The Urban Farm Podcast with Greg Peterson

Welcome to The Urban Farm Podcast, your partner in the Grow Your Own Food revolution! This audio only podcast features special guests like Jason Mraz, Lisa Steele, and Kari Spencer as we discuss the art and value of growing food in urban areas. We'll explore topics such as urban beekeeping and chicken farming, permaculture, successful composting, monetizing your farm, and much more! Each episode will bring you tips and tricks on how to overcome common challenges, opportunities to learn from the experience of people just like you, and plenty of resources to ensure you're informed, equipped, and empowered to participate more mindfully in your local food system... and to have a great time doing it!
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The Urban Farm Podcast with Greg Peterson







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Now displaying: July, 2016

Visit our podcast page here to find photos, links and more information on this podcast as well as each of our other guest interviews.

Jul 30, 2016

An Urban Hydroponic project of PureHarvest Foods

Tim is an urban agrarian from a farm and agriculture education training and background. He has dedicated his life to building farmer based systems and programs to improve agriculture, humane care of animals and now local Urban Agriculture. His current endeavor is PureHarvests Foods and the Project Arizona Urban Organic Veggie, rejuvenating vacant land in the city with scaled vegetable production and training a local workforce to meet all of the community’s fresh vegetable needs.

Listen in to learn about:

  • His long family history of sustainable agriculture
  • How he got computers from Steve Jobs into his classroom
  • The new project ready to deploy in Arizona to help serve food desert areas
  • Why he thinks his urban farming project can help make 700 million heads of lettuce in Phoenix a year to serve the under-served areas
  • How scale is significant for farmers and how locally grown food can help the reduce the waste in the food system
  • How hydroponic gardening can be organic
  • How he hopes to meet the demands of the valley in lettuce and expand into other veggies
  • How the project can help provide agriculture jobs in the valley year round and still be in a comfortable environment
  • How technology is so important to his endeavors

As well as:

  • Overcoming a failure –hear his story about undercapitalization on a project involving muscle growth in cattle
  • His biggest success – working with American Humane, and his education career
  • What drives him is bringing more good food to the community
  • His one piece of advice for podcast listeners is how to get engaged in local agriculture

Go to our podcast page at to find photos, links and more information on this podcast as well as each of our other guest interviews

Jul 28, 2016

Brad Lancaster is the author of the award-winning Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond and co-founder of  Since 1993 Brad has run a successful permaculture education, design, and consultation business focused on integrated regenerative approaches to landscape design, planning, and living. In the Sonoran Desert, with just 11 inches of annual rainfall, he and his brother harvest about 100,000 gallons of rainwater a year on an eighth-acre urban lot and adjoining right-of-way. This harvested water is then turned into living air conditioners of food-bearing shade trees, abundant gardens, and a thriving landscape incorporating wildlife habitat, beauty, medicinal plants, and more.

The goal of his book series and overall work is to empower his clients and community to make positive change in their own lives and neighborhoods—by harvesting and enhancing free on-site resources such as water, sun, wind, shade, community, and more. It’s catching on, as evidenced by tens of thousands of practitioners and demand for Brad’s work around the world.

Listen in and Learn about:

  • How growing up and playing in the desert impacted his early concept of the desert
  • Learning from indigenous friends how to use what is all around him in the desert
  • How the initial infrastructure in the desert was water wasteful
  • How permaculture and indigenous culture in dry or wet lands harvest water
  • How he got addicted to water re-use improvements
  • Some information about the hydrologic cycle and how we are impacting that cycle
  • His definition of resilience and beneficial redundancy
  • How we can look at our lifestyles and how to plan some resilience into it
  • His unique laundry to landscape system and how it is being replicated in the neighborhood
  • His goal to have no directly imported water on his landscape
  • The difference between modifying our climate to suit our crops vs. modifying the crops to meet the climate
  • How he tripled or even quadrupled rainfall on his plants
  • Helping trees along the streets with street-side water basins
  • Revitalizing the desert ecosystems in the neighborhood through wise water harvesting
  • Revitalizing the water table during a drought, while avoiding flooding during heavy rains
  • The creation and purpose of Desert Harvesters
  • And a lot more

As well as:

  • His biggest success
  • What drives him, and
  • His one piece of advice for podcast listeners

Go to our podcast page at to find photos, links and more information on this podcast as well as each of our other guest interviews

Jul 26, 2016

Michelle’s love for gardening most likely was imprinted during her childhood in Switzerland where she grew up surrounded by green and lush vegetation. She spent most of her childhood in her parents’ garden, connecting on a deep level with nature.  In her mid-twenties, she moved to Phoenix for a 6-month adventure. And now, after 19 years, she calls Phoenix her home. 

Michelle is a trained graphic designer who received her Masters exploring biomimetic and sustainable graphic design. She is full-time faculty at the Design School at ASU. These days, her garden provides her with much needed time for restorative energy while she is working on her second Master’s through the newly established Biomimicry Program at ASU as well as on the Biomimicry Professional certification through Biomimicry 3.8. 

Listen in and learn about:

  • Her path from Switzerland to Phoenix and how a six month visit became a life long stay
  • How a career in graphic design made her feel that she was helping to add to the problems
  • When that lightbulb hit that helped her see a new path
  • What biomimicry is and how it has been around for a VERY long time
  • A few great examples of some biomimicry examples in production today
  • How a spider web is now saving lives of birds around the world
  • Considering the end result of resource use
  • Her awareness of a personal conflict and how she has changed her journey to being vegan
  • Some of her challenges adding biomimicry to her gardening
  • What she wishes humans would learn about our stay on the planet
  • What she named her urban farm and why

As well as:

  • Her biggest failure – her story about feral roosters and how she created a new ecosystem in her neighborhood
  • Her biggest success – her story on how she was able to add a bit of biomimicry education to her class on storytelling
  • What drives her
  • And her one piece of advice for Podcast listeners

Go to our podcast page at to find photos, links and more information on each of our guest interviews.


Jul 23, 2016

Darren is a community pro-activist who has committed his life to helping people.  He is Founder and CEO of TigerMountain Foundation (a.k.a. TMF), which has implemented Empowerment Initiatives to uplift communities and eliminate blight. Tiger Mountain’s initiatives are community garden / landscaping development, audio, visual and performance art, community service and volunteerism. The gardens promote healthy living by growing lush-gardens and feeding the community. 

TigerMountain Foundation’s Asset Based Community Development model was developed with the thought of urban renewal and restoration of communities. Participants who stay engaged are motivated to keep positive and will develop their individual very important assets. Darren’s motto is to change one mind and attitude at a time, encouraging all who have been touched to pay it forward, which will undoubtedly make the immediate community and the world a better place to live. Darren currently resides and works in the Phoenix Metropolitan area.

Listen in and learn about:

  • The “path of most resistance” and how that got him to where he is now
  • His young life expectation to not get past age 26 and what happened on his 25th birthday that became his “Aha” moment
  • The inspiration of his Grandparents and their Urban Garden in ‘Fruittown’ in South Central Los Angeles
  • Being pro-active and looking for legitimate strains of income to help himself and his community
  • Helping at risk youth to make changes in their own lives
  • Moving to South Phoenix and eventually forming the TigerMountain Foundation
  • His first community garden and how the community reacted
  • How they developed a business plan to offer produce to restaurants and farmers markets
  • What agriscaping is and how they use it in their community
  • How they have gardeners from age 4 up to 84 participating
  • Building an inclusive program for every community despite having a lot to learn about growing a business
  • What TigerMountain’s end game strategy is and how Greg Peterson fit into that development
  • How the foundation gives hope to their neighborhoods
  • Who they are working with to help train their participants with skills they can use to develop businesses of their own

As well as:

  • Biggest Failures – his story about choosing to live in the mountains for 2-3 years, and the one of learning from the IRS how to properly turn the “legitimate business stream” into a non-profit business
  • Biggest Success –his story of his family and maturing into a person who can positively impact others
  • What drives him to be epic, and
  • His final piece of advice for Urban Farm podcast listeners 
Jul 21, 2016

Kerry is the founder and visionary of Zendoway and hopes to share with you from all her life experiences. Kerry serves as the Director of Human Resources and Operations for Actualize Consulting in which she spearheaded and runs a successful wellness program. In addition to wellness and leadership articles, Kerry has authored “Audrey’s Journey” a children’s book series focused on living with compassion and joy.  She also wrote the "Pile of Smile Activity Book" to give away free to children undergoing cancer treatments and If It Does Not Grow Say No” to teach kids about having fun with nutrition.

Listen in and Learn about:

  • Growing up on a 100-acre farm and how that set a foundation for her life
  • How her children motivate her to teach yoga, nutrition and write books
  • The story behind each of her books, including the book that educates kids about nutrition and inspire them to try vegetables
  • Some of the activities in the interactive book that helps parents and teachers make eating vegetables fun
  • How her family helped in the creation and photography of the book
  • Her story of the girl who made her mom serve peppers at her birthday party
  • Her upcoming projects in her local area including a garden club activity in New Jersey in August
  • What she grows at home and how she shares some of that with her neighbors
  • Some tips for success in getting kids to eat new vegetables, and
  • Her one request that we change in our diets

As well as:

  • Her biggest failure– the story of getting her son to eat asparagus
  • Her biggest success – how she merged all her interests together
  • Her advice on how to make changes in our lives, and
  • What drives her to do what she does
Jul 19, 2016

Jessica is a home canning expert and has worked for Jarden Home Brands for over 11.5 years. She currently is an Analytics Specialist (or Home Canning Expert) in Consumer Affairs and a certified process engineer through the USDA.  Being a life-long resident in Muncie, Indiana, Jessica has a strong affinity toward the Ball brand & its heritage in her community.

Now in its 6th year, Can-It-Forward Day has a “Facebook Live! Event” taking place on Friday, July 22nd from 10AM – 3:30PM ET.  Jarden Home Brands, will host a series of live, unique recipe demos taking place in kitchens across the country.

Listen in and learn about:

  • How she came to have the career she never expected
  • What a Home Canning Expert is and how to reach them
  • The history and purpose of the Can-It-Forward Day program
  • What to expect this year with the program
  • How to get your canning questions answered live
  • What resources you need to have for successful canning
  • An important note for you if you have a glass top stove!
  • The difference between the water bath and pressure methods
  • and why you don’t use a pressure cooker for your canning
  • some safety tips
  • Her number one rule for canning
  • Some recommended websites for recipes
  • Her personal recipe recommendations
  • Long term storage – why 1 year is the recommended time
  • Why the experts at Bell get a kick out of the “canning 101” type phone calls
  • Some history of the Ball Brothers company as well as some of the other companies connected to the Ball Corporation
  • Why the older Blue Books can be lovingly shelved and replaced
  • and of course The Facebook Live! Event on July 22

As well as:

  • Her greatest failure – her story of a canning gone wrong
  • Her biggest success – what happened when she got to be on the QVC show
  • What drives her
  • Her advice for canners everywhere
Jul 16, 2016

Stacey has taught hundreds of teens and adults how to grow, harvest and prepare fresh foods. She is a recovering engineer and architect turned garden geek and farm nerd. Stacey founded BK Farmyards, a cooperative of urban farmers in Brooklyn dedicated to social justice through urban agriculture, and helped create over an acre of new farmyards in Brooklyn. She's been featured on Martha Stewart Radio, PBS online and once appeared on the David Letterman show with a giant radish. She envisions a world where everyone is nourished by the magic of fresh, affordable and culturally exciting food…extra points if it’s homegrown.

Listen in and learn about:

  • How a day at the Farmer’s Market changed her life
  • Borrowing a neighbor’s yard to start her garden
  • What Urban Farming means to her
  • David Letterman and her Giant Radish and how she was disappointed
  • How Buckminster Fuller had such a great impact on her life
  • How she thinks the government can start to see farmers as a resource
  • How farming in Brooklyn is different from other areas
  • What she thinks about failing when gardening
  • How much of a difference having a gardening mentor made
  • Her book series to get kids excited about vegetable gardening
  • The Garden Hack Summit

As well as:

  • Who has had the biggest influence on her
  • Her biggest failure – while being a lazy gardener
  • Her biggest success – with a youth farm
  • What drives her
  • Her advice to Urban Farm podcast listeners
Jul 14, 2016

Jerome Osentowski has spent the last 30 years developing indoor and outdoor forest farming technology at his location in Basalt, Colorado. He is the founder and director of the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute dedicated to education, research, and demonstration.

Listen in and learn about:

  • Creating an Indoor Food Forest and why he started with that
  • Permaculture – what it is to Jerome
  • Perennial Polyculture
  • Carbon Farming
  • Climate Battery
  • Agroforestry and all different variations of that which are connected
  • Starting an International Agroforestry school

As well as:

  • His biggest failure and what he learned from it
  • What drives him
  • And his one piece of advice for Urban Farmers
Jul 12, 2016

Gardening has been DeBorah Prince’s passion and therapy for over 20 years. She grows a huge range of fruits and veggies from asparagus to zucchini, makes her own compost and vermicompost, and her latest project is building a chicken coop. She lives in New Jersey and has been married for 23 years with a big family of 8 children and 15 grandchildren.

Come listen to the delightfully upbeat gardener tell us how she decided to just start gardening and learned how from the internet and books.  She explains how the food available today is not real food, and why that matters to her family.  You can't help but laugh with her as she tells us why she named her urban farm and why everyone should name theirs.

Jul 9, 2016

After learning about the devastating effects of plastic pollution on the environment and human health, Oakland accountant Beth began an experiment to see if she could live without buying any new plastic. Since then, she has reduced her plastic waste to less than 2% of the national average. That experiment turned into the popular blog and new book Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. Her work and life have been profiled in the award-winning film Bag It, as well as Susan Freinkel’s book, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story and Captain Charles Moore’s Plastic Ocean.

Listen in and learn:

  • What motivated her to make such a drastic change in her life
  • How long she has been able to maintain her life without plastic
  • How her career as an accountant helped her in this path
  • Some tips on how to adjust to a life without plastic
  • Taking it step by step
  • Storing items in the fridge and freezer
  • Buying cheese without the plastic wraps
  • How she removed all plastic packaging from her garden activities.
  • Other tips we can use to “de-plastic” our gardens
  • How she converted her blog into a guidebook for others to learn from
  • What she included in her book, including why recycling is important but not the solution to the plastic problem and lots of shopping tips
  • What we need in the world to help with the plastic problem
  • Some important facts about the laws in effect on toxic chemicals in the U.S.
  • Where to find a plastic audit worksheet

As well as:

  • Her TWO biggest successes – You won’t believe the first one, and the second one is her proudest accomplishment
  • What drives her
  • And her one piece of advice for all the podcast listeners
Jul 7, 2016

Toby is the author of a new book on urban and suburban permaculture, The Permaculture City, as well as Gaia’s Garden, the best-selling permaculture book in the world, which won the 2011 Nautilus award and was named one of the ten best gardening books of 2010 by The Washington Post. He has been an adjunct professor at Portland State University and Scholar-in-Residence at Pacific University. Toby is a well-known permaculture teacher and has taught over 70 Permaculture Design Courses. He and his wife, Key el, live in Sebastopol, California.

Listen in to our 100th episode and hear Greg and Toby chat about one of their favorite topics: Permaculture. 


Go to our Podcast page at to find photos, links, and more information on this podcast, as well as for each of our other great guest interviews.  You can also sign up for weekly email summaries of the interviews.

Jul 7, 2016

Paris Masek is the Managing Director for Green on Purpose and the Director of Agriculture Programs for Quincea Social Enterprises. He is also a PhD candidate at ASU in English Literature working with Indigenous American Literature and Cultures. He is an active member of the Maricopa County Food System Coalition as well as an urban gardener who uses raised beds, edible landscaping, and a flock of chickens in his downtown residence to keep fresh produce and eggs on his family’s dinner table. 

Come listen as Paris talks about

  • His path from heading towards a career in medicine then to marine biology to fish farming.
  • Following in the footsteps of his father, and learning the craft of farming on summer breaks.
  • Studying the fish in the SRP canals: grass carp, fingerlings, and big head carp
  • How the organization Quincea works with people with disabilities and American veterans using agricultural jobs as vocational training.
  • What a food hub is and how it connects with local small farms
  • How food hubs can help solve food deserts
  • How a food hub is so much more than a fruit stand, and what they can offer to their communities
  • What is a “complete food chain”
  • And some fun facts on the Calamansi fruit
Jul 2, 2016

Dr. George Brooks Jr. is the Founder and President of the NxT Horizon Group. Dr. Brooks holds an earned Ph.D., in Wildlife and Fisheries from the School of Renewable Natural Resources at the University of Arizona and is an established social, environmental, economic and political leader and business consultant. With the motto of “AgTech for the Real World” NxT Horizon focuses on bioenergy development in Africa, and the development and application of new urban farming technologies (aquaponics) to solve real world social, environmental and economic problems.

Come listen to Dr. Brooks as he helps us understand more about aquaponics and our opportunities with it.  He talks about...

  • How he got started working with aquaponics at a very young age
  • His path to become a marine biologist
  • Aquaponics in a drought prone areas like Phoenix
  • Why fish farms did not work in Arizona in the 1980’s
  • Why fish farms really can work in urban areas
  • The “Diffusion of Innovation Curve”
  • How Aquaponics is like the Solar Market
  • What is next with Aquaponics
  • What AgTech is and how it affects our lives
  • Why we need to understand a Circular Economy
  • What is happening in the City of Phoenix that calls out for farmers of all types to be a part.