82. Greg Peterson on The Art and Science of Working With Nature

What is permaculture and how does one live by it? 

Greg Peterson, of The Urban Farm in Phoenix, Arizona, is a green living and sustainability innovator who has made a great regional name for himself. He has appeared extensively on television and radio and is a frequent guest columnist for publications. His mission is to inspire people to embrace their own greenness, which he does daily by living what he speaks. He is an expert in permaculture (which he likes to call the art and science of working with nature), and he is as well-versed as they come in urban sustainability and food production in dry lands. The Urban Farm features an entirely edible landscape, including over 75 fruit trees, rainwater and grey-water harvesting, three solar applications, and extensive use of reclaimed and recycled building materials. Join us today to hear all about how he achieved and maintains such a remarkable feat!

You’ll Hear:

What The Urban Farm is all about 1:16

How The Urban Farm Podcast conceived 6:10

About the most interesting things Greg learned from his podcast guests 8:46

What it is like cultivating desert land 11:32

How Greg irrigates his dry land 13:32

What unique challenges Greg faces being in an urban location 19:29

The hardest thing Greg has done as a farmer 25:33

Who Greg’s mentors were in the eco agriculture movement 29:06

What goes into making a professional podcast 31:35

What systems Greg would put into place sooner given the option to go back in time 33:31

The key principles of permaculture 34:29

How Greg goes about stacking on his farm 38:41

What The Urban Farm’s fruit tree program is 39:22

What types of fruit treesThe Urban Farm cultivates 43:47

The biggest mistake Greg sees new farmers making 48:49

What new farmers should avoid in their first year of farming 53:01

Greg’s favorite farming tools 54:56

How Greg feels about starting a farm today 57:06

What one crop every farmer should grow 50:58

Where you can learn more about Greg and The Urban Farm 1.01:40

About the Guest:

Farmer Greg has lived at the Urban Farm for 31 years.  His home was Phoenix’s first environmental showcase for urban farming.  It is a 1/3-acre urban yard that features an entirely edible landscape including: chickens, over 70 fruit trees, rainwater and greywater harvesting, solar applications, and extensive use of reclaimed and recycled building materials.

In 1974 at the age of 14 he wrote a paper for school on how we were overfishing the oceans.  He discovered permaculture in 1991 and that one concept transformed his life. Then in 1999 he went back to college to get a bachelor’s degree, and a Masters in Urban and Environmental Planning in 2006.

Farmer Greg hosts the Urban Farm Podcast and is a frequent radio and TV guest on all topics food-related. 

On his days off he hangs out in his garden with his sweetheart, Heidi, and their chickens, creating new projects and catching some rays.

Resources and mentions:

Websites – urbanfarm.org, urbanfarmpodcast.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/theurbanfarm

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/urbanfarmphx/

And if you want to keep the conversation going, join us in our Facebook Group to connect with us and other farmers looking to grow their business!

We also have six free eguides to help you be more effective on your farm (Winter Growing, Pastured Poultry, Washing Shed Efficiency, Profitable Farmers Toolkit, what to look for in a farm property, etc), which you can download here.