Turn Your Foreclosed Swimming Pool into a Permaculture Fish Farm
Like many foreclosed properties in the state, this one in Mesa, Arizona, had an abandoned swimming pool. The enormous expense of keeping a swimming pool running was just no longer sustainable for the sellers.
But rather than spend thousands to fix the pool, the two young homeowners who bought the home decided to transform the abandoned pool into something useful. A Garden Pool.
Disturbed by the wastefulness of swimming pool culture; the energy wasted on running pool pumps, and the prospect of losing 7,000 gallons of water a year to evaporation in a state that is well into the drought future that awaits most of the Southwest, Dennis built a greenhouse over the pool.
Inside the greenhouse, he raises Tilapia fish in the bottom of the old pool (that doesn’t look very sanitary… ) and in the middle he grows fruits and vegetables hydroponically, and on top, he raises chickens.
The temperature in the covered pool is 10-15 degrees cooler than outside with the help of a large evaporative cooler and shade cloths.
People have had chickens and grown food before, but raising your own Tilapia fish alone is a novel idea for most of us, an idea that more of us should consider.
Dennis says that Tilapia mature from egg to harvest size of one and a half pounds in about 7 months, and at maturity a single female can have more than a thousand babies every 4-6 weeks.
The chickens can walk across the wire mesh that covers the whole thing. The fertilizer is all recycled within the food chain, supposedly.
This conversion won’t win any design awards, but there’s more to design than aesthetics! Dennis claims that it feeds his family of four with 8 fresh eggs a day, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and all the fish they can eat.
He claims that it doesn’t smell, has passed muster with local inspection officials, and he runs a tour so that you can see if it would work for your abandoned foreclosed swimming pool too. It’s too far for me to visit it, but if you can drop by this unique Mesa, Arizona location, let me know what you thought!