We were in Brisbane last week visiting my brother Geoff when I noticed that Stephanie, my sister-in-law, had started planting food gardens around the edge of their swimming pool.
Over winter they had also let their pool develop that natural green look. With summer coming there was talk of bringing the pool back to crystal clear ready for the occasional swim.
When I saw this article from Treehugger below I immediately thought of their pool and whether it might be a better idea to extend the garden into the pool.
Food Doesn't Get More Local Than That
A family living in Mesa, Arizona, has decided to convert an old unused backyard swimming pool into a very productive DIY urban greenhouse, which they named Garden Pool. Within a small, mostly enclosed space, they grow all kinds of vegetables and herbs, as well as raise chickens and tilapia fish. They started this project in 2009 and expected to be "self-sufficient" by 2012, but they've reached that goal this year, getting "8 fresh eggs a day, unlimited tilapia fish, organic fruit, veggies, and herbs 365 days a year" (though I'm not sure if by self-sufficient they mean that they couldtheoretically live off the amount of food the Garden Pool produces, or if they actually do it). Check out the video tour of the Garden Pool below.
An Oasis in the Desert
The Garden Pool combines the following techniques (and is obviously a work in progress that should improve as time goes on -- if you look at the early pictures, you'll see what I mean):