success – I let many of my aging herbs and vegetables go to seed, then let the wind spread them in my landscape. This makes my job as an urban farmer much easier.
But by far my favorite and the easiest thing to grow are fruit trees, because I plant them once and they can produce fruit for decades with very little effort. There are peach and apple trees that have been fruiting for over a decade and some citrus that was planted in the 1930’s that still make incredible fruit. All told, there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 fruit trees on the property producing some kind of incredible fruit from late November to early July.
I practice what I preach
I promote the notion of designing our landscape as nature does, we call it permaculture. A forest concept designed to produce food with many layers from the tallest trees to the smallest underground creatures creating incredibly healthy soil. My job is to share the successes and failures of my edible journey with you. Your job…pick one or two things each year that strikes your fancy and try them. Whether it be starting your first garden, planting a fruit tree or simply growing an herb in a sunny windowsill.
You CAN grow food too!
I always say, start small, experiment a lot, don’t be afraid to fail! Begin with herbs as they are the easiest thing to grow and the most expensive thing to purchase. And remember a brown thumb only lives in your head. Growing food is easy, you just have to know the rules.
Oh and by the way claiming your inner urban farmer is easy. It’s as simple as growing food and sharing it, even with just your family, and as a bonus I always encourage you to name your farm. Join me as we explore all the ways to feed our soul with healthy food.
Thank you, and please come visit during one of my tours.