If you caught my post back in May about “Cannonball,” a haunting short film on how skateboarders are giving second life to America’s quintessential, non-sustainable household status symbol, the swimming pool, you might have been left wondering how to repurpose an abandoned pool without turning it into a renegade skatepark.
Check out Gardenpool.org
, a website the chronicles a Mesa, Ariz., family of four’s transformation of "an old backyard swimming pool into a self-sufficient garden in a desert city.” In October 2009, the family in question purchased a foreclosed home in Mesa that came complete with a large, run-down backyard pool. Weary of repairing the pool only to be responsible for the massive amounts of water, energy, and cleaning chemicals needed to maintain it, the family created a one-of-a-kind Garden Pool — think of it as a DIY in-ground urban greenhouse — using materials like chicken wire, lava rock, irrigation tubing, buckets, and a whole lot of imagination in only two days. The total cost of materials? About $1,500.
The family’s goal was to become self-sufficient by 2012. Self-sufficiency was reached prematurely thanks to a unique combination of solar power, water conservation, hydroponic gardening
, organic horticulture
, and biofiltration
. Among the fresh veggies, fruits, and herbs grown in and around the pool are grapes, berries, peppers, rosemary, duckweed
, cilantro, eggplant, and two varieties of tomatoes. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the Garden Pool is the aquaculture
set-up: using plastic kiddie pools, the family installed a tilapia pond within the pool that yields unlimited fish. And where there’s fish there’s also fowl: the Garden Pool also houses a chicken coop.
Read more about the nitty-gritty of the Garden Pool here
and if you live in the Mesa area you can stop on by the GP for a private tour
, and even purchase some live tilapia
. Or just admire this remarkable urban gardening project from afar by checking out the below video.
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