401: Duane Hebert on Growing a Healthy Diet.
Homesteading in the Suburbs.
Born and raised in Gardena, CA in the heart of South-Central Los Angeles, Duane grew up a typical urban kid. However, at 19 he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease and underwent 6 months of chemotherapy to save his life. Now a 25-year cancer survivor, he strives to live a life grounded in the reality that what we eat and what we keep OUT of our body is critical to healthy living.
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In 2004 he and his wife Lori planted their first lemon tree on their typical 1/10th of an acre suburban lot in Northern Phoenix, and 5 years later they had more fruit than they could use or even give away. Then in 2010, a gift of locally-grown apples sparked an interest in seeing just what could be grown in this harsh desert environment. Fast forward 8 more years and the Heberts now run Edge of Nowhere Farm which is home to over 100 fruit trees, as well as laying hens, broiler chickens and pigs.
In This Podcast:
Several things happened at the same time which all pointed Duane Hebert towards moving out of the busy city and into starting his own farm just outside of Phoenix, or as he calls it – The Edge of Nowhere. Here they focused on growing healthy food, and sharing that food with family, friends and now a few customers. With a holistic mindset focused on healthy growing in all areas of the farm, even their chickens get the healthiest diet and it shows. Best of all – he wants to share what he has learned.
Listen in and learn about:
- Grew up in Los Angeles suburbs in the 1980’s with only a couple fruit trees
- Cancer diagnosis, marriage, a son, and a move to a new state!
- Buying a lemon tree and planted it in rocks in the back yard
- The bumper harvest of citrus and then an introduction to backyard apples
- Planting a bunch of trees and running out of room
- Visiting his grandfather and noticing his lifestyle and vitality
- Watching an organic food supplement salesman sell his company and buy a farm
- Getting out of Dodge!
- A picture of his new place an urban farm with 5000 sq feet pasture and more
- Grapes, mulberries, over 100 fruit trees, as well as chickens and pigs!
- They cannot consume or give away all that they produce so they have now started selling
- Starting YouTube to share their adventure with friends and family
- Keeping his dad in mind, he is expanding into the space around
- Getting more nutrition from fresh fruit and vegetables grown in the yard
- Eating organic foods to remove environmental toxins from the diet
- The traffic stress that builds on his way home and his wife’s solution
- The abundance of figs they are experiencing in two seasons
- Having control of the entire process of raising chickens from day 2-3 on
- Making sure they raise the chickens on pasture greens and producing a great tasting product
As well as:
- His failure – his first garden in a 4×8 raised bed, with a trellis, and placing it in a no-sun spot, planting at the wrong time, and not protecting it from the quail.
- His success – his marriage to his wife!!
- His drive – a healthy, holistic lifestyle and a sharing with others.
- His advice – Go outside, get your hands in the dirt, get grounded and provide for yourself.
Duane’s Book recommendations:
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
How to reach Duane:
Facebook: Edge of Nowhere Farm
YouTube: Edge of Nowhere Farm
Instagram: Edge of Nowhere Farm
To learn more about more about Growing Your Own Food
And to see the I’m an Urban Farmer line
Note: You can also find these books mentioned above at one of our favorite local independent bookstores and have the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a small business.