447: Matt Smith on Urban Farming and Home Values.

Building up property value with beautiful food growing spaces.

Matt was a part of MTV at its prime and starred on influential reality TV shows that helped reshape the entertainment industry. He lived a charmed life in his 20’s, but if you ask him about being a celebrity, he’d tell you that it was a waste of time.

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Today, Matt is the creative force behind Smith House Design, an influential marketing and design agency in Phoenix. He and his wife live in South Tempe with their five children and are focused on creating a vibrant food garden and learning space for their family. They are in year three of a massive backyard upgrade that is inspiring self-motivated creativity and exploration of the natural world by their entire clan. The Smiths are building an ideal urban farm space while adding value to their home.


In This Podcast:

Knowing that curb appeal is important, Matt Smith has applied this concept to his backyard to improve the value of his home.  He shares how growing food and appreciating nature has become so important to him, and which historical figures influence his goals for his green space. Matt also explains why home improvement shows can diminish home values and what to focus on to prevent that from happening in your space.

Listen in and learn about:

  • Being a participant in an early reality show and being jealous of the gardener taking care of the mansion grounds
  • How YouTube “ruined their yard”
  • A description of what a visitor would see when visiting
  • Why his yard no longer looks like a typical Phoenix backyard
  • Why he does not want to call his yard a food forest

    Before and after along west wall

    Before and after looking into center of yard.

  • Key historical figures and their growing spaces
  • Shoshugibon wood treatment
  • More about the types and varieties of fruit in his yard

    Espalier apples adding element of design

  • His kids at 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2 and how they enjoy the fruit trees
  • Some of the structures they’ve built and why they are big enough for adults

    Orchard playhouse

    Nora Smith peeking out of playhouse

  • Grey-water adjustments and rainwater collection
  • His perspective on being overwhelmed
  • Why gardening changes the way you spend your time for the better
  • Home improvement shows that have made many homes appeal diminish

    Playhouse in Smith’s Orchard

  • The effect of Chip and Joanna Gaines building a backyard oasis for their family
  • The future of community building
  • Agritopia a community ahead of its time

Arbor looking out into Smith’s yard

As well as:

His failure – Adding fireplace ash into his compost bin and starting a fire overnight

His success – Converting his doubting friends that the backyard work was worth the effort

His drive – A passion to share with others how to obtain liberty, freedom, a sense autonomy and resourcefulness that comes with growing food

His advice – Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed, take a step forward, plant a tree and enjoy it

Matt’s resource recommendations:

    • Pinterest!!
    • Go on a Garden Tour

Blossoms waiting for someone to sketch them

How to reach Matt:

Send us an email and we will forward it to him

YouTube: Matt Smith

UrbanFarm.org/smithhousedesign


Thank you to LaCrosse Boots for sponsoring this episode

LaCrosse Boots – The go-to boots for big tasks!


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.


 

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