A reader sent me a link to the website of a family named McClung in Mesa, Arizona. It seems these folks bought a house with an empty and derelict swimming pool in the backyard. Rather than go through the expense of either repairing or dirt-filling the pool, the McClungs got the idea to utilize the existing space and turn it into an urban greenhouse.
What followed is an amazing journey toward urban homesteading and increased self-sufficiency. "Initially, we had anticipated self-sufficiency by 2012," the McClungs write on their website, "but we achieved our goal by mid-2010. Our family gets about 8 fresh eggs a day, unlimited tilapia fish, organic fruit, veggies, and herbs 365 days a year. To our knowledge, the GP (short for Garden Pool) is a one of a kind creation."
I was so impressed by what they've accomplished that I emailed and asked permission to lift some photos from their website.
They raise fish in the deepest part of the pool, and utilize hydroponics to grow weed-free fruits and vegetables in other parts. They even raise their own fishfood and chickenfeed.
My hat is off to this family for their clever and resourceful use of space, as well as their willingness to teach others about aquaculture and hydroponics. Go check out their website - it's got tons of info!