Show #253 – The Power Of The Urban Farm With Greg Peterson


Love our new show tune in the intro/outro? It’s talented Australian independent artist Melanie Horsnell’s song “Birds”. So proud to support this wonderful Aussie artist and have her grace the show with her wonderful words and song!

Low Tox Club – the place to bring your low tox life to life

Want to join a community of like minds and enjoy all the perks of being in the Low Tox Life inner circle such as an online membership platform, 50% off all our Low Tox courses, an awesome chat group, my monthly Q&A, and special guest star interviews for just $49AUD ($29USD/28EUR/23pounds) per YEAR? We have created a special place and set of resources to help you achieve your goals and it’s a wonderful place to be – more details and registration here:

Low Tox Life Food – Now available for PRE ORDER!

It’s packed with inspiration and stories from regenerative farmers, checklists for what to ask about the produce you buy, ways to afford better choices, as well as 80 of Alexx’s most requested recipes for budget-friendly, easily adaptable meals without waste.

If you want to feel more certain and more hopeful about the future of food and our planet, this book is for you.

Pre-order yours today! Available on 28th September.

And on this week’s show!

When we think of farming we think of the country, the bush, grass plains, endless acres… unless you’re an urban farmer who sees possibility on any patch of land the eye can see – enter Greg Peterson, Founder & Director of the Urban Farm in Phoenix Arizona who heard his teacher say “Food used to be free” at a workshop as a pre-teen and the rest was history. Greg inspires us to do what we can with what we have. He inspires food growing to come back to cities and towns, balconies, backyards, and verges, and today we’re talking about how he got started and what we can all do to bring food growing closer to home and support urban farms. 

Questions I asked Greg:

  • You’ve lived in Phoenix Arizona for decades and it seems you’ve always been curious about plants and gardening – tell me about your desert gardening course aged 12 – I love this because my son is a huge succulent fan and we have about 25 in a little balcony garden that he tends to! And what is critical to farming in drylands to build resilience and diversity? 
  • What were some of the factors that led you to know you wanted farming and growing things to be your career – and why urban? No desire to move out rurally and farm or was it the challenge of bringing more biodiversity and life into an urban space that was exciting to you?
  • Let’s talk about the birth of the Urban Farm in 2001 and the steps you took to create a farm in your home city? (feel free to talk through objections, challenges, forks in the road, etc… all the good and the bad in bringing it to life)
  • How do you ensure abundant water farming where you do in such a dry climate? 
  • What drew you to permaculture as your regenerative method/system of choice? 
  • We often think of permaculture as being out in wild, natural spaces… how can someone in an apartment start thinking about bringing the principles into their life? Or in a house with a small yard? Or a big yard? Or a 1-acre block? (it’d be great to go through each and add more possibilities as the space grows by each example)
  • Seed saving – how can we get our gardens/growing going from our fruit and veggie baskets? 
  • Perennials on our balconies and in our gardens – what are the easiest to incorporate? 
  • What can we all do to start working within our local government areas to bring more food and biodiversity into our cities? (would be great to talk about everything relevant here from grants for community gardens to establishing local relationships)
  • Realistic commitment times for various projects to ensure we know what maintenance, tending, and care entail?

“What if there was a garden and fruit tree in every yard?” This is a question that Greg ponders every day.  For over 30 years he has been working on one of Phoenix’s first environmental showcase homes for urban farming.  This 1/3-acre yard features a primarily edible landscape with over 50 fruit trees, rainwater and greywater harvesting, solar applications, and extensive use of reclaimed and recycled building materials. 

Greg is also the host of the that in just 5.5 years has released over 600 episodes amassing over 2.5 million listens to date.  On his days off he hangs out in his garden with Heidi his sweetheart, Kismet their pooch creating new projects and catching some rays.

Greg is a longtime permaculture advocate, flunked out of university in 1981 because he was bored, then went back 20 years later to earn a bachelor’s degree followed directly by a Masters in Urban and Environmental Planning in 2006.  He is a lifelong continual learner. 

 Greg started his first business at the age of 15 cleaning and servicing fishponds in Phoenix.  From 1979 to 1984 he also owned 11 gift wrap centers in Phoenix malls.  Then in 1984, he discovered the Macintosh computer and that sent him on a 20-year journey in technology that included the first laser typesetting business and Apple Authorized Training center in Phoenix plus he ran a software App company for 20 years.  Since 1999 he transitioned to urban farming education.

Greg is the creator of the Urban Farm Fruit Tree Education program in Phoenix Arizona which he began in 1999 when he discovered you could go into most nurseries and they would sell you a fruit tree that would never make fruit.  Since then the program hosts thousands of people yearly in free online and in person classes where they get to preorder fruit trees for planting in the low desert.  Each year the program delivers thousands of fruit trees into the local Phoenix market.

Greg is also the host of the that in just 5.5 years has released over 600 episodes amassing over 2.5 million listens to date.  On his days off he hangs out in his garden with Heidi his sweetheart, Kismet their pooch creating new projects and catching some rays.

Other Helpful Links:

Know more about Greg’s work and The Urban Farm:

Find them on Facebook and on Instagram @urbanfarmu

This week’s Show Sponsors:

Ausclimate’s highly recommended range of WINIX Air Purifiers are the ideal solution for cleaner, healthier indoor air. Easy to use, reactive features and settings with a truly comprehensive 4-5 stages of purification, including Hospital Grade True HEPA Filtration and Winix’s unique PlasmaWave® technology. Perfect for smoke, dust, pests, viruses, bacteria, household odours, and allergies (covering a variety of allergens). Breathe easier, sleep better and feel better. Winix; the most complete air-purifiers on the market!

OFFER FOR AUSSIE PEEPS: Ausclimate is now giving all Low Tox Life followers an EXTRA 10% OFF their already discounted prices on Simply enter the discount code upon checkout. This discount can also be redeemed for over-the-phone orders verbally.



AirDoctor is the Affordable Prescription for Healthy Indoor Air. You take about 900 breaths per minute. But, have you thought about what you’re breathing … inside your home? CLEAN indoor air is important for the health — and immunity — of you and your family.  Because indoor air can become 500 times dirtier than what you breathe outside. 

It captures 100% of airborne particles as small as 0.003 microns in size and the vast majority of VOCs. Instantly Improve the Quality of your Indoor Air with AirDoctor.

OFFER FOR U.S. PEEPS: Up to $300 off plus FREE shipping on all orders when you shop HERE.


Enjoy the show,






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *