Edible Backyard Summit
This free 5-day event begins Monday, March 23rd and continues through Friday March 27th.
Learn how to grow the edible yard of your dreams with our guest speakers!
Plus, we will be releasing 5 modules of Growing Food the Basics for FREE!
Register Now!

Edible Backyard Summit Speakers and Schedule

Imagine the pride you’ll feel providing food for your family and sharing the bounty with your friends and neighbors, too. Imagine teaching your kids where their food comes from, and life skills such as patience, perseverance, and hard work. When you attend the Edible Backyard Summit, you’ll be a part of a community of people from around the world that are all on a mission to make their backyards an edible paradise.

You’ll learn how to start your first garden, or maintain your existing garden, with minimal financial investment and actually save money in the long run. You’ll find out how to grow an abundance of food in your yard without any toxic chemicals. You’ll discover how you can truly thrive with a healthy life and get reconnected with your food. You’ll learn how to live a more self-reliant life and feel secure knowing that you have a food supply right in your backyard.

If you haven’t signed up yet, click here to reserve your spot. 

Dates: Monday March 23rd through March 27th, from 4pm to 7pm

Location: Online. Links to attend will be sent to your inbox each day of the summit (after you sign up)

Speakers at a Glance

Joel Karsten

Straw Bale Gardening
March 23rd at 4pm PST

Emily Rockey

Soil Talk
March 24th at 4pm PST

Greg Peterson

Wickedly Smart
Water Harvesting
March 25th at 4pm PST

Elaine Ingham

Linking Soil & Human Health
March 26th at 4pm PST

Jason Johns profile pic

Jason Johns

Growing Tomatoes at Home
March 27th at 4pm PST

This isn't your average online summit...

Each day of the summit, after the guest presentation, we will show a new module of Growing Food the Basics. This is our most in-depth, comprehensive food-growing course for all experience levels, from newbies to experienced growers alike. It’s the first (and maybe last) time we’ve ever given this course out for free!

Each day a new topic will be covered, including sun & shade, building healthy soil, water and irrigation practices, maximizing potential with seasons, and seeds vs transplants.

Your Host:
Kari Spencer

Kari Spencer is the creator of the comprehensive online course Growing Food the Basics, plus one of your hosts for the Edible Backyard Summit. Each day, she will be presenting a new module of the course for free, plus be online for live Q&As!

More about Kari: Kari is a popular local gardening & homesteading speaker, and author of the book City Farming: A How-To Guide to Growing Crops and Raising Livestock in Urban Spaces. Both a Master Gardener and a Master Farmer, Kari enjoys sharing her passion for growing and raising food with others. In addition to teaching classes all over the city of Phoenix, she is a talented instructor and curriculum writer in the Urban Farming department at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. Her family operates The Micro Farm Project, a small farm in North Phoenix, where gardens and livestock animals provide her family with fun and food. She loves to experiment with new ways to create a healthier, more self-reliant and sustainable lifestyle, and invites others to join her on the journey.

Your Host:
Greg Peterson

Greg Peterson is the creator and one of your hosts for the Edible Backyard Summit. You will find him introducing each speaker, plus jumping online for live Q&As daily. Greg will also be presenting “Wickedly Smart Water Harvesting” on Wednesday at 4pm PST.

About Greg Peterson: Greg has been digging his toes into the earth, listening to the plants, and experimenting wih progressive permaculture techniques in his yard for over 40 years. His 1/3-acre home in Phoenix, AZ has been converted into an entirely edible landscape open to the community for tours and classes, and his fruit tree program has resuted in the planting of over 10,000 fruit trees. Greg’s mission is to show others that they too can realize the power, joy and deliciousness of urban farming! Greg received his Master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from Arizona State University, and has since taught at a trade school and even returned to his alma mater to teach Sustainable Food and Farms. He started UrbanFarm.org to build a community for urban farmers and home gardeners around the world to come for inspiration, education, and advice. His podcast, The Urban Farm Podcast, has been so fun and successful that he has decided to expand his reach to even more people by starting the Edible Backyard Summit.

Daily Schedule

Monday, March 23rd

4pm PST: Straw Bale Gardening with Joel Karsten.

Eliminate digging and weeding so that you can garden with ease using straw bale gardening techniques. 

5pm PST: Growing Food the Basics: Sun & Shade with Kari Spencer.  

Learn all the essential things you need to keep in mind when planning and placing your garden! 

6pm PST: Live Q&As

Get your pressing garden questions answered LIVE by Kari and Greg.

Tuesday, March 24th

4pm PST: Secrets of Living Soil Revealed (Hint: It’s right under your toes) with Emily Rockey

Emily Rockey (a.k.a. “The Dirt Girl”) brings the low-down on what’s down below…let’s talk dirt (—rather, soil) and review the true soil essentials, following nature’s lead for our best success. By reviewing simple principles that we learned in primary school, mimicking natural ecosystems, and connecting the dots with recent research, we will give every backyard gardener the confidence to choose the right practices, inputs, and methods to build healthy, living, organic soil.

5pm PST: Growing Food the Basics: Soil with Kari Spencer

Discover what type of soil you have in your own backyard and how to improve it WITHOUT buying expensive bagged products at the nursery or doing any back-breaking work. Avoid common gardening mistakes that harm soil and plant growth, and what to do to BOOST garden production year after year.

6pm PST: Live Q&As

Get your pressing garden questions answered LIVE by Kari and Greg.


Wednesday, March 25th

4pm PST: Wickedly Smart Water Harvesting with Greg Peterson

After this class you’ll be able to determine whether a home water harvesting system is right for you, and know what steps to take to build your own! 

5pm PST: Growing Food the Basics: Water with Kari Spencer

Learm best practices for watering your garden

Get all of your watering questions answered, including how often and how long to water your garden.  Discover the SECRET of watering the soil, and not the plants themselves, and how to know if you are watering enough.  Don’t be fooled by plants that appear to need water, but really don’t! And apply water at the right time of day to improve your garden’s health and SAVE MONEY on your water bill. 

6pm PST: Live Q&As

Get your pressing garden questions answered LIVE by Kari and Greg.

Thursday, March 26th

4pm PST: Linking Soil & Human Health with Dr. Elaine Ingham

See how costs are reduced and human health is improved when working with nature as Dr. Elaine Ingham presents Linking Soil & Human Health. In this class, we’re diving into soil once more to examine how plants obtain nutrients from soil and how beneficial organisms protect plants AND our own health. After this science-based class, you’ll understand more about soil than most people ever will.

5pm PST: Growing Food the Basics: Seasons with Kari Spencer

Learn how to plant to MAXIMIZE your garden potential and EXTEND your growing season. Plus, learn ideal times to plant various crops, how plants are affected by seasons and temperature, hardiness zones, and more.

6pm PST: Live Q&As

Get your pressing garden questions answered LIVE by Kari and Greg.

Friday, March 27th

4pm PST: How to Grow Tomatoes at Home with Jason Johns

Discover how you can grow your own delicious tomatoes at home! You’ll learn the many different varieties of tomatoes and hints, tips and advice to successfully grow your own no matter how much (or little) space you have at home. 

5pm PST: Growing Food the Basics: Seeds & Transplants with Kari Spencer

Marvel at the wonders of the tiny powerhouses called seeds. Learn when to plant seeds vs. transplants. In Growing Food the Basics: Seeds & Transplants, we’ll talk about growing and collecting seeds, plus discover the amazing, often overlooked ways that seeds can improve your garden production over time.

6pm PST: Live Q&As

Get your pressing garden questions answered LIVE by Kari and Greg.

Additional Speaker Details

Speaker Spotlight:
Jason Johns

Jason is passionate about gardening, having grown his own produce for over twenty years.  He started with a second hand greenhouse, an 8’ by 6’ patch of his mother’s garden and far too many tomato plants.  After turning the greenhouse into a tomato farm, he was hooked at the taste of the first ripe tomato.

Since then he has worked his way through various allotments and gardens, growing everything from radishes to carrots to giant pumpkins.  He discovered he loved gardening and loved eating what he grew even more. Soon he had graduated to four freezers and two refrigerators to store everything that he made with the produce that came off the allotment.

He shares this knowledge in his gardening books, hoping to inspire people to take up gardening themselves and successfully grow their own delicious fresh fruit and vegetables. He is the author of over 20 gardening books, writing several new books every year. Jason’s philosophy is about growing in an environmentally conscious manner in harmony with nature.

Find out more about Jason and his books at www.GardeningWithJason.com.

Jason Johns profile pic

Speaker Spotlight:
Emily Rockey

Emily Rockey studied Plant Sciences at the University of Arizona then pursued work in public gardens at Longwood Gardens, Walt Disney World, and Tucson Botanical Gardens. Emily is currently the Director of Sales & Marketing at ‘Tank Green Stuff’ in Tucson which specializes in “green” recycling by turning landscape debris into high quality organic soil amendments. Emily brings her passion for plants, soil, and sustainability to the company’s composting operation and enjoys teaching about soil in her community.

Speaker Spotlight:
Joel Karsten

Joel, a farm boy who grew up tending a soil garden, shook up the gardening world with his first book describing his breakthrough Straw Bale Gardening concept. The New York Times called Straw Bale Gardening “a revolutionary gardening method” and his ideas have been enthusiastically embraced globally, making his books best-sellers in many languages. Joel earned a BS in Horticulture from the University of Minnesota and spends his summers tending his vegetable garden, doing research, and experimenting with new ideas and methods he can pass along.

Joel has inspired tens of thousands of first-time gardeners and a legion of “seasoned” growers who have found a new and better way to pursue their passion. His methods have enabled “retired” gardeners to begin gardening again since it eliminates some physical challenges found in traditional soil gardening.

Speaker Spotlight:
Dr. Elaine Ingham

Dr. Elaine Ingham is the Founder, President and Director of Research for Soil Foodweb Inc., a business that grew out of her Oregon State University research program.

Behind her user-friendly approach to soil lies a wealth of knowledge gained from years of research into the organisms which make up the soil food web. Her goal is to translate this knowledge into actions that ensure a healthy food web that promotes plant growth and reduces reliance on inorganic chemicals. Elaine also offers a pioneering vision for sustainable farming, improving our current soils to a healthier state, without damaging any other ecosystem.

In her spare time, Elaine publishes scientific papers, writes book chapters and gives talks at symposia around the world. Elaine and her husband Russ (who also has a Doctorate from Colorado State University in Zoology, emphasizing nematology,) live in Corvallis Oregon.