Artwork for podcast GREEN Organic Garden Podcast
266. Get your garden body on! | Edible Flowers • Microclimates | Agriscaping Green Business Opportunities with Justin Rohner | Gilbert, AZ
11th March 2019 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 00:57:44

Share Episode


Justin Rohner is a presenter and speaker and owner of Agriscaping!

I didn’t realize you have a restaurant.

Tell us a little about yourself.

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

  • local food economies
  • strengthening families
  • strengthening communities

what I’m doing fits into one of those categories.

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

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

slow motion

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

My mom telling me about how the butterflies

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!

How did you learn how to garden organically?

back then

backyard gardening

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

too normal

Distracted me a lot from making this a profession is it was so normal as a kid it was just the normal thing

  • easy stuff
  • tech stuff
  • hormone

belittle to use methods

I watched that side of the family business shift the way of all the. world that twas

I always loved the organic method

  • easier
  • less expensive

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


photo by Agriscaping

Agriscaping is a blend of the best of productive agriculture best of ornamental landscaping!

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! 

I’m in Pheonix, AZ where the temps get in the 120ºs

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

  • gonna lose all of it’s fruit
  • damage production
  • too early in it’s cycle

In the extreme heat it’s definitely a challenge.

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


  • sweet potatoes
  • sunflowers
  • jerusalem artichokes

There’s a lot of cool things you can grow during that time but relatively speaking that’s when we take a break.


photo curtesy of Agriscaping

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

elegant edible approach

integrate that into the food economy

cool technology

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 

  • align the beauty
  • integrate beautify


edible flowers

work them into their salads and even some of their drinks

  • pansies
  • violas
  • petunias

this time of year

petunias in salads

edible flower guide

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

  • petunias
  • pansies
  • especially begonias

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

cellular level

infused with the pesticide is not something you want to eat, that will cause digestive challenges

systemic pesticides

ensure your getting stuff organically grown source for organically grown flowers!

great relationships with our nursery

agriscaping hub

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

there’s actually 5 different certifications


Justin is a natural teacher!

DIY Agriscaping Mastery Program

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

Agriscaping Educator Certification

create these little teaching platforms teach our 

ACES so they can help families

garden consultant


families become productive

Agriscaping Design certifications 

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

professional approach

Agriscaping Contractor Certification

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


18c garden and a 24 carat garden

qualify what kind of productivity

installed the way we do it, and then maintained the way our 

agriscaping pros

another certifications


business model

We teach a class on 7 ways to garden and get paid

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. 

What we have built in these programs is a shorter journey, for anyone who wanted to get involved and get started doing this quicker. I started this in 2001

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.

Tell us about something that grew well this year.

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

Jamaican hibiscus 

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

The kids call it the healthy sour patch kids

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.

roselle petals


they grow amazing the restaurants loved them! 

They integrated them into a number of different drinks

It’s a sour leaf which makes it a fun add to a salad!

triple crown type plant

roselle fruit

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


quadruple crown of a plant we are able to grow this year!

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...