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Meet Quita Jackson of GreenDesert.org

Today we’d like to introduce you to Quita Jackson.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Something as simple as wanting to provide healthier food for my family turned into a passion of showing other people how to be more self-sufficient and really take care of our environment so that we don’t lose it.

GreenDesert.org started with a small garden in the backyard, with pictures of the family gardening, showing meals from the garden, even those cooked using only the sun, getting the kids involved in it all, etc. But the more time we spent connected to Mother Earth and her environment, the more inspired we were to do more! We wanted to inspire others, but we felt since Mother Nature didn’t charge, we shouldn’t either.

So we started producing free videos, showing how to be more self-sufficient, skills to lessen the impact on the grid. I was, and still am, working full-time at ABC15 News, plus we were, and still are, raising two young boys, so time was not plentiful. The videos became less frequent, maybe once every four to five months. But still, people were searching for it because our video views quickly grew to more than two million.

Through this journey, we quickly learned the vital role that food plays in our entire lives… physically, spiritually and mentally. It affects our entire well-being, which is why health is our number one asset. The ultimate goal of the GreenDesert is to show others how to be as self-sufficient as possible, while still living a fulfilling life. We see the need to show people simple steps you can take in your own lives to have a positive impact on our planet for our own sakes and our grandchildren to come.

So introducing this lifestyle early introduces it to our children as a culture, a culture that shows them how to make the planet a priority… it will be second nature to them. Our goal is to have gardens in all middle schools, inspire people to lessen their footprint… whether it be eating less meat, collecting rainwater, gardening, hydroponics, aquaponics, drying their own clothes, recycling, avoiding plastics… the list goes on.

Every little bit counts, but no one is expected to do it all.

Has it been a smooth road?
It definitely didn’t start off smooth, but as our society moves more toward a “greener” environment, the efforts become easier. Back in 2005, when we really became passionate about gardening and learning to be more self-sufficient… it wasn’t popular. People didn’t think this way, our environment wasn’t a priority, and it wasn’t mainstream.

Even now, people are still inclined to throw cigarette butts out of the window and think nothing of it. So when you take on a new attitude of the environment being nice and clean, in an environment where not everyone sees or feels the connection that we developed from gardening, you expect some pushback. And we received it. We were asking people to change their whole way of thinking… to consider a new way of life.

Many of our peers weren’t very keen to the idea, they called us weird, and businesses weren’t as open to making changes and resources were harder to come by. Also, the more passionate we became, the more we wanted to do. Again, we were working full-time, raising a family and doing this all for free because we truly wanted to make it easier for others to get this knowledge that would benefit all of us. So this was definitely a challenge.

On a side note, I remember as a child watching my mom give without thought. She’d give even when she didn’t have enough for her own bills. But it seemed the more she gave; the less people seemed to want to do for themselves. Instead of motivating them, it seemed to enable them.

As I got older, my sister and I traveled with mom to Africa several times, as her company created programs to teach people to help themselves, so they didn’t have to depend on others. This really stuck with me.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with GreenDesert.org – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The GreenDesert.org is dedicated to sustainable living in the city. Even more impressive… it’s not just any city; we’re showing you how to be successful in the desert. We often say, If we can make the desert green, we can be green anywhere.

The primary goal is to encourage, inspire and inform people about the benefits of a simpler, less materialistic lifestyle, and to teach the importance of protecting our natural environment.

Our focus:
• Water- our most precious resource.
• Soil- it is the key to building your immune system.
• Organic foods-the importance and how we use it in our home.
• How-tos — everything from how to raise chickens, build raised beds, compost, even how to use the sun to enjoy the freedoms of our lifestyle.

We’ve run across many farmers, and companies focusing on getting people to garden, recycle, etc. And we support it all… it all is a step in the right direction of lessening the footprint on our environment. But we aren’t about having the biggest garden, the most chickens, etc. Our goal is to produce what we can sustain.

For the entire winter, our garden survives only off rainwater… in the desert! If we get too big, meaning trying to grow too much, we will have to depend on city water… defeating the purpose of trying to be more self-sufficient.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
We have a gorgeous city, with so much potential. I do believe our city has a long way to go when it comes to being “green.” It’s hard to even find recycle bins. And even when you think you’re recycling, there’s a high chance it’s all still ending up in the landfill.

Sadly, I’ve heard several stories of people seeing cleaners dump recycle bins right into the same pile as what goes to the landfill. I think we need more incentives to inspire people to pay more attention. For example, we live in the desert, meaning water is not plentiful.

So each city should have more incentives that focus on water conservation for homeowners. Also, our city should be at the top of the list when it comes to using the sun to our advantage. It’s there for so many reasons.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Hanif Burt

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