For a twice-yearly tour that focuses on edible gardens, the Arcadia Edible Garden Tour happening November 23 also includes a heck of a lot of animals. This tour offers a variety of examples of sustainable living in Phoenix with orchards, front-yard gardens, large properties, small properties and animals; from chickens and ducks to pigs and goats. The tour is longer this year, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features a garden market at Hal and Jill's Sweet Life Garden.
See also: A Hipster's Guide to Farm Animals
Let's not forget that Phoenix really began as a farming community and Arcadia was and is home to citrus groves. The tour features some stellar examples of what can be done in an urban environment with a little hard work, seeds, and water. These homes are not only good looking, but practical, too. By attending the tour you can ask questions, get ideas and see if growing your own food is for you. Motivation is highly likely to occur.
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The tour features nine Arcadia gardens, including Troy & Rebecca's Farmyard, Hal & Jill's Sweet Life Garden, David & Caroline Van Slyke's Boho Farm, and new this year, the Hulburd's historic 1938 home "El Chaparral." The Hulburds inherited the property, which the couple has transformed over two decades. Their registered historic three-acre space is now a lovely agricultural wonder near 48th Street and Lafayette.
When they first moved in, Jon Hulburd admits, "we had a lot of work on our hands." The over 100-year citrus grove needed to be replaced, but Hulburd says it was done in a similar fashion and place to the original, as a nod to the properties past -- as have all of the upgrades, including much needed air conditioning. The home also has a cactus garden, pond, a citrus grove, and raised vegetable gardens that are now growing beets, lettuce, eggplant, Swiss chard, peppers, peas, beans, tomatoes, squash, strawberries and pumpkins and two pigs, Hamlet and Kirby.
Besides micro-agriculture and sustainable pets, you'll also see composting systems, aquaponic systems, gray water ponds and other "add ons" to edible gardens that make this tour something special. The tour is limited to between 500 and 600 people.
Tickets are $15 plus tax (free for children 7 and under) with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the House of Refuge community garden. For a full list of garden tour stops or to purchase your tickets, visit the Edible Garden Tour online.