Sustainable Farming in the Desert? Take a Dip in the Garden Pool on 'Dark Rye'

See this Phoenix couple transform a dilapidated pool into an oasis of sustainability and delicious food on 'Dark Rye,' the TV series from our sister network, Pivot, and Whole Foods Market®, airing Sundays at 10:00 a.m. ET/7:00 a.m. PT.

Andrew Freeman is a California native with a degree in history from UCLA. He is particularly interested in politics and policy.

In 2009, when Dennis McClung and his wife bought their first home in Mesa, Ariz., they discovered that their backyard pool was so run-down that they’d need to spend thousands just to make it swimmable again.

Instead of restoring it, they converted the site into a garden that provides their family with food all year round while using 90 percent less water than a conventional farm.

The garden features a solar greenhouse that supports a tilapia pond, vine-grown grapes and tomatoes, other fruits and vegetables, and wildflowers. They also have a chicken coop for eggs and two pygmy goats that produce half a gallon of milk daily.

Dennis has subsequently turned the Garden Pool into a nonprofit organization that helps educate people about how to sustainably grow food.

On this episode of Dark Rye we’ll also visit with FarmTina, who grows her vegetables on a small New York rooftop; watch San Franciscan Heidi Kooy transform her backyard into a farm; and hear the folks at Gotham Greens discuss how they built the world’s first rooftop hydroponic greenhouse.

Hungry for more Dark Rye? Whet your appetite with exclusive videos, and tune in every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. ET/7:00 a.m. PT, only on Pivot. 

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