• PO Box 25079, Tempe, AZ 85285 USA

Swimming pools in the US:

A 1950's swimming pool.

Swimming pools are seen by many as a status symbol. Since the 1950’s, swimming pools have been increasingly popular in the United States.

1950’s: 2,500 residential pools in the US

2010’s: 300,000 public pools in the US
10,000,000 residential pools in the US

Phoenix area: 300,000 swimming pools – 20,000 new ones are built each year. There are currently around 10,000 unused pools in foreclosed homes in the Phoenix area that are empty or need to be sprayed with chemicals to prevent the spread of the West Nile virus in green pools.
A pool in the desert has to be virtually refilled every year, increasing the waste of potable water used by a family an average of 10%. An 18 feet x 36 feet pool can lose around 7,000 gallons/year.

How a typical swimming pool works.

Pool filter pumps can be the second-biggest electricity user in a home, next to air-conditioners.

Pools rely on chemicals to stay algae-free. (chlorine + muriatic acid = mustard gas = illegal in warfare b/c Geneva Convention – known carcinogen and mutagen)

The Garden Pool:

Early construction picture.

Our Garden Pool easily feeds our family of four with about 8 eggs a day, unlimited tilapia fish, fruits, veggies, & herbs.

Dimensions: 16′ W x 30′ L = 480 sft in size = small studio apartment size. The main structure only took 2 days to build.

The pool was originally about 3′ – 9′ deep and is now 15′ max height with the greenhouse top.

Materials: Spent about $1500.00 – Treated 2×6’s & 2×4’s, 1/2″ braided steel cable, 20’x40′ 12mil clear UV treated tarp, 3000 cfm evap cooler, 90 Watts Solar, Power Inverter, Marine Battery, 5 gallon buckets, storage totes, scrap wood, redwood lattice, lava rock, drip irrigation tubing, rain gutter, hydroton, air stones, 2 air pumps, 2 pond pumps, etc.


When we were growing in containers with soil, we watered almost exclusively with recycled greywater.  30% of residential water used is greywater. Top-loading machines use up to 80 gallons per load. Front loading use about half that amount. Bathing consumes around 60 gallons of water per person.

We are currently developing a marsh-like system to purify our greywater to help keep the GP full of water due to water loss from evaporation.

What we grow:

5 Gallon Bucktets

Bell peppers growing in 5 gallon buckets

Bell peppers in 5 gallon buckets.

  • Eggplant
  • Roma Tomato
  • Solar Fire Tomato
  • Jalepeno
  • Anaheim
  • Poblano
  • Hibiscus
  • Lavender
  • Broccoli
  • Russian Heirloom Tomato
  • Tomatillo
  • Bell Peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach

Rain GuttersGrowing in rain gutters and hydroton

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Amaranth
  • Bell Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Russian Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Purslane

Lower Pools

Kiddie Pool

One of our kiddie pools in the GP. You can see duckweed, purslane, & young broccoli. Crushed lava rock helps grow nitrifying bacteria to biofilter the water.

  • Eggplant
  • Vidalia Onions
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Duckweed – Essential to both the pond water quality and also feeds the animals.

The amazing Garden Pool!

Upper Pool

  • Rosemary
  • Purslane
  • Sage
  • Tarragon
  • Hibiscus
  • Strawberries
  • Roma Tomatoes

Pond Area - Tilapia fish, grapes, and the chicken coop.


  • Seedless Grapes (white, green, & red)
  • Blackberry
  • Raspberry
  • Bababerry
  • Chicken – Eggs everyday. Eats Bermuda grass, duckweed, eggshell, bugs, black soldier fly larvae, produce scraps, etc. Chicken waste feeds plants and algae for fish.
  • Tilapia – Very tasty fish, 9 months to maturity from egg, can grow many pounds, mouth brooders laying 1000+ eggs, disease resistant, no heavy metals, from the nile, ideal for aquaculture.  Good for low oxygen levels and our heat!  Invasive species
  • Channel Catfish – Eats tilapia fry and fingerlings up to half its size.
  • Dwarf Mandarin Orange Tree
The Garden Pool in a simple 3D drawing to show size and general layout.

The Garden Pool in a simple 3D drawing to show size and general layout.

Inside the Garden Pool

A simple 3D drawing showing the inside of the Garden Pool looking at the vegetation area.


A simple 3D drawing showing an aerial view of the Garden Pool to show relative size and layout.


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