The Conception, Birth & Growth of Homegrown + Permascaping
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The Conception, Birth & Growth of Homegrown + Permascaping

A detailed timeline of our story and milestones so far.

2022

I (Jérémy) discover regenerative agriculture & start transforming my Gilbert home’s massive lawn into farmable space instead, and begin mowing my Gilbert neighbors’ lawns for free to obtain their clippings and compost them in my backyard. I name the project 🏡Del Rio Gardens.

I become compelled by the importance of soil health thanks to Sadhguru’s Save Soil movement, and decide to niche my career into permaculture, ending my previous product & marketing consulting work.

I begin creating lots of Instagram reels around gardening, sustainable living, .

I moderate the first permaculture Higher Self Chat, and meet the founders of local organizations like Galaxy Gardens and Project Roots, officially beginning my journey networking into this amazing community!

I collaborate with ThisSongPlantsTrees.com, a project donating audio stream revenue to reforestation, and create the French version of the track:

Jan 2023

I order the first fruit trees for my property via S & J Farms, a local family running a buyer’s club to get cheaper fruit trees for everyone.

My friend & prior client Michael Houston, a highly gifted local entrepreneur, helps me refine my vision for an app & gig economy-style service for neighborhood gardeners to trade/share their produce with one another.

On January 17, I wake up with the word HOMEGROWN glowing like a neon sign across my subconscious, and officially incorporate Homegrown Foods that day at Peixoto Coffee in Gilbert.

A week or so later, I’m sharing this with my friend Suzy, who points at the loaded citrus trees in front of us and opens my eyes to an even better wedge: citrus, the lowest hanging fruit in Phoenix, an opportunity ripe for the picking.

February through June

I print out some initial flyers, and start going door-to-door in Mesa offering to buy people’s citrus. Little did I know, some of these same people would soon be paying me to harvest it for them. 😅

I first tried a DoorDash-style model where someone could place an online order and we would dispatch someone to go pick it locally, but quickly learned that this method A) took far too many resources, and B) was highly inconvenient to tree owners. We learned it was much better to harvest bins full at one time, and distribute the fruit as quickly as possible.

Some stats during Citrus Season 2023

Raised ~$5,165 picking 130+ local citrus trees across 11 properties in Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, and Chandler with a core team of 6. (SO much gratitude to Jai, Emily, Jonas, Ashley, Javier, and others for this tireless work, as well as our first customers for trusting us with their trees!)
Sold ~$2,633 worth of citrus, juice, and marmalades through our farmers market stands and online orders, as well as $1,346 in wholesale orders from locally owned grocers like Summers Fruit Barn, Superstition Ranch Market, and S&J Produce.
Donated 12 gallons of fresh-pressed juice to an awesome local nonprofit Feed Phoenix, which feeds over 500 unhoused people weekly entirely through donations and volunteers.
Accepted community kitchen scraps at our farmers market booths, and disposed of it + 95% of our citrus peels and organic waste via our local green waste / composting partner Green Thumbs Recycling to create fresh soil to grow more food for our community. (Russell you are the man!)
Acquired equipment fundamental to harvesting operations, including orchard ladders (the ONLY useful ladder in this work, thanks TJ!) and the proper shoulder bags (thanks Chad!)
Developed effective and tasty juicing processes & acquired a commercial juicer
Organized the “home kitchen alchemists” pilot — a distributed team working under Arizona’s Cottage Food program to produce orange marmalade (thanks Kelsie, Riley, Sarah, Linnaea, and Hayley!)
Began offering paid permaculture garden consultations and builds, netting ~$1,207 across 2 projects.

Summer & fall 2023

In July and August, we turned our attention to local desert food sources (see Mesquite as a Food Source) and acquired a small commercial grain mill. We developed mesquite harvesting + milling processes that will carry us into each summer moving forward, as well as our first map of local trees. I also competed in a local “mill-off” with Cactus Kelly to raise awareness about mesquite flour! 😃 

I learned from her & other local desert food experts about ironwood beans, palo verde beans, and cactus fruit.

I learned how to harvest prickly pear fruit, and juice it into a liquid superfood.

I also sold my Gilbert home and moved to a rental casita on a Phoenix flood-irrigated property, to live more centrally and reduce my commute times drastically.

I started exploring flood irrigation more seriously, and confirmed these propereties are a HIGHLY underutilized asset in local food system.

This led me to launch Permascaping.com, a permaculture landscaping service, with a focus on flood irrigated properties and a vision for evolving the landscaping industry to operate regeneratively.

January 2024 - onward

Homegrown Foods obtains its 501(c)(3) public charity status from the IRS, and can officially offer tax write offs for qualifying contributions!

We begin exploring land investing & revitalization through public/private partnerships with government agencies and developers, to expand our impact and contribute to the growing market opportunity of people buying land to homestead.

Thanks for reading! You can follow our journey and connect with us on the social media platforms linked below, or say hi via email.