Epic Yard Farm 1.0

In the summer of 2019, we have moved to a larger property and start our new adventure with Epic Yard Farm 2.0. The story below is to share with you the work we did with Epic Yard Farm 1.0.

After 6 years of sweat, blood and tears, and lots of playing in the dirt, we have created a productive food forest in Tempe, AZ! It was our dream to be able to eat from our garden year round plus providing a safe and healthy habitat for the local wildlife. We think Epic Yard Farm 1.0 has achieve that goal in a short period of time!

Our journey to build an edible food forest gardening was triggered by the day we needed to decide whether to purchase a lawn mower for our new home in Tempe, Arizona back in summer of 2013. We decided to not waste water and resources on a grass lawn, and opted for a steep learning curve on edible gardening.

We named our urban backyard and front yard garden, Epic Yard Farm. I (Jacq) hosted seasonal garden tours to inspire others to grow edibles – anything from the regular lettuces and tomatoes to more exotic tropicals edibles from back home like banana, passionfruit and guava.

By implementing principles from permaculture, polyculture and natural gardening methods, we managed to garden with very minimal input besides providing water and mulch for the plants to thrive in the low desert of Arizona.

Evolution of EYF 1.0

We love checking our progress of “greening” our little property over the years using GPS satellite images. Here is a quick look of the progress in 6 years.

Garden of Epic Yard Farm 1.0 – SOLD July 2019

There were fruit trees ready to produce crops this year. Early peaches were coming to an end, mid season peaches were ripening. Late season apples such as Pink Lady and Sundowner were also flowering and setting fruit. Chinese jujube would likely produce a late summer and early winter crop. Numerous citrus trees like blood orange and lemons also had set fruit for that winter. Angel Red pomegranate loaded with amazing crop and Parfianka pomegranate would set a fall crop when summer come to an end.

These were just a few of fruit trees that were producing and ripening fruit! You would be able to harvest delicious sweet cherries from the low chill cherry trees each spring and many more fruit trees coming to maturity the following year and possibly start producing.

Ice Cream/Blue Java banana circle was ready to push out flowers in the next couple of months. “Thai Giant” Indian jujube was going to start blooming and produce two crops in fall and late winter and ripen fruit in February. Big Jim loquat tree fruited that spring and had new collection of varieties grafted on that year. Delicious sugarcanes worked as heat shield and shades for surrounding plants.

Plus lots of delicious peppers and tomatoes were coming in for the summer.

We had installed various in-ground worm towers for in place composting. They were situated close to fruit trees and we found them to be quite beneficial, providing in place compost tea and a way to deep water plants every time irrigation comes on.

Natural Garden Pond with bench seating area that you could sit under the loquat tree and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea to relax and even a deck area for some yoga session.

The pond was a natural garden pond without mechanical filtration. There was a netting covering waterfall pump to prevent smaller fishes and small plants from getting into the pump motor.