Justin Rohner is a presenter and speaker and owner of Agriscaping!
I didn’t realize you have a restaurant.
Serve a number of restaurants in the Phoenix. About me and who I am which is sort of a serial entrepreneur.
honed my skills to put all my eggs in one
I’m all about improving
what I’m doing fits into one of those categories.
born in Alexandra VA just outside Washington DC, my dad was in the FBI
I remember a forest, living in a forest and went back and visited it was 4 trees thick by a busy road! It was nothing but a couple of trees but I was a kid.
I moved to Arizona when I was young
Being in the garden with my mom little kid
probably about five years old peas
seeing this caterpillar rolling across the
tiny thing in the garden I could be with the caterpillar
infatuated by everything about how plants grew and that we could eat this stuff
oddly enough same time of year we’re doing this recording when that
whole scene played itself out. From then on you couldn’t get me back inside.
My mom would yell and I didn’t even hear here because I was just so engrossed in how life worked.
continue to expand
first passionate experience to be in the garden and what it tasted like and how something that had grown
I think a lot of my listeners are going to relate to that story about being kids like that and getting lost in the garden maybe even today as an adult!
there really was only
we had our compost piles
grandpa owned a dairy farm
last in Tempe Az where AZ State U resides
dairy farm in the family
seeing all that stuff work
Distracted me a lot from making this a profession is it was so normal as a kid it was just the normal thing
belittle to use methods
I watched that side of the family business shift the way of all the. world that twas
In my mind it was cheaper, I wasn’t trying to run a commercial so I didn’t need all that techy stuff
grew stuff the way I knew
Integrating all the things we do not just food
growing production into a landscape!
Easy to maintain
integrating local food into the local economy
foods for fodder for animals and textiles
types of things we’re growing too are different then you would expect!
winter now the temp was below freezing this morning
weird but that’s how deserts work and the high today is going to be 71º
Do plants like that or does it make it harder to grow?
It makes it a little challenging
we know we’re still headed into some freezes
drop by checking out some of their trees.
Their desert gold peach is starting to bloom! I say ought oh?! We might have some freezes
Our break of the year is usually during June and August. That’s when we back off most of our planting and growing
that’s where the major stress
There’s a lot of cool things you can grow during that time but relatively speaking that’s when we take a break.
One thing I saw on your site was your edible flower guide and you have a lot of classes.
we have a ton of different classes
integrate that into the food economy
blending technology with traditional practices and a lot of design
a lot of artist in me
I can’t help but make things look good
Having restaurant gardens in Scottsdale. the way we got that approved was to
work them into their salads and even some of their drinks
this time of year
petunias in salads
get to know what types of flowers are edible.
Can I ask you, do they have to be special? I mean can you eat just any petunia?
I would be careful where you get it
industry for flowers
systemic pesticide is one that they will either spray on the plant or put it in any granules uptakes inside the plant
anything tries to eat it the bug
infused with the pesticide is not something you want to eat, that will cause digestive challenges
great relationships with our nursery
will have preferred nursery sourcing grown in a way
system supported where you can trust the sourcing
that kind of agriscaping certified sourcing
We had to create that sourcing ourselves because it didn’t exist in the market place
Do you want to tell people, a lot of my listeners have been growing a long time, but interested selling at market but maybe selling some of their produces
not really a channel
Teaches you all the aspects
outdoor to indoor
all the integrations
microclimates so you can understand how to expand without hoop houses
integrate the beauty no matter what the sun orientation or shade orientation in your property or forest you can grow food
create these little teaching platforms teach our
ACES so they can help families
families become productive
from people have never done it before but are interested in it or people who have been landscape architects for years, enable them to add a new component and expand their offering
licensed contractors that can implement these designs and build these machines
when designed right is a machine that not only looks amazing but produces revenue for homeowner
Rate on the expense
qualify what kind of productivity
installed the way we do it, and then maintained the way our
there’s also a lot of other ways
How a diy can garden and get paid
I was a hobbyist that grew and attracted enough income to pay for my hobby
more and more people kept asking how I did it and what I did?
It really all started from a hobby that I chose to make a professional hobby
it’s own industry basically is what’s really pulling out of it.
professional hobby side
built it to what it is today
this is a great year to get involved
we developed the hub systems
scalable to be
no matter because of the tech we have brought to it!
One of the upsides is you are not doing this on your own land so that would be a barrier that a lot of people have is not owning their own property. I think it’s also good timing, you’re finally hearing people talking about climate change on the news and millennials are getting older and they seem to be interested.
definitely have a garden 1/4 property
strict HOA driven subdivision
Even in my 1/4 acre I have 72 fruit trees growing in the garden backyard
grass the kids grow well in grass, better then in the garden. I have a bad mitten net
useful to the function of my home
trampoline subterranean garden
shade loving edibles a lot of fun loving vegetables
one of my favorite things
It grew amazing! It loves the heat! It produces! A wonderful don’t even remember what we call the
We don’t eat the flower, let it turn into a roselle that is encasing the seed pod and the outer part
petals are sour
almost lemony sour
same thing they make red zinger tea with
hibiscus lemonade, you can make a lemonade about of that without any lemon at all.
they grow amazing the restaurants loved them!
They integrated them into a number of different drinks
triple crown type plant
leaves you can eat
the stalk is a good fiber just as good as jute
You can use for rope, we used the stalks to make our twine that we wrap our veg in at the markets
Wow awesome! Lots of great information there? Does that grow in other places like Florida, and Texas?
it can grow pretty much anywhere you have a good amount of warmth
4 months above 70 degrees
It can take the hottest sunniest spot
I recommend you let it grow from a seedling with no more then 4 leaves! Greatest success with a plant that is transplanted early
If you do it later it stunts it growth!
4 feet high
It made a beautiful hedge with a red hue to them, very pretty plant almost a serrated leaf
keep a round shape
stalks are deep red with a green leaf dark stems really cool plant!
I’m always trying new stuff
santa claus melon
we call it a cucalope! It was an unintentional cross
They cross-pollinated and we ended up with the seeds out of the melon
taking it and stretching it out about the size of a large zucchini but it still had the netting on the cantaloupe
had a sour melon kind of flavor
awesome on salad
bright orange interior
It was sort of a sour melon! IT’s own melon!
Sounds good and different to try because salads can get boring sometimes!
For us it’s always a matter of location
understanding where the microclimates
the Australian finger-lime We anticipated it would work with a C zone one of the best
We figured it would work similar to other plants we got from Australia! We were dead wrong! It actually needs to be on the other side of the house
It likes morning sun and afternoon shade and likes to be wet all the time!
as apposed to drying out a bit between waterings be wet all the time
almost like an avocado or even on the same schedule we were doing the banana
Again, awesome but in the wrong location~ a huge disappointment
relative difference between 30-40ºs around your property just based on microclimates in sun and shade
What that does is expand the climate you can grow from
So how did you figure this out? Did you test all your products?
That’s what we do! I’ve been doing this for years!
In 2001, we literally moved into our first house! Me and my wife! We closed on 9/11. So having food supply didn’t feel safe. Things didn’t feel safe!
I was adamant I was gonna find a way to grow food on my yard.
I had the worst microclimates ever! It was so small! And there was no where in full sun and best place to grow was in my front yard on this little cul de sac.
The best place to grow was in my front yard and that’s the one the HOA holds under the most scrutiny.
I had to find a way to figure out a way to integrate things in and grow stuff.
I’m like forget the calendar! I’m just gonna planting
And that’s what we do!
Since that time, I continue to track, and every time I do I different times during the year, outside the regular calendar and see what grows in those 6 different microclimates.
At one point I had 24 different microclimates but realized it was just too hard to remember. It’s certainly too hard to train.
We simplified it down to the 6 major microclimates every yard has.
We started reclassifying how things grow in each of those and establishing a calendar in which each one of those in pretty much any location in the nation.
Based on crop calendars
We have now increased your planting schedules by 6 times! The traditional planting calendar in every municipality is a traditional B zone calendar which is for full sun place!
variety of thins you can grow in your yard.
Yes! I can actually grow melons in a Czone because it has afternoon sun and reflected light and radiant heat from my west facing yard. it ends up warmer. It is always warmer and stays warmer then the east side of my house which is the Azone! Which gives me a jump on the summer season in that space but I can extend my winter season on the other side in the AZone.
I would normally have to stop in March with my greens growing, but I can go on into June with my traditional lettuces by growing in my A-Zone as opposed to my full sun B-Zone, I can literally get lettuce all year round even though according to all the info out there is that farms only work in one zone B! Full sun!
Always full sun, that is the optimal place to grow! And their timelines are made but we have developed
for each one of
We teach it all in the mastery course so people can map out their entire yard and be able to schedule things in to rotate
Extend their season
I think that’s what makes your course super valuable is it will enable them to go into communities and teach others how to do that make them a more viable business. It gives them a jump on traditional practices out there.
cool thing to think about
We have over 300 varieties of edibles you can grow in full shade
tons of things you can grow in every microclimate. A number you can put to paper
It’s worth about $1.00 per month per year per square foot. So if I have 100 square feet I can produce 100$ worth of produce month
If I can grow 10 months I can grow
then in 1 square foot
now that’s worth 10 x that
$1000 I can do in 1000 square feet.
1/2 of that
an acre is 43,560 square feet
If I only use 20,000 square feet
$10/square foot per year
production is enhanced with the use of microclimates
techniques we use in design
the whole system runs off hand tools.
It sounds so interesting, I’m such a data junkie but talking to you Im feeling like maybe Im not such a numbers girl.
grandfather impressed up one me you can’t make money on agriculture, part of his reasoning was he was gonna sell me the farm. I got into engineering
trained me a lot
loved the numbers game on how things grow and creating a science out of it so it’s more repeatable.
researched the Agriscaping technology.
I love the numbers game and how things grow and
there’s always another conference
growing networks in New York so were gonna be there this summer
So they would probably sign up for your email? And see where you’re gonna be?
I guest pest management, I’m not a big fan of it. It’s my least favorite thing
I am always hoping I’m growing things enough that I like to see the balance in the garden, I don’t mind a bug here in there but if things are going so bad that they are creating little nets and they are sucking the life out of my plants then that’s my least favorite things
killing two things the plant and the bugs and creatures who are just trying to help
I would say a plant positive approach will help every time.
keeping your plants healthy
soil is the first step
adding more nutrient and supporting that which will support the healthy plant which will create the waxy coating on their cells which will put out more fibers that prohibit bugs eating to much of them
sometimes I’ll put an artichoke in a less favorable plant in order to attract all the aphids and then attracts all the
We had a year where Mike planted a lot of broccoli and it was completely covered in bugs like it was moving, and none of the other plants seemed to get attacked.
It’s a cool techniques
You know it works when you see more lady bugs and beneficials in your garden!
they do stick around longer
beneficials have enough of a supply of food to lay eggs and have prosperity!
IDK if there is a favorite, it’s like if you like ice cream which one is your favorite, a scoop of that and that?
I love being in it the difference that it makes! The only thing that you can see from the beginning to end.
you can see the change at the end of the workout
You don’t need a beach body get a garden body!
all in a garden
little bit to get each of those things
I attended public schools
If you ever heard of Joy School
tiny little toddler
I trained in the joy of learning and never poopooing it
I still loved learning asking questions
everybody’s got something that brings that out in them!
They have a topic or subject they love that brings them out
that’s the right emotion
if you are going to have an emotion that’s useful it’s just
what are you naturally curious about?
Follow your curiosity and get answers
keep moving along a path
things they are likely can make a difference about
allow that curiosity to guide your passion
there’s no such thinking as
working really is
finding something that can be such a service they are willing to pay money to receive it!
You are a unique individual. I love It reminds me of an interview I did with Sam Lillie who I was like you’re gonna be the next CEO of amazon. I wish you could be our Secretary of Education of the country or the head of the EPA, one or the other. We need so many people out there with your type of thinking.
make a routine of it
as easy and as much of a routine as getting dressed in the morning
part of your everyday
improve your life so many ways it makes the whole process easy, so that it becomes a mindless activity which means you can bring any of your challenges to the garden with you and find resolve in the act of gardening.
find the routine that works the best.
work our system
get to know that, and examples of
mini routines to create
part of your daily meditation and a gift to your self that gives back in so many ways.
I think you are inspiring so many people today!
If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be?
I think just a multi tool
usually in my back pocket or I have a sheath for it if I don’t have a pocket
all my gardening work
measurements on the spoon, all the way up the handle so everything is right there in one tool!
My favorite salad is the one we do in our garden
I just set up a table between two raised beds and you reach back and grab the parts you want. Is that a recipe? reach back and grab it!
A favorite internet resource?
Actually at this point now I end up searching my own website to remind me of things.
I do that too! I was literally on my friends website the other day saying how do you not have a search bar I use it more then anything to find links, or what did this person tell me to deal with tomato problems.
Yeah there’s a lot in there, if I don’t have a search bar, please let me know.
I guess right now when it comes to my gardening stuff.
one of my favorite books that’s kind of helped me a lot recently is called
Theories of making something look natural and also make it look like a botanical garden to make it look amazing
based on decades
met one of the authors recently so I was able to learn from him.
It’s really neat with edibles.
It’s kind of an obscure book.
Can I ask you a question. One comment I have been getting is people don’t want to compost. Do you have that problem with people?
Then you’re just doing it wrong
if you do it right it is an easy process. It’s not complicated, if you like to
anything within 16 days
16 day science that was a lot of work
I’ve got system in my yard
I’ve got good product on the bottom and it’s layered
and the type of waste you have
In the mastery program we teach a whole recipe lesson and how to create a specific recipe for the waste your producing
Once you get it dialed in, it’s a very simple process, you don’t have to go buy bags at the store this summer, you can use the stuff you build yourself!
we do if you do a search for the
is a free course I offer how to set up on these business models.
what are your revenue sources
based on what you enjoy doing most so it is easier for you.
privately owned grocery store
had our own little section all grown just by us.
restaurants if you can find the one thing they need that
A lot of it is just by asking questions what do you want to grow for you?
starting to grow for them!
community supported agriculture
Inquiring of the community in what they want
getting them to invest
helps you figure out the first place to start
for all of us it’s a little bit different
You can self align with what’s easiest to start with and identify the modality there.
easiest one to start
I’m gonna check it out, we’ve been trying to grow what we can for us, and then if we can expand I have seen little sections in the grocery where things are grown at yadayada farm.
if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?
One of the major things I have seen is missing
is perspective on a truly local food economy
Working on with our food hub where the only comes with in 15 miles of it’s sale point but that doesn’t exist.
What they consider local now is 500 miles
that would change how everything works
integrated into local landscapes
salmonella breakout with romaine lettuce to knock out all sales around the country.
only reason that occurs where food came from
That is a huge risk to everyone
Truly localized system!
15 mile radius
rather then 500 mile
just having that perspective will shift
what people are growing and how people are growing
shift things in perspective
we’ve been proving model here
what ends p happening
look at seasonality
beautiful fishtanks with some awesome fish in it where the filtration system is a wall garden
extreme heat production
decrease overweight scenarios
those kind of things
We don’t want it to happen but if a major catastrophes happened
shift to it
choose to living more locally and seasonally of a mass system
Wow, how many people know how many days the system is in their market area? I always vision aquaponics in our grocery store, that I visualize the produce guy not putting lettuce on the shelf, cutting the lettuce for you.
If you ever go to Scottsdale, AZ go to sky song
see some examples
rooftop gardens we’re gonna be installing in a few months or so and we have these wall gardens with the aquaponics so you’ll be able to look through a window and see where their food came from.
Do you have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?
one that I love
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it; Begin it now
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
The moment one commits oneself then Providence moves too and all matter of things or material assistance moves in one favor that one would otherwise would have dreamed or come their way so whatever you can do or dream you can begin it now.
a guy that he was quoting Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe quoting Faust by William Hutchison Murray was a Scottish mountain climber as people were asking him how he decided to do these big mountain climbs.
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